Apple announced the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus yesterday, but the decision on whether to pick the new iPhone 6s Plus or a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a lot tougher given Samsung's drastic change in design that more closely matches the iPhone while offering several innovations.
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 5, see my full review, is a fantastic device that made it past my T-Mobile return period to earn a place in my pocket. Readers know I like to test all mobile operating systems , but since I don't get iPhone review units to try out I may have to place an order for one this weekend. However, I'm not yet convinced it's a keeper.
Here are ten reasons to consider the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 instead of the Apple iPhone 6s Plus.
- Advanced camera: Apple iPhones are great at capturing photos, but this year Samsung may beat the new iPhone. Samsung's camera has more megapixels, a larger aperture, and advanced features such as RAW capture with manual control support.
- S Pen: I'm using the S Pen more than I ever have on a Note before and it's a very creative way to interact with your phone. You can buy a 3rd party stylus for the iPhone, but I've been disappointed with those and the experience isn't even close to what Samsung offers.
- Wireless charging: Samsung not only includes wireless charging, but the Note 5 has some new fast wireless charging technology that speeds up charging by a reported 30 percent. Wireless charging isn't essential, but it's tough to beat the convenience of just setting your phone down without fumbling for cables.
- Fast charging: Even if you don't use a wireless charger, the ability to pop a microUSB cable into your Note 5 and get charged up quickly is very convenient and useful. I'm surprised Apple still hasn't integrated fast charging, but maybe the company will invent it with the iPhone 7.
- Display: The iPhone display resolution is less than the Note 5, but the iPhone still offers a great viewing experience. However, the Note 5 currently has the best smartphone display and it doesn't look like the new iPhone will match it. You also get a better screen to phone ratio with the Note 5.
- RAM: Apple has kept the iPhone RAM limited to 1GB for a while now, which isn't really an issue unless you try to run several resource-heavy apps at once. However, Samsung includes 4GB of extremely fast LPDDR4 RAM in the Note 5 so you shouldn't ever be limited in how you use your expensive phone.
- Samsung Pay: Apple Pay is a great wireless payment system, but after using the new Samsung Pay beta for the last couple of weeks, it is the best system for US customers. I have yet to find a store with a payment terminal that doesn't work with Samsung Pay.
- Split screen apps: Apple supports landscape orientation of apps on the iPhone 6s Plus, but the Note 5 lets you open and use a number of applications in a split screen layout. It's handy to have a messaging app on one side and a social networking or note taking app on the other.
- Operating system: The lines between iOS and Android continue to blur, but there are still some functions that keep me grabbing an Android device over an iPhone. For example, the advanced Exchange support on the Note 5 helps me stay in touch with fellow associates.
- Gorgeous design: This last reason is highly subjective, but I absolutely love what Samsung has done with these new Galaxy phones with the metal edges, glass back, and glass front. The sapphire black looks like a very dark blue and feels great in the hand. The Apple iPhone 6s Plus is a nice piece of hardware as well, but is a bit bigger than the Note 5 and doesn't fit in your hand as well.
Apple will sell millions of new iPhones while Samsung will also sell millions of new Galaxy Note 5s. Every individual has different needs and desires so there isn't one phone that is best for all of us. At this time, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is best for me. Stay tuned for my thoughts on the Apple iPhone 6s Plus.