SAMSUNG HAS brought the Galaxy Note back to UK soil after a year away. The eagerly awaited phablet Galaxy Note 7 arrives in the wake of glowing five-star reviews for Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets and, judging by specs alone, it looks like it too could be in contention for such accolades.
While Samsung is busy sewing up the Android market, Apple’s last smartphone, the iPhone 6S, represents the other side of the fence.
How does the Galaxy Note 7 compare to Apple’s iPhone 6S on paper?
Galaxy Note 7: 153.5×73.9×7.9mm, 168g, IP68 certification, USB Type-C
iPhone 6S: 138.3×67.1×7.1mm, 143g, Lightning port
The Galaxy Note 7 will be available in Silver Titanium, Black Onyx, Gold Platinum and a new Coral Blue. The iPhone 6S comes in Apple’s traditional palette of Space Grey, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.
The Note 7 is longer, wider, thicker and heavier than the iPhone 6S but, just like the S7 Edge, is a thing of beauty. This is a device made to be cradled in your hands with its fusion of glass and metal, polished edges and smooth curved display.
Related: Galaxy Note 7 vs Galaxy S7 specs comparison
The iPhone has an oleophobic coating that protects against fingerprints, but the handset lacks any form of water resistance. However, Apple claims that the 7000 Series aluminium used on the iPhone 6S is the sturdiest yet, so it shouldn’t fall apart on you anytime soon. On the other foot, the Galaxy Note 7 comes with IP68 certification meaning it can survive a fleeting dunk, plus it’s toughened with Gorilla Glass 5.
Both phones share similarities when it comes to connectivity, despite the difference in cable technology. The Note 7 has an upgraded USB Type-C connection, while the iPhone 6S uses Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. Both cables are reversible so it doesn’t matter which way you plug them in. USB Type-C is still relatively new, however, and you might not have a spare cable to hand.
Galaxy Note 7: 5.7in 2,560×1,440 resolution at 517ppi
iPhone 6S: 4.7in, 1,334×750 resolution at 326ppi
There’s a full 1in difference in screen size between the two handsets, pushing the Note firmly into oversized phablet territory. There’s a noticeable lack of sharpness on the iPhone’s 4.7in display when placed side by side owing to the omission of QHD resolution.
The Note 7 borrows the Edge’s sublime curved screen, and the QHD Super AMOLED display offers the same stunning vibrancy with plenty of popping colour.
The iPhone 6S also offers a bright, vibrant viewing experience that isn’t affected by the sun or harsh lighting.
Those with small hands were never going to struggle to get their fingers around the iPhone’s 4.7in display. But despite the larger size of the Galaxy Note 7 it’s possible to turn on a one-handed mode, so those fearful of larger screens shouldn’t be fazed by the boost in inches.
The Note 7 also comes with support for Samsung’s improved S Pen stylus.
Galaxy Note 7: Exynos 8890 quad-core 2.6GHz + quad-core 1.6GHz, 4GB RAM
iPhone 6S: 64-bit A9 SoC (two 1.8GHz cores), M9 motion coprocessor, 2GB RAM
Galaxy Note 7: Iris scanner, fingerprint sensor
iPhone 6S: Second-generation fingerprint sensor.
The implementation of the iris scanner on the Galaxy Note 7 is the big draw here. It’s compatible with Samsung’s Knox security suite, while a feature called Samsung Pass allows authentication when using services such as Samsung Pay.
Much like the S7 and S7 Edge before it, the Note’s fingerprint sensor benefits from a larger hit-area. We found Apple’s finger-scanning technology on the iPhone 6S impressive for the most part, and support for Touch ID is growing, allowing you to unlock apps and pay for stuff using your digits.
Galaxy Note 7: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
iPhone 6S: iOS 9 (upgradable to iOS 9.3.2)
You’ll probably have a favourite, Android or iOS, so it’s hard to pit the two head to head. The Galaxy Note 7 arrives with Google’s newest Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow release, with Samsung promising an upgrade to Android 7.0 Nougat.
The iPhone, on the other hand, runs Apple’s newest iOS 9 software out of the box, and will be upgradable to iOS 10 later this year.
Galaxy Note 7: 12MP rear-facing, f/1.7, OIS, with 4K video, 5MP front-facing
iPhone 6S: 12MP rear-facing with 4K video, 5MP front-facing
The introduction of Samsung’s new camera technology in the Galaxy S7 provided impressively fast focusing and bucketfuls of quality, and with an almost identical camera set-up, the Note 7 doesn’t disappoint.
There’s nothing bad about the snapper on the iPhone 6S. It produces high-quality images full of detail and definition. Auto-focusing is fast too, although not as quick as on Samsung’s effort.
Galaxy Note 7: 3,500mAh
iPhone 6S: 1,715mAh
The iPhone 6S usually lasts a full day on a single charge, despite the difference in the numbers.
The impressive 3,500mAh capacity in the Galaxy Note 7 should be a powerhouse when it comes to battery stamina, but Samsung hasn’t yet confirmed exact figures. Once again Samsung offers support for both Quick Charge and wireless charging.
Galaxy Note 7: 64GB, microSD slot
iPhone 6S: 16GB/64GB/128GB
Samsung thankfully reintroduced support for microSD expansion with the S7. The Note 7 comes with a healthy 64GB which can be expanded with an additional 256GB.
The iPhone 6S lacks any form of expansion option, meaning you’ll need to choose wisely from the start. 16GB is just too small for most people’s needs in 2016, making the 64GB variant the most sensible choice.
Compared to the iPhone 6S, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 offers a number of unique features like iris scanning, the dual curved screen, S-Pen and IP68 certification. The Note 7 would certainly eclipse the iPhone in a beauty contest too, but that shouldn’t take away from what is already a well-regarded handset µ
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