Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Introduction


The second half of 2014 proved to be an exciting time for fans of phablet devices. Samsung, the company which arguably started the whole phablet thing with the Note, released not one, but two new Note handsets. In addition to the Note 4 flagship, the company introduced the innovative Note Edge, which kept most of the Note 4's assets, but also added an intriguing curved screen edge to the equation. What's more, Samsung's arch-rival in the mobile space, Apple, also decided to jump on the phablet bandwagon with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. This means that lovers of excessively big screens on mobile devices have more choice than ever, and for the first time since the advent of phablets, that choice isn't narrowed down to Android.

We've already compared the Note 4 to the 6 Plus, and as you can imagine, it was an epic face-off. Now, however, we're going to experience something a bit more different. In comes the Galaxy Note Edge – Samsung's experimental phablet with curved screen, which is here to test the waters and see if the market is ready to welcome such an offbeat idea. Of course, the more pressing issue right now is to determine the exact benefits of the Edge screen, because, after all, that's what the Note Edge is all about – that little, curved screen area to the side. In order to prove that it's any good, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will inevitably have to face the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's first phablet didn't quite redefine the way we think of phablets, but it did bring the iOS experience to the super-big-screen world, and for many consumers out there, that was enough to spark their interest in the 6 Plus, and the category as a whole. An experimental twist to a successful formula, versus an influential product with powerful characteristics that are easy to take advantage of... It's bound to be interesting!

Design

Super-sized, super-thin iPhone design meets Samsung's futuristic, but elegant proposition

The Note Edge is among the better-looking Samsung phones, we dare say. Whether due to the curved screen edge, or the refined body with eye-pleasing proportions, the Note Edge simply isn't as uncouth as the Note 4. Instead, it has a more elegant, sophisticated kind of look. Even then, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very tough opponent to beat in the design department.

Apple's handset has an extraordinarily great in-hand feel, thanks to its high-quality materials and razor-thin profile. Because of their physical characteristics, the iPhone 6 Plus is way more comfortable to hold and work with; unfortunately, the edge near the curved screen side of the Note Edge is very thin, making it feel a bit sharp and unpractical for holding. Other than that, the Edge (6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm)) is pretty much of the same overall dimensions as the 6 Plus (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)), except for the thickness, that is. There also isn't a great difference in terms of weight - the 6 Plus is a just a tad lighter with its 6.07 oz (172 g), compared to the Edge's 6.21 oz (176 g).

Physical keys work well on both phones, but those on the iPhone 6 Plus are way better, thanks to their defined, clicky behavior. On top of that, we tend to prefer the positioning of the 6 Plus' power key, which is situated on the right hand side of the phone, instead of on the top, as it's on the Note Edge. When it comes to such massive smartphones, having the power button on the side almost always makes it easier to reach.

Both trying to be impressively high-end with their home buttons, the Note Edge and iPhone 6 Plus also offer integrated fingerprint scanners for a higher level of security. Once again, there isn't anything particularly bad about the Edge's home key, but that of the 6 Plus gets the higher marks for comfort and clickiness.

 

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Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
5.96 x 3.24 x 0.33 inches
151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm
6.14 oz (174 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus



Display

Is a curved display better than a flat one? Not necessarily, but the Note Edge also has a higher resolution and additional screen modes to help it out

Phablets usually come with ginormous displays, and the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note Edge do not disappoint. The Edge's screen measures 5.6” and has a spectacular resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (515 ppi), while Apple's proposition sticks with a 5.5” 1080 x 1920 pixel panel (401 ppi). Both displays are extremely detailed, though that of the Note Edge is just a tad sharper and clearer, due to its enormous resolution. It's difficult to notice the difference through normal examination, but upon closer look, one can notice the subtle refinements that those extra pixels bring.

Aside from that, the screen technologies that these phones employ are drastically different. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge makes use of AMOLED – Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes. This technology is newer than the IPS LCD tech employed by the iPhone 6 Plus, but being newer doesn't always mean being better.

In terms of maximum brightness, the iPhone 6 Plus is capable of reaching a higher number (574 vs 496 nits), but the difference in outdoor visibility isn't that great. We would say that reading the 6 Plus' display under the hot, bright sun is just a tad easier than doing so with the Note Edge, but you wouldn't have much trouble with the latter either. Minimum brightness is excellent on both, with the Note Edge managing the extraordinary 1 nit! The 6 Plus gets to 4 nits, which is also great.

In its Basic screen mode, the Galaxy Note Edge has respectable color accuracy and fidelity, although its slightly yellowish tint may not appeal to everyone. In contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus tends to be colder with its color temperature, exhibiting a higher amount of blue, but it may seem a bit more realistic in many occasions. However, both displays are quite close to the reference Delta E values (they are almost the same), indicating that both are doing a fairly good job at reproducing colors in an accurate, yet satisfyingly vibrant way. Still, it's safe to say that we've seen better mobile screens than these two titans.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 574
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:1376
(Excellent)
7318
(Good)
2.18
4.38
(Average)
3.82
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 496
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6719
(Excellent)
2.28
4.48
(Average)
3.87
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 53.2%
0%
unmeasurable
19.4%
1.3%
48.7%
156.8%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 84.7%
75%
86.9%
4.3%
13.8%
6.6%
15.7%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Introduction


The second half of 2014 proved to be an exciting time for fans of phablet devices. Samsung, the company which arguably started the whole phablet thing with the Note, released not one, but two new Note handsets. In addition to the Note 4 flagship, the company introduced the innovative Note Edge, which kept most of the Note 4's assets, but also added an intriguing curved screen edge to the equation. What's more, Samsung's arch-rival in the mobile space, Apple, also decided to jump on the phablet bandwagon with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. This means that lovers of excessively big screens on mobile devices have more choice than ever, and for the first time since the advent of phablets, that choice isn't narrowed down to Android.

We've already compared the Note 4 to the 6 Plus, and as you can imagine, it was an epic face-off. Now, however, we're going to experience something a bit more different. In comes the Galaxy Note Edge – Samsung's experimental phablet with curved screen, which is here to test the waters and see if the market is ready to welcome such an offbeat idea. Of course, the more pressing issue right now is to determine the exact benefits of the Edge screen, because, after all, that's what the Note Edge is all about – that little, curved screen area to the side. In order to prove that it's any good, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will inevitably have to face the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's first phablet didn't quite redefine the way we think of phablets, but it did bring the iOS experience to the super-big-screen world, and for many consumers out there, that was enough to spark their interest in the 6 Plus, and the category as a whole. An experimental twist to a successful formula, versus an influential product with powerful characteristics that are easy to take advantage of... It's bound to be interesting!

Design

Super-sized, super-thin iPhone design meets Samsung's futuristic, but elegant proposition

The Note Edge is among the better-looking Samsung phones, we dare say. Whether due to the curved screen edge, or the refined body with eye-pleasing proportions, the Note Edge simply isn't as uncouth as the Note 4. Instead, it has a more elegant, sophisticated kind of look. Even then, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very tough opponent to beat in the design department.

Apple's handset has an extraordinarily great in-hand feel, thanks to its high-quality materials and razor-thin profile. Because of their physical characteristics, the iPhone 6 Plus is way more comfortable to hold and work with; unfortunately, the edge near the curved screen side of the Note Edge is very thin, making it feel a bit sharp and unpractical for holding. Other than that, the Edge (6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm)) is pretty much of the same overall dimensions as the 6 Plus (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)), except for the thickness, that is. There also isn't a great difference in terms of weight - the 6 Plus is a just a tad lighter with its 6.07 oz (172 g), compared to the Edge's 6.21 oz (176 g).

Physical keys work well on both phones, but those on the iPhone 6 Plus are way better, thanks to their defined, clicky behavior. On top of that, we tend to prefer the positioning of the 6 Plus' power key, which is situated on the right hand side of the phone, instead of on the top, as it's on the Note Edge. When it comes to such massive smartphones, having the power button on the side almost always makes it easier to reach.

Both trying to be impressively high-end with their home buttons, the Note Edge and iPhone 6 Plus also offer integrated fingerprint scanners for a higher level of security. Once again, there isn't anything particularly bad about the Edge's home key, but that of the 6 Plus gets the higher marks for comfort and clickiness.


Front view | Side view
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
5.96 x 3.24 x 0.33 inches
151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm
6.14 oz (174 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus



Display

Is a curved display better than a flat one? Not necessarily, but the Note Edge also has a higher resolution and additional screen modes to help it out

Phablets usually come with ginormous displays, and the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note Edge do not disappoint. The Edge's screen measures 5.6” and has a spectacular resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (515 ppi), while Apple's proposition sticks with a 5.5” 1080 x 1920 pixel panel (401 ppi). Both displays are extremely detailed, though that of the Note Edge is just a tad sharper and clearer, due to its enormous resolution. It's difficult to notice the difference through normal examination, but upon closer look, one can notice the subtle refinements that those extra pixels bring.

Aside from that, the screen technologies that these phones employ are drastically different. The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge makes use of AMOLED – Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diodes. This technology is newer than the IPS LCD tech employed by the iPhone 6 Plus, but being newer doesn't always mean being better.

In terms of maximum brightness, the iPhone 6 Plus is capable of reaching a higher number (574 vs 496 nits), but the difference in outdoor visibility isn't that great. We would say that reading the 6 Plus' display under the hot, bright sun is just a tad easier than doing so with the Note Edge, but you wouldn't have much trouble with the latter either. Minimum brightness is excellent on both, with the Note Edge managing the extraordinary 1 nit! The 6 Plus gets to 4 nits, which is also great.

In its Basic screen mode, the Galaxy Note Edge has respectable color accuracy and fidelity, although its slightly yellowish tint may not appeal to everyone. In contrast, the iPhone 6 Plus tends to be colder with its color temperature, exhibiting a higher amount of blue, but it may seem a bit more realistic in many occasions. However, both displays are quite close to the reference Delta E values (they are almost the same), indicating that both are doing a fairly good job at reproducing colors in an accurate, yet satisfyingly vibrant way. Still, it's safe to say that we've seen better mobile screens than these two titans.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 574
(Excellent)
4
(Excellent)
1:1376
(Excellent)
7318
(Good)
2.18
4.38
(Average)
3.82
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 496
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6719
(Excellent)
2.28
4.48
(Average)
3.87
(Good)
View all

The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.

Maximum brightness Lower is better Minimum brightness Lower is better Contrast Lower is better Color temperature Lower is better Gamma Lower is better Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 53.2%
0%
unmeasurable
19.4%
1.3%
48.7%
156.8%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 84.7%
75%
86.9%
4.3%
13.8%
6.6%
15.7%
View all

The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.

This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.

View all


Interface and Functionality

iOS on the iPhone 6 Plus is iOS, but Samsung has done a few tweaks to its UI, in order to take advantage of the big, curved display

Android 4.4 on the Galaxy Note Edge has been customized with a new version of TouchWiz, which has been appropriately tweaked to make use of the device's curved screen area. The changes are visible right from the homescreen – the most-used applications that are traditionally positioned at the bottom of the screen have been moved to the curved screen, leaving more space for widgets and other content on the homescreen itself. It's a fitting solution that makes some good use out of the Edge display, even more so when it actually allows you to store more favorite app shortcuts than the usual four. There are other examples of the Edge screen being utilized in a special way throughout the user interface. For example, it's used to display the camera shutter in the camera app, or the playback controls in the music player. What's more, that's where the useful quick tools reside (ruler, timer, torch, etc.), as well as some other neat info panes, such as sports results, stocks, and weather.

Of course, the Note Edge also packs the typical TouchWiz goodies like multi-window mode, the various 'smart' functions, like Smart Stay, as well as the newest S Pen stylus complemented by software features like Smart Select, Action Memo, and the rest of the Air Command kit.

The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The UI of the Galaxy Note Edge



Needless to say, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus lacks a stylus, so if that's really important to you, Apple's offering probably won't satisfy your needs. What the iPhone 6 Plus has, however, is the powerful and intuitive iOS system, which is renowned for its ease of use, stability, and polish. Apple has done some things in order to optimize the iOS 8 experience for the 6 Plus' large screen to an extent, though it hasn't really done anything groundbreaking. There are mostly some changes in the menus, which make the interface behave a bit more like that of an iPad. Additionally, there's the Reachability feature, which brings the whole screen UI halfway down, so that you can easily reach what's in the upper end. Aside from these, though, the experience of the 6 Plus is pretty much the well known affair, which isn't bad, but it'd have been nice if there were more tweaks done to the software, with the goal of putting that spacious canvas to a more useful purpose. Samsung definitely isn't nailing it with its S Pen features and other added capabilities like multi-window, but at least it's trying something new.

iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

iOS 8 is running on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus



As you probably know, both handsets have fingerprint scanners, but we honestly prefer the touch scanner of the iPhone 6 Plus to the swipe one of the Note Edge. It's just that Apple's solution works more accurately and comfortably, with higher success rates than the Edge's swipe sensor. More interestingly, you can use the Edge's sensor in order to authorize PayPal payments, while Apple's sensor can be utilized for purchases from the iTunes stores.

Processor and memory

A classic example that more isn't necessarily better

The Note Edge is powered by Qualcomm's 2.7GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 805. Built on a 28nm HPM process, the chipset makes use of four Krait 450 CPUs and an Adreno 420 GPU. Both of these have seen some generational improvements over the ones available with the Snapdragon 801, the most important of which is the more adequate support for super-high resolution displays and content, both of which the Note Edge will have to handle. Qualcomm also touts the new-found capabilities of the GPU, which now offers hardware tessellation. Also on board is a 3GB module of LPDDR3 RAM, which is quite generous, but also very much needed in order to power this beast of a _phone_ a keep performance stable.

Turning to the iPhone 6 Plus, we're looking at a 20nm Apple-designed chip built on ARMv8 64-bit architecture. The chipset utilizes “just” two 1.4GHz Cyclone cores, which may sound underwhelming, but everything, from synthetic benchmarks to real life usage, suggests the very opposite – this is an impressive piece of silicon. Thanks to its potent PowerVR GX6450 GPU, the iPhone 6 Plus actually ranks on top of graphics benchmarks, both on- and off-screen ones, so expect the absolute very best in performance with this chip, and despite the relatively low amounts of RAM (1GB). Of course, part of this can be explained with the lower display resolution that it has to work with, compared to the Edge.

When it comes to storage space, the Note Edge comes in 32 and 64 GB variants, and, typically for a Samsung device, it also sports a microSD card slot, which is always a great thing to have. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 Plus proviedes you with three storage options: 16, 64, and 128 GB of built-in memory, but memory cards are a no-go, meaning that you'll be stuck with whatever space you've chosen initially.

Performance benchmarks

Sunspider
Lower is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 365.2
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 370.5
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 40.9
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 26.3
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 18.4
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 10
Geekbench 3 single-core
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1625
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 1089
Geekbench 3 multi-core
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 2918
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 3302
View all

Internet and Connectivity


When it comes to browsing, with the Note Edge you have two options – use the built-in browser by Samsung, or just default to the tried and tested Google Chrome. It's obviously a question of choice, as both apps offer smooth performance and few to no perks, though Chrome can be synchronized with its desktop counterpart, which is a highlight feature. Looking at Apple, we've got the Safari browser to make use of out of the box, and that one is absolutely down to the point, offering no perks other than the ability to synchronize with its desktop sibling.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - Browsing the web - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Browsing the web - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Browsing the web - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Browsing the web - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

 

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

 

Browsing the web


As Samsung tradition dictates, the Note series are decked-out with connectivity options. There's Category 6 LTE (theoretical speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s downlink and 50 Mbit/s uplink) with support for 9 bands, assisted GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, MHL, infrared (for remote control purposes) and more.

With the iPhone 6 Plus, we've got Category 4 LTE (theoretical speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s downlink, 50 Mbit/s uplink) with support for over a dozen bands – the most of any device – along with assisted GPS and GLONASS, a slightly older standard of Bluetooth (4.0), and NFC. However, the NFC chip is reserved for use with the Apple Pay service for mobile payments.



Camera

Two superb cameras, cleverly disguised as phablets

As far as imaging goes, the Note line has always been among the best on the market, and the Galaxy Note Edge isn't an exception. Its camera configuration sounds promising even when read off a specs sheet. Just like with the Note 4, we've got a 16-megapixel 16:9 sensor complemented by a wide, f/2.2 lens, a singular LED flash, and phase detection auto focus. Quite importantly, the rear camera of the Note Edge is optically stabilized. Up at the front, we're looking at a generous 3.7-megapixel selfie snapper with a wide, f/1.9 aperture, capable of 1080p video capture.

Shooting with the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Shooting with the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Shooting with the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Shooting with the Galaxy Note Edge


The iSight camera on-board the iPhone 6 Plus is an 8-megapixel unit with 1.5um pixels and f/2.2 lens, a two-tone LED flash, and phase detecting auto focus implementation. Like the Note Edge, the 6 Plus also comes with optical stabilization, and this is Apple's first time implementing such tech into its mobile devices. Turn the iPhone 6 Plus around, and you'll find a 1.2-megapixel cam that can shoot 720p video.

The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

The camera interface of the iPhone 6 Plus


Software-wise, we're once again looking at quite different approaches with the two devices. The Note Edge is filled with features and manual controls (ISO, exposure, white balance, metering) and offers a plethora of shooting modes, including Beauty Shot, Dual Shot (both cameras fire off simultaneously), and even a mode that allows you to take selfies with the rear camera (it'll focus on your face automatically). As for the app's interface, a truly interesting thing to note here is that the camera app uses the Edge screen to display the camera shutter and other camera option keys, leaving the whole area of the main screen free for the viewfinder. This doesn't really change the experience much, but it's an interesting solution.

With the 6 Plus, we're looking at a much simpler approach towards the whole imaging experience. The only controls you have access to include HDR, the flash, and countdown settings. Apple has, however, increased the number of available shooting modes from the iPhone 5s, and apart from panoramas and slow-motion, you can also shoot Time Lapses.

Turning to image quality, it's fair to say that you can expect excellent results from both phones during the day. In fact, it's really hard to put either in the lead as they're so close in terms of reproducing the overall composition in front of them with all its caveats. But caveats they have. Indeed, while both phones offer dynamic scenes, they boost colors slightly – the iPhone 6 Plus churns out snaps that are slightly warmer than in reality, while the Note Edge does the opposite, and captures scenes that are a bit colder than ideal. That said, both deviate from reality so slightly that it's actually a question of taste more than anything else. Thankfully, noise is also essentially negligible with both. The only area of no contest is details – the Note Edge's larger photos offer visibly more fine information if you zoom in to 100%.

Indoors, the two devices again offer great results, but we found that the iPhone 6 Plus produces slightly brighter shots. On the other hand, however, color reproduction, while excellent on the whole, is a bit lacking in comparison with the Note Edge, as hues look a bit faded and washed out when put next to shots from the Samsung phablet. Again, do keep in mind that we're talking about very small deviations and inadequacies here.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1.93
2.1
435
293
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 2.9
2.9
351
278
View all

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge proved to be a very capable camcorder in our time with it, though it obviously wasn't without some kinks. Video capture at 1080p and 4K UHD is excellent, with clips coming out smooth and shake-free, thanks to OIS in no small part. Sadly, 4K can only be up to 5 minutes long, but in many situations, that tends to be enough. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, we again have mighty impressive footage, though Apple has deemed 4K UHD ahead of its time and has not seen it fit to be included. The standard 1080p resolution clips produced by the 6 Plus are nevertheless excellent. While lack of 4K UHD will definitely end up as a cons with some, it's worth pointing out that the 6 Plus' superior audio reproduction is a saving grace – in comparison, the Note Edge doesn't manage to isolate background noise as successfully.

The two devices can also shoot slow-moes, though we'll have to give this one to Apple – its software can do 240 frames per second, which is more than we can say for the Note Edge. In addition to that, Apple's way of doing slow-motion makes much more sense. The two camcorders also have the ability to shoot Time Lapses – available since iOS 8 for the iPhone 6 Plus -- a special mode that condenses lengthy footage and plays it back in a fraction of the time it took to record for an artistic effect.



Multimedia

Given that we're looking at two extremely large phablet devices, it is obviously the case that both are perfectly-suited for media consumption, and, specifically, videos and photos.

Starting with video, we've got to hand it to Samsung – its video player goes beyond the basics. The app supports subtitles and can be re-sized and layered on top of the interface so that it follows you wherever you go. Samsung has also added quick access to its video editing apps, which are full of options. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple's signature conservative approach is evident – the player is basically limited to its main purpose: playing back video. Extra functionality is simply non-existent. 

Watching a video on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Watching a video on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Watching a video on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Watching a video on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Watching a video on the Galaxy Note Edge

Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus


Playing music on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Playing music on the Galaxy Note Edge - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Playing music on the Galaxy Note Edge

A scenario similar to the above is also true for the two devices' respective music players. The Note Edge again grabs the medal for functionality and flexibility, while the iPhone 6 Plus is, conversely, quite basic. Apple's Music app remains integrated with iTunes Radio, which is a nice perk if you use it, but things like equalizer settings are not available directly – for that, you'll need to head over to the iOS 8 settings menu and dig there.

Speaking of music playback, we've got to say that the Note Edge disappoints with its clarity in comparison with the iPhone 6 Plus, though it is overall louder. Don't get us wrong – the 6 Plus is still fairly loud, just not as loud as Samsung's new phablet.

Enjoying some tunes on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Enjoying some tunes on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Enjoying some tunes on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Enjoying some tunes on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Enjoying some tunes on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus

 

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1.014
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 0.41
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 71.6
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 87
View all


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Call quality


Both earpieces tend to sound loud and relatively clear. That of the Note Edge could be a bit more open, but it's pretty decent the way it is – you shouldn't have any trouble with your calls, even in noisier ambiences.

While we have mostly positive impressions about the microphone performance of the iPhone 6 Plus, the Note Edge produces a bit of a hiss that may be audible on the other end of the line.

Battery


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Apple iPhone 6 Plus
We've gotten used to Samsung handsets sporting bigger batteries than Apple handsets, but in this case, both are almost equal. Unlike the Note 4, which has a 3220 mAh juicer, the Note Edge has a smaller, 3000 mAh. Now, that's still slightly bigger than the 6 Plus' 2915 mAh, but as you can see, the difference in capacity is negligible.

Unfortunately, Samsung isn't willing to share any specific battery life estimates at this time, so we'll have to wait for our extensive battery test to be ready, in order to provide more in-depth details about the longevity of Samsung's phablet. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus has already proven to be an average performer in this respect, but you know – having this slender profile has a price! Stay tuned for more details about the Galaxy Note Edge battery life – we'll update this article when the data is available.

Conclusion


And here we are, staring at these incredibly exciting phablets, thinking which one deserves to take the victory home. Well, you know what, we'll have to call this a tie, because both handsets have some amazing assets to offer to consumers.

On one hand, the iPhone 6 Plus is downright beautiful, extremely fast, and has that super-intuitive iOS experience. On the other, the Note Edge shines with some great capabilities, the S Pen, and of course, the Edge screen. We'll definitely have to give the Edge screen some more time, though, because it's something very different from what we're used to. Right now, it doesn't really seem to be that useful, or needed, but we'll give it some time and see if it manages to prove that there's a future for it.

At the end of the day, both phablets will present consumers with cutting-edge performance and capabilities, but consumers will have to decide if they want to go the Samsung/Android way, or the Apple way. Each has clear advantages and disadvantages on the platform level, but if allow ourselves to focus exclusively on the devices at hand, we could say that they are both winners. One last detail we have to take into account is that the Galaxy Note Edge is a bit more expensive than the iPhone 6 Plus, as it's priced at $399 on a two-year contract, while the 6 Plus is $299 on a two-year contract. It looks like that forward-looking Edge display has a premium attached to it, but oh well, hopefully it won't be long before it goes through a little price adjustment.