Fri 26 Sep 2014
If you are thinking about buying an iPhone 6 Plus or a Samsung Note 4, this article may help you. Trying to decide between these phones mostly comes down to the software, familiarity with one of the OSes, your purchasing habits (are you invested in iTunes?), and product support.
I have experience using both the iPhone and Samsung phones as well as investigating, pretty intensely, how to get the most out of Android/Samsung apps. I really like how Samsung has copied some of the iPhone software features. For example, the Samsung OS displays badges on your Phone, Messages, and Email app icons just like the iPhone. I’m not a big fan of just having Android centralized notifications. The Samsung OS also has a much more iPhone-like phone app with integrated voice mail. For me, this is also a big deal since many of the Android phone apps are terrible compared to the iPhone phone app.
I have ended up purchasing the iPhone 6 Plus after using the Samsung S3 for 2 years and an iPhone for about 3 years before that. This decision was so close that I’ll be jealous of anyone who has the Note 4.
Are you Capable of Switching OSes?
If you’ve been using an iPhone or an Android for a long time, switching OSes takes time. Unless you are a slightly more advanced user and/or have a compelling reason, I wouldn’t recommend switching OSes. It’s probably not worth your time since both these OSes will get the job done. A number of basic things are implemented very differently like: adjusting the cursor position, copy/paste, and selecting text. I find both the iOS and Android implementations of these important features very good. It took me a while to get used to how my Samsung S3 did these. Where to find configuration settings is very different. Not all iOS apps are available on Android and vice versa. Before you switch OSes, be sure to check if the apps you need are available.
Advantages of Note 4 Over iPhone 6 Plus:
- Back button at the bottom of the phone. The iPhone 6 Plus needs this for better one handed phone use. The back button has more value than just one hand use too. If you are reading an email which has a URL link in it, clicking on it brings up your web browser. Then you can press the back button to return to your email (not the home screen). Android has an internal stack which the Back button uses. iOS needs this too.
- The Samsung Note 4 is not quite as tall as the iPhone 6 Plus and has a slightly larger screen. This is partly due to the fact that the Note 4 has a thin horizontal button which takes up less space. At least the new iPhone 6 Plus has a smaller home button than older iPhone models.
- As you’ve probably already heard, the Note 4 is less bendable. If you put your phone in your pocket, the iPhone 6 plus is much more likely to bend. I don’t keep my phone in my pocket. I used to keep my phone in my pocket until I noticed my hip starting to hurt. I’ve learned the hard way that radiation from your cell phone affects your bodies ability to heal. Once I stopped keeping my phone in my pocket, the pain went away. My body wasn’t able to heal itself enough after my workouts due to the combination of radiation from my cell phone and my age.
- Easier to configure home screens. I especially don’t like how iOS auto arranges icons. I like my more important app icons to be in very specific places on my home screens and iOS makes this difficult to manage.
- Menu button at the bottom. The iPhone needs this too but since many apps have buttons at the bottom, it’s not that big a deal.
- More apps which display lists support multi select operations.
- Many more configuration options. This is only useful if there’s an option you like and can’t find something similar in iOS.
- Widgets (like contacts and weather) can be placed on the home screen just like apps. I found the default widgets useless and large so I removed them but I love putting contacts on my home screen. The new iOS 8 double click the home button feature to display recent phone history and favorites is OK. I still would prefer to have some contact icons on my home screen. I suspect Apple will add support for Widgets in a future OS and maybe then iOS will have the ability to add Contact icons to your home screen.
- Android has more of a typical file system. This is especially useful for copying pictures from a computer onto your Android phone. I really don’t like to use iTunes to import/export pictures.
- Can root phone. This can be useful for more advanced users. For me, this has very little value. Some Android users root their phone so they can use their phone as a Wifi hotspot. Now, most users don’t need to do this due to carrier changes.
Advantages of iPhone 6 Plus Over Note 4
- Better support for product. The Apple store offers better support for the iPhone than any other mobile device. If you are a less advanced user, this is a very big deal and arguably makes the Note 4, or any non-Apple device, a no go.
- Easier to use and configure. More things just work for me with less or no configuring.
- UI experience. More of the apps I’ve seen have a consistent look and feel with good looking graphics.
- Slightly better apps. This will be very different for everyone. For me, the following apps are slightly better on iPhone: phone, email, calendar, camera, text messaging, photos viewer, and ScoreMobile (Exceptions: GTasks on Android is a little better than all iOS Google Tasks apps I tried, and Mobi Calculator Free on Android is better than any iOS calculator app I tried)
- Slightly better one handed use due to the new Reachability feature. I love this Reachability feature. If the iPhone also had a back button, this would make the iPhone a much clearer winner here. Right now, there’s not much difference. I give the iPhone 6 plus the edge because the Note 4’s “One-handed operation” feature is not very good. For me the iPhone 6 Plus is the clear winner here because I hold my phone with my left hand (even though I’m right handed) which makes the back button at the top left of the screen easy for my big mitt to reach.
- iTunes. If you buy apps, movies, books, or whatever, Apple has a slightly better buying experience.
- Touch screen. I find the iPhone screen slightly more accurate/responsive.
- I slightly prefer how iOS does cut/paste with worded buttons near the cursor instead of non-worded icon buttons at the top or bottom of the screen.
- Speaker on bottom instead of back of phone
- Security. Arguably better because apps go through an Apple review.
There are many features in both devices I have not mentioned to keep this article short (Family Sharing, AirPlay, Siri, hardware specifics, etc.). I have only mentioned the more basic or significant advantages of either device. I hope this information helps you decide which phone is best for you. Keep in mind that switching OSes can be difficult. You can’t go wrong buying either of these phones.