Mobile Technology

iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S5

iPhone 6 Plus vs. Samsung Gala...
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Apple's first phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Apple's first phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5
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Aperture
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Aperture
Battery capacity
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Battery capacity
Build
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Build
Cameras (megapixels)
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Cameras (megapixels)
Colors
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Colors
Processor
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Processor
Dimensions
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Dimensions
Display resolution (and pixel density)
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Display resolution (and pixel density)
Display (size)
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Display (size)
Display (type)
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Display (type)
Dual LED flash
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Dual LED flash
Fingerprint sensor
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Fingerprint sensor
Heart rate sensor
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Heart rate sensor
Gizmag compares the features and specs of Apple's first phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5
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Gizmag compares the features and specs of Apple's first phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus, and Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5
Infrared
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Infrared
MicroSD card slot
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MicroSD card slot
NFC payments
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NFC payments
OIS
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OIS
One-handed modes
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One-handed modes
Starting price (full retail)
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Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (on-contract)
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Starting price (on-contract)
RAM
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RAM
Release date
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Release date
Software
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Software
Split-screen multitasking
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Split-screen multitasking
Storage
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Storage
Ultra Power Saving Mode
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Ultra Power Saving Mode
Water resistance
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Water resistance
Weight
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Weight

The Galaxy S5 makes the most sense as a rival to the iPhone 6, but, with a larger screen, it could match up just as easily against the iPhone 6 Plus. Join Gizmag, as we compare the two phones' features and specs.

Size

Dimensions
Dimensions

The Galaxy S5 isn't quite a full-fledged phablet (try saying that ten times fast), but the iPhone 6 Plus is. So we have the iPhone coming out at 11 percent taller and 7 percent wider.

The iPhone 6 Plus, though, is much thinner. At 7.1 mm (0.28-in) thick, it has 12 percent less depth.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The smaller Galaxy S5 is also much lighter – by 16 percent.

Build

Build
Build

The Galaxy S5 is light and comfortable in hand, but it isn't going to win on high-end build quality. The iPhone's smooth unibody aluminum design, complete with curved edges, is in a league of its own.

Colors

Colors
Colors

We're looking at three color options for the iPhone and four for the GS5.

Display (size)

Display (size)
Display (size)

The Galaxy S5 gives you 86 percent as much screen area as the 6 Plus does. If you're leaning in Samsung's direction and want a huge screen, though, then the Galaxy Note 4 is going to be the better choice.

Display (resolution)

Display resolution (and pixel density)
Display resolution (and pixel density)

Both handsets have razor-sharp 1080p resolution. The iPhone's pixel density might look a bit less impressive on paper, but in person it's one of the best-looking smartphone displays I've seen.

Display (type)

Display (type)
Display (type)

We're looking at a Super AMOLED panel on the Galaxy S5, compared to an IPS on the iPhone. AMOLED screens have deeper blacks (unlike on IPS screens, pixels don't fire for black sections of the screen) and, often, deeper saturation and higher contrast.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Apple's Touch ID sensor was always faster and more convenient to use than Samsung's swipe-based fingerprint scanner. But with iOS 8 the difference is even more pronounced, as it now integrates with third-party apps.

NFC payments

NFC payments
NFC payments

Starting this month, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners will be able to pay at participating retailers by simply placing their fingers on the phone's Touch ID sensor, while holding the handset near a store's Apple Pay terminal. Your phone isn't going to replace your wallet this year, but, if Apple Pay catches on, it could eventually.

The technology is nothing new, though, as Google Wallet and Softcard (formerly Isis) have been trying to establish NFC payments for years, to very little avail.

Water resistance

Water resistance
Water resistance

The Galaxy S5 is a terrific phone, but I'd call this its killer feature. It can sit in 1 m (3.3 ft) of water for 30 minutes, and live to fight another day.

Heart rate sensor

Heart rate sensor
Heart rate sensor

The GS5 also has a heart rate monitor on its backside.

Cameras (megapixels)

Cameras (megapixels)
Cameras (megapixels)

The GS5 wins on the megapixel counts you see here, but they also only go so far.

I've spent plenty of time with both cameras, and think they're two of the best around. The GS5's higher resolution has it working a little better for zoomed-in or closely-cropped shots. But Samsung's camera also takes much longer to fire up, at worst making you miss the moment.

Camera (aperture)

Aperture
Aperture

Both phones' rear cameras have the same ƒ/2.2 aperture.

OIS

OIS
OIS

The iPhone 6 doesn't have Optical Image Stabilization, but the 6 Plus does.

Dual LED flash

Dual LED flash
Dual LED flash

Apple likes to call it "True Tone," but it's a dual-LED flash that helps to make the iPhone's flash shots look better (more saturated and evenly lit) than they otherwise would.

Battery

Battery capacity
Battery capacity

In our hands-on battery test, the Galaxy S5 outlasted the iPhone 6 Plus, but not by a lot. Both have very good uptimes.

Ultra Power Saving Mode

Ultra Power Saving Mode
Ultra Power Saving Mode

For those times when you are just about out of juice, Samsung threw in a feature that will keep your GS5 from conking out. Ultra Power Saving Mode gives you a barebones (black & white) UI, with only a handful of available apps.

Why bother turning your expensive smartphone into something resembling a 2005-era feature phone? Because it can turn 10 percent battery into about 24 hours of uptime.

Split-screen multitasking

Split-screen multitasking
Split-screen multitasking

Earlier this year, it was rumored that Apple was working on a split-screen multitasking mode, but that didn't materialize in iOS 8. The GS5 does have a split-screen mode (Multi Window), though it's only compatible with a relatively small group of apps.

One-handed mode

One-handed modes
One-handed modes

Here we have two different approaches to using your phone with one hand: the iPhone's "Reachability" slides the top of the screen down to the bottom, while Samsung's version shrinks the entire screen.

The iPhone's mode is smoother, and feels like a more naturally-integrated part of the UI, while the GS5's mode has the advantage of shrinking the keyboard.

Infrared

Infrared
Infrared

The GS5 lets you change channels on your TV (or cable/satellite box) with its built-in infrared blaster.

Storage

Storage
Storage

We're looking at three storage options for the iPhone, as well as a better value on the second tier (64 GB vs. 32 GB).

MicroSD

MicroSD card slot
MicroSD card slot

You can, however, complement your GS5's internal storage by popping in a microSD card.

Processor

Processor
Processor

Forget about cores and clock speeds: Apple's A8 chip is a beast, combining with iOS 8 to deliver the smoothest performance I've seen on any mobile device.

Make no mistake, though, the GS5 is an extremely fast and powerful phone, with its Snapdragon 801 CPU. The international (3G/HSPA) version has an octa-core Samsung Exynos processor in its place.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The GS5 doubles the iPhone's 1 GB of RAM, but I don't think this is any cause of concern for iPhone buyers.

Software

Software
Software

Apple's iOS 8 delivers fun stuff like third-party keyboards, app extensions and Notification Center widgets. The GS5 has Android 4.4 KitKat at its core, with Samsung's TouchWiz UI sitting on top.

Release date

Release date
Release date

The iPhone 6 Plus just launched, while the GS5 has been around since April.

Starting price (full retail)

Starting price (full retail)
Starting price (full retail)

As the larger of Apple's two new iPhones, we're looking at a US$100 premium over the Galaxy S5. The smaller iPhone 6 matches up evenly with Samsung's flagship.

If you keep your eyes open, though, you might be able to find Samsung's six-month-old GS5 on sale for cheaper than this.

Starting price (on-contract)

Starting price (on-contract)
Starting price (on-contract)

If you prefer to buy your phone subsidized with a two-year blood oath, then you're also looking at a $100 difference.

If you're leaning in the iPhone direction, you can see how the 6 Plus compares to the other three iPhones Apple is currently selling. And for much deeper looks at these two, you can read our full reviews of the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy S5.

5 comments
Keon Park
Sorry, but if I am not mistaken, iphone 6 has 1GB ram though iphone 6 plus has 2GB ram like the galaxy s5.
Zaron Gibson
Nope, 1GB of ram for the plus.
Sonny Wu
Bad comparison
Lewis M. Dickens III
Because of the extreme loyalty of ALSoftware to Apple, I can never leave the IOS environment. The i41Cx+ is that important. And Apple's refusal to acknowledge and understand and appreciate and promote that APP live as an all time E- for the Apple design team. Same for their lack of understanding time. Their calendars are horrible despite what Steve Said some years back. He remains dead wrong on that one. Early on they were displaying time that seemed to have little correlation with reality and I called them on it and received a number of call back and suggestions. Apple Time seems to be consistent now at a lag of about 10 to 15 seconds. One hopes that the horologists working with them on time will help cause everything to get up on the NBS (National Bureau of Standards) Standard Time. To be sure, someone might say that the time output by their Country is better but if the whole world went on our Standard time things would be inclined to go more smoothly. So while the comparisons are really great. The Integrated Systems Approach of Apple who now produce the finest computers make comparisons make for flights of fantasy for me. Bill Dickens
adubs923
I love my 4 and I look forward to the 5 but I have one real concern: I purchased a 16G phone and a 16G microSD but I only have access to 10G on the phone. That makes me feel like I've been bent over a barrel! I can't choose all the apps I want to launch from SD & sometimes SD launches are slow. I understand using some space for running the phone but every time I get down to 575M and have to figure out how to clear cache or delete apps that I actually use while being forced to keep garbage like ATT & Samsung bloatware I seriously consider going back to the awful iPhone. I know I won't & I guess that's what Samsung is banking on.