Sunday 25 September 2016

6 or s6: which one is best for business?

Published 09/07/2015 | 02:30

Samsung s6
Samsung s6
iPhone 6

It's a close call: Samsung is best for technical specifications on power, screen quality and camera while the iPhone rules for software, apps and integration with Irish IT departments.

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But a general rule of thumb: if you're a casual phone user and already use an iPhone, it's best to stick with it. If you're comfortable with Android, the S6 is a treat.

Here's a little more on direct comparisons between the two.

1. Ecosystem: At work, this is crucial. Many businesses (and IT support departments) now default to the iPhone as the standard work mobile device. Some will still support an Android phone like a Samsung S6, but there's no question that Apple has succeeded BlackBerry and Nokia in corporate Ireland. So the iPhone usually trumps others in this area. This will be less important for those who use Google products (such as Docs and Gmail) a lot for work.

2. Battery life: Both these devices have decent, day-long batteries that usually last a day.

3. Screen: This is very important. The 4.7-inch display on the iPhone 6 is really good. But Samsung's 5.1-inch screen is absolutely magnificent, with incredibly vivid detail and colour. (This is backed up by the geek measurement of 'pixels per inch', in which the Samsung rates about 25pc higher than Apple's phone.) So for most, chalk one up to the Korean firm. It's a similar story between the iPhone 6 Plus's 5.5-inch screen and the S6's sister device, the Galaxy Note 4.

4. Physical design: Both these devices are top-end when it comes to looks and handling. Samsung migrated from plastic (in the S5) to metal and glass, bringing it much closer to Apple's lofty design aesthetics.

5. Accessories and other stuff: Are you going to buy an Apple Watch? Then you have to buy an iPhone. There isn't quite as compelling a case to be made for Samsung's S6 as a companion for any of its Android smartwatches, as none are must-have devices.

Samsung does have some nice advantages, such as its wireless charging capability (it has adopted the main industry standards, meaning you can buy wireless charging furniture in Ikea that will work with it.) But overall, Apple has the edge for accessories.

6. Camera: For many, this is very important as your phone is probably now your main camera, too.

Samsung's 16-megapixel S6 beats the 8-megapixel iPhone 6 in most respects, although few will complain about the iPhone's camera. The 6 Plus's camera has some extra advantages, such as anti-shake stabilisation and slow-motion video to 240 frames-per-second.

7. Tech specifications and power: Samsung's S6 model comes with more storage (32GB) than the iPhone 6 base model (16GB) and this is somewhat important - 16GB is barely enough for software updates and photos.

8. Other contenders: The closest rivals to the big two are, in my view, Samsung's Note 4, HTC's One M9 and Sony's Xperia Z3+. Of these, I would choose the Note 4 with the Z3+ next.

In summary: Overall, Samsung has the better technical specifications but the iPhone has the better support and ecosystem. In other words, you have to balance Samsung's slightly better camera, screen and power against the iPhone's (still) superior array of apps and its integration with Apple Macs and upcoming things like Apple Pay.

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