Now that Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus is official, it’s clear that Apple is taking aim at some popular Android phones with bigger screens. Although some technical specs can be more of an arms race, many actually do contribute to user experience.
When comparing specs, the most categories have some notable differences. Let’s see how the iPhone 6 Plus stacks up against the competition.
All three phones come in some form of black, white, and gold. In addition to that the Note 4 comes in “Blossom Pink,” and the G3 comes in “Burgundy Red” and “Moon Violet”. These colors seem to be aiming for the feminine crowd, but at the same time plenty of women seem to be fine with the iPhone’s color selection.
Both the Note 4 and G3 come with a base internal storage of 32 GB, which can be expanded with a microSD card (up to 96 GB total with the Note 4, and up to 160 GB total with the G3).
The iPhone 6 Plus has an option for more internal storage than the last generation of iPhone at 128 GB, but the base model has only 16 GB. iPhones have no expandable storage, so that makes it more important (and possibly more expensive) to get the proper amount of storage when purchasing the device.
If you’re into megapixels, the iPhone 6 Plus is falling behind. It has an 8 megapixel camera, while the Note 4 has a 16 megapixel camera and the G3 has a 13 megapixel camera.
The argument for the iPhone camera says that more megapixels will increase image noise and file size, while other factors are more important. The aperture for the iPhone 6 Plus is f/2.2, which is staying competitive with the Note 4 (f/1.9) and G3 (f/2.4).
For video resolution, the iPhone 6 Plus is behind as well. While it’s capable of 1080p full HD video, the other two are capable of 2160p 4k video. Most people don’t have screens that display 4k video, so that may not be a big issue at the present time.
iPhone 6 Plus and the Note 4 can shoot 1080p at 60 fps rather than the G3′s maximum of 30 fps. This creates a smoother video, which is probably more noticeable than 4k video for most people. The iPhone 6 Plus is also capable of shooting 720p at 240 fps for slow motion videos. These specs don’t demonstrate image signal processing, which can also affect the video quality.
If you really value shooting 1080p video from the front facing camera, the iPhone 6 Plus may disappoint you with 720p video from a 1.2 megapixel camera. The Note 4 and G3 can shoot 1080p video from their respective 3.7 megapixel and 2.1 megapixel cameras.
Both the iPhone 6 Plus and G3 have 5.5 inch IPS displays, while the Note 4 has a 5.7 inch OLED display. The iPhone 6 Plus has a full HD 1080 x 1920 display with a pixel density of about 400 PPI, and the other two have qHD 1440 x 2560 displays with pixel densities north of 500 PPI.
There’s arguably no practical benefit to having a higher pixel density in this case, so color accuracy is the factor to look at. IPS displays are generally known to have more accurate colors, and Apple has made a point to say that the iPhone 6 Plus display is sRGB accurate. It should also be noted that part of the G3′s screen is sometimes consumed by virtual buttons at the bottom.
Size, weight, and sensors
The iPhone 6 Plus is 6.22″ x 3.06″, compared to 5.96″ x 3.24″ for the Note 4, and 5.76″ x 2.94″ for the G3. The Note 4 is shorter than the iPhone 6 Plus, despite having a larger screen.
It makes up for that in its width, which is wider by about a quarter inch. The G3 manages to be almost a half inch shorter than the iPhone with the same size screen, but the G3 is also the only phone here without a fingerprint sensor. This lack of a physical button helps to reduce the height of the device.
Processor and RAM
Apple is notorious for being less than transparent with this information, so it will take some time for people to tear an iPhone 6 Plus apart to see what’s inside. It is rumored that the device’s 64-bit A8 processor is a dual-core 2 GHz chip, and the phone has 1 GB of RAM.
Spec for spec, it looks pretty weak compared to the other two phones with 2.5 GHz and 2.7 GHz quad-core processors and 3 GB of RAM. It’s no wonder that Apple stays discreet in this category. If you try these phones out side by side, you probably won’t tell the difference due to Apple’s tight integration of hardware and software.
All three phones have relatively similar battery capacities if the iPhone 6 Plus rumors are true. Differences in battery life will come down to software. The Android phones have removable batteries, which can be nice if you like to carry a second battery with you.
Overall, these specs can generally be subjectively determined to be better or worse for various reasons. It’s still interesting to know a little more about the technology that’s inside our phones, and to realize how far technology has come in the last decade.
Does this information influence your next purchase? View the full spec sheet below, and share your thoughts in the comments.