iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6: fight of the flagships

The Samsung Galaxy S7 may be teetering on an official launch, but the Galaxy S6 remains a contender when it comes to choosing a flagship for your pocket.  Until it was kicked out of the number one slot by the Google Nexus 6P, the Samsung Galaxy S6 was owner of our best smartphone title. Apple’s iPhone 6s, meanwhile, came in towards the end of 2015 with minor aesthetic changes to the iPhone 6 but a host of attention grabbing features.

When it comes to choosing a premium handset, both the iPhone 6s and the Samsung Galaxy S6 should automatically earn a place at the very top of your shortlist. But for the final crunch, which one should you choose and what are the key differences?

iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Design

With the iPhone 6s and the Galaxy S6 you’ve got two gorgeous handsets, both flaunting the very best in smartphone design.

Samsung took a big leap with the Galaxy S6, ditching the plastic chassis of the Galaxy S5 and opting for a milled aluminium frame with a shimmering glass back. In hand, the Galaxy S6 feels surprisingly compact considering it’s a 5.1in device, although the metal does make it more slippery.Samsung Galaxy S6 - rear shot

As the iPhone 6s is only an “S” upgrade, there isn’t much in the way of an aesthetic departure from the iPhone 6. However, it’s still an achingly pretty handset, with the smoothly rounded sides and corners of its predecessor. Where it differs is hardiness. The aluminium frame is now built from a stronger alloy – 7000 series aluminium, to be precise – and the screen glass has also been strengthened.

Apple iPhone 6s review: Power button

Both phones are lookers, so you won’t go wrong with either in terms of appearance. The Galaxy S6 is marginally lighter and slimmer at 138g and 6.8mm, compared to the iPhone 6s’ 143g and 7.1mm. If you really want a slender phone the Galaxy S6 may be the one to opt for, but there’s very little difference between the two.

Winner: Draw

iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Display

The S6’s 5.1in Quad HD Super AMOLED display has a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 and a pixel density of 576ppi. The iPhone 6s’ 4.7in LED-backlit IPS LCD has a resolution of 750 x 1,334 and a pixel density of 326ppi. Looking at the figures, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has the edge over the iPhone 6s, but that’s not to say that Apple’s handset is in any way dull or flat.

Samsung Galaxy S6 review - screen

In his testing, Jonathan Bray measured a maximum brightness of 572cd/m² on the iPhone 6s, as well as an eye-popping contrast ratio of 1,599:2 and exemplarily colour accuracy, with the screen covering 95% of the sRGB colour space and its average Delta E. When it comes to brightness, the Galaxy S6 has a comparable figure, managing to reach a brightness of 560cd/m² in auto-brightness mode, or 347cd/m² in manual brightness mode.Apple iPhone 6s review: 3D Touch in action

While the iPhone 6s has fantastic colour accuracy, the Galaxy S6 ultimately beats it with the phone’s Super AMOLED display reproducing an incredible 98.5% of the sRGB colour gamut. For this reason, the Galaxy S6 edges over the iPhone 6s for display.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S6

iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Features

Apple has an ace up its sleeve here: 3D Touch. What does 3D Touch do? In its most basic form, 3D Touch effectively adds a right-click capability to the iPhone 6s. Press the icon of a compatible app on the homescreen a little harder than usual, and up pops a context-sensitive menu, offering options and shortcuts related to the app in question.

Use it with the camera app, for example, and you’ll get Selfie, Video, Slo-mo and Take Photo shortcuts, while Safari offers up links to your reading list and bookmarks, as well as standard and private tab creation.

iPhone 6s review - 3D Touch

The Galaxy S6 may not have anything in the way of comparable headline-grabbing features, but it does have a heap of core features. These include a dedicated heart rate monitor, an infrared transceiver that lets you use your phone as a TV remote, and in-built wireless charging.

The iPhone 6s supports Apple Pay, but the Galaxy S6 will support Samsung Pay when it eventually comes to the UK. The hybrid technology in the Galaxy S6 also means Samsung Pay will work with newer NFC payment terminals, as well as older credit card machines.

Put all this together and, while Samsung Galaxy S6 boasts a number of great features, the iPhone 6s ultimately breaks new ground with 3D Touch and an up-and-running Apple Pay system. 

Winner: iPhone 6s

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