Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has grown from a niche product at the time of its introduction, to its latest member, the Galaxy Note 4, being dubbed as “Samsung’s true flagship.” That said, the company’s original S series flagship line has been going strong as well, and while faltering a bit in 2014, with the latest addition to this lineup, the Galaxy S6, Samsung has come back as strong as ever. So how do these two very distinct flagship devices fare against each other? We find out, as we take a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4!

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 18

For the first time in a comparison involving two flagship Samsung devices, we’re looking at both smartphones featuring metal frames, a design element that was first introduced with the Galaxy Alpha, and has become the standard since. In the case of the Galaxy Note 4, plastic in the form of a faux leather back is still to be found, which is also removable, allowing for access to the microSD card slot and replaceable battery. The signature tactile home button up front is integrated with a fingerprint scanner, and 2.5D glass over the display adds some visual flair to the front of the device. As this is a Note device, you will also find an S-Pen stylus nestled into the bottom corner.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 19

The Samsung Galaxy S6 may retain a lot of the design language of its sibling flagships, but introduces a complete overhaul with regards to build quality and material, with the device boasting a premium metal and glass unibody design. The metal frame keeps the tapered, raised look on the top and bottom corners that we also see with the Note 4, and is really nice. The curved sides do result in a more rounded look, compared to the rigid lines of the Galaxy Note 4, and the Galaxy S6 is as thin and sleek and you’d expect to see from a Samsung flagship. This design choice is not without its compromises though, with the battery now not being removable, and with the microSD expansion being given a miss as well. The camera module also tends to protrude quite a bit, which could be problem when sliding or placing the phone on its back on a flat surface.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 5

Things are quite even on the display front, with both smartphones featuring Super AMOLED displays with Quad HD resolutions. The difference in size, 5.7-inches for the Galaxy Note 4 and 5.1-inches for the Galaxy S6, results in a higher pixel density count for the latter, but the difference isn’t significant enough to be particularly noticeable. Samsung is well-known for its display prowess, and that really shines through with both devices. Deep blacks, vivid colors, great viewing angles and fantastic brightness are all features of either display, and you’ll have a great viewing experience on both. While the Galaxy S6 gets the edge for its higher pixel density and more manageable size, the larger display of the Galaxy Note 4 is the better choice from a media-consumption and gaming standpoint.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 4

In performance, we see Samsung setting a bit of a precedent going from the Galaxy Note 4 to the Galaxy S6, as former packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, backed by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, with another version coming with the Exynos 5 Octa, also with 3 GB of RAM. As expected, the performance with either iteration is pretty great. But, with the Galaxy S6, Samsung has decided to give Qualcomm a pass this time, in favor of getting fully behind its in-house octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, also backed by 3 GB of RAM. The Galaxy S6 just oozes power, and it cannot be emphasized enough how smooth the performance was in the short time I got to spend with it, with the more streamlined version of TouchWiz certainly a contributing factor as well.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 10

Things remain largely identical in terms of other hardware, with both smartphones featuring fingerprint scanners integrated into the home button, but in different implementations, with the touch type iteration definitely better than the swipe version of the Galaxy Note 4. Both also have heart rate monitors on the back, positioned slightly differently, but still in proximity to the rear camera. The Galaxy Note 4 does come with expandable storage and a removable battery though, and of course, the big selling point of the Note series is the availability of the S-Pen stylus and everything that it entails.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 16

On the camera side of things, both smartphones feature similar setups when it comes to the rear camera, with its 16 MP shooters, and as such, we can expect the quality to be about the same, but of course, a more thorough testing of the Galaxy S6 camera is required before making any final judgments. There are some improvements in the case of the Galaxy S6 though, with the front-facing camera being upgraded to a 5 MP unit, and both the front and back cameras featuring f 1.9 apertures with auto HDR, which should allow for some great shots in low light.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 17

When it comes to software, it has been quite easy to compare the overall experience between device iterations because TouchWiz is TouchWiz, a feature packed user interface, even more so in the case of the Galaxy Note 4, which features a slew of applications and features to take advantage of the S-Pen stylus and the larger screen real estate. That story has somewhat changed with the Galaxy S6 though. Even if things remain quite similar aesthetically, apart from any Lollipop-related changes that will make their way to the Note 4 a well, the number of pre-installed applications have been reduced, with users given the option to choose what they want. The experience on the Galaxy S6 is very fluid in its transitions, and the complete package doesn’t seem to be as overwhelming as previous versions.

Specs Comparison

 Samsung Galaxy S6Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Display5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
577 ppi
5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
515 ppi
Processor2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor
2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor
Adreno 420 GPU
Storage32/64/128 GB
not expandable
32/64/128 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
Network4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X) 4.1, NFC
SlimPort, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0
SoftwareAndroid 5.0 LollipopAndroid 4.4 Kitkat
CameraRear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 5 MP wide angle lens
Rear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 3.7 MP
Battery2,550 mAh3,220 mAh
Dimensions143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
138 grams
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
176 grams


So there you have it for this quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6! These are the two giants of the Samsung ecosystem currently, and are certainly worthy of the term “flagship.” What matters here is what features you need to get the most out of your daily smartphone usage, and if that includes an S-Pen and a large display, the Note 4 is the way to go. The Galaxy S6 features a beautiful design and a sleek body, but isn’t without its compromises in terms of the expandable storage and replaceable battery, and those are two more factors that may lead to some favoring the Note series over the latest addition to the Galaxy S lineup.

Joshua Vergara
Writer, blogger, and videographer - Josh is a former support technician that learned much about technology by fixing everyone else's. On the side, he wrote and performed spoken word, maintained his own personal blogs, and began his own video podcast. Now, he's here at Android Authority looking to put it all together!
  • dazza73

    I have the note4 and enjoy it but i very rarely use the pen and i have never taken the battery out missus has a upgrade end of this month #intwominds

  • Marty

    From a couple of those pics, it looks like Samsung rounded the edges of the display glass on the GS6. I hope not. I friggin hate that ugly-ass rounding…like the did on the Note 4. They started that practice with the GS3 and it looked okay on the GS3. But it has gotten seriously old now and a clean, smooth, flat glass surface looks so much better.

    • eddoie

      The protruding camera is unforgivable, It totally takes away from the clean smooth lines and design of the phone and it’s ridiculous that it’s going to get all scratched and marred up because it’s the only part of the upper phone that makes contact when you set it down, TERRIBLE flaw. How makes the camera lens into a quasi foot?

      • Degus Jacoby Pradana

        Better have protruding camera but great camera quality than flat camera but horrible result

      • V-Phuc

        Agree. I can’t get past that ugly, protruding camera! IMHO, the Note Series are the only flagship smartphones for Samsung. They should just scrap that S series altogether. Their A series are good enough for mid-range devices.

    • daniel

      its like samsung and other phone company’s are trying to make phones purposely ugly becuase today ugly retarded looking things are trendy

  • Hani Aljundi

    Powerful brightness ??
    I think you mean Xperia Z3 ;)

  • Rick_Deckard

    I had the Note 4, but sadly enough I returned it for being defective… The Note 4 was the best cellphone that I’ve ever had in year… On the other hand, I am happy that my Note 4 came broken… And so I can get the Black S6 64 GB… :-D

  • Inet Q
  • Choda Boy

    STOP autoplay videos!

    • KingofPing



      A lot of us browse this site at work, guys. Auto-Play is the devil’s work. Stop. It.

      You nearly destroyed any possibility of a relevant discussion about the article by doing that.

    • Grgry

      Yep. First time on this site, and that autoplay video pretty much guarantees it’ll be my last.

      There are too many other similar sites that I can get news/info from, no need to waste my time on a site that goes out of it’s way to annoy visitors.

      I’m out.

    • boydp182

      Totally agree. I hate it. Scares me too.

    • Bane

      STOP….Hammer time!

  • eddoie

    Sorry, the narrator is struggling to sound natural and he gets caught up and stumbles over hie own words a lot. Not busting him, it just detracts from the comparison.

  • TyH

    stupid autoplay

    • mrjayviper

      can be easily turned off

      • TyH

        still autoplay after turning off

  • mrjayviper

    waiting for note5 later this year

  • Saravanan

    What color is the S6? Its bluish but S6 blue color is more like skyblue. Please help me to clear out this confusion. I wanna buy the color showed above.

    • John Kar

      Sapphire black.

    • Anonymousfella

      Its the black color, it appears as dark blue due the translucency of the glass back. The S6 blue(Topaz blue) is the one which looks like sky blue but that doesnt have this color-shift effect. The black one imo looks much better!

      • Saravanan

        I like blue color, but Topaz blue version looks like bit high contrast. I would rather stay with black version itself.

  • V-Phuc

    The S6 lost features that help Samsung stand out of the crowd. You got to keep your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Sammy just made a blunder. I hope their sale crashes so they can learn this lesson. The S6 is nowhere to be in the same league as N4. Heck, no other phone is!

    • yup!

      I totally agree!

    • Anshul

      I think, Samsung is going with the strategy, Note Series for feature hungry demographic and S lineup for design above all demographic.
      Its a business decision and I think its a good one. Already the normal smartphones are coming close to phablet size.
      It will be smart of samsung if dont compromise note lineup for aesthetics.


      • Jeremy Archie

        We hope.

  • Hey!

    Note series phones are the best Samsung phones period. There is no comparison with the S series. I have had every generation of Note phone as well as an S5. I currently use the Note 4 which I can say is the best phone I’ve ever had. It is a multi media powerhouse in comparison to the S series. That being said it’s good to have a choice in phones so one can buy what they like. I just hope Samsung leaves the removable battery and SD card for the Note series. If not, unfortunately that would be a deal breaker for me with the Note 5. I will be switching to a different brand.

    • Jeremy Archie

      GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!! lol

      I pretty much feel the same way. Using the Note 4 now. If the Note 5 takes its design cues from the S6 and eschews the removable battery and microSD, then nope…I’ll be keeping my Note 4 for a very long time.

      • galaxyNote4isBoss

        My original Note sold, Note 2 sold, Note 3 in house, Note 4 in house, Gear S in house. I will be purchasing the Galaxy S6 edge when it comes to T-mobile day one of launch my first Galaxy S product since the S3. I will be purchasing the Galaxy Note 5 or NoteEdge come October REGARDLESS of rather it has a sdcard or removable battery. My current NOTE4 will be my backup handset with all my content on it.

        At the end of the day nothing tops SAMSUNG they are technology and android nothing else will ever matter….

        • KingofPing

          Shaddup, Yarrell. :-)

          • simpleas

            lol, this is Richard, I googled him. I actually appreciate his zeal and passion for great phones. yeah he’s got that Denzel look

  • Rushan

    Autoplay sucks

  • meir cohen

    My note 4 is a fantastic device+RINGKE FUSION clear case it’s just perfect.
    About the s6: we have to wait and see what is the realy battery life….it’s seems to me that it’s much shorter vs the 3220ma note 4 battery.
    S6- nice device. BUT…. too much glass !!!!.
    For now the galaxt note 4 is still the king until the s6 will prove itself very deeply.

    • ibolito

      What is the brand of your case? I couldn’t read it, please tell again in CAPS LOCK

  • Willem Janssen

    The Note 4 and the S6 are not ment to be compared. It’s simply 2 different phones that market for completely different users. For the power user that needs the multi window features the Note 4 is simply the best phone. The S6 is more a competitive phone towards the new IPhone then it is to the note 4.

  • HotelQuebec

    Doubtful but hope Samsung release the Note 5 Edge sooner so I don’t get the S6 Edge in April then the Note 5 Edge in Sept/Oct.

  • Warsun

    I just took a trip, had my zero lemon extended battery. Makes my phone a brick But.. 33 hours hard usage. Movies, gaming, music, internet without having to even think about a charger. Of course my normal battery was in my bag. Got back home with 17 percent left. Several more hours worth. All my content is stored on my 128g sd card. To make a long story short, keep the removable battery and sd card slot. Otherwise you’re trying too hard to be like the competition and will lose what makes you different. Samsung don’t be stupid.

  • Mjleost

    Both are great phones. But when you go from a Note series phone to an S series phone it’s like taking a step back. It isn’t, but it feels like it cos you’re missing some key elements such as the S pen. I’ve had both and have always returned to the Note series.

  • waitandroid

    Hope Galaxy note 5 will have removal battery

  • agreed. No auto-play. Let the masses choose the play button :)


    I just don’t get why people are praising the S6 so much when Samsung removed it’s best features. Is design appeal really that important to people? Plus not only did they take away the removable battery, they made the battery smaller!!? It just doesn’t make any sense. I’d still rather have the S5 for its water resistance, bigger battery, removable battery, and Sd slot.

  • Valtheri

    Can someone help me which can I buy Note 4 or Galaxy S6, I’m not play games, I want a good battery, fast and good camera. I like more note 4 because it’s a little cheaper than S6.

  • bittudg

    I got from this site
    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Case New version . You can also see the latest version.