Samsung Galaxy Note 5 vs iPhone 6 Plus – which is the large screen king?

by: Joshua VergaraAugust 13, 2015

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is finally here, and though there are plenty of other large-screen handsets out there, we know most of you will be looking for one specific comparison. Yes, we are talking about Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, which will definitely be the new Samsung phone’s main competitor.

Which of these handsets is worthy of your hard-earned cash? We have finally gotten to play with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and spent some time comparing it to the iPhone 6 Plus. These phones are more different than we would think, so let’s take you through all the details.

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Samsung’s Galaxy S series was never recognized for outstanding designs. In fact, up until the Galaxy S6 most people criticized these phones’ aesthetics and build quality. With the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Korean manufacturer took the team back to the drawing board and created a phone worthy of envy.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 adopts the same design language. It sports a metal edge, paired with the same glass front and back. The only main difference is there are now a couple side edges on the back of the phone (like the Galaxy S6 edge, but on the opposite side).

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Apple will have a harder time competing with Samsung this year, as Sammy’s phones are actually very well-built this time around. But it will still be a matter of personal preference, as the iPhone 6 Plus is also a great-looking handset. Apple’s phablet sports a metal unibody design and glass front. Do you prefer mostly glass or mostly metal? That is the real question.

Let’s just hope the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 doesn’t bend like the iPhone 6 Plus was known to do. That will likely be a huge deciding factor for customers.

These phones are pretty similar in other ways. Both have the volume rocker on the left side, the power button on the right and the home button/fingerprint reader right under the screen. The manufacturers went as far as copying each others’ annoying protruding cameras.

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Another main difference is, of course, that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with that S-Pen slot on the bottom-right area of the phone.


There’s really not much fight here. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD (2560x1440p) resolution. That would equate to a 515 ppi pixel density. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus stays in the dust with its 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD (1920x1080p) screen, featuring a much lower 401 ppi density.

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This means text, images and video will be much crisper and clearer on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Blacks will also be deeper and colors more vibrant, but that may not be to your liking. If you prefer more color accurate screens, IPS LCD panels are great at reproducing precise imaging. With that said, the Note 5 offers the option to tone down the colors for a more natural look, if that’s what you want.


We have to accept that great hardware doesn’t always make a huge difference in performance. Hardware can be adapted to software, making lower resources much more efficient. This is why gaming consoles with inferior specs (PS4, Xbox One, etc.) can often achieve better performance than fairly powerful computers.

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With that in mind, we must also agree the difference between the Galaxy Note 5 and iPhone 6 Plus specs is quite significant. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has an Exynos 7420 chipset, which we have previously seen in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and we know to be stronger than Apple’s A8 processor.

In addition, the difference in multi-tasking prowess will be immense. Not only because of software, but also due to the 4 GB of RAM on the Note 5, which quadruple Apple’s mere 1 GB of RAM.


Other specs are rather similar. Neither handsets have removable batteries or microSD card support. The iPhone 6 Plus does offer higher storage options at 16/64/128 GB, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 offers only 32/64 GB options. Furthermore, they are pretty similar in the battery department: the Note has a 3000 mAh battery, which is only slightly bigger than the 2915 mAh battery in the iPhone. The Note has always be known as the phone to choose if you’re looking for battery life, and we look forward to see if the Note 5 continues that legacy, even if its battery capacity is actually smaller than the Note 4’s.

The presence of microSD and removable battery has been one of the key features that Note fanatics have long touted, and there’s no small amount of controversy regarding their absence from the Note 5. The playing field is definitely more even now between these two competitors.

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There’s not much to discuss here. It has been proven time and again that the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera beats any other smartphone shooter, including the iPhone 6 Plus’. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 happens to have the same camera technology. This would be a 16 MP camera with f/1.9 aperture and OIS. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 Plus sports an 8 MP camera with OIS and an f/2.2 aperture. On the front, the Note 5 gets an update to 5MP compared to just 1.2 on the iPhone 6 Plus.

One notable new software feature of the Note is the ability to stitch together multiple videos in animated collages. That’s a neat little trick, but probably few users will actually use it.

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We won’t get into the Android vs iOS debate here. What we can tell you is Android 5.1.1 and iOS 8 are very different, and choosing between one or the other is a very subjective matter.

Android is known for its superior customization, open ecosystem and flexibility. Apple’s operating system is famous for its simplicity, intuitive interface and constant updates. Which style do you prefer? Do you want to geek out with Android, or do you want iOS to “just work”? That’s especially true given how the differences between the two operating systems have shrunk in time.

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There is one main difference here, though. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 does have that included S-Pen stylus. Along with the software optimizations, this can become a great tool for making you a much more productive individual. New S-Pen features coming on the Note 5 are the ability to write down notes even when the screen is sleeping and a redesigned Air Command menu that looks a lot better in our opinion.

Wrap up

Do we have a clear winner? Not really, but we would say the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 has the upper hand in this battle. So far it performs better, looks great, has a better camera, and the software includes a plethora of shortcuts and helpful tools.

The iPhone 6 Plus will be the better option only if you prioritize internal storage. Or if you happen to have an inclination towards Apple’s design language and software. Otherwise, the iPhone 6 Plus is falling behind and we hope its successor can give these new handsets a better fight.

Which phone would you guys prefer? Hit the comments and give us your 2 cents!

  • Nathan Borup

    “This is why gaming consoles with inferior specs (PS4, Xbox One, etc.) can often achieve better performance than fairly powerful computers.”
    This is false. Console games are slimmed down to run at 30fps and at lower resolution than PC games are

    • Alex Rud

      Not true. PlayStation 4 can play games at 60fps and Xboxone will get a newer redesign soon that will give it that ability to do the same.

      • Hans Pedersen

        That in a world where 1440p is midrange on PC….

        • Nathan Borup

          Also might want to mention that 144hz is becoming more midrange too

      • Nathan Borup

        Either way consoles are far inferior to even midrange PC’s. Just the ability to fully utilize an SSD alone makes a PC more worthwhile than a console. Loading times are a thing of the past for PC

  • clownFace Prod.

    Please. I’d take a Note 2 over a 6+.

    • BP

      No kidding. Might be stretching it a little bit but I know what you mean. I was so disappointed in the 6 plus design. It’s way bigger than it needs to be.

    • Hoek

      haha maybe not a Note 2 but a Note 3 and up for sure.

    • Scr-U-gle

      AMOLED: terrible screen after six months, average loss of brightness 25%, colour decay by around 8%.

      Performance: more cores, ram and faster storage, but still performs worse by quite a long chalk.

      Do you get clown shoes with that clown face?

      So the software is terrible, the hardware is terrible, and you still want an Andi phone?

      Only a fool is so easily parted from his money.

  • Carlitos

    Well the Iphone 6 plus was never the king of anything lol. Even the Note 4 gives it a run for its money

    • Karly Johnston

      It was the best selling phablet of the year, so king of sales?

    • Ismail Akram

      You are right it was never the king cuz its just have entered. but it still very great in everything it does. yes it had iBend. but like I said they’ve have just entered. so they’ll perfect it and as iOS 9 supports multi tasking so in term of mutitasking soon it will get better. but thing is iPhone 6+ is complete and good in everything it does. what I admire most about iPhones is how they do eveything with less resource. Samsung take money for Hardware ;) and Apple for its software. I’m one of those who have never owned iPhone.

      Galaxy S6 edge
      Galaxy S6
      LG G4
      HTC One M9
      Nexus 6
      Note 4
      Moto X 2014
      HTC One M8
      Moto X 2013
      HTC One M7
      HTC butterfly S
      HTC Droid DNA

      those are phones I’ve used in last 3 years.

      • Hoek

        Just entered? what are you talking about, the iPhone 6 is almost a year old with the new device being released next month supposedly.

      • Scr-U-gle

        Twelve phone in three years, I had one iPhone 4 for four years.

        Bought the 6, will keep it for five years.

        Google saw you coming with their lack of support, malware and forced obsolesce.

        Then add terrible performance…

  • amiaq

    iphone 6 is merely Camry of Toyota, or Civic for Honda go figure.

    • Phoney

      Not a bad comparison. Camry’s and Civic’s have great customer base, reliable and have great resale value. They are popular and a safe choice for a good car.

      • Xdadevet

        Yes, and they excell at nothing, but are all round not a bad choice. But if you had to pay a supercar price for them, nobody would be that stupid, right?

        • mrjayviper

          But you’re not paying super car prices for them… And Apple’s last quarter earnings report would disagree with you

  • Cybertech

    The beauty and the ugly iBeast.

  • lollicup04

    What the heck happened to the third mystery device shown in the teaser!?!? I was hoping that it would be Samsung’s take on the Xperia Z Ultra. Maybe they are saving it for IFA September 3rd?

  • Rey Charger

    The king is here!

  • Daggett Beaver

    I couldn’t care less how a phone looks. I’ll buy the ugliest phone on the market if it happens to be the best. But the iPhone looks like junk to me. Always has. The old plastic Samsung phones looked even worse than iPhones, but now they look amazing.

    • BP

      Well most of us put a plastic case on anyways. I have had plastic samsung phones and they were great. Looked just fine to me so not sure what you are talking about and they did it so we could have the removable battery and storage. Now that’s gone just to please people that want a slightly better looking phone.

  • Daggett Beaver

    “Do we have a clear winner? Not really” — you guys must have that text in the clipboard so you can paste it at the end of every comparison.

  • JY

    i’m disappointed with the note 5 it looks great super thin bezels that similar size to 5.5 inch phones but a smaller battery at 3000mah compared to the note 4 hopefully it wont be like the s6, put the s6 active 3500mah into it, no micro sd and no 128gb version will affect a few, the back has the fingerprint magnet and glass waiting to be smashed and ugly camera bump, loss of 3rd mic now only 2, no ir blaster, and touchwiz still needs toning down and work better with google apps since its android and lose the bloat, 3rd party apps that no one asked for its the little things the note 5 is a little hit and miss

  • V-Phuc

    You know what the problem is, AA? iPhone owners do NOT give a crap about Samsung and Android! They don’t! Note 5 can be made in pure gold and given free to them, they likely refuse it! Why do you think iPhone kept out-selling Samsung phones?!!! Comparison like this to show what? Samsung phones are superior? And then the iPhone owners will jump ship? Stupid. That’s the dream that Samsung had when they advanced the Note release date. Stupid thinking.

    • Daggett Beaver

      Actually, according to IDC, worldwide, Samsung has 25% market share vs. 18% for Apple. So iPhone doesn’t out-sell Samsung phones. In the USA, Apple outsells Samsung.

      • mrjayviper

        25% consisting mostly of non flagship devices

        • The-Sailor-Man

          Apple also sell old models , which are far from today’s flagships.
          S line, Note line, A line, Alpha…..combined easily outsell iPhone 6.

      • hampsure

        Also to add Android outsells Apple as well.

  • Sebastian Nuñez Del Prado

    They are essentially comparing an iPhone with what is pretty much an android iPhone now. No ir blaster + No removable battery makes the note 5 a pass for me. My note 3 is doing great. But in the future it’ll be a note 4 that I purchase on eBay. Bring on the price drops.

  • Grayson

    I actually watched the unpacked event and I’ve set my alarm to 2:55 so I can get my note 5 pre-order in. I’ll be trading in my 128 gb samsung s6 to get what will certainly be the standard for smart phones for quite a while. I skipped the note 4 because they didn’t upgrade the ram to 4gb. And after having the s6, the sd card doesn’t matter to me. I have unlimited cloud storage, unlimited data, and several streaming usb drives for additional use. I’m covered.

  • Marty

    I’ve decided to turn to Apple and the iPhone because of my experience with the GS6. Not gonna give Samsung another chance. They lied through their teeth about the GS6′ special abilities and quality of operation. Once an A8X iPhone happens, it’s mine.

    • RockMarz

      Why are u here?

      • Ismail Akram

        cuz its iPhone 6+ vs Note 5. iPhone is more about software and Note 5 is about powerful hardware. but end result is almost same except for note 5 multitask capabilities. also I think it would be better to compare iPhone 6S+ with Note 5. as iPhone 6 is almost a year old now ;) anyways iPhone will keep achieving all what note 5 does but with little power. in my eye that makes iOS superior compared to TW based android.

        • Hoek

          You’re trippin, the iPhone only just achieved what the Note 2 had. iPhone i feel has had its day, what have they really brought to the table in the last few years besides a different way of reading a finger print? if they didnt have such loyal customers they would have probably fallen off a while ago. Its still a decent device for the average person, but it lacks many things a power user enjoys.

          • Ling Cheung

            The average user only cares about the basic functions of a smartphone. Which the note 5 don’t offer any improvement over the iPhone.

  • You ask: “Which is the large screen king”? Answer: Huawei Ascend Mate 7

    • Airyl

      Yes. All my yes. #HuaweiNexusHype

  • Dusan

    “This is why gaming consoles with inferior specs (PS4, Xbox One, etc.) can often achieve better performance than fairly powerful computers.”

    Except that gaming consoles have way lower quality than PC computers, not to mention that a lot of console games are at 30 fps.

    • Airyl

      Wii U.

  • shivansh

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me,but some thing is making me hate Samsung more and more now a days ??

  • Gregory Weatherhead

    Did you omit the 100 gbs storage with one drive, which is very convenient to the person on the go, regardless which storage capacity you prefer 32 gbs turn into 132 0r 64 into 164, When we look at ram 4 gb compared to 1gb. Never owned a Galaxy but will purchase one over the iphone.

    • John H

      Correct, Gregory. Cloud storage is the place to put valuable, little used content like old pics, documents, etc. They are then safe from loss or catastrophic damage.

      Also, that 4G of RAM is DDR4, not DDR3 like other phones. It’s 80% faster and 30% more energy efficient than DDR3. That’s about the equivalent of 7 gigs of DDR3! Sick fast, sick quick

      • Hoek

        Are you being sarcastic? i wouldnt be putting valuable content on the cloud, you are basically signing away your ownership when you put it in the cloud.

  • Eduardo stanley

    THe Iphone 6S plus will be the most amazing device of this century hands down nothing will be able to compete with it.

    • hampsure

      Are you kidding me??? It will look the exact same but with a minor update. The note 4 will still beat it and I’m writing this on a 6 plus. Soon to be retired 6 plus that is.

    • BP

      LOL. The other phablets in the market blow the 6 plus away. The note has a larger screen yet is smaller. The iPhone 6 plus is a huge dissapointment in design. I expected better of Apple.

    • Hoek

      From the rumors i wouldnt bet on it, seems only a minor improvement and that means like the iPhone 6, it will be a few years behind in tech compared to the competition, besides the pressure sensitive screen. Really, Apple doesnt need to upgrade their devices, they run iOS fine because its such a simple and lacking OS that even children can use them, home screen with app icons.

  • Kristinn Andersen

    The choice is clear in Europe. There is no Samsung Note 5 so iPhone 6+ wins.

    • Andreas Larsson

      Nope edge 6 + Wins

  • Roger Amdahl

    Neither. The Note 4 is…

  • BP

    It baffles me with all the money and tech that Apple has that they produced a phablet that is so much larger than it needs to be and is just godly looking. The note got it right and is a beautiful device. It’s big but doesn’t feel like you would think a phablet would feel. The 6 plus on the other hand feels like a phablet-it is way too big and heavy and doesn’t have that sleek factor the other phablets have.

    • John H

      Agreed. The iPhone 6 Plus uses waaaay too much bezel. It’s a nice looking phone, but the Note 5 crushed it in every way. Hell, the Note 4 already did that.

  • BP

    Look how many fingerprints that thing gets now compared to there plastic design. I know Samsung was under a lot of pressure to make a better looking phone but that’s all they did. Now no removable battery, storage and now you get a phone that is a fingerprint magnet that is going to have a case put on it anyways. I think the plastic backing looked fantastic on the note but they were under pressure so much from the blogs about how it didn’t look good they had to do something which is a shame if you ask me.

  • Tommy Madison

    I choose NEITHER! 128gb of micro SD is $50 so why do I have to fork over several hundred to be limited with no card slot now. Oh and now Samsung sealed their batteries like Apple. Cool hey I’ll just go buy a new phone in just over a year when my battery craps out instead of buying a brand new battery for $10 off amazon like I could do to every past Samsung model. Now that both phones are made with glass front AND back panels designed to shatter from that 1 foot fall, maybe I should just buy 3 phones now just to be safe? Super disappointed with you Samsung, sorry but we’re breaking up.

    • John H

      If you’re getting a 128G micro sd card for $50, guaranteed it’s a shitty one. Now you’ve massively compromised performance on this crap phone of yours that has a battery that only lasts a year. BTW, your $10 replacement battery will last even less than a year.

      Meanwhile, every Samsung I’ve had (S1, S3, S4, S5, Note 4) has a battery that lasts for well past the two year magic window.

      If you don’t understand the difference in performance from a eMMC to a UFS 2 internal drive, then you’re 8 to 10 TIMES dumber than you sound (hint, that’s the performance difference).

      I’d also urge you to check out any of the dozens of videos showing you just how strong Gorilla Glass 4 is.

  • Colin

    Do you want to geek out with Android, or do you want iOS to “just work”?

    I think after the releases of IOS 7 and 8 “it just works” is a joke. Definitely not a good reason to buy an iPhone.

  • John Cyrus Valdez

    For me the winner is SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 5.
    I wish Android Authority can give me. Thanks

  • Yansnan Qang

    Samsung Galaxy Note 5 MT6795 Octa Core 2.5GHZ Android 5.0 32GB Clone Phone—-270 USD

    This product is discount for sale without tax go through , purchase to visit

  • Bill

    I’d still take the Note 5 over the Crapple, but I want the removable battery and SD card slot back. Also, an even bigger screen, like say 9″, better camera, stereo speakers, higher resolution, faster processor, and the equivalent of Facetime built in. They can go back to the fake leather cover for all I care.

  • Mark

    OMG the iphone looks like it in a slaughter house. There is no competion here. Now iphone shareholders if you cant admit defeat here we know its all about the money and how much you make. Seriously there is no question no excuses, like the note 5 takes better pictures But the iphone does really well with its 8mp camera. Its like in reviews the iphone gets beaten but then they say But the iphone does well. What is with that!

  • ichuck7

    Both are great phones. I have the 6+ and I’m switching it for the Note 5. While the next iPhone is only weeks away, I will say I notice the lack of ram from time to time. It gives me a little anxiety when switching between apps, wondering whether the page will have to reload when I switch back.

  • Here is a video about transferring contacts from iPhone 5S to Galaxy Note 5, also it can help you transfer data between iPhone 6S/6S Plus, LG G4, Galaxy S6/S6 Edge + and more

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    Get the video from my Name

  • Du Wun Aung

    I really love android customization, so I have no more choices. Moreover, I hate new iPhone design. I thinks it’s really stupid move. But for Samsung, it transforms to new creative design. Ok, one more point for Samsung. I don’t wanna talk about price, coz iPhone always try to kill us with price. So so so, I will choose Samsung Note 5….

  • Scr-U-gle

    Guess what moroid authority’s, hoping the Note 5 is better doesn’t make it so.

    All those dolts who fell for this crock a shite you wrote will now have to find some other falsified metric to try and justify that over priced POS Similarsung

  • toomanycats305

    I’ve been doing a lot of research to replace m iPhone 5S. I saw the Galaxy Note 5 today and wanted to read some comparisons. This article is exactly what I needed to confirm my decision to switch to the Galaxy. I’m so over the Apple hype!

  • Barry

    Seriously, the iphone is still a childs toy to use. The grown ups use the Note series of phones thanks.