Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 5: Which one to buy!

It is now a fact. The iPhone 6S was presented yesterday and it is officially – as expected – the best smartphone that the company has made so far.

The phablet has an improved camera with the front having a noticeably larger sensor, capable of taking 1080p video or 5MP still pictures, while on the back there is a new 12MP shooter, able to take much better stills and capture 4K video.

So clearly the new iPhone 6S has already made it to the top charts- but for those who need to title only one winner, it is a hard pick and a cruel fight between the best of the best. According to the latest info, those are the Apple iPhone 6S Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Both are true warriors able to offer an out of this world user experience- but at the same time, they have enough differences, so that one can end up with only one number one. Let’s compare those two beasts at the most significant aspects and see what comes up.


Technical Features

First round is for the technical features and all the detailed specs.

The Note 5 is 1-inch bigger and with a better resolution (1440 x 2560 instead of 750 x 1334) and also sports a more sophisticated main camera, as the Note 5 packs a 16MP shooter, while the iPhone 6S has a 12MP one.



The front ones have the same resolution, so things are cleared out in the technology used for pictures and videos.



As for the performance capabilities, the Note 5 is equipped with an Exynos 7420 Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57 processor, whereas the iPhone 6S comes with the new dual-core Apple A9 chip clocked at 2GHz. Apple says it is 70 percent faster than the A8 at CPU tasks, and 90 percent faster at graphics tasks.


Furthermore, the iPhone 6S comes in three different editions; 16GB, 64GB, and 128 GB of internal storage capacity and the RAM remains unknown – the rumor mill says it is 3GB. On the other hand, the Note 5 comes only with 32GB and 64GB of internal capacity and carries 4GB of RAM. The rest of the lesser known technical features are similar to both smartphones.



The iPhone 6S is going to be slightly thicker than the previous model, but the difference is not noticeable for the human eye. The rest of the buttons and round edges are still there.

There is, however, a major modification to this model that we are seeing for the first time: the company decided to go with a new 7000-series aluminium alloy that should make it at least strong enough not to “bend”.


As for the Note 5, it also follows the general guidelines of the previous Note smartphones, adding a little more size and according to many, a bit more prestige as well.



This is where things get a bit more complicated, because the OSs running on the two devices feature major differences.

If you are a user that wishes to have the accessibility of a PC on his smartphone, then Android is what you should go for, as it more or less allows you to do everything that comes in mind. In addition to that, Android offers a great deal of customization tweaks, thus personalizing your smartphone to the maximum degree.


Though, Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is nothing like stock Android. While both offer the same features, TouchWiz can be a pain in the back to learn, especially when it comes to the hands of less experienced users.


On the other hand, iOS 9 might be a sweet update compared to iOS 8, though it remains a classic mobile operating system with a lot of restraints that will definitely give you a hard time at some point -even if you are a hardcore Apple fan.


A parameter that Apple’s iOS excels at -where Android does not- is simplicity. A smartphone novice can learn how to navigate through the software without even having to look at the user’s guide. It is also worth to mention that iOS works much smoother than Android because it is much lighter and requires less processing power.

Moreover, iOS features a more intuitive and elegant looks than its opponent, that is certainly more attractive to the eys.

Other Features                                                                                                                                              

This is probably the most difficult part of the comparison as both smartphones are equipped with unique built-in features that turn them to top of the class performers.


To kick things off, we have the 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S; a feature that is practically identical to the Force Touch, but disguised under a different name.

It essentially allows users to make “peek and pop” gestures on the screen to access shortcuts or preview content, including text messages, bank information, calendar appointments and more.

There is also the display zoom, a feature that lets you adjust the text size and all the icons. Also, let’s not forget about the “hey Siri” feature, that allows Siri to be active at any given, which subsequently helps the virtual assistant get a lot more personal with the user.


On the other hand, there is the S-Pen stylus for the Note 5, aka emphasis on multitasking stylus, which among other things, now features a clicky quick-release mechanism.



Taken the fact that both devices belong to the premium range of the smartphone market, we cannot really say that they are affordable.

Both the Note 5 and the 6S Plus can be found for reasonable money, solely under a two-year contract, which in the long run, will cost you five times the original price of the devices.

The unlocked Galaxy Note 5 and the iPhone 6S Plus price tag usually ranges from US$600 to US$800 and US$700 to US$1000 respectively, depending the storage option you opt for.

All in all, if you decide to go the unlocked way, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 will definitely save you at least US$100.

The Verdict

Overall, if you are looking for a phone that delivers outstanding results in terms of CPU and GPU performance, as well as have an operating system that has a lot of desktop capabilities and fancy tweaks, then the Note 5 is the place to go.

On the other hand, if you like elegance, simplicity and hardware quality, then you should better fork out some extra cash out of your wallet because the iPhone 6S Plus will be the device you want to go with.

Senior reviews editor at Technology News Extra.

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