Samsung Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus? Foot in Each Camp...

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by EmmaBeth, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. EmmaBeth macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Yes, another thread about these. I know.

    1. I'm not someone who switches phones frequently. I've had all of two smart phones in total, both Android: an HTC Incredible, and (currently) a Samsung Galaxy S3. Honestly there's nothing wrong with the S3 even now (it's still pretty fast, and I'm getting enough battery life to get me through the work day), but I've been eligible for an upgrade (Verizon) for some time, and I'm researching. Whatever it is will need to last me awhile--likely two to three years.

    2. I don't have an iPad, nor do I make many iTunes purchases, but I do have a MacBook Pro, and like the idea of being able to sync music and documents-in-progress easily. This leads me to wonder what it would be like to have an iPhone. I'm also attracted to how clean and simple iOS is--though, granted, I have no first hand experience.

    3. However, I tend to use G-mail and Google Drive for jotting down notes to carry on elsewhere, especially since I use a PC at work, and it's familiar. I also use Google for managing my calendar. And though I don't use a ton of widgets, I like them. Also the back button and notification LED. But those aren't deal breakers.

    4. My primary phone uses are pretty light: I use it for web browsing on the go, social media, texting (much more than actual calling), watching YouTube videos, basic camera use, some simple games (Candy Crush level things), listening to music (that, above all), and calendar/to-dos. In other words, there should be more than enough apps in either eco-system to get me by, and I'm not going to miss anything major either way. I also use my phone for reading and light document editing, when I can't get to something better.

    5. I like big screens and I cannot lie. I poked around at the Verizon store, and (especially since I don't own a tablet), I'm intrigued by the phablet class devices. I do carry my phone in my back pocket some of the time, but not when sitting, and most of the time I have a bag or jacket. I think I could work with the size, and they just seem more functional for most of what I do.

    6. One final note: I live in an area with rather poor cell reception. Although I don't talk on the phone a *huge* amount, radio signal is still important to me.

    I've pretty much narrowed my options down to the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus. At that point, I get stuck.

    On the one hand, I crave simplicity and stability, and I think the iPhone might win there--also sounds like its camera works better.. On the other, the S-Pen is cool (I'm someone who does a lot of jotting handwritten notes), I'm already sort of invested in Google, and the Note 4 is less expensive.

    Any thoughts? I know, I know, I need to make up my own mind, but hoping those of you with more extensive experience might have more insight.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say the Note 4 will have more to offer for you based on what you wrote.

    You're not really enmeshed in the apple ecosystem, but you do use Google's services. Go for the note.
  3. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    I would ask you kindly please look over the threads here

    Pretty much everything is covered in that thread - including the inevitable bickering that sadly follows the topic.

    There is another thread also covering the exact same thing here

    This one was closed because of the inevitable bickering.


    I also attach a response I gave to someone lately deciding between a Moto X & iPhone 6 Plus. The response remains valid here

  4. machtv macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2014
    i say get the note4 cause even tho you don't plan on using the phone hard core. you never know when you might just need to do somthing and the note4 is the one the will do it. the note4 can do everything the iphone can do. but there are many things the note4 can do that the iphone just can't. when you need something to just work. the note4 will get the job done.
  5. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    I'll echo MRU's sentiments - either way, you can't go wrong.

    That being said, I'm an Apple guy and I think you'd find Continuity, iCloud services and the iPhone extremely simple and more than useful enough for your needs.

    Being able to start a document one place, and pick it up on another device, without saving or any additional input is great. I actually really like the handoff features as well. Photos are saved across all devices automatically and everything from mail to music to notes are synced seamlessly behind the scenes.

    That all being said, here's something (perhaps a big sway one way or another) that I feel people should ALWAYS consider - it's one of the main reasons I stay firmly implanted in the iOS camp:

    What do those with whom you share and communicate most use? Are they iPhone users primarily or Android? Or a mix?

    I've found that when I went to Android, it wasn't so much my own difficulties getting used to a new OS, but the frustration in communicating and sharing with all my iPhone using friends and family (literally everyone I communicate with is on an iPhone save for my sister and brother-in-law) held me back from really enjoying the platform.

    There were other things I still preferred about iOS, so I wasn't too upset to move back. But communication and sharing with friends and family were big factors for me.

    Just my $0.02. Enjoy whatever decision you make! You'll undoubtedly have a wonderful device!
  6. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2014
    I would say my friends and family are a mix, though slightly skewed toward iPhone. Curious, how is communicating iPhone to iPhone different? I know iMessage allows larger attachments and isn't quite like normal text messages, but that's about all I know.
  7. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    As someone who has (and still is) vacillated between these 2 beasts it seems like the Note 4 might be a bit better for you. Of course the note taking is without comparison. The reception is slightly better on the Note 4 in my experience. You already mention you use a lot of Googles ecosystem which translates much better on an android device. You also mention calendar, which IMO is utterly abominable on iOS and I haven't found a decent calendar app alternative.

    I currently am on a ip6+, I sold my Note 4 because it was an AT&T locked down one but I'm considering grabbing a tmobile one just to be able to swap them back and forth, that's how much I like them both.
  8. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    Ha, my sentiments exactly. I wish there was a Yota phone but with Note 4 on one side and 6+ on the other :)
  9. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    For me......

    My house has a radiant barrier (helps save on cooling costs during hot Texas summers) which really jacks up my cellular signal. Generally, I can't get a signal in my house. The iPhone (with iMessage and FaceTime Audio) allow me to make calls and send messages over WiFi. This is immensely important - otherwise, my wife can't get a hold of me and I can't be reached at home.

    I've had little things like having contact cards sent to me being easy to simply tap-hold and add to my list from iMessage - not to mention all the new iMessage features (naming group threads, leaving group messages, photo summaries, location alerts etc). iMessage is a HUGE plus for the iPhone. There are plenty of great messaging apps available for Android devices, but then I have to convince my family and friends to download said apps, sign up and then remember to message me through that app as opposed to the default iMessage.

    Another one I like is Photo sharing via iCloud and Shared PhotoStreams. A lot of people get similar functionality out of cloud services like DropBox or GoogleDrive, but since the iCloud and SPS features are built into the default Photos app, all my friends & family who use iPhones automatically use them.

    I can AirDrop photos (and just about anything else) when in range and they show up right in the photos app. If the person I'm sharing with is far away, opening up a new shared photostream is awesome for sharing a group of photos quickly. My wife and I will be thinking about our first kid soon and I'm looking forward to being able to share photos of him/her with my parents and grandparents easily by adding them all to a Shared PhotoStream. If my mom happens to watch the child regularly, she could upload photos or videos of things we might've missed to the same stream.

    It's just all very seamless. As far as default services and apps go, I really find iOS to be second-to-none. Obviously, a big plus for Android is the ability to customize and find apps/services that work best for you. I find I don't need to do any searching because Apple has created such a great ecosystem in which to live and work.

    These are the most prominent examples for me (the things I do regularly and found more of a nuisance on Android). I also have all of my music in iTunes (although that wasn't difficult to port over to GoogleMusic and I has it set up to automatically sync so that whenever I bought something from iTunes it would show up on my Nexus 5 almost instantaneously) and most of my movies through iTunes as well....I have AppleTVs on all my home sets and run everything off my home iMac.

    I'm pretty much all-in on the Apple ecosystem and I really wouldn't change anything about it.

    My only gripe about iOS is Email attachments. While I think the Mail app is top-notch, the attachment system is terrible and needs to be addressed. But my guess is we'll see an expansion of iCloud Drive and it'll get taken care of.


    I'd characterize my calendar use to be pretty basic, so I'm simply asking because of my own ignorance and curiosity.....

    What specifically about the iOS Calendar app is so appalling? And what features could/should be added to make it better?
  10. Bahroo macrumors 68000

    Jul 21, 2012
    Its a good simple calendar app, what else do you expect from a calendar lol. You can use Google Calender/other substitutes if you really wanted too
  11. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Ahh the sickness continues, when will it end?!!? :D


    My main gripe is when they changed the calendar view in iOS7. Prior to that you could see month view and it would show all your daily appointments, this was important for me to see at a glance. Now you have to either click on each particular day, or have have the split view month/agenda open, which still only shows one day. It just slows down my productivity quite a bit as I need to see a list of appointments in the monthly view.

    I do use the app Calendars (with a S) and it works pretty decently, but I just found the stock android (or possibly it was touchwiz) app to be a bit better in functionality.

    I'm also not sure about syncing with my desktop and/or the web, I'm sure it does somehow I just never delved too far into it. Google is nice because it's ubiquitous, I can get my calendar anywhere I have internet access. Outlook is nice as well in this regards, although Google has a better calendar service IMO.
  12. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    If you want that S-Pen, your decision is clear.

    If that isn't a deciding factor, I don't think you can go wrong either way. Regarding 'sync music' I highly recommend just using Google Music. I never ever will use iTunes again.

    Just about every Google app is available on iOS. Wouldn't worry on that front.

    I think the 6 Plus is the better overall camera. Especially considering low light.

    I miss having a notification light. You'll have to decide if you can stand losing it.

    IMO apps are better designed on iOS compared to their Android counterparts.

    I think the 6 Plus is easier to carry around because it's thinner.

    You can't go wrong with either choice. I'm coming from 18 months of Android phone use. The only things I truly miss are the notification light and the better notification system in general. iOS still feels scattered in that regard. Otherwise I love my Plus.
  13. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    It's all on if you aren't on a Mac. If you are on a Mac, the Calendar syncs with the Calendar app on your computer same as any of the other first party services/apps from Apple.

    I get what you're saying though. Appreciate the explanation! There are oftentimes instances when I'm limited in my thinking based on how I use certain apps/features. In the cases where my use case is likely simplified, it's nice to learn about how others utilize the same apps either in a more productive/complex manner or how improvements would make the apps better overall.


    Interesting. I actually find iOS's notifications far more useful and organized. The Notification Center and Today view are awesome - I like having my widgets and useful information a pull away while not cluttering my home screen.

    I also find the push notifications to be easily customizable and now that they are actionable its that much better.
  14. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    Great observations......everytime I switch from my N4 to 6+ it reminds me how much i miss the back button on my N4.
  15. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Hey, welcome back, though we lost you there.
  16. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    broke the rules.:eek:...but back now
  17. Oohara macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2012
    VB mate! 8)
  18. blairh macrumors 68040


    Dec 11, 2007
    I had one widget when I used Android. And it was a clock. So I can't talk much about the differences in widgets on both platforms.

    Actionable notifications are great but in my experience only really works with text messages.

    I prefer how Android notifications stay in your status bar. I also really miss the notification light and/or active display.


    I honestly don't miss it. Swiping in from the left edge to right now goes back in almost every instance on iOS.
  19. EmmaBeth thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2014
    I launch e-mail, texts, facebook, Twitter, podcasts from the notification screen. I could probably get used to not having those options, but they are nice.
  20. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    Thank you!
  21. SuperPolli macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2013
    New Jersey
    iPhone 6 Plus

    I have a 6 Plus. I'm a relatively large guy and my 6 Plus spends quite a bit of time in my back pocket. No issues. I use a Tech21 impact case, I've used these cases on my iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, and now my 6 Plus. Love them.

    As for Gmail, Google Drive, etc. Google services, they will all work with the iPhone. Gmail, Google Calendars, and Contacts will all function with the built in iOS apps, and the folks at the Apple Store can easily get you set up with that. As for other Google Services, Google has released apps on iOS for basically everything. You would be set there. You really have nothing going against the prospective move to iPhone.
  22. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    I had this same dilemma.

    But last Friday I made decision and went with the Note 4.


    For now, for me, it meets my needs better than the 6+ due to the wider array of tools at its disposal.
  23. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Great points guys. As a recent switcher from the Note 4 to the ip6+ I agree that notifications are better on android, especially in terms of widgets. In iOS they are all stuffed into the notification bar willy nilly and it's hard to distinguish one notification from another. In android each widget has it's information that is separate. Also you can scroll through old information in android, where in iOS once you clear the notification it's gone unless you open the app.

    I also miss the back button.
  24. mib1800 macrumors 68030

    Sep 16, 2012
    I think these 2 phones comparison has been beaten to death. You decide for yourself. For me, it is no doubt Note 4 is better with overwhelming tangible evidences as follows:-

    1. Screen
    - Bigger 5.7in (7 percent more area) in smaller phone size
    - Can use the screen with gloves.
    - QuadHD (500+ vs 400 ppi on 6+), better color, constrast and sunlight readibility

    2. Camera/Video
    - 16MP and 5MP wide-angle front (vs 8MP and 1.2MP for 6+)
    - upto 4K video with stereo sound record (vs 1080p mono)
    - camera software with full manual settings control and many more shooting mode (e.g. selective focus, dual camera shot, super wide angle etc)
    - Better camera overall (front & back):

    3. Battery
    - Better battery life (from these reviews)
    - Removable battery (for uninterrupted use + cheap to replace)
    - fast charging (50% in half-hour) and super-power saver mode (last upto 24hrs on 10% battery)

    4. Hardware
    - 160Gb memory with 128Gb SD card at fraction of cost compared to 6+.
    - USB Host: plug in disk/thumbdrive directly to phone and use as drives. Also compatible with other USB plug-play devices like keyboard, game controller etc.
    - DLNA/Miracast/MHL to stream media or mirror screen at full resolution to compatible TV without need for expensive and bulky AppleTV box.
    - Unrestricted NFC for 3rd party customization. e.g tap NFC sticker in car will auto turn on BT, start music playing, set the phone to "drive" mode and activate turn-by-turn navigation app.
    - Unrestricted WIFI-Direct and BT-transfer support to easily share files between heterogenous phone platforms.
    - IR Blaster - universal infra-red remote control
    - Heart, Sp02 and ultra-violet sensor for health
    - Uses non-proprietary micro-USB (i.e. easily available cables) and micro-SIM (easy swapping of SIM card)
    - Multi-use LED light indicator for events (missed call/sms etc). Also can have repeated sound reminders for missed call/sms/calendar/other events.
    - Dedicated Back + multi-task key to easily navigate UI.

    4. S-Pen + Nice to Have
    - Pressure sensitive hand writing with S-Pen. Easily take note anywhere by just sliding out pen. Drag selection of text/clip image easily. Advance copy-paste and OCR.
    - Smart Stay will keep the screen on if it detects that you are looking at the screen. Smart Rotation to rotate the screen based on the orientation of your eyes and sensor. Reduces all the unwanted screen rotations.
    - Motion/Gesture control - flip over to silent sound, tilt to zoom, shake to unlock phone, etc
    - Answer phone by pressing Home key.
    - Always listening mode for Google Now/S-Voice (i.e. can wakeup phone from standby with voice). Other like sound/baby detector. Sound activated camera.

    5. Multi-tasking + Multi-Windows
    - Run multiple apps in multiple windows at same time. Popup window for video playback or chat session.
    - Good multi-tasking performance (vs 6+)
    - Intent/event activated multi-tasking. The ability of apps to auto-run in the background when certain events (e.g. receive sms, calendar etc) happen is sorely lacking in iOS. With this capability there are thousands of automation scenarios that can be done in Note 4 but not in 6+. Just a few examples:
    * when a call is started/received, a call recording app is automatically activated to record the ongoing conversation.
    * when the cell ID changes to one near the location of pickup, the app will auto send an SMS to the person to get ready.
    * when an sms arrives from a business contact, an app will write the sms details into a shared google calendar so other people can see.
    * when a calendar meeting event starts/ends, an app will auto turn the phone to vibrate and back again. Another app will auto send SMS wishes if those events are birthday/anniversary.
    * Set phone to only allows calls from "Family" contact group from 12-7am. Plus auto reject any calls that is in the blacklist. You can set-up multiple schedules (much more advance "do not disturb")

    6. User Interface + Customization
    - Many Launchers + Theming capability
    - Able to SEAMLESSLY replace any stock apps with 3rd party apps to upgrade or improve functionalities.
    - Faster scrolling speed -
    - Able to set a reading font size in browser. When zoomed in, text always appear at this specified font size. Text is also reflow to fit the screen for easy reading without side-scrolling.
    - Supports many more media format (avi, mkv, divx) directly without tedious conversion via Itunes. (i.e. transfer files into phone storage via bt,wifi,cloud etc and play).
    - Ability to attach multiple files of any types to email (incl. re-edit re-attach). Ability to edit/view any attachments as long as there is a installed app that handles the file type.
    - File Systems - Files copied to phone storage are accessible by any built-in/3rd party apps. Includes ability to download/save any files from any sources (browser, apps etc) into the phone storage.
    - Easily share any files/contents via any registered share providers (BT, Wifi, cloud storages, social networks, usb etc). You can add new share streams easily (by installing apps).
    - Direct dial/sms with picture icon on desktop or in folder for quick one touch operation. Plus ability to create shortcuts to any files/contents for quick one-touch access.
    - Ability to use "live" wallpaper (in both lock and main screen) or ability to auto-change static wallpaper periodically. Plus use transparent icons without labels on desktop screen.
    - Easily set custom ringtone. Just copy rintone files to phone via any available means (bt, wifi, cloud etc). It will show up in ringtone selection. No need to go thru tedious stps (like in iOS)
  25. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Just to add a couple more pros/cons. My ip6+ gets kind of odd reception, drops data in places my Note 4 didn't.

    I hate talking macro pictures with the Note 4 (and the Note 3 before it) I could never get it to focus anything closer than 3 or 4 inches away. The ip6+ seems to focus much better on macro shots.

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