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iPhone 6S vs. Galaxy S6: Who wins the war in specs?

The iPhone 6S might look a lot like the iPhone 6, but it has been upgraded in just about every other way. It has more RAM, a better processor, and improved cameras. It even comes with brand new software, featuring 3D Touch. On the downside, the iPhone 6S is thicker, weighs more, and has a smaller battery.

Apple is confident that the iPhone 6S is the best iPhone ever, and rightfully so. But how does it stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S6? Let’s get a closer look with our comprehensive spec sheet and analysis as we pitch iPhone 6S vs. Galaxy S6.

Related: Spec showdown: iPad Pro vs. Surface Pro 3

Apple iPhone 6S

iPhone 6S

Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Size 138 x 67 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) 143 x 71 x 6.8 mm (5.65 x 2.78 x 0.27 in)
Weight 143 grams 138 grams
Screen 4.7-inch Retina HD (IPS LCD) 5.1-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution 1,334 x 750 pixels 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
OS iOS 9 Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with TouchWiz
Storage 16/64/128GB 32/64/128GB
SD Card Slot No No
NFC support Yes Yes
Processor Apple, 64-bit A9 chip Exynos 7420 octa-core 2.1 + 1.5 GHz
RAM 2GB 3GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi, 4G, LTE, HSPA+ Wi-Fi, 4G LTE, HSPA+
Camera Front 5MP, Rear 12MP Front 5MP, Rear 16MP
Video 2160p 4K UHD 2160p 4K UHD
Bluetooth Yes, version 4.2 Yes, version 4.1
Fingerprint sensor Yes, Touch ID 2 Yes
Water Resistant No No
Battery 1,715mAh 2,550mAh
Charger Lightning Micro USB
Quick Charging No *** Yes
Wireless Charging No Yes, Qi and PMA
Marketplace Apple App Store Google Play Store
Ave. Price $650, $200 with a two-year contract $650, $200 with a two-year contract
Color offerings Gold, silver, space gray, and rose gold Black, blue, white, gold
Availability Sept. 25 on AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile
DT Review Coming soon Editors’ Choice

Power

The iPhone was never considered a power house, but it never needed to be because the iOS user interface generally doesn’t require all that much. However, new this year is 3D Touch, which will need some extra power to keep things running smoothly. The iPhone 6S features a 64-bit A9 chip, which is supposed to be 70 percent faster on the CPU side and 90 percent faster on the graphics side than the A8 chip on iPhone 6. Couple this with an upgrade to 2GB of RAM, and this is the most powerful iPhone ever.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S6 is one of the most powerful phones in the universe thanks to Samsung’s own Exynos 7420 processor. This is an octa-core 64-bit chip consisting of four Cortex-A57 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores. The Galaxy S6 also features 3GB of RAM.

Related: iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Hands On

On paper, we have to give Samsung the win, but the proof of the pudding will be in the software performance. Apple will likely have iOS 9 fine-tuned to perfection, which means you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.

Winner: Galaxy S6

Productivity

Apple stepped up its game with a brand new 3D Touch interface, which allows users to interact with apps in a more efficient way because the iPhone 6S can detect how hard you’re pressing on the display. The new Peek feature allows you to see information quicker. For example, a popup can show you the contents of an email or a restaurant’s phone number in Maps. Pop allows you to start actions without opening apps. This means that you can place a phone call, without actually opening the phone app.

It remains to be seen if consumers will appreciate these new features, but the Galaxy S6 lacks anything similar. In Samsung’s defense, the Note series offered similar features through its S Pen technology, but no one really cared about them. The Galaxy S6 does offer a different way to be productive and that’s through the ability to display multiple apps on the screen at the same time. This is something that Apple only allows on its iPads.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S6 review

Productivity isn’t always about software, though. The battery is central to any power user. The iPhone 6S actually has a smaller battery than the iPhone 6 (1,715mAh vs 1,810mAh) and it’s too early to tell what the performance will be like. On the other hand, the Galaxy S6 has a bigger battery (2,550mAh), but battery life is dismal at best. On the plus side, the Galaxy S6 has quick charging technology, meaning that it can be charged from 0 to 50 percent in 30 minutes, and from 0 to 100 percent in 90 minutes. The Galaxy S6 also sports both Qi and PMA wireless charging standards, giving users more options to keep their phone charged.

Storage is another consideration, and neither phone offers an option to increase capacity via a MicroSD card. Samsung starts at 32GB for internal storage, whereas Apple offers the iPhone 6S as low as 16GB, which is arguably too little. However, you can buy either phone with up to 128GB of internal storage.

Winner: Tie

Design

The iPhone 6S hasn’t changed appearance-wise from the iPhone 6, but is has been upgraded. The body now has 7000 series aluminum-zinc wrought alloy, which is better than the 6000 series on the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6S is a little thicker and heavier than its predecessor, but we don’t think it’s noticeable.

The Galaxy S6 is the best looking Galaxy S phone ever, with its aluminum frame and glass back. It has a bigger footprint, but we’ll take it, considering it has a larger (5.1-inch vs. 4.7-inch) display. The Galaxy S6 is also thinner, but not by that much (6.8 vs 7.1mm).

When it comes to design, it’s really a matter of preference. Both phones are absolutely gorgeous.

Winner: Tie

Display

The display is probably the only area in which Apple didn’t upgrade on the iPhone 6S. It’s an IPS LCD Retina HD display with a resolution of 1,334 x 750. The Galaxy S6 pushes the limits with its Super AMOLED display and resolution of 2,560 x 1440. When comparing pixels per inch (ppi), the Galaxy S6 comes in at 577 ppi, while the iPhone 6S has 326 ppi. I think we have a clear winner.

Winner: Galaxy S6

Camera

The Galaxy S6 was the first Android phone that could hold its own with an iPhone in the camera department. However, that was with the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6S might have upped the ante with an upgraded 12-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The Galaxy S6 still wins in the megapixels department with 16-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front, but we know that doesn’t always translate into better photos. The same could be argued for the iPhone’s megapixel bump, but 12-megapixels will provide more detail than the iPhone 6’s 8-megapixels. It’s too early to call this one. We need more hands on time with the iPhone 6S.

Related: iPhone 6S and 6S Plus pricing compared

Winner: TBD when we complete our review of the iPhone 6S

Conclusion

I doubt there are too many people on the fence on this one. It seems like iPhone users stick with the iPhone and Android users stick with Android. Although the iPhone 6S is a fantastic phone, it probably isn’t compelling enough to force the satisfied Android user to switch. The same goes for satisfied iPhone users. If you happen to be one of those few people stuck in the middle, you really can’t go wrong with either phone.

Order the iPhone 6s from:

T-Mobile AT&T Verizon Sprint

Order the Galaxy S6 from:

AT&T Verizon Sprint T-Mobile