For any mobile phone fan September is without question their favourite month of the year. September is their Christmas. Why? The reason is, because September is well known as the month that we get treated to the flagship Apple and Samsung phones for the year. In fact, this very September we will see the iPhone 6 and the Android powered Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Korean company Samsung are planning on putting their phone on the market sometime in the middle of the month, while Apple’s offering is likely to hit shelves a few days after its launch event on September 9. What’s more, Apple have answered the overwhelming demand for larger screens, increasing their screen from 4-inches to 4.7-inches as they try to compete with Samsung, whose Galaxy Note 3 had a 5.7-inch screen. There is also a 5.5-inch screen model slated for release, although that will not be unveiled on September 9.
So who exactly will come out on top in the annual battle? Will the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 be able to put the upstart iPhone 6 into place, or will the geniuses from Silicon Valley pull a rabbit from the hat once more?
The popularity of Apple will undeniably see the phone sell a lot quicker out of the blocks. The iPhone 5S and 5C topped over nine million in sales in the first three days of being released, while it took the Samsung Galaxy S4 just under a month to sell 10 million. Sales are sales, and the figures are undeniably a huge part of the market in today’s day and age, but which will be the better phone and not just the most profitable?
Let’s start with the screens. This size is completely new for Apple, as they used to be vehemently against it; believing that all phones should fit comfortably in the users hands. Samsung however believe different and have put their experience as seasoned veterans of the game for a good few years to good use in relation to screen size.
That said, it is minuscule in difference, but the Apple screen is the better in pixel density at 510 to Samsung’s 500. On the other hand, the Note does come with Quad-HD – a difference so slight you’d have to be extremely pernickety to care about.
No, the reason the iPhone 6 has the better screen is due to the shatter proof sapphire crystal glass and water resistant oleophobic coating. It was given a dry-run on the iPod Touch and has been given the go-ahead for the iPhone 6.
How often would an indestructible screen have come in handy over the years? Walking home drunk would become a hell of a lot safer and so would leaving your phone on the bar in the pub. The only risk in betting would be missing your chance of cashing out, not dropping your phone should a goal go in. Phone clutching moments like watching Andy Murray win in the tennis and phone throwing moments induced by England’s World Cup performance will no longer cause even further heartache. If Apple get this phone up to old-school Nokia standards then we will be in for a high-definition treat.
In this selfie-crazed world the camera is one of the most important aspects, if not the most. We have SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter, all of which are just covered with hundreds of thousands of selfies – there is now even an app for selfies, where Justin Bieber is involved somehow.
With so much selfie love Samsung have taken the shrewd move to toy with their front-facing camera. The previous Note possessed a 2mp front-facing camera but the Galaxy Note 4 has been upgraded to what is a whopping 3.7mp front-facing camera – how time flies, it has been eight years since the Sony Ericsson K800.
Not only has the camera been bettered, it also comes with three selfie modes: Wide Selfie, Selfie mode and Selfie Alarm. We have been told that the Wide Selfie mode is for wide-angle selfie shots. Selfie mode is rather cool, as its hands-free – simply taking a picture when you either wink or smile. As for Selfie Alarm, that makes it easier for taking a selfie with your rear camera via automatic facial recognition and photo.
There was talk that the public would be treated to a 20mp rear camera with the Galaxy Note 4. Sadly that was all talk and instead we have to make do with a 16mp camera – although make do is used very loosely here. It compensates with its optical image stabilization and now standard camera modes seen on the Samsung S5 like HDR Live, Selective focus and Fast Auto Focus. Recording wise, it will be able to record ultra HD video with 3840×2160 resolution.
Meanwhile, back in California, everyone is still guessing. Apple have bought patents from Sony for a 13mp camera, which has caused a large section of people to believe that the camera will be upgraded on the iPhone 6. Equally as large are the detractors who believe that Apple will not want to sacrifice design for mega-pixels – the larger camera may not be flush with the phone’s back – something that does fit with the late Steve Jobs philosophy – especially when they know they can fiddle with the camera from the inside.
Nobody will know for sure what camera the iPhone 6 will possess on September 9. Regardless, Samsung are the winner in the camera department. They have the picture quality, while the recording quality is something to behold.
The iPhone 6 will boast an A8 chip, which is the processor all ardent Apple fans have been waiting for. In literal size it is slightly larger than the A7, which is in use on previous models. But, with the phone being larger than previous models, it can now handle larger processors. Early reports indicate that the processor will have a dual-core 20nm 64-bit CPU that will be at least 2GHz – some suggest that it might run as high as 2.6GHz. This is without question THE fastest iPhone processor ever used, just how fast, we do not yet know.
As for Samsung, well they are beastly when it comes to stacking their phone – think as the Note 4 as a mobile phone on steroids; it is juiced and shows no signs of slowing down. The device has two different processors based on the region where it is released: One will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, the other: an Exynos 5433 chipset. The Snapdragon 805 possesses a megalith 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 450 CPU and Adreno 420 GPU, while the Exynos 5433 features two quad-core CPUs (Cortex A57 and Cortex A53) which has a maximum frequency of 1.3GHz, and an ARM Mali-T760 GPU. Regardless of which region you live in – and therefore which processor you get – your phone will possess some ridiculous computing power.
Processor wise, Samsung are the winner, especially with the Snapdragon, which has proven on the Kindle Fire amongst other devices that it is the superior processor in relation to Apple’s products. Samsung should have an approximate 3-4 GB of Ram, whilst Apple’s A8 will possess just 1GB.
It will be the iOS 8 versus Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Online videos of iOS 8 show that it has a new look control centre. We say new look, there are just a few tweaks and the shading is different. As for the today centre, you can now add widgets you desire to it.
Messaging has had an overhaul of sorts. The most impressive feature is the microphone recording capabilities. A button on the right of the screen is now featured that allows you to record messages, which works a lot better than the dictation features used in previous models. Another nifty feature added to the messaging service is predictive text. Now this hardly sounds that inspiring, but wait for it. The iPhone will be that smart that the predictive text will be tailored to whom you are talking to. For example, if you are talking to your partner the text will be predicting what you are saying based on previous contact, so it will be presumably rather loving, or, if talking to your boss, it will be nice and formal. Also, on the message pages you can now access your video camera which instantaneously starts recording. Small but necessary additions include the “do not disturb” feature, which is perfect for turning off group chats, for example, but also allowing for other messages to come through.
Other additions for iOS 8 include a detailed battery usage app. Here you can see what apps are using up your battery either over the last 24 hours, or the past seven days. This is brilliant for many users who have complained about battery usage in the past as it will help with batter conservation and may even be the catalyst for you to finally get rid of that lingering Clash of Clans addiction!
If you and your family share credit card details with Apple then you will have access to Family Share. This new function allows all people sharing a single payment card to share all downloaded apps etc. It also allows parents to see what apps their children are downloading, even giving them the option to decline or allow the download.
Apple, are now finally moving into NFC payments – something that has been a mainstay on Android devices for the past few years – by teaming with MasterCard, Visa and American Express to make the iPhone Wallet. So you will now be able to make wireless payments via your mobile device.
Not too much is known about how KitKat 4.4.4 will look on the Note 4 so there isn’t too much we can actually write on the matter.
One thing that we do know about Samsung is the Synaptics’ Natural ID fingerprint sensor that Samsung used in the Galaxy S5 home button. The company are supposedly going to take on new software including Web Sign-in. This feature will allow Galaxy Note 4 users to use to their fingerprint to sign into websites; how cool is that? The company will also bring Screen Lock, Private Mode with fingerprint authentication, Samsung Account Verification and PayPal Payments to the Galaxy Note 4 as well.
Operating system has always been based on personal preference but if there was a consensus it would likely be Apple and iOS 8 that won. The addition of NFC payments and the innovative messaging service will appease their fans and win them some more from the tech-based community.
This iPhone will be the curviest yet. There is roundness to the design that hasn’t been seen since the third generation models and the power button is expected to be moved from the top of the phone, to the side. The model also appears to have crash dieted, as it is looking thinner than ever before, while initial views of the device suggests there may be a metallic look to it.
Samsung look to be moving away from plastic and back into the metallic frame with a textured leather rear. The device should be available in the same colours that the S5 allowed: blue, black, gold and white – meaning that fans of colour accessories will be appeased.
In conclusion to looks, it seems that both phones will be visually stunning, so only choice of individual preference can decide this category.
This is a tough one to call. Samsung possesses the better camera and processor but Apple have the better software in iOS 8 and a better screen. Choosing between the two is very much like choosing between Coke and Pepsi – but that’s a different matter completely!