One of the iPhone 6s Plus' most obvious rivals is Samsung's new curved-screen phablet, the Galaxy S6 edge+. Let's compare the features and specs of two of the most popular supersized phones.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ gives you a better ratio of phone size to screen size. Though the iPhone 6s Plus has the smaller display, it's about 3 percent taller and also 3 percent wider than the edge+.
The iPhone 6s Plus is still a relatively thin smartphone, but it is chunkier than last year's model
. It also comes out at 6 percent thicker than the Galaxy S6 edge+.
More noticeable than the extra thickness, the iPhone 6s Plus is also 25 percent heavier than the edge+.
Both phones have premium builds: the iPhone has an aluminum unibody design (exactly the same as last year's models, only using a stronger aluminum alloy), while the S6 edge+ has the same Gorilla Glass
back we saw on all of Samsung's 2015 flagships.
A glass frame probably wouldn't be a smart idea, so the Galaxy S6 edge+ switches to aluminum on its sides.
Each phone ships in four different color options.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has a 7 percent bigger screen. Both are huge, mind you, but you do get that extra bit of real estate on the Galaxy.
Based on pixel density, the 1440p S6 edge+ display comes out at 29 percent sharper than the iPhone's 1080p panel.
Nothing has changed here from previous years, as it's still IPS vs. AMOLED
The screen of the Galaxy S6 edge+ slopes off on either side. We aren't completely convinced of the so-called functional merits of Samsung's curved screens (things like swiping over for app and contact shortcuts and color-coded notifications from certain contacts), but it does make the phone look gorgeous.
3D Touch display
Apple's new iPhones have pressure-sensitive displays, which can discern among a tap, press and deeper press. This opens the door to lots of new shortcuts (check out our iPhone 6s early impressions
for a quick wrap-up of 3D Touch).
Gear VR compatibility
You probably aren't thinking about virtual reality when you buy a smartphone, but you may be someday soon. If you think mobile VR will be on your radar while you own this phone, then the Galaxy S6 edge+ is the one to buy: it joins Samsung's other 2015 flagships in working with the upcoming consumer Gear VR headset
, powered by Oculus.
Each company has its own (oh-so creatively titled) payment service: Apple Pay
on the iPhone and Samsung Pay
on the Galaxy.
Samsung Pay has the retailer adoption advantage, as it can work at most standard credit card readers (in addition to NFC terminals), while the iPhone requires stores to install special NFC equipment.
Both handsets have excellent touch-based fingerprint sensors in their home buttons.
We're still forming our impressions of the iPhone 6s Plus' performance, but we can say both phones are extremely fast and powerful.
The 2015 iPhones are the first Apple smartphones with 2 GB of RAM (more RAM means backgrounded apps and web pages may need to reload less frequently). The Galaxy doubles that, though, with 4 GB.
Apple's entry-level 16 GB of storage isn't much by today's standards, as we now have bigger app sizes and higher-resolution photos and videos than we used to. If you go the iPhone route, you may want to consider paying an extra US$100 for the 64 GB model.
Neither handset has a microSD card slot. Samsung flagships used to have these, but the company axed them from its high-end 2015 phones.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ has the higher-resolution rear camera. We still have more photography testing to do on our iPhone review unit, but both handsets are among the best smartphone cameras right now.
Both handsets have built-in Optical Image Stabilization for their rear cameras.
Camera aperture (rear)
The edge+'s rear camera has the wider aperture.
Physical camera launch shortcut
Samsung's 2015 flagships have a handy shortcut that lets you launch their cameras by double-tapping the home button.
The iPhone uses 3D touch to let you jump into a specific camera mode from the home screen (by deep-pressing on the camera app icon), but iPhones don't have a physical shortcut for firing up the camera.
The Galaxy S6 edge+ dropped 13 percent per hour in our video streaming test (see our review of its fraternal twin, the Note 5
, for details). We'll have battery test details in our full iPhone 6s Plus review.
Like Samsung's other 2015 flagships, the Galaxy S6 edge+ has built-in wireless charging. It also has fast wireless charging, if you buy a special Samsung charging pad.
Fast charging (wired)
The Galaxy also has built-in fast wired charging, as long as you use the included cable.
The iPhone runs the new iOS 9
, while you'll find Android Lollipop
with a layer of Samsung TouchWiz on the Galaxy S6 edge+.
Samsung launched its late 2015 flagships a bit earlier this year, likely to give them some breathing room from new iPhone mania.
Starting price (full retail)
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Galaxy S6 edge+ full retail prices vary a bit from carrier to carrier, so this figure is a ballpark median. Most people will get their new phones through an installment plan or contract, though, paying these amounts (or more, in the case of contracts) over the course of two years.
For more, you can check out Gizmag's full Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ review, along with our early impressions of the 2015 iPhones.
Correction: The article originally named the iPhone 6s Plus’ chip as the A8; it now correctly names it as the A9.