Mobile Phones are always changing. It only takes one year for a new iPhone to come out with new features, and all of the other manufacturers follow suit. Without regarding spin offs such as the Note series, the Edge Series, etc, Samsung bring out a new flagship galaxy phone at about the same schedule. Furthermore, LG Electronics Inc. (KRX:066570) is currently surprising everyone and winning the hearts of many reviewers with their yearly G series, and this isn’t even regarding all of the other manufacturers; HTC, Sony, etc.
Today if you want to pick between the best phones, your choices really are either the iPhone 6, the Samsung Galaxy S6, and the LG G4. These phones are the pinnacle of what each company can achieve, and they have packed all of the latest electronics and software into each one.
So how do they all stack up? Well…
If you are already within Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ecosystem, i.e. you own a Mac or are upgrading an iPhone, the iPhone 6 will almost certainly be your best choice. This is because all of your apps will only work on this device, and not an Android phone. Furthermore, the iPhone offers many features that makes life with a Mac much, much easier.
One thing that might shock you about the iPhone 6 in comparison to other Apple phones is how much bigger it is. Apple have started taking hints from other phone manufacturers and have increased the screen size, with the iPhone 6 now sporting a 4.7 inch screen, up by 0.7 from the 4 inches of the iPhone 5. This may not sound like a lot, but when you have it in your hands, you will certainly both feel and see the difference.
That size of a screen though wouldn’t be much use if it wasn’t high quality. The iPhone 6 boasts a retina display with a pixel density far higher than any iPhone before. Furthermore, using special technology, the screen is possible to be seen in bright light, meaning that there is no need to dive into the shade any more when it is sunny outside and you want to send a text message or check the internet.
As usual for an Apple product, the iPhone is, just simply, the most beautiful phone you can buy. It’s slim, and made of premium metals that make it feel as if you are holding something more than just a mere phone. Almost seamless, the Apple iPhone 6 feels like it was simply formed instead of being made out of many different parts.
The iPhone 6 is really powerful as well. It comes with a A8 processor, which comes out even when just navigating the phone. If you’ve used an iPhone 5 before you know that launching apps can sometimes take a while. With the power of the iPhone 6, everything loads instantly and apps run super smoothly.
The iPhone 6 is also a great fit for fitness freaks. If you have an Apple Watch, which won’t work with an Android device, then the iPhone can make tracking your health really simple. Furthermore, it comes inbuilt with some special sensors and apps, which allow you to keep track of your steps, allowing you to easily keep track of what you need to do.
The iPhone is also useful for power users. One benefit of bigger phones are bigger batteries, and this iPhone can last almost a full two days on one full charge (although obviously less if you use more apps than the average person). This means that you can easily get through the day and charge it up over night without worrying about your usage.
Apple’s iPhones are also the only phones to use iOS, and version eight, included in the new phone, carries on with Apple’s tradition of making powerful, yet simple to use software. Compared to all the Android phones in this article, Apple certainly is the easiest to use, and if you have ever used an iPod touch or a iPhone before, everything will be instantly familiar to you.
The new Handoff and Continuity feature also make the iPhone perfect for any professional user. If you have started working on an email or important document on your evening travel home, you can use these features to instantly start back at work once you are in front of your Mac. Someone sends you a text message or a call? Answer straight on your Mac while your phone is on the other side of your room, They’ve invited you to a bar? You can head right there, using Handoff to put the few finishing touches to your work on the way. It is a revolutionary feature that will help you both work and play more.
And of course, the iPhone also includes Apple’s amazing voice assistant, Siri. With Siri, you can speak the most common actions you want to do with your phone, or ask it a question such as “Which restaurant should I go to?” Your iPhone will answer, with just enough personality to make the feature fun to use, without too much fun getting in the way of the information or tasks that you want to do. It may seem a bit weird talking to your phone at first, but very soon, you get very used to asking it to change your appointments, to book tickets for you, or perform all of your internet searches.
And last, but not least, is the iPhone 6’s camera. The iPhones have always been regarded for having amazing quality pictures, and the new iPhone is no exception to this.
Although it may not seem as powerful as the other phones in this article, the 8 Megapixel camera on the iPhone 6 can actually take some really stunning shots despite it’s low pixel count. This is because there is a special kind of sensor in it that can automatically focus on the image, making everything completely and utterly crisp. It can also shoot full, high resolution 1080p video, meaning that everything you capture will look great on every device. And of course, it now shoots slow motion video. You will spend weeks playing about with this feature, making every action you record seem elegant and graceful.
Apple iPhones are really common, with over 700 Million iPhones having been sold since the very first model. But, as popular as they are, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider some of your other options.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Starting off behind Apple, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005930) has slowly turned itself around and has become a contender for the king of smart phones. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is the latest of Samsung’s Flagship devices; that is, the device that will be used as a measuring stick for all of the Samsung phones during this cycle of releases.
If you have ever held most of Samsung’s phones before, you know that they can feel cheap, even though you know that the inside is full of space-age technology. That isn’t the case with the Galaxy S6. Instead of the plastics of before, Samsung now use premium feeling glass and metal, finally matching up the power of the inside with a beautiful, powerful body.
It’s not just looks though. The Samsung Galaxy S6 is made of scratch resistant metal, and the screen is made of Gorilla Glass 4, meaning that the phone can handle a lot of damage and abuse before showing even a small scratch.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 even has a range of features that are easy to notice and set it far apart from the iPhone. For example, Samsung have included an IR remote to the phone, so that you can easily change the TV channel with your phone (and, if you are feeling like a prankster, play tricks with the TVs in bars and restaurants). Do you want to track your health and heart rate? The Samsung Galaxy S6 can also do that, with an inbuilt heart rate sensor.
Samsung Galaxy’s screen is also, in a word, stunning. Packing more pixels than the iPhone 6’s, and standing at 5.1 inches, the screen remains as crisp and elegant as ever. The graphics simply pop out at the eye.
Although the Samsung Galaxy S6 smart phone’s camera stands at 16 Megapixel, the software and sensors aren’t quite as good as the iPhone 6, meaning that the pictures, even with the higher amount of pixels, simply just aren’t as good as the iPhone 6’s. This camera difference is especially easy to see in low light conditions, with the Samsung S6 struggling to take quite as great pictures, especially as the camera only uses a single LED as opposed to the Apple iPhone 6’s dual LED flash. It can, however, shoot 4k Video, well above the iPhone’s 1080p maximum, If you have already invested in a 4k Television, or expect to buy one in the future, this would be a key reason to consider a Galaxy S6 instead of an iPhone 6.
The battery life is also worse than the iPhone 6. One of the problems with Android is how it handles its applications. Sometimes, you will think you will have closed an app, but instead, it still lives on in the background, draining your battery power without you realizing. On some days, you might actually be able to get more out of the Samsung Galaxy S6 than the iPhone, but on others, you might not even last the whole day without having to search for a plug socket.
One other problem with the Samsung Galaxy series has also always been the OS. Android has been criticized in the past for being an ugly system to use on a phone, especially in comparison with iOS. Samsung phones, such as the Galaxy S6, add their own flavor and decorations onto Android, and Samsung has always been slammed for being ugly. The S6… is still the same. Samsung’s flair flicker though it, and you don’t need to be a design wiz to recognize that the icons and color gradients don’t always match what is going on with the rest of the screen.
Most Samsung Galaxy S6s will also come with a bunch of apps included, some which you will never use, and yet they will remain on your phone, taking up room both on your app screen and in your phone’s memory.
There are, however, some saving graces with these included apps. Samsung have included a line of apps within the device, and unlike other versions of these apps, you won’t be hitting the Google Play App Store to start finding a replacement straight away.
For example, if you are a fan of Pandora, Spotify, or Google Music, then you will really want to give Milk a try. Included with all Galaxy S6’s, this is Samsung’s answer to streaming music, and it is an amazing service.
S-Health, another included app which integrates with the Heart Rate Sensor, is also another amazing Samsung program you will actually want to use this time around. As well as keeping track of your exercise, you can monitor your food intake, how much sleep you are getting, and how much exercise you are doing. All in all, if you want to become healthier, and don’t have an Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a great choice. If you are a beginner to exercise, S-Health also comes with handy instructions on how to begin your journey, as well providing helpful hints of encouragement on the way. Although still damaged by the horrible Samsung graphics, it really is an incredible app.
Some users who have come to the Samsung Galaxy S6 from other Samsung phones might be a little disappointed though. Samsung have, unfortunately, followed the trend of other large phone manufactures and have removed the Micro SD slot and the removal battery. This means that if the battery goes on the phone, you will either have to take it into a shop or buy complex tools to try and replace the phone yourself (and remove your phone’s warranty). Whereas the lack of Micro SD means you have to rely on the phone’s storage being able to fit all of your needs, without any possibility of upgrading it.
If the iPhone is for design students, and the Samsung Galaxy is for the everyday man, then the LG G4 is for the professional, the ones always on top of the latest tech, and the pioneers.
Although the number in it’s name is 2 behind the iPhone 6 and the Galaxy S6, the LG G4 far outstrips both in power and features. All of this does, however, come at a price in usability and software.
So, what is better? Everything. The LG G4 has a 16 Megapixel back camera and an 8 Megapixel front camera. Compared that to the Apple iPhone’s 8 Megapixel back 1.2 Megapixel front and the Galaxy’s 16 Megapixel back and 5 Megapixel front.
And this time, unlike the Galaxy, the software on the LG G4 matches the power the camera. One thing which helps the software does its job is the way the lens on the LG G4 has been designed to let in as much light as possible. After that, a great stabilizer software in the camera will make even your most shaky shots come out straight and well aligned.
With the actual phone camera app though, you will need to already have a bit of knowledge of photography, or learn it. But, once you have mastered the settings, you can take the best pictures of any camera on the market. Any user of professional cameras, such as a Canon DSLR, will be impressed with the amount of settings that are able to be tweaked on this phone. Unlike almost all smart phones (and especially the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6) it allows you to save your images as a RAW file, meaning that you can edit them in the highest quality possible in Photoshop (something professional photographers will love).
Not keen to follow others, LG have made this phone stand out with a quite ingenious idea; the power and volume keys can actually be found on the back of the phone, just underneath the camera. Although this take a bit of getting used to, it’s actually really useful. When you are taking a picture, the back of your hand can adjust zoom and take the picture, making the whole process feel a lot more elegant than other phones.
As it has been made for power users, the LG G4, unlike the Galaxy S6, includes expandable memory slots, being able to take both standard MicroSD cards, and the new standards of microSDHC, and microSDXC. If this means nothing to you, just know that the end result is that one day you’ll be able to increase the memory of the phone to 2048 GB, which is more room than most modern computers.
The battery is also the longest lasting of all the phones. If you were to just be talking on the phone constantly, the phone would last up to 19 hours, beating the Apple iPhone by five hours. You would be able to use it heavily through the day, go to sleep, forget to charge it, wake up, and still have enough juice left to be able to entertain yourself with a few games of Candy Crush on the way to work.
Perhaps one reason to not consider the LG G4 is if you don’t like big or heavy phones. It weights more than either the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6, and is also bigger in width, height, and depth than both phones. This means that if you put it in any tight pocket, it will be instantly noticeable.
The OS is also a lot nicer than the Samsung Galaxy S6. The LG branded version of Android is a lot more like the beautiful, pure Google version of Android. Perhaps the only problem is the sound effects, which although they sound cute at first, will very shortly start to annoy you. Thankfully, you can turn these sounds off.
Perhaps another thing that sets out the LG G4 though is its design. Whereas it could actually be pretty easy to confuse the Galaxy S6 and the iPhone 6 with each other, the LG G4 sets its own unique look. The phone is just ever so slightly curved, making it easier to both hold and reducing the chances that it will shatter when you drop it. The LG G4 can be upgraded from it’s plastic back to a really premium feeling leather back, completing it’s status as the business phone.
Each of these phones are fit for a different person.
If you are already a member of the Apple Cult, or already have iPhone apps and games, then you certainly need to pick the iPhone 6. If you aren’t, but you are thinking of jumping in, the iPhone 6 is a great choice with it’s ease of use, great “point-and-click” camera, and range of impressive and enhanced features.
If, on the other hand, you prefer a little bit more power in your phones, and don’t mind that much about taking photos, then the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a great choice. It is also perfect if you are rough on phones with it’s powerful metal design and practically unbreakable Gorilla Glass 4 screen.
And if you are either a photography genius, or want something that bucks trends while still being an amazingly powerful and seriously cool piece of tech, then make the LG G4 the phone of your choice. And set aside a few hours to get used to how to use it and its camera app.
But really, no matter what phone you use, these latest phones all represent years and years of research, development and design. Whatever one you pick, you will not be disappointed.