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Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Price

Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Samsung Galaxy S6 is its price. SIM-free prices start from £559.99 (US$750, AU$999) for the 32GB model, which is iPhone 6 money.

It is actually possible to get the phone for around £500 (US$650) if you shop around online, but I'm not talking about anything approaching bargain territory here, regardless of how good the phone is.

Of course, similar accusations of priciness were levelled at the Galaxy Note 4 upon its release. Even now that it's no longer the fresh-faced darling of the Samsung range, it still isn't cheap through official channels.

At the time of writing, Samsung lists the Note 4 as being available for £569 (roughly US$880, AUS$1,138) – and that's a "special Offer" apparently, with a claimed £40 knocked off.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

This being a slightly older phone, of course, it doesn't take too much shopping around online to get a large discount on that price. Amazon currently offers a phone-only Note 4 for £440 (US$550, around AU$750). That's a huge saving (when it's in stock), and suddenly makes it look like quite a bargain.

I'd give the value for money nod to the Galaxy Note 4 here, then. While many would understandably argue that the Galaxy S6 is priced like an iPhone 6 because it's built and performs to that standard, a wider look at the market will tell you that Android phones simply don't hold their price like Apple's do.

While you'll pay the full amount for the latest iPhone right up until it's replaced after a full 12 months, I can almost guarantee that you'll be able to get a sizeable saving on the Galaxy S6 within six months of its release.

Unless money really is no object and you want the very best Android phone right now, we'd urge patience when buying a Galaxy S6, if not quite caution. Let's not be too stingy here – this is arguably the best Android phone out there, after all.

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Verdict

It's clear to see that Samsung has taken some massive strides forward in the six months between the release of the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy S6, but that doesn't mean the S6 is the best choice for everyone.

The Galaxy S6 is clearly the prettier, more premium looking and feeling phone. Its smooth glass back and sculpted edges are a big step up form the plastic back of the era culminating in the Note 4.

Of course, the Note 4 has metal edges of its own, and its plastic back and functional design make you less paranoid about picking up little nicks and scratches from looking at it the wrong way.

Similarly, while the Galaxy S6 has the better quality display with superior brightness and colour accuracy, the Note 4 wears its QHD resolution better. It feels far better suited to a 5.7-inch panel than the S6's 5.1-inch equivalent.

Of course, 5.7 inches will be too big for most normal smartphone users. The Note 4 is a big phone, no doubt about it, and it's simply not comfortable to carry around in most regular pockets. The S6, by contrast, slips into a trouser pocket without issue.

The trade-off for this impracticality is greater productivity potential, and the Note 4's S Pen stylus remains a uniquely essential tool for a certain, small subset of power users.

Both phones are powerful enough to make differences in performance largely a matter of benchmark comparisons and stat obsessives, but the Galaxy S6 is undoubtedly the more future-proof on this front

So, chic style and range-topping power, or raw, rugged productivity? That's the choice put before you with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy S6 will be the better phone for more people, we suspect, but then the Note 4's lower price (if you shop around) redresses the balance significantly.