Samsung launched its fourth generation “phablet,” the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, this fall. Reviewers are doing a great job of comparing it to iPhone 6 Plus, including this CNET.com article dated Nov. 21. The Note 4 is the 5.7-inch display phone that’s roughly the size of the iPhone 6 Plus. In fact, you have to give Samsung credit for being the first to be successful with this size phone and it’s hard not to see Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus as a copier of Samsung’s Note, at lease when it comes to screen size. The nickname “phablet” arose after Samsung introduced the original Note back in 2011 because people saw the big device as a hybrid between a phone and a tablet. Though Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James did ads for earlier Notes, his tweets about a phone failure probably ended that endorsement partnership back in March, 2014.
The verdict on phablets, or big phones: it’s great to have that big screen for reading articles and sharing photos with friends. It’s a pain in the neck to carry it around in your pocket, though. It definitely affects one’s silhouette to keep a device this large in a front or rear pocket.
When it comes to cameras, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 captures nice, big photos with quite a few more pixels than any of the iPhones. Note 4 comes with a 16 megapixel (MP) rear-facing camera and a 3.7 MP front camera. The iPhone 6 Plus has 8-megapixel rear cameras and 1.2 MP front cameras. The Note 4 has a protruding camera lens which is an annoying design feature.
Both the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus retail now for $299. Due to high demand, neither have been on sale very much yet this season, though it is likely the Note 4 will sell for less in upcoming months. The $299 price requires a new 2-year phone service commitment and covers the base model phone with 32 gigabytes of storage. By the way, you really need a case with an iPhone 6 Plus and you probably don’t need a case for the Note 4. That’s because the Note 4 has a textured plastic back which is easy to grab and hold while the iPhones have slick metallic backs that slide out of your hand. As Recode.net’s Walt Mossberg noted after dropping and shattering the glass of an iPhone 6 he was reviewing, “The moral, which most iPhone users already know: Use a case.” Though optional, a case would help solve the deficiency of the Note 4’s protruding camera lens; in any case, when comparing you must add $20 to $30 to the iPhone price to account for the case you will need.
Samsung’s Note 4 has a 5.7 inch screen, compared to iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5 inch screen. Note 4 has more pixels, 2560 x 1440, than the big iPhone 6 Plus with 1920 x 1080. That translates to better detail in the display.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with Android 4.4 (“KitKat”) and 32 gigabytes (GB) of storage, which the buyer can expand later to 128 GB using a microSD card. The iPhones use the iOS 8 operating system. The new iPhone 6 Plus comes in 64 or 128 GB versions and cannot be expanded by the end user after purchase.
Regarding the battery and charging, the iPhone 6 Plus gets up to 10 hours on wi-fi or 10 hours talking. The Note 4 sometimes lasted two days with light use and its battery charged quickly with Samsung’s latest wall charger. Unfortunately, it did not charge in the car with an old cigarette lighter plug and the Samsung cable: the phone seemed to demand a Samsung car charger in addition to the standard wall charger delivered with the phone.
As to special features, Note 4 comes with an “S Pen,” a stylus that fits into the Note and can be used to write on Note’s screen. iPhones come with a fingerprint sensor and a pair of earbuds.
To compare colors, note that Samsung’s Note 4 comes in pink as well as gold, white or black. The iPhones 6 and 6 Plus come in three colors: silver, gold and space gray.
So, with better cameras, lower price, better display, one more color, and a casing that works without needing another case, will the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 outsell the iPhone 6 Plus? It probably will in Korea (Samsung’s home) and some other Asian countries; it probably won’t in the U.S. Still, it’s an easy phone to use and enjoy. Those who choose it will probably not be disappointed. For a comparison between Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Droid Turbo, check this article.