Samsung Galaxy S6 (and GS6 edge) vs. iPhone 6

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Gizmag compares the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 (left), Galaxy S6 edge (middle) and iPhone 6

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As recently as a year ago, iPhone vs. Galaxy showdowns required you to choose between premium builds and big screens. But now that the iPhone has a spacious screen, and the Galaxy has a high-end build, you're going to have to base your decision on other factors. Let Gizmag lend a hand, as we compare the features and specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge and iPhone 6.

Size

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are a little taller and wider than the iPhone 6, but all three are incredibly thin handsets – with the GS6 just barely taking the crown for thinnest of the bunch.

Weight

All three are very light for their respective sizes, but the Galaxy S6 edge gives you the best size-to-weight ratio (though the fact that its front face slopes off around the edges gives it an unfair advantage here).

Build (back)

With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is kissing plastic goodbye. Their glass (Gorilla Glass 4) backs put the phones in a premium stratosphere that we haven't seen from the company in years past.

Like in previous years, there's no questioning the quality of the iPhone's aluminum unibody design.

Build (sides)

The GS6 and edge have aluminum sides, to complement those glass backs.

Colors

You'll have more color options to choose from for the pair of Galaxy phones.

Display (size)

The iPhone 6's screen size is much bigger than any pre-2014 iPhone's display, but it's still only 85 percent as big as the pair of 2015 Galaxy phones.

... of course if you want an even bigger iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's first phablet.

Display (resolution)

The iPhone 6 has a great display ... but it isn't even close to being as sharp as the Quad HD displays on the pair of Galaxies. There's a degree of eye candy there that the iPhone's 326 PPI display (the same density as 2010's iPhone 4) can't match.

Display (type)

Like in previous years, the two Samsung phones use Super AMOLED displays, while the iPhone sticks with an IPS panel.

Curved display

Picking up where Samsung left off with the Galaxy Note Edge, the GS6 edge has a screen that slopes down on either side. It's largely cosmetic, but it will flash notifications and let you use some shortcuts on the edge displays.

Fingerprint sensor

Could this be the year that Samsung's fingerprint sensors catch up to Apple's? Unlike Samsung's 2014 sensors, the ones in the Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge will register with a touch – no swipe required. Apple's Touch ID has always been touch-based as well.

Battery

Stay tuned for more on this front. We do know that, in our video streaming test (over Wi-Fi, with brightness at 75 percent) the iPhone 6 dropped about 14 percent per hour. That's a good result, but off the pace of the longest-lasting phones we've handled.

Removable battery

Samsung flagships have historically had removable batteries, but those found in the GS6 and GS6 edge are sealed shut.

Fast charging

The GS6 and edge include a fast-charging tech that can give you an estimated 4 hours worth of uptime in just 10 minutes of charging (though you should only see that big of a difference when you start off with a nearly dead battery).

Camera megapixels (rear)

We'd take this with a few grains of salt, as the iPhone 6 easily has one of the best cameras you can find in a smartphone. We'll have more to say on the GS6's camera after we get our hands on a review unit.

Camera megapixels (front)

The Galaxy phones may be better for selfies, with their higher-resolution (and wide-angled) front shooters.

Camera aperture

The Galaxy phones' cameras come out with the wider aperture.

OIS

The iPhone 6 Plus has Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) on board, but the iPhone 6 doesn't – giving Samsung's phones a leg up for shaky-handed photographers.

Processor

We'd take this with a few grains of salt. It's quite possible the Galaxy S6 pair will have faster performance, but know that Apple's custom chips always outperform what you'd expect from their cores and clock speeds.

RAM

The Galaxy phones should, however, be the better choices for multitasking, as 3 GB of RAM is going to be better for that than 1 GB, no matter how you slice it.

Storage

No drastic differences here, though the entry-level Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge do give you double the storage of the base-level iPhone 6.

MicroSD

In exchange for that premium build, Samsung cut a few corners that were staples on its older flagships: microSD card slot being one of them.

Water resistance

This was the killer feature of the Galaxy S5, but Samsung dropped water/dust resistance from this year's flagships.

Heart rate sensor

The Galaxy S6 and edge do, however, keep the heart rate sensor around for a second straight year.

Gear VR

There aren't any high quality virtual reality options for the iPhone at the moment, but the GS6 and edge play nicely with the new version of the Oculus-powered Gear VR.

Mobile payments

Apple clearly set the tone here, as several months after the launch of Apple Pay, we now have – ahem – Samsung Pay.

Samsung's mobile payments solution is actually built on a brilliant premise, though: instead of requiring an NFC terminal (though it uses those too), it can also work with standard swipe-based credit card terminals. This makes it nearly universally accepted from day one.

Software

We're looking at Android Lollipop with a layer of Samsung's TouchWiz UI (though that layer has much less bloat this year) vs. iOS 8 for the iPhone.

Release

The GS6 pair launches on April 10, at which point the iPhone will have been around for almost seven months.

Starting price (full retail)

The iPhone starts at US$650 without a contract. That's what previous years' Galaxy phones have started at as well, but Samsung hasn't announced pricing for these yet.

You will, however, have to pay extra for the edge's curved screen. Let's just hope the markup isn't as high as it was on the Note Edge.

Starting price (on-contract)

It's possible the GS6 will go toe-to-toe with the iPhone here, but nothing official yet on this end either.

To dig deeper, you can read Gizmag's full reviews of the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge iPhone 6. Or if you want to cast your net a bit wider, you can hit up our 2015 Smartphone Comparison Guide.

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