Mobile Technology

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active vs. iPhone 6

Gizmag compares the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (left) to the Apple iPhone 6
Gizmag compares the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (left) to the Apple iPhone 6
View 24 Images
Starting price (full retail)
1/24
Starting price (full retail)
Battery
2/24
Battery
Build
3/24
Build
Physical camera launch shortcut
4/24
Physical camera launch shortcut
Camera megapixels
5/24
Camera megapixels
Color options
6/24
Color options
Processor
7/24
Processor
Size
8/24
Size
Display resolution
9/24
Display resolution
Display (size)
10/24
Display (size)
Display (type)
11/24
Display (type)
Fast charging
12/24
Fast charging
Fingerprint sensor
13/24
Fingerprint sensor
Gizmag compares the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (left) to the Apple iPhone 6
14/24
Gizmag compares the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (left) to the Apple iPhone 6
MicroSD card slot
15/24
MicroSD card slot
Price (on-contract)
16/24
Price (on-contract)
RAM
17/24
RAM
Release
18/24
Release
Removable battery
19/24
Removable battery
Software
20/24
Software
Storage
21/24
Storage
Water/dust resistance
22/24
Water/dust resistance
Weight
23/24
Weight
Wireless charging
24/24
Wireless charging

For the third straight year, Samsung is giving you the option of buying a rugged version of its Galaxy flagship. Let's compare the features and specs of the Galaxy S6 Active to the iPhone 6.

Size

Size
Size

The Galaxy S6 Active is 7 percent taller and 9 percent wider than the iPhone 6.

Unlike with the standard Galaxy S6, thin and sexy aren't really part of the package with the GS6 Active. The iPhone comes out 20 percent thinner.

Weight

Weight
Weight

The iPhone is also 14 percent lighter than the GS6 Active. Considering its larger size, though, the Active still feels very light in hand.

Build

Build
Build

The regular GS6 is made of glass and aluminum, but those wouldn't work very well for a rugged, outdoorsy device like the Active – so plastic it is.

Colors

Color options
Color options

You have three color options to choose from with each handset. Just keep in mind that the "blue" version of the Active looks nearly black, with a tinge of blue that shows more under the right light.

Display (size)

Display (size)
Display (size)

While the iPhone 6 Plus gives you a bigger 5.5-inch screen, the Galaxy S6 Active's 5.1-incher is 18 percent bigger than this 4.7-inch iPhone 6 display.

Display (resolution)

Display resolution
Display resolution

The GS6 Active's gorgeous Quad HD display is 77 percent sharper than the iPhone 6's screen.

Display (type)

Display (type)
Display (type)

As in years past, Samsung sticks with AMOLED display tech while the iPhone uses an IPS panel.

Fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

Samsung's fingerprint sensors in the GS6 and GS6 edge are terrific, going toe-to-toe with Apple's Touch ID – but that's one of the omissions Samsung made with the Active.

Water resistance

Water/dust resistance
Water/dust resistance

What you lose in fingerprints, though, you gain in water and dust resistance. The Active's IP68 rating means it can soak indefinitely in 3 m (9.8 ft) of water continuously.

Battery

Battery
Battery

The GS6 Active has an enormous battery – and outstanding battery life to match it. In our streaming test, it only dropped 5 percent per hour, compared to 14 percent per hour for the iPhone.

Wireless charging

Wireless charging
Wireless charging

The Active also has the same wireless charging capabilities found in the standard GS6.

Fast charging

Fast charging
Fast charging

Ditto for fast charging, which can get a nearly dead battery juiced up to a respectable state faster than on non-fast-charging phones.

Removable battery

MicroSD card slot
MicroSD card slot

Though it switches from glass to plastic, the Active doesn't let you remove its battery cover.

Camera megapixels

Camera megapixels
Camera megapixels

Both phones have excellent cameras, though the Active shoots in much higher resolution.

Physical camera shortcut

Physical camera launch shortcut
Physical camera launch shortcut

The S6 Active has the same home button double-tap camera launch shortcut found in its sexier sibling.

Processor

Processor
Processor

On paper, this looks like an absolute rout, but the iPhone's A8 SoC punches above its weight class (i.e. cores and clock speed). Both are zippy and powerful phones.

RAM

RAM
RAM

The next iPhone could use a RAM upgrade, though, as the iPhone 6 is stuck in 1 GB territory. The Active triples that.

Storage

Storage
Storage

AT&T is only selling a 32 GB version of the Active. Apple lets you buy three different storage tiers for the iPhone.

MicroSD

MicroSD card slot
MicroSD card slot

Neither handset has a microSD slot.

Software

Software
Software

The Active ships with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop with Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top (which is more scaled-back this time around). The iPhone is currently on iOS 8.3.

Release

Release
Release

The Active just launched this month, while we're likely around three months away from the next iPhone (which most expect to be called the iPhone 6s).

Starting price (full retail)

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

The Active costs you an extra US$45 full retail, but that also gives you double the storage of the $650 iPhone.

Starting price (on-contract)

Price (on-contract)
Price (on-contract)

AT&T (the exclusive carrier for the Active) charges $200 on-contract for the Galaxy S6 Active – the same price everyone charges for the 16 GB iPhone 6.

For more, you can check out Gizmag's Galaxy S6 Active review, as well as our iPhone 6 review from last September.

2 comments
JackBenny
Strewth, Might have been fairer to compare this fruit phone againse the S4 Active, although I think it still might fall short........
jessehackshaw
I agree with Benny. It's lacking in many areas. Maybe they should wait until a few years before releasing anything else get fresh ideas. I think the best way is to hold off producing new phones for a while.
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.