The iPhone 6's curvy design and A8 processor made it an exciting prospect when it was new, and even now - months later - it's been given a new lease of life as a credit card replacement, thanks to the launch of Apple Pay.
However, it's faced stiff competition from Samsung, mainly in the form of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. Apple must now contend with a new phablet-sized version of the latter, dubbed the Galaxy S6 Edge+. We've compared the specs of this big and bold machine with those of the iPhone 6 to see if Apple's current flagship can weather yet another Samsung broadside.
Dimensions and design
Galaxy S6 Edge+: 154x76x6.9mm, 153g
iPhone 6: 138x67x 6.9 mm, 129g
We've got to respect the Galaxy S6 Edge+ for matching the iPhone 6 on thickness, considering its otherwise expansive phablet proportions. Indeed, the Samsung device isn't actually attempting to compete with the likes of the iPhone 6 on size alone.
Regardless, the Apple smartphone takes an early lead with its supremely portable dimensions - it's a full 116mm smaller vertically, and 9mm less wide. An almost feathery 129g weight means the iPhone 6 should also be considerably more comfortable to hold.
Processor and RAM
Galaxy S6 Edge+: 64-bit octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad), 4GB RAM
iPhone 6: 1.4GHz dual core, 1GB of RAM
This is no contest; on paper, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the more powerful machine by far, boasting a greater number of more powerful APU cores as well as four times the RAM of the iPhone 6.
This is not to suggest that the iPhone 6 is weak, as it can demonstrably run even demanding 3D apps quite comfortably - and, of course, that relatively small amount of processing power will have been highly optimised for iOS. We still favour the Galaxy S6 Edge+, particularly for multitasking.
Galaxy S6 Edge+: "Dual Edge" 5.7in Quad HD Super AMOLED at 2560x1440 (518ppi)
iPhone 6: 4.7in LED Retina IPS at 1334x750 (326ppi)
Bigger screens usually mean a lower pixel density, but the sprawling 5.7in Galaxy S6 Edge+ still manages to outdo the iPhone 6, and outdo it by some margin: a brilliantly crisp 518ppi to the iPhone 6's fairly average 326ppi.
With superior sharpness assured, there's nothing that can stop the Galaxy S6 Edge+ from winning this round. The virtue of simply being larger makes it more suitable for both work tasks and entertainment, and there's no ignoring those curved edges at either side of the screen; it's not a huge amount of extra space, but enough for customisable notifications and even a bedside clock that can be viewed side-on.
Operating system and software
Galaxy S6 Edge+: Android 5.1 Lollipop
iPhone 6s: iOS 8
There is no "better" mobile operating system; iOS is arguably more secure and will fit better into OS X-based IT environments, but Android is customisable and includes useful productivity aids like Google Drive and Gmail pre-installed. For individual users, personal preference is likely to be the deciding factor here.
Whichever is picked, both operating systems are very good at what they do. To give just a few examples of useful features, iOS 8 includes Continuity, which automatically syncs data between a smartphone and an OSX machine, and introduced both Quicktype word prediction software (a replacement for the oft-mocked Autocorrect) and support for third-party keyboards. Android 5.1 Lollipop, meanwhile, supports managed user profiles, making it suitable for business phones with multiple users, and added a host of security enhancements and performance optimisations over 5.0.
A special mention should also go to Samsung Knox, an enterprise-focused service that enables the creation of encrypted and password-protected work spaces on the Galaxy S6 Edge+.
Galaxy S6 Edge+: 3,000mAh
iPhone 6: 1,810mAh
This sizeable capacity difference looks like another advantage for the Galaxy S6 Edge+. Nonetheless, don't count out the iPhone 6 just yet; we were very impressed by its above-average endurance when we reviewed it, and we have yet to subject the Galaxy S6 Edge+ to the same test.
The significantly larger screen on the Samsung phablet should also mean that it will, in all likelihood, drain its battery faster than the iPhone 6. We don't wish to downplay the achievement of cramming in 3,000mAh of charge, but we'll have to wait and see if that translates into an Apple-beating lifespan.
Galaxy S6 Edge+: 32GB/64GB
iPhone 6: 16GB/64GB/128GB
Disappointingly, there's no 128GB option on the Galaxy S6 Edge+, despite there being one for the original Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone. Why this is, we do not know, but it certainly allows the iPhone 6 to claw back some points. It offers a much wider range of storage possibilities, even if 16GB is very much on the small side - though that could be the closest thing to a "budget" option.
At least the 32GB and 64B drives on the Galaxy S6+ will suffice for most users, though a 128GB would have been even better, particularly for enterprise users.
Galaxy S6 Edge+: 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
iPhone 6: 8MP rear camera, 1.2MP front camera
Facetime or no, the iPhone 6's cameras can't beat the powerful 16MP and 5MP snappers on the Galaxy S6 Edge+. These aren't radical new designs - they've exactly the same cameras as those in the Samsung S6 Edge - but that just means that the Galaxy S6+ Edge already essentially has the proven ability to take quality photos, even before it's been released.
Not everyone wants a 5.7in giant as their everyday phone, and we shouldn't underestimate the allure of both iOS and the general Apple brand. However, strictly in terms of specs, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ is the more appealing device on several fronts. A sharper screen, more powerful internals and superior cameras make it difficult to recommend the iPhone 6 to anyone other than serious Apple fanatics.
Instead, let's look forward to the inevitable iPhone 7, rumoured to be revealed in the coming months. It will be interesting to see what kind of hardware will make it into the next Apple smartphone, since products like the Galaxy S6 Edge+ are easily besting the current iPhone 6 in this regard.
Watch our video hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ below.
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