Compared: Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6

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Think of a flagship smart phone, and both Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 should pop up on your consideration list right now. The iPhone 6 despite its premium price tag is still commanding a huge chunk of the smart phone market share. In the last quarter of 2014, the Cupertino company had sold more iPhones than Samsung’s extensive smart phone line up.

Fast forward to Q2 2015, the latest flagship from Samsung has up the ante with better hardware and more attention to build quality and design than it did before. So if you’re in the market to get a high-end smart phone, which would you take? We outline the differences between the two and hopefully you can get a better idea of what to get.

By the numbers

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Let’s start with the numbers. In terms of price, the Galaxy S6 has gone up significantly from its predecessor but it is still cheaper than the base iPhone 6 with 16GB storage that’s priced at RM2,702. For RM2,599, the Galaxy S6 offers double the storage at 32GB but this time it lacks a microSD card slot and a removable battery.

With a 5.1″ Quad HD display, the Galaxy S6 is bigger than the iPhone 6 but it is thinner by a tiny bit at 6.8mm versus the iPhone 6 at 6.9mm. With an all glass and metal body, the Galaxy S6 is slightly heavier by 9 grams. No doubt the screen on the Galaxy S6 is awesome with incredibly high pixel density but for this size, not many would be able to tell the difference between a 326ppi and 577ppi display. As a result, despite having a much larger 2,550mAh capacity battery, the Galaxy S6 battery life isn’t too far off from the iPhone 6 (1,810mAh), which means you’ll probably need to charge it before the sun sets if you’re a heavy duty user.

Meanwhile for the main camera, the S6 doubles the megapixel count (16MP vs 8MP) compared to the iPhone 6. For low light imaging, the Galaxy S6 aces with a larger f/1.9 aperture lens, while the iPhone 6 settles for f/2.2 for both sides. It is interesting to note that the iPhone 6 comes with dual-LED flash which should provide more natural lighting if required. The Galaxy S6 camera is pretty impressive and it take shots instantly with no hesitations. Don’t just take our word for it. In our recent blind camera test, most of our readers picked the Galaxy S6 over the iPhone 6 for better pictures.

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In terms of added features, the Galaxy S6 now comes with a single touch fingerprint scanner, which unlocks instantly just like the iPhone 6’s Touch ID. The Galaxy S6 is also faster to charge with its adaptive fast charger (0-50% in 30 minutes) and you have the added convenience of wireless charging as well. On paper, logically, the Galaxy S6 is more worth for your money considering it offers more for less on the spec sheet list.

Benchmarks

With Samsung’s new 14nm Exynos 7420 processor, you can expect best in class performance and it shows from the benchmarks. It crushes other smart phones by a mile but it is interesting to note that the iPhone 6 aces in the Single Core test under GeekBench.

Samsung Galaxy S6
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iPhone 6
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Numbers aside, the experience is what matters. Despite what you see on the spec sheet and benchmark numbers, you can hardly fault the iPhone 6 for its sheer smoothness even after prolonged usage. For now, the Galaxy S6 is buttery smooth and we felt that its new TouchWiz UI is more refined, but of course others would argue it isn’t skimmed down enough for a true stock Android experience.

Design

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When the Galaxy S6 first came out, many had accused it of being a copy but we don’t think so. While the metal frame, audio jack and grilled speaker grill looks similar, the Galaxy S6 stands out with a different colour treatment on its glass body. Even the Gold Platinum colour looks more shimmering than the Gold version of the iPhone 6.

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The button placements for both devices are similar with the volume controls on the left, while the power/wake button is placed on the right.

So which should you get?

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It all boils down to your preference. If you want the very latest device, a great camera and what we feel is better looking device right now, the Galaxy S6 is probably the one you should be considering. However for those who prefer a more simplified experience, the iPhone 6 has been a defacto choice and it has been able to hold on to its selling price very well since its launch in Malaysia in November last year. Furthermore, the iOS experience is more smooth and refined due to its closed ecosystem. Besides, Apple has greater control over both hardware and software. While the Galaxy S6 will eventually get newer Android updates, it is likely to take longer time compared to its Apple counterpart.

Samsung has worked from scratch to deliver a premium product which finally can be on the same league as HTC and Apple in terms of build quality. Probably the biggest Achilles heel is Samsung’s two flagships per year cycle where a newer Note will emerge late this year. Like most devices, you can expect the price start to plummeting when something new is around the corner. If you don’t intend of changing phones that often, resale value shouldn’t be much a concern. We know that there are people who take resale value very seriously and it is taken as an indicator of perceived premium and demand. Time will tell if this aspired perception would be a reality in the long run. Which would be the ultimate flagship choice? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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