That doesn’t sound like a lot – and indeed, in Android terms it would still be seen as a ‘mini’ phone – but it instantly makes the iPhone a much better multimedia device than before.
It’s not the sharpest display we’ve ever seen, though. With an unusual 1334 x 750 resolution, it produces the exact same pixel density of 326ppi as previous iPhones.
In everyday use this is actually perfectly fine. Thanks to Apple’s tight hold on its software, everything feels optimized and native on this display, unlike on many 720p Android phones that we could mention.
Still, we imagine plenty of industry-aware Apple fans will wince when they spot the Galaxy S6 display’s vital statistics. It’s a 5.1-inch QHD Super Amoled display, which offers a whole heap of advantages over the iPhone 6 equivalent.
For one thing, it’s about half an inch bigger, meaning that websites and media content are larger and clearer. Also, QHD means that the display has a 2560 x 1440 resolution. We’re talking something not too far shy of four times the number of pixels found in the iPhone 6, and a 577ppi pixel density that’s almost double.
Honestly, in general usage, the difference simply doesn’t feel that pronounced. There’s still much debate over the need for a QHD resolution in smartphone displays.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t see the benefits at all, though. Running the same 4K or 2K video side by side on each, you can undoubtedly pick up more detail in the Galaxy S6. The same advantage sees viewing high quality photos on the Samsung a superior experience.
As for the differences between Super AMOLED and LCD, well, those are a little more subjective. The Galaxy S6 screen has colours that pop more, deeper blacks, yet a generally redder tinge to it. The iPhone 6’s screen is colder and bluer.
Looking at the TechRadar homepage on both, with its whites and greys, the Galaxy S6 looked surprisingly murky and tinted by comparison. It’s not, of course. In fact, the Galaxy S6 gets incredibly close to the 6500K reference standard for colour accuracy, while the iPhone 6 comes in well above that level.
But if you’ve become used to Apple’s distinctive blue tint, and particularly its icy whites, the difference can be jarring.
The iPhone 6 screen also comes across as brighter than its larger, sharper rival. It’s one of those rare phones that can make the S6 seem almost muted. It means that holding the two screens side-by-side isn’t the knocked-out-of-the-park win for the Samsung that we were expecting.
Finally, both phone manufacturers have pushed their handsets’ photographic chops as a major selling point. Both manufacturers are quite right to do so.
These are two phenomenal camera phones, both capable of replacing all but the best dedicated point and shoot cameras in terms of image quality – and any camera you care to mention in terms of ease of use and speed of operation.
The iPhone 6 camera is an 8-megapixel example with phase detection autofocus, making for super-snappy snaps.
As elsewhere, the Galaxy S6 outspecs the iPhone 6 on the camera front. It’s a 16-megapixel unit which also comes with phase detection technology, as well as a bunch of additional features like OIS for steadier shots.
We’ll go into the details in the appropriate section, suffice to say that the Galaxy S6 offers the first genuine rival to the iPhone range on the camera front in years. It’s arguably the more sophisticated camera, too, with more functions and options for advanced shooters.
We still love the iPhone 6’s solid, dependable point-and-shoot nature, though. When it comes to firing and forgetting, there’s still nothing better.
Like we said at the outset, these two flagship phones set out with similar basic intentions, but go about executing in surprisingly different ways. What’s undoubtable is that both have arrived more or less where they wanted to be right near the top of the smartphone tree.