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5 min read 76 Shares 16 comments

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison: how does Samsung's 2014 phablet hold up now?

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4 are two of the most powerful smartphones on the planet. The S6 has just wowed us at MWC 2015, while the Note 4 currently sits at the top of our best Android phones pile. But what are the major differences? And which is the best device overall? Find out in our Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison.

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The Galaxy S6 (left) vs the Galaxy Note 4 comparison: which device is better? / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Design

The Galaxy S6 is a slim device of glass and metal. The corners are softly rounded and the face and rear are flat. The Gorilla Glass 4-coated front and rear are something completely new from Samsung, and it's one of the best designs the Korean company has ever produced (even though the back quickly attracts fingerprints). 

One of the caveats of the consistent unibody S6 construction is that the battery is non-removable, which is sure to pain some die hard fans. This is definitely an area in which the Galaxy Note 4 wins out. 

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Galaxy S6 (left) next to the bigger Galaxy Note 4 on the right. / © ANDROIDPIT

The Galaxy Note 4 features a metal trim with a raised, textured plastic rear. It's a more angular handset, and the way the back sticks out slightly makes it look less polished and precise than the S6.

The two Samsung devices are also different in regards to the size - the Note 4 with a 5.7-inch display against the 5.1-inch S6. The Note 4 is taller, wider and heavier. 

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The two devices differ in the materials used. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Display

With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has clearly addressed some of the key design concerns which plagued the Galaxy S5, but what of the display? The South Korean company never misses a beat when it comes to screen quality, and you will find a state-of-the Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S6. 

The Note 4 also features a super-bright QHD display, and there isn't much between them. The pixel density of the S6 is a little higher at 577 ppi, compared to the Note 4's 515 ppi. The result is that the Galaxy S6 may appear a tad sharper, but at the cost of a smaller screen. It must be said, however, that these are two of the most beautiful displays on the market. 

s6 vs galaxy galaxy note 4 01
There's not a big difference between the two devices in terms of quality of the display. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Software and performance

Both handsets are running Samsung's TouchWiz UI - the Galaxy S6 with a streamlined Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, and the Note 4 coming with Android 4.4.4 (upgradeable to Lollipop in some territories).

Samsung has included less "bloatware" than ever before on its Galaxy S6, but that's not to say there still aren't a few prepackaged apps present that you may or may not want. Despite this, the OS runs as fast and smoothly as ever, hinting that Samsung's latest edition Exynos CPU is more than capable of handling some excess bloat.

The differences between the two phones' TouchWiz UIs aren't dramatic; where the software really differs is the Note 4's S-Pen stylus functionality. The Note 4's own stylus offers a range of options, from capturing snapshots of text and pictures, to sharing links more efficiently. This is an area where the Galaxy S6 cannot directly compete. 

The S6 has the advantage of a vastly improved fingerprint scanner, and it includes some new gestures and an emergency feature where if you press the power button three times it sends out an SOS message. Here's hoping you don't need to use it!

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Camera

The Galaxy S6 camera is one of the best we've ever seen. It houses the same 16 MP Sony IMX240 sensor as the Galaxy Note 4, but as you should know by now, there is more to good pictures than raw megapixel count.

The S6 camera is faster to activate (double tapping the home button will activate the camera in under a second), with a faster shutter speed. Additionally, the new software provides the following modes: Auto, Pro, Focus, Panning, Slow Motion, Fast Motion, Virtual Shot as well as the ability to shoot in RAW.

The Note 4's camera is also a stunner, but the speed and impressive low-light pictures offered by the Galaxy S6  means it is hands-down the victor.

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As you can see from this picture, the S6 camera looks very promising. / © ANDROIDPIT

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Specs

  Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung Galaxy Note 4
OS Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, TouchWiz Android 4.4.4 KitKat, TouchWiz (planned upgrade to Lollipop imminent)
Display 5.1-inch Super AMOLED QHD 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi) 5.7-inch Super AMOLED 2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
Processor Exynos 64-bit, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (SM-N910S)
RAM 3 GB  3 GB
Internal memory 32/64/128 GB non-expandable 32 GB + microSD
Battery 2550 mAh (non-removable) 3220 mAh (removable)
Camera 16MP (rear), 5MP (front) 16 MP (rear), 3.7 MP (front)
Connectivity HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1
Dimensions 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
Weight 138 g 176 g
Price 649 USD for the 32 GB model, 749 USD for the 64 GB and 849 USD for the 128 GB model.

About 649 USD 32 GB

Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4: Battery

The Galaxy Note 4 has a 3,220 mAh battery complete with Samsung's "fast charging" capabilities. In contrast, the Galaxy S6 has only a 2,550 mAh. Samsung's Galaxy S6 battery might sound pretty small considering it powers a QHD display and octa-core processor, but it can (natively) charge wirelessly, and it supports even faster charging than the Note 4 (supposedly adding 4 hours of battery life in just a 10-minute charge). You'll have to wait until our full review to get the big picture on the Galaxy S6's battery life. 

Conclusion

The Galaxy S6 looks and feels better than the Galaxy Note 4. It's slimmer, lighter, more stylish and easier to handle. It also has an improved camera, faster processor and is quicker to charge. Aesthetics and specs-wise, it's a clear winner. 

Where the Galaxy Note 4 will sell it to you is its unique S-Pen stylus. If you desire a larger screen and the phablet experience, there is nothing quite like the Note 4, and it still holds up 6 months after release as one of the very best handsets ever designed. The Galaxy Note 4 also has a removable battery, and this is something of an essential feature for many people. 

Which device would you prefer? A Galaxy Note 4 or a Galaxy S6?

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Readers' favorite comments

  •   16
    Richard Yarrell Mar 7, 2015

    After owning the Galaxy Note, Note2, Note3 and Note4 I will be buying the Galaxy Note 5 when it arrives in October without fail.

    But I applaud Samsung and it's new Galaxy S line products the Sline needed a rebirth and I am very proud of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

    I will be buying the Galaxy S6 Edge on May 1st my first Galaxy since the S3.

    Nothing on the market today tops the Galaxy Note 4 and when the S6 and S6 Edge arrives they will be joining the Galaxy Note 4 and NoteEdge at the top of the food chain.

  • Melissa Mar 7, 2015

    S5 or Note 4 all the way baby!!!

16 comments

Write new comment:
  • Tagont May 20, 2015 Link to comment

    If they were going to give us a phone with a sealed battery at least make it a decent size. At least 3500mah

  • Just bought the Note 4 after owning the s3, s4, & s5. I think the s6 is AMAZING, and I really wanted it, but the non removable battery, and no SD card was a deal breaker for me... I'm bummed the Note 4 doesn't have some of the upgraded features as the s6, but so far I really like it. I'm hoping the Note 5 will be similar to the s6 but keep the SD card and removable battery.

  • my main problem with the S6 is the finger prints that Show upon the back I thought my note 4 screen- should print but think about having to clean the back and the front what the hell was they thinking then should have made it out of metal or something

  • i was going to get the s6 til but then i fell in love with the note 4 this will be the first phone i keep for a 6 months maybe even longer if they put a glass back like the s6 on the note 5

  • "Aesthetics and specs-wise, it's a clear winner." - With no SD card or removable battery? Fail

  • so what is with the upgrade to 5.0.1 from the simlock free note 4 phones???

  • My1 Mar 8, 2015 Link to comment

    S6 was KO from the start, no msd plus no battery change -> crap

  • The best move for the S6 is the speaker 🔊 on the bottom vs rear facing. Think Sammie will finally get the Note 5 right?

  • Note 4 I'd the clear preference. However, both devices are very expensive. I'm happy with my NEXUS 5 so at these prices, I may wait for the Note 5 if it will have removable battery. Otherwise I may upgrade to Zenfone 3 or OneOlus One or Nexus 6 (too large and expensive), unless Google comes up with the new Nexus 5, 2015. These are clear choices. Fair enough?

  • And for me after owning Note 1,2,3 and Edge, I'm waiting for Note 5, cuz ,Note 5 will have the same specs as S6 for sure and with bigger display and maybe the lines of Note Edge ;)

  •   16

    After owning the Galaxy Note, Note2, Note3 and Note4 I will be buying the Galaxy Note 5 when it arrives in October without fail.

    But I applaud Samsung and it's new Galaxy S line products the Sline needed a rebirth and I am very proud of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

    I will be buying the Galaxy S6 Edge on May 1st my first Galaxy since the S3.

    Nothing on the market today tops the Galaxy Note 4 and when the S6 and S6 Edge arrives they will be joining the Galaxy Note 4 and NoteEdge at the top of the food chain.

  • Ethan Mar 7, 2015 Link to comment

    Really besides maybe when opening the camera, I can't believe you would actually be able to see any speed different between the two. I still believe the note 4 is the top of the line and still better than the s6. It is also very annoying to see them promoting this "new SOS" feature in the power button. Both the Note 4 and the S5 have this feature.

  • Melissa Mar 7, 2015 Link to comment

    S5 or Note 4 all the way baby!!!

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