Two super-smartphones have placed themselves into the phablet market, and today we compare the most important features and specifications to help you decide.
Both devices are very similar in size, and both are enlarged versions of their predecessors. Very similar to the 6 Plus, the iPhone 6S Plus hangs onto its sleek aluminum design with curved edges and an upgraded, stronger cover-glass. This model fits well in the hand, but is significalty heavier than the iPhone 6 as a result of its size (the 6S weighs at 192g).
The Note 5 is considered even more comfortable than the Note 4, shaving off inches from its design and putting curved edges onto the back of the phone instead. This makes it easier to hold, and the aluminum frame provides strength and a sleeker look. Lighter than the iPhone 6S Plus, this model weights at 171g. While the 6S Plus is actually larger in size, the Note 5 has a better screen-to-body ratio, with a larger 5.7-inch screen (compared to Apple's 5.5-inches). This leads us on to the next feature comparison.
It's nice to have competition between a very important feature, with both models using different screen technologies. Apple sticks to an IPS LCD and Samsung use its famous AMOLED display. As a result, the Note 5 offers a higher 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution, making it much sharper with more vibrant colors that are great for viewing images and video. However, the iPhone 6S Plus comes with Apple's new 3D Touch technology. This is a pressure-sensitive feature of the screen that reacts depending on user finger pressure. For those not caring about 3D touch, the Samsung is the clear screen winner this time.
However many apps you have open, whether its gaming, media recording, browsing and other intensive applications, these two powerhouses can handle it.
Inside Samsung's Note 5 is a 64-bit Exynos 7420 chipset, backed up by 4GB of RAM and a Mali T760 GPU. It's a clear top-quality performance set-up. On the iPhone 6S Plus, you've got Apple's latest A9 64-bit chip and 2GB of RAM. It's great to know Apple have finally upgraded internal RAM this time as a means to compete. This means smoother performance and less crashing.
It's important to understand that these numbers only have meaning when put under tests. Several performance tests show that the iPhone 6S Plus often beats the Note 5 when carrying out common tasks, such as opening mail attachments or power-heavy apps with others already running in the background.
The iPhone 6S Plus delivers a brand new 12-megapixel camera sensor, while the Note 5 boasts the same 16-megapixel camera that the Galaxy S6 offers. With both devices, results are sharp, with accurate colors and fantastic contrast. Low light situations is where smartphone cameras do not impress us, but this time both manufacturers have come out on top.
The actual camera app offers more customization through Samsung's device, such as HDR mode. Apple tend to keep things quick and simple, so it lacks the more professional camera options seen with the Note 5.
However, Apple has also introduced Live Photos, allowing the user to capture a couple of seconds' worth of footage either side of your snap. You can then 3D Touch on the picture and it'll play the scene back to you.
Both devices of course support 4K video recording and editing, so there is no clear winner here. Google search photo comparisons for these devices and results can speak for themselves depending on what you're looking for.
It's important to care about this feature. Opting for a powerful device in theory is logical, but if its power source can't support the system well, then you'll be next to a mains plug more often than you think.
Specification-wise, the Note 5 holds a larger 3,000 mAh capacity battery, while the 6S Plus carries a smaller-than-its-predecessor 2,750 mAh. However, Apple's new chip and improved efficiency makes the device last as long as the 6 Plus.
Both phones can last the day and, if used wisely, into the next. The Note 5 does offer a more useful power-saving mode, allowing you to save those extra hours just when you need it. It also beats the iPhone with a wireless charging option and support for fast charging. Both handy if you need a quick power-up.
Both devices are placed at the very premium end of the price scale, so you won't be interested if you're looking for an "affordable" smartphone. The Note 5 is slightly cheaper in price when comparing storage capacities, but your decision should be based on testing both out and seeing which operating system suits you best as their specifications are very similar. Always compare the latest contracts from all networks and retailers to help you both save money and find the perfect allowance package.