iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4: Which is better?

iOS takes on Android in battle of the phablets

TheiPhone 6 Plusmarks Apple's entry into the fiercely competitive phablet market.Samsung's Galaxy Note 4is widely regarded as the best phablet available. Has Apple created a viable challenger?

We compare the devices in key areas and pick a winner:

Display

Both displays have been highlighted as outstanding by specialists at DisplayMate. Samsung uses Super Amoled technology, whereas Apple sticks with LCD.

Note 4 - The Samsung device has the larger 5.7in display (2560 x 1440 pixels) with a density of 515 pixels. During indoor use you can expect maximum brightness of 340 cd/m2 but there is a special outdoor brightness mode, which kicks in to make it readable.

Colours are saturated on the default screen setting but can be amended by going to the Display Mode in the settings and choosing another mode.

iPhone 6 Plus - The iPhone has a smaller 5.5in LCD display (1920 x 1080) despite having the bigger chassis. It's got the higher brightness with a maximum of 566 cd/m2 and colours are more natural. But it's not as comfortable to hold or pocket friendly as the Note.

Winner: Note 4 - It's close as both panels have their strengths but the Note 4 wins because of the ability to tinker with the screen settings and because it manages to squeeze a bigger display into a smaller chassis.

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Battery life

The size of the devices mean they are able to house larger batteries than regular smartphones.

Note 4 - Samsung opts for a huge 3,220mAh cell, so the Note lasts throughout the day without any problems even with high usage. There are a wealth of power saving modes that can be activated by users when power is running low. The Ultra Power Saving mode in particular is useful when as it shuts down everything but core apps like messaging and phone calls to extend the battery life.

Fast charging is supported, so the Note 4 can be charged from 0 to 50 per cent in 30 minutes. Plus you can also swap out the battery at any time but unclipping the back cover.

6 Plus - Apple has been conservative by using a 2,915mAh battery. However,the 6 Plus is still the first iPhone we've been able to use comfortably through the day without worrying about the battery. If you use an iPad charger - the device can also be charged rapidly in just over an hour.

We're not fans of the sealed-in battery though. Degradation of battery life is common after12 months of daily usage and it may cost you to have the battery replaced.

Winner: Note 4. With a wealth of battery saving features the Samsung device will last longer when you're running low on battery. The ability to swap it out is also crucial for power users.

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Software

Note 4- The handset currently ships with Android KitKat 4.4.4, which is heavily customized with Samsung's TouchWiz overlay. Samsung has confirmed the device will be upgraded to Android Lollipop 5.0 starting in early 2015.

6 Plus - Apple ships the iPhone with iOS 8, the most up-to-date version. Although it doesn't have the customisation options of Android - iOS does have a superb selection of high-quality apps available and a simple easy-to-use interface.

Updates are pushed out directly from Apple every year, and the 6 Plus should be able to support the next version of iOS within any issues.

Winner: Draw - Android and iOS have their advantages so it's down to personal preference for this one.

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Unique features

Note 4-The Samsung device includes anS-Pen stylus in the box. This can be used to navigate the interface, take notes, annotate or for sketches.

- In an effort to attract customers, Samsung has teamed up with various partners to include free trials for apps like The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Parallels.

- In selected regions, the Note 4 also ships with Category 4 LTE (4G) compatibility - meaning that it will theoretically support download speeds of up to 300Mbps.

- The device features a fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor. The former isn't quite as good as Apple's Touch ID, and the latter feels unnecessary - but they are there should you wish to use them.

iPhone 6 Plus- The handset has an M8 motion co-processor dedicated to measuring data from the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and barometer.

- A Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the home button allows you to unlock the device and pay for purchases on iTunes and the App Store. As the SDK has been released other websites will be able to incorporate this technology.

- Apple has finally added NFC and teamed up with American Express, Mastercard and Visa to develop a mobile payments systems known as Apple Pay. You can use you iPhone to pay for goods in stores in the US if you wish.

Winner: Note 4. It's got more variety when it comes to features - from free trials through to support for the latest 4G standard.

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Storage

Note 4- All Note 4 devices will ship with 32GB of internal memory and come with 50GB of free Dropbox storage for 2 years. If you need extra physical storage it's possible to insert a micro SD card into the chassis.

iPhone 6 Plus- Users have a choice between 16/64 or 128GB of internal storage. Apple has axed the 32GB edition. There is no micro SD card slot available so users have to rely on cloud storage services such as iCloud (5GB free).

Winner: Note 4. Again it's got more versatility with micro SD card support.

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Pricing

Note 4 (32GB) - Free from 39.50 per month or 599 SIM-free

iPhone 6 Plus (16GB) - Free from 48.50 per month or 619 SIM-free

The entry-level iPhone is considerably more expensive than the Note 4.

If you want a 64GB iPhone - the minimum we'd recommend - the price jumps to 699 or 58.50 a month if you want it free on a contract.

Whilst the Note 4 isn't cheap, it's considerably better value. It's got a fantastic display, long batterylife, micro SD support and strong performance. Unless you absolutely hate the TouchWiz interface, we'd recommend the Note 4.

This article was originally published on the 9/9/14 and was updated on the 17/12/14 to a full comparison.

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