Samsung was beginning to feel their mortality and their stubborn pride finally succumb to the voices of the masses – people were tired of Samsung pushing more and more features on their devices that most people would never use. We wanted less bloatware, less TouchWiz, less faux leather, less plastic and more substance and innovation. It took the firing of some top executives and reshuffling of others, but we got what we wanted and they did it all in a year. Is the new Samsung Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge the perfect smartphone…absolutely not, but they are damn sweet and at this point in time, are probably the best Android smartphones available. With that being said, how does it stack up against the new iPhone 6 from the iOS camp of enthusiasts?
Early indications are that the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are far ahead of their Apple iPhone 6 counterpart in a number of areas that we will explore in this article. These comparisons are not in any particular order of importance, but we will start with:
Performance – As soon as a new device comes to market, the benchmarks come out and while they are not always real-life indicators, they do show us raw processing power. The new Samsung Exynos 7420 eight-bit processor simply blows away Apple's A8 chipset – it is a whopping 56-percent faster overall and for gaming is 15-20-percent faster across both 3DMark and GFXBench 3. This is not to say that the iPhone 6 is not fast in everyday use – it is – however, from a hands on experience, the new Galaxy S6/S6 Edge is every bit as fluid and fast as anything out there, including the iPhone 6.
Wireless Charging – with our concern over battery life and the fact that Samsung has chosen to forgo the removable battery in their new Galaxy S6's, they added wireless charging as standard equipment, yet it is not available to iPhone users even as an option. Not only did Samsung add wireless charging, they support all formats, so wherever there is a wireless pad – Starbucks, McDonalds, Airports, etc. – your Galaxy S6 will be able to charge.
Quick Charge – Samsung's new battery and Galaxy S6 will give you up to a 4-hour charge with the device plugged in for only 10 minutes. The iPhone 6 offers no such ability so it must be tethered to a power outlet – reminiscent of the 'wall-hugger' ads Samsung put out a while back…now with wireless charging and quick charge, this is never truer.
Fast-Launching Camera – The 8MP camera on the iPhone has always been touted as one of the best…and rightly so…however, building on the Galaxy Note 4's fantastic 16MP camera, the Galaxy S6 sets a new standard. You can reach that new standard by pressing the home button twice and in less than a second you are ready to snap a picture. With the iPhone 6 you must either launch the camera app or press the camera icon on the lock screen.
Subject Tracking – The new Galaxy S6 camera also has the ability to track its moving subject and is able to keep it in focus for those great action shots. The iPhone 6 is unable to do this, although they have added some new features to make it easier to edit photos. Samsung has also introduced and refined its many shooting modes and even added a professional mode for shutterbugs that like to manually adjust their settings. Their new F1.9 lens stomps the f2.2 lens in the iPhone 6, allowing for much better low-light photos.
Multitasking – The Galaxy S6 models allow the user to run more than one app at once on the home screen. You can watch a video or movie and still work on emails or text messages at the same time. Apple's iPhone has never allowed this and the iPhone 6 is no exception and would be difficult to do with only 1GB of RAM on board the iPhone 6 compared to the 3GB found on the Galaxy S6.
Heart Rate Sensor – What was originally thought of as a gimmick has turned out to be a welcomed option with the many health conscious people that walk, jog or ride a bike. The Galaxy S6's continue to pass down their Heart Rate Monitor that pairs up to Samsung's excellent S-Health application. Apple has added a few health-related features on the iPhone, such as a step counter, but does not include any hardware to monitor your heart rate.
Monitor With Display Off – With the new Galaxy S6 Edge you can still have the weather, time and date showing on the side panel even when the display is turned off. The curved part of the display is like a notification area that still can stay lite even when the display is 'sleeping.' There is no option for this in the iPhone.
Assign Colors to Primary Contacts – the new Galaxy S6 Edge allows you to assign a specific color to your five priority contacts – Mom might be yellow (her favorite color), the office might be red (for alert) and green might be your friend (they owe you money). While the device is turned display down, the display edge will light up with the specific color to let you know there is a notification from that person. The iPhone has no way to do this…is it a necessity, no, but it is so cool.
Samsung Pay – Okay, I know you are crying out that the iPhone 6 has Apple Pay so they are equal – well they are not the same. With Samsung Pay, you can make payments via NFC, but you can also make payments at ANY store with a credit-card reader. Apple Pay, found only on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, only works at terminals that employ Near-Field Communication (NFC) – many smaller stores only have the card-swipe terminals and you can hold you iPhone 6 at them all day long and nothing will happen…not so with Samsung Pay.
Smart Manager – After years of using third party apps to clean up your smartphone, the Galaxy S6 models come with Samsung's Smart Manager built-in – it will clean up your phone with a touch of button. It covers your battery, storage, RAM and device security areas. There are some third-party apps for the iPhone that claim to do this, but it is unclear exactly what Apple allows them to do.
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