Monday, May 4, 2015

Non-Techies: Which One is for You? Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge or the iPhone 6 / 6+?

My initial impressions when I first got my Samsung Galaxy S6 is here. There, I wrote about the S6 and the S6 Edge and which one will suit you better (here). If you read my posts, you'll know that I initially wanted a Samsung S6 Edge but ended up getting a Samsung S6. For some, the problem doesn't end there. For those who waited for this release holding off buying an iPhone, should they now get the iPhone or go for the recently released S6/ S6 Edge for Samsung? That's what I realized after getting the S6. I was bombarded with questions -- actually, multiple askers asking one and the same question. Which is better? iPhone 6 / 6 Plus or the Samsung S6?

Believe me, I wish it was easy to just point one that one is better than the other. Surely, factions from each side would vote on their team but having friends who are techy/ opinionated has its own perks. You get to battle it out in your own small debate and end up hearing all the pros and cons of each side. [Check out the full review for the iPhone 6 Plus I wrote for Pinoy Tech Blog here]

Since I have yet to publish a full review for the Samsung Galaxy S6 as well, I have pin pointed some of the most important considerations an average user might look for in each of the above mentioned devices. Not everyone cares about how many gazillion cores it has. Nor does a lot of people care about the ppi it can display. Most of those things are just numbers for the average user. I'm not discriminating here -- there are just some people that are hardcore mobile phone users like gamers, who pushes their devices to their limits. It's not bad. I'm just saying that the average people simply want to call, SMS, play a game or two, browse the web and their social media accounts. That's it.

First up, the battery.
In paper, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is far superior than the iPhone 6 having 2550mAh vs 1810mAh. In real life usage, being an average user, I find that the S6 battery drains faster than the iPhone 6. It may be because that the S6 I have is the dual SIM version? But regardless, it has no match to the battery of iPhone 6 Plus having 2915mAh. If you think about, the S6 and the 6 Plus is only 365mAh apart but the 6 Plus battery life is far superior in real life usage. Before I forget, S6 and S6 Edge only differs around 50mAh or so, so it is immaterial.

iPhone 6 Plus > Samsung Galaxy S6 > iPhone 6
                               ^Because of the dual SIM. Otherwise, S6 will be the least in this list.

Actual look and feel
When we first saw the S6 live unit, we were quite shocked that the S6 has a lot in common with the iPhone 6 in terms of design. The curves, the antenna lines, even the orientation of the buttons! Samsung S6 and S6 Edge is far more elegant because of the materials used. It made what I thought was the most beautiful device (aside from Vertu) I have seen, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus just so-so. Being pretty doesn't mean it feels good to hold. The iPhone 6 and the S6 is comfortable to hold. The iPhone 6 Plus needs a bit of getting used to but the S6 Edge is, let me put it this way, edgy. It's not comfortable to hold even in short periods of time. Yes, the distinctive curved display is sexy -- but as some people here in the Philippines say, "Tiis Ganda" (Just endure it for beauty's sake).

Samsung Galaxy S6 > iPhone 6 > iPhone 6 Plus > Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Performance and user experience
Without looking at the tech specs sheet, I really wouldn't know the difference if the iPhone 6 or the S6 is faster. They feel the same to me when running apps, multi-tasking or playing videos. BUT, in terms of user experience, we all know that Apple devices are far superior in that category. This was also evident in the actual usage of both devices. There is really that specific smoothness Apple has. It's not how fast you can scroll up or down, nor how quick it will open an app. There is that "just right" speed and feel when using the apps. Using my S6, I was browsing through my Instagram account and there would be times that it would scroll down faster than I wanted it to. That never happened on my 6 Plus UNLESS I intentionally do it.

iPhone 6 = iPhone 6 Plus > Samsung Galaxy S6 = Samsung Galaxy Edge

Storage and pricing
Price depends on the storage option you will choose. iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has 3 options -- 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB while Samsung S6 and S6 Edge has also 3 options -- 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. I hate Apple for still giving out a 16GB option because it's almost useless having little storage space for your own files and photos.

As price comparison to see which is more affordable than the other, we took one of the postpaid plans being offered by Smart as a comparison.

Samsung S6 / 64GB (Plan All In 1800) ---------- Php 19,800
Samsung S6 Edge / 64GB (Plan All In 1800) --- Php 25,000
iPhone 6 / 64GB (Plan All In 1800) -------------- Php 21,600

Based on storage and lower cash out value, Samsung wins this one by a margin of around Php 2,000 difference. I didn't include iPhone 6 Plus in this because it has a bigger screen and belongs to another category. Just in case you'd like to know, cash out for the iPhone 6 Plus is at Php 26,200 at All In Plan 1800. S6 Edge has a higher value because of the novelty curved screen.

Samsung Galaxy S6 > iPhone 6 > Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Talking about storage, this brings me to my next point...
Past Samsung advantages
Previous versions of the Samsung S series like the S4 and the S5 had some clear advantages versus the iPhone, one of which is the capability to expand memory through a microSD card. This gave Samsung almost limitless storage capacity as you can easily carry tons of microSD cards with you, say for example, on a long vacation, without the need to worry that your memory will be full. Another, which I have done in the past is that I can fill one memory card with movies or eBooks maybe to help me endure a long layover, without me needing to access computers.

Given the almost limitless memory capability because of the expandable storage before, the battery before was also user replaceable. You can simply buy an extra 2 or 3 batteries or more if you want, to satisfy your power needs. Yes, battery packs might work the same but the convenience of a slim, cable-free internal battery advantage is far from it. Simply swap the batteries out and you're full and good to go.

Both of which are what made Samsung different from Apple devices but this advantage is now gone with the S6 and the S6 Edge. All (S6, S6 Edge, 6, and 6 Plus) have non-user replaceable batteries anymore and no expandable storage. I believe though that among the 4 units mentioned here, a note worthy advantage goes to the Samsung Galaxy S6, specially in the Philippine market. The dual SIM capability. It was also available in the S5 but the non-dual SIM unit was the one sold here in the Philippines with some grey market sellers selling the S5 duos version.

Special features
Both devices have innovative features but Samsung has more of those even in their previously released S5. Question is, do they work well and are they useful? For one, I dislike Samsung's accuracy on the fingerprint scanner. It's not accurate and usually needs two or three tries to get it right compared to my iPhone which usually gets it right the first time. Same with the initial recording/input of the fingerprint to the database. It's harder to do it in the S6/ S6 Edge compared to the 6 and 6 Plus.

For the S6 and S6 Edge, a notable special feature would be the wireless charging and rapid charging. This might be in a way made to compensate for the battery life as discussed earlier. Still, it's a feature worth mentioning and having.

Camera and video
In paper, Samsung wins this hands down. 16 Megapixel vs iPhone's puny 8 Megapixel. But since I said that I will not base it on the paper, you do the judging. Below are sample shots from both iPhone 6 and S6 (photo and video).

Taken using iPhone 6 Plus 
Taken using Samsung Galaxy S6
Taken using iP6+

Taken using Samsung S6
Taken using iP6+

Taken using Samsung S6
(Video comparison to follow)

I added the iPhone 6 Plus just as a bonus comparison contender but I will only consider the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 as direct match because of the majority of similarities. For the battery, S6 wins not because it can stay longer but because it can stay almost the same time as the iPhone 6 but the S6 has dual SIM capability. S6 also gets the actual look and feel category because of the metal body and overall appearance. For pricing, S6 also wins this being a bit cheaper than the iPhone.

iPhone 6, on the other hand doesn't completely lose over the S6. For one, a lot of users put heavy emphasis on the overall user experience and Apple wins this, hands down. Apple also wins the special features category even though Samsung is more feature packed and this is because of Apple's well developed system.

For the camera and video, I guess it's a tie even though Apple has only 8 Megapixel. This is because you'll have to prioritize what you really need versus just looking at the Megapixels data on the spec sheet. If you want a more accurate reproduction, iPhone wins. If you want better nightshot capability, S6 wins. I'll have to judge this as a tie for now.

Samsung Galaxy S6 gets the battery, look and feel, and the pricing category
iPhone 6 gets the overall user experience, special features
It's a tie for both for the camera and video

It's really a close match between the two as you can see. This is why there's no one answer to the question people ask, which is better, iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6? It really depends on what you need, which features you prioritize and what you will use the device for.

If you ask me, here's my answer:
I still prefer my Apple device because of the ability that it can communicate with other Apple devices seamlessly and because of the overall user experience but I love my Samsung S6 as it has dual SIM and I love the way it looks. That may be just me. What do you think? Please, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Comment below.

PS. Liked the post? Subscribe to my blog by typing in your email below. You'll get my posts in your inbox via email.
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Anonymous said...

mas prefer ko samsung s6.

Anonymous said...

apple user here, So I vote for iPhone 6+

bert said...

mas maganda ang samsung, and hindi malaki sobra