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Apple iPhone 6 VS Samsung Galaxy S6 head to head review

It's the clash of the titans, as Samsung’s best takes on Apple’s finest. But which is right for you?
iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S6

Apple iPhone 6

  • iOS operating system
  • Popular apps launch first on iOS
  • Award-winning design
  • Shorter battery life than the S6
  • No microSD slot

Samsung Galaxy S6

  • Huge quad HD screen
  • Metal build
  • Wireless charging
  • Third-party apps can be less polished
  • No microSD slot

First Impressions

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 are two of the best smartphones around right now.

They’re both very highly specced, extremely desirable in terms of design and have bags of features. But there are plenty of differences between them.

Read on as uSwitch, the UK’s largest and most respected mobile phone comparison site, pits the handsets against each other to help you find the best smartphone for your needs.

The iPhone 6 is the first Apple phone with a 4.7-inch screen. Its predecessors, the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C, all had 4-inch displays, so this is a step up for Apple. That said, it’s still relatively small compared to others on the market.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 boasts a metal body, which is a departure from its plastic predecessor. It too is an absolute stunner design-wise, and it runs Android, Google’s mobile operating system.

iPhone 6 at glance

  • Apps are generally better quality than Android
  • Works seamlessly with Mac computers and iPads
  • iPhones are the easiest smartphones to use

Samsung Galaxy S6 at a glance

  • Wireless charging (charging plate sold separately)
  • Metal and aluminium construction
  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED screen is larger than iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Galaxy S6


The iPhone 6 has a new premium aluminium body and rounded corners that give it a friendly, though no less stylish, appearance. It’s amazingly slim – so much so that the camera lens protrudes from the back a little – and feels natural in the hand.

Compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is unrecognisable. Its sleek metal and glass design is up there with the best of them.

iPhone 6 at a glance

  • Extremely lightweight. If it wasn’t for its size, you could easily forget it was in your pocket.
  • The buttons have been redesigned to fit the new look. They’re long and oval-shaped rather than round as on previous models.
  • Power button is on the right side instead of the top, making it easier to reach.
  • A word of warning: it does get quite cold to the touch in chilly weather.

Samsung Galaxy S6 at a glance

  • Like all phones with a glass finish, the back is an absolute magnet for fingerprints.
  • It can also be a bit slippery, so it’s worth shelling out a little extra for a case.
  • It’s a tiny bit heavier than the iPhone 6, but not noticeably so.
  • Because of the new super slim design, the S6 doesn’t have a removable back. That means that, as with the iPhone 6, you can’t swap the battery.
  • There's no microSD card slot for expandable storage (once again, this is a feature missing from the iPhone 6). That slimness had to mean compromises.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S head to head front


The iPhone 6’s Retina HD screen is a little smaller than the Galaxy S6’s, but it still packs plenty of punch. And it performs especially impressively when viewed from wide angles, so it's easier to enjoy clips with your friends.

The Galaxy S6 boasts A 5.1-inch, 2K display, giving it a pixel per inch count of 576ppi. That extra sharpness, combined with the bigger size, is really noticeable side by side. But on their own, both phones are very impressive.

iPhone 6 at a glance

  • Resolution of 1,334x750 pixels equates to a pixels per inch count of 326ppi. The more pixels make up an image, the sharper it looks on-screen.
  • In real-world use that means the iPhone 6 offers natural-looking colours and exactingly defined images.
  • 2K (also known as QHD or quad-high definition) is quickly becoming the standard. It’s a shame Apple hasn’t kept step with the rest of the smartphone world.

Samsung Galaxy S6 at a glance

  • Better contrast (the difference between light and dark colours, as it turns off pixels for 'truer' blacks) makes the S6 better for watching films.
  • Higher pixel count means sharper images than the iPhone 6.
  • 5.1-inch screen is 0.4 inches larger than the iPhone 6.


The iPhone has long had one of the best cameras to be found in a mobile. And the iPhone 6 is no different. It’s quick to start up, simple to use and has a ton of features, such as auto HDR which enhances the difference between light and dark colours to give a more balanced image.

The Galaxy S6’s snapper has twice the resolution of the iPhone 6’s. But, as we’ll explain, that doesn’t tell the whole story. What it does have over the iPhone 6 is the inclusion of optical image stabilisation, though.

iPhone 6 at a glance

  • There's a lightning-quick burst mode and slo-mo and time-lapse video options for when you want to get creative.
  • Optical image stabilisation, which keeps the camera steady while you’re moving, is missing. For that, you’ll have to pay extra for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S6 at a glance

  • The main camera performs slightly better in low light conditions. The results were less grainy than those from the iPhone.
  • The front-facer is also higher resolution, making for clearer selfies and video calls.
  • It's not quite as intuitive as the iPhone 6's camera.

iPhone 6 Galaxy S6

Performance and battery life

On paper the Galaxy S6 has the edge over the iPhone 6 in this category.

Its battery is larger than the iPhone 6 and it’s home to a brawnier processor. But does that necessarily mean it performs better when it comes to real-world usage?

iPhone 6 at a glance

  • It zips through menus and we had no trouble whatsoever playing processor-intensive games, watching HD videos, emailing or browsing the web.
  • Games look fantastic too thanks to iOS Metal, a graphics application program interface that lets developers create stunning games.
  • Despite the bigger screen, battery life was very impressive. Even with really heavy use, it kept going until lunchtime on the second day before giving up.

Samsung Galaxy S6 at a glance

  • Less impressive than the iPhone 6 in the battery stakes, due to S6's power-sapping bigger, brighter screen. It was barely dinner time before it ran out.
  • However, Samsung’s ultra power save mode is genius. It turns the screen grayscale and prohibits app use, giving another 15 hours of use from just 9% battery.
  • The S6’s octa-core chip and 3GB of RAM give it plenty of power, so it flies through menus and handles games and movies super smoothly.

Value for money

Not many people are going to buy these handsets outright due to their premium price tags. Monthly deals are a better bet, as they spread the cost over two years.

But the good news is that both hold their resale value, so you'll get some cash back when you upgrade. You can currently pick up a second-hand iPhone 6 for around £400, and a Galaxy S6 for £420.


  • The S6 offers more freedom to customise your phone.
  • Samsung's TouchWiz user interface is inconsistent and nowhere near as clean as Apple's iOS.
  • The iPhone 6 is easier to get to grips with and more of a pleasure to use.
  • For the first time, Samsung's phone has a slightly better camera than the iPhone, helped by the inclusion of optical image stabilisation.
  • Though the iPhone 6's screen is perfectly capable, the S6's screen is bigger and better.
  • If you want the extras, and will be watching a lot of films on your phone, go for the S6.
  • If you like simplicity and ease of use, the iPhone 6 is the better handset.

For years, Samsung has been playing catch-up. With this latest effort it has finally matched, and in many aspects, trumped Apple.

It's a points decision rather than a knockout blow. But we're awarding this one to Samsung.

Category: Reviews

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