1. JakePleasants's Avatar
    I bought a Note 5 a few days after launch with the intention of trying it out for a couple weeks and then returning it for the iPhone 6S Plus. Why? Because the Notes have always been released shortly after the iPhones and because I always bought the latest iPhones, I never bought a Note because the iPhone was so new. I thought seriously about trying the Note 3 and 4, but because I had just gotten the iPhone 5S and 6 respectively, I never did. Well, this year, Samsung flipped the script and rushed the Note 5 out the door before the iPhone 6S and I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try. I played with it for a minute in the store while I waited and thought it was pretty cool, but fast forward 24 hours, and I was in love. I used it for a month and a half and while I loved it, there was a big problem. I live in a fringe service area where there is a weak signal outside my house and inside, it's even worse. Upstairs, I get one or two bars. Downstairs, I'm lucky to get one. To remedy this, Verizon sent a network extended, but it does not support 4G. So, with my old iPhone 6 Plus, I had to turn off 4G, at which point it connected and worked perfectly. With my Note 5, this isn't possible because there is no setting to toggle 4G without rooting, and rooting isn't possible with the Verizon model. This was an annoyance at first, but once I had a recurring medical problem in which I had to have emergency surgery to correct in April and I was trying to talk to my surgeon to find out what I should do and the phone dropped the call 5 times in a very short conversation, I knew that it just wasn't going to work. So the next day (this past Friday, two days ago) I picked up an iPhone 6S. I had trouble deciding between the 6S and 6S Plus because I had the 6 and 6 Plus and liked the both very much, but after having the Note, I've become jaded regarding the Plus because Apple doesn't treat it like a real phablet. I honestly wasn't expecting to be very happy with either new iPhone because I used iOS for a year solid and just got sick of it and needed a change. I've got to say, though, that I've been very pleasantly surprised. So I thought since I've seen a lot of people switch between these two phones, as well as operating systems, that I would do a comparison, category by category. Bear in mind, though, that this is not a full review, it's a quick comparison of the areas that are most important to me. So, here it goes...

    Design: Both phones are impeccably designed and constructed of the most premium materials. However, this is 100% personal preference, so while I'll give my opinion, I won't spend much time on this portion because it's going to vary person to person. I tend to prefer the design of the Note 5 because it's just so fresh and clean, but I prefer the iPhone 6S for durability. The Note is strikingly beautiful but the chamfered edges are prone to scratches, while the 6S is much more scratch-resistant but bears unsightly antenna lines. The Note also might fare worse in a drop, because both sides are glass and could easily shatter.

    Software: This is probably the biggest difference between the two. The Note runs a light version of TouchWiz over Android Lollipop, of course, while the iPhone runs iOS 9. The Note is all about being open-ended and customizable, while the iPhone is much more enclosed and streamlined. I personally can appreciate both approaches and truly don't prefer one over the other. My favorite new feature of TouchWiz is that it has a built-in theme store to completely change the look and feel of the device on a whim. The themes range from ultra-professional looking to appearing to bear the illustrations of a child with developing motor-skills. With the iPhone, without Jailbreaking, the most you can do to customize the appearance is to change the wallpaper and create various folders for your apps. Stability used to be where iOS was lightyears ahead of Android, but those days are now behind us. I cannot recall a single hiccup in the month and a half that I had my Note, while I've had around 10 stutters and hiccups in the past two days that I've had my 6S. I fully believe that this is very temporary and that Apple will remedy the situation quickly, but it's not something that I remember experiencing with any iPhone launch before.

    Camera: This area is pretty dead-even. Both rear-facing cameras take breathtaking photographs, better than most point-and-shoots. I prefer the flash on the iPhone, though, as it tends to produce more natural colors in the dark. The front facing camera on the Note is sharper, but the 6S isn't far behind.

    Battery Life: This is the area that really surprised me. I was less than thrilled with the battery life when I had my iPhone 6, though it was a little better on my 6 Plus, but I didn't expect good things transitioning to the 6S. I was wrong. I am a fairly heavy user and I haven't yet finished the day with less than 50% battery, versus the typical 30% that I ended with on my Note. Not only is the standby time on the 6S much better than the Note, but it also handles usage better. I often played a matchstick puzzle game on my Note and I had to be careful not to play too long, otherwise I'd have to charge it. That's not a problem with the 6S. The only area in terms of battery and charging where the Note clearly has an advantage is the fact that it supports both fast charging and wireless charging (and a combination of the two with fast wireless charging).

    Display: This, to me, is no contest. The Note 5 has, hands down, the most beautiful screen on the market. The colors are so vibrant that they just explode off of the screen and it is breathtaking. The only advantage that the iPhone has versus the Note is that it produces slightly more realistic colors, but I'll take the possibly overly saturated colors of the Note any day.

    Performance & Other Features: In terms of performance, both phones absolutely scream. There is no lag in either interface whatsoever (aside from the occasional bug in the 6S). The only difference discernible to the naked eye is browser speed, in which the iPhone pulls ahead. It isn't a huge lead, but it's definitely a lead. The next feature is the fingerprint scanners, and I came into this when I got the 6S expecting this to be dead even. I, again, was completely wrong. I thought the Note had zero lag when scanning your fingerprint, until I used the 6S. The Note takes around half a second, whereas the iPhone takes maybe a millisecond. You can literally brush your finger across the home button in a swift motion and it will read it accurately and instantly every single time. It's truly an engineering feat. The biggest feature that is unique to the iPhone is 3D Touch. It might seem like a gimmick, and the initial feature-set might seemingly support that notion, but it has a few great touches and the potential to be great. My favorite feature of it in its current state is to Force-Touch the left side of the screen and swipe to the right, which switches between the two most recently used apps. It's quite handy. However, it is nothing compared to the S-Pen. There are no words to allow me to adequately profess my love for the S-Pen in a sufficient manner. It is so useful and just plain awesome. It can be used for drawing, writing, signing PDF files, handwriting to text recognition, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. The shining feature, though, by a mile, is the ability to remove the S-Pen while the screen is off, write on the black screen, and after you've finished your note to replace the S-Pen and your note will now be saved for the next time your use your phone. It's ingenious.
    iDrizzy01, Just_Me_D, ame and 9 others like this.
    10-12-2015 02:17 AM
  2. Miska Hietala's Avatar
    For me the android world of customization gave me burn out. Every day I wondered which rom to install and such. Was never satisfied.
    With iPhone I can focus to other things and just use the phone.
    10-12-2015 03:46 AM
  3. qbnkelt's Avatar
    Hi again, Jake! Good write up. I think you captured things fairly.
    There is no way I would leave my Beloved but I might give the Note 6 a try. They finally released Lollipop 5.1.1 for the AT&T Note 4 so my Note is back to being pretty darn awesome.



    Sent from my GORGEOUS, SEXY, AWESOME Rose Gold 128G iPhone 6s Plus
    10-12-2015 06:44 AM
  4. Davyo's Avatar
    I've owned ALL the Notes (except the 5) and every model iPhone made (except the 5c).

    When the Note 5 first came out I almost traded my Note 4 for the Note 5 the second I played with the 5,,,, I had to drag myself out of my local T-Mobile store to avoid getting the Note 5 just because I was waiting to see what the iPhone 6s would actually be like, even though the rumor mill pretty much gave us all an idea.

    I owned the 6 and 6 Plus when they came out but went back to my Note 4, the 6 Plus is just too huge and all that bezel is just a bit much.

    My daily driver is now the 6s 128gb, I sure do miss the S pen and a bigger screen but I'm getting used to the smaller 6s screen and it's a lot more comfortable to use than that oversized 6s Plus.

    I hope when the iPhone 7 Plus comes out Apple scales down those massive bezels.

    But yeah,,, the Notes are amazing phones and so is the new 6s.

    Cheers
    Davyo
    10-12-2015 07:10 AM
  5. circlez's Avatar
    After experience wth numerous Samsung Galaxy phones and every iPhone since the 3G, I decided that I ever am to go back to Android again it would be with a Nexus device for a vanilla Android experience. The bloatware is unbearable on carrier models, as well as the UI's that Samsung or HTC or whoever decide to put over Android--only to force software update delays. Its not worth it.

    The advantages that TouchWiz offers over stock Android are trivial AT BEST. Meanwhile you look at the Nexus series....the true vision for what Android should be..and sickeningly these are the only devices that actually receive timely software upgrades. Sadly they are still only a small percentage of the market. I had a Nexus S, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5. They all were super solid devices. I've toyed with the idea of a Nexus 5X but since I pulled the trigger on an Apple Watch I've decided to hold off on that idea.
    10-12-2015 11:09 AM
  6. jdhooghe's Avatar
    After experience wth numerous Samsung Galaxy phones and every iPhone since the 3G, I decided that I ever am to go back to Android again it would be with a Nexus device for a vanilla Android experience. The bloatware is unbearable on carrier models, as well as the UI's that Samsung or HTC or whoever decide to put over Android--only to force software update delays. Its not worth it.

    The advantages that TouchWiz offers over stock Android are trivial AT BEST. Meanwhile you look at the Nexus series....the true vision for what Android should be..and sickeningly these are the only devices that actually receive timely software upgrades. Sadly they are still only a small percentage of the market. I had a Nexus S, Nexus 4, and Nexus 5. They all were super solid devices. I've toyed with the idea of a Nexus 5X but since I pulled the trigger on an Apple Watch I've decided to hold off on that idea.
    It's ultimately up to one's view of course but I would say S-Pen along with multi-window, camera software, ect. are not trivial. I've hated past touchwhiz versions but there is no doubt that the extra functionality over stock android or iOS was there.
    10-12-2015 05:52 PM
  7. Highrisedrifter's Avatar
    I owned the Note 3 and had such a bad experience with it that nothing short of a gun to the head would ever convince me to buy another one. My HTC One M7 was wonderful though and i'd happily buy another one of those if iPhones didn't exist.

    I found with all my Android devices that once i'd customised it, I left all that alone and just got on with using it. Of course, the more customisation I added, the less stable it became. I realised that it was a trade-off between reliability and customisation and reliability won out.

    One of the many reasons why I love my iphones; I haven't had a bad one yet.
    10-12-2015 07:06 PM
  8. n8ter#AC's Avatar
    It's ultimately up to one's view of course but I would say S-Pen along with multi-window, camera software, ect. are not trivial. I've hated past touchwhiz versions but there is no doubt that the extra functionality over stock android or iOS was there.
    Yea, there's nothing trivial about the feature disparity between Stock and TouchWiz, and many of these aren't even approaching trivial. Things like DLNA and Miracast are not Trivial Features, IMO, and the difference between Google Camera and Samsung's Camera software is like comparing a $79 point and shoot to a DSLR.

    Chrome for Android is also missing a lot of convenience features that Safari and OEM (Samsung, HTC - can't speak for the rest) have, like an on-device Reading List and Reading Mode. The reason why those features are there is because there are people who use them. Samsung has actually been removing features that were barely used in the past couple iterations of TouchWiz, surprisingly. In some cases, the only way to provide those features is to provide another App to house them, since Samsung, HTC, LG, and others aren't allowed to modify Google's code in their Apps. That is why things tend to get duplicative.

    Google Keep does "Reminders," for example, but Google doesn't actually has a Tasks app for Android - and certainly not one that Syncs to external Accounts (like Exchange). So, the OEMs have to put their own Tasks apps in, which are partially duplicative of Google Keep/Now functionality.
    10-12-2015 07:22 PM
  9. noaim's Avatar
    Good write up I like the iPhone though as the note is just to big for me


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    10-12-2015 07:30 PM
  10. areyes163's Avatar
    Nice write up. I traded my 6s Plus for a Note 5 because of issues I was having with freezing and the device shutting off. So I got the note to try it out. The Note is a fantastic device. I have had no issues with it at all. It has a fantastic screen, it is fast and runs really well. But in the end like always I switched back to the iPhone. This time I have a 6s. Honestly I dont know why I keep switching as I always return to the iPhone. I guess I like to try new things. But anyway. Nice post I enjoyed reading it.
    10-20-2015 05:46 AM
  11. iDrizzy01's Avatar
    Nice post
    10-20-2015 06:05 AM
  12. dchandler's Avatar
    Nice write up and welcome back to iOS and iMore lol


    Sent from my Super iPhone 6s Plus using Tapatalk
    10-20-2015 06:11 AM
  13. dchandler's Avatar
    Nice write up. I traded my 6s Plus for a Note 5 because of issues I was having with freezing and the device shutting off. So I got the note to try it out. The Note is a fantastic device. I have had no issues with it at all. It has a fantastic screen, it is fast and runs really well. But in the end like always I switched back to the iPhone. This time I have a 6s. Honestly I dont know why I keep switching as I always return to the iPhone. I guess I like to try new things. But anyway. Nice post I enjoyed reading it.
    I use to be just like you, I had to try the new devices lol


    Sent from my Super iPhone 6s Plus using Tapatalk
    areyes163 likes this.
    10-20-2015 06:11 AM
  14. JakePleasants's Avatar
    Thank guys.
    10-20-2015 01:06 PM
  15. ame's Avatar
    Very nice writeup Jake!
    10-20-2015 07:07 PM
  16. boltz82's Avatar
    Well written. I have to be honest, every Android phone that I ever had up to my last, a Samsung Galaxy S5, lagged and developed issues over time. All of them.
    01-03-2016 08:21 AM
  17. akutch34's Avatar
    For me the android world of customization gave me burn out. Every day I wondered which rom to install and such. Was never satisfied.
    With iPhone I can focus to other things and just use the phone.
    This! I was constantly thinking about how next to change my phone... It was so... Consuming.
    01-03-2016 05:14 PM
  18. TripleOne's Avatar
    I was curious of how Android is, so I went out and got myself a Note 5. After 2 months, I got really tired of it, decided to get myself an iPhone 6S Plus and oh my, I love it!

    The Note 5's display and camera is a beast though. Nothing beats iOS's simplicity.

    Both OS are great in their own ways.
    01-03-2016 08:53 PM
  19. TLD1's Avatar
    I've tried to go from iOS to Android twice...with huge failure each time. Android, although many swear by it, just "loses" me completely. Apple iOS is just so intuitive and fluid that it's dang to compare.
    01-04-2016 12:53 PM
  20. NexusGirlX's Avatar
    Back when the iPhone 5 came out, I wasn't impressed with it and chose that year to buy my first Android phone, a Nexus 4. I still have it today and it still works. I had upgraded it up to the latest OS that was available and that was 5.1.1 but it slowed the phone down so much so that it was unusable. I downgraded back to 4.4.4 which is KitKat and the phone was like it was new again.

    I later bought a 5S and used it for a year and then skipped the 6. Instead, I bought a Note 4 and a Note Edge. I think those two phones have been and still are the best Android phones that I have ever owned. I trie the 4.0.1 update that T-Mobile released last spring on both of these phones and wasn't happy. I downgraded both to 4.4.4 where they still are at today. I was never interested in the Note 5 because they took away the IR blaster, the SD card and removable battery. I have both the Note 4, Note Edge and Nexus 7 rooted so that I can block ads in everything including apps.

    I think there are a few apps that I use on both platforms where I actually prefer the Android implementation of them over the iOS versions but again, there are only a few.

    A month after buying those two phones, I bought the 6+. I still have it today and now also own the 6S and 6S+.

    Now I am all about the iPhone again and four iPhones I have, are used all the time, three are activated on T-Mobile, the fourth line is still used on the Note Edge. I use the Note 4 as my TV/Comcast box/Stereo receiver remote since I can control all those devices using the Peel app all on one screen within. I don't have to reach for three remotes. I even had it controlling my Apple TV for a short time.

    I'm curious to see what Samsung does with the new Note coming out this spring, I may buy it. I'm not close minded when it comes to Android Vs. iOS. Something comes out on Android that I like, I'll get it. Just nothing has gotten my attention since buying the Note 4/Note Edge a year ago this month.
    01-04-2016 05:54 PM
  21. Mdgolf775's Avatar
    I love my Note 5, I really do. But I'm considering an iphone 6s for 2 specific reasons. I had iPhones from the original through the 5 and went to Android with a Note 3 and then an LG G4.

    The first issue is my Note 5 has what I believe to be a hardware issue with the Bluetooth Radio. If i put it in my pocket or even hold the phone in front of me and turn my back on a portable speaker from say a foot away, it will stop playing and after 10 seconds, unpair. I have Bluetooth earbuds for the gym and I can't put the Note in my pocket without this happening. I can even stop the playback and connecting just by holding it in my hands. Never happened with any device before. I put my wifes G4 in my pocket last night and walked 50 feet away from the same speaker and the music played as it should. I've read of a multitude of Android devices suffering from Bluetooth issues and I've lost trust. It's a deal breaker.

    The second is the constant nightmare of MMS group messaging with Iphone and Imessage users. Even with all the settings correct (yes, I've painfully researched this exhaustively for any and all causes) on both the Note 5 and friends' Apple devices, there are certain people it simply wont work with. Of course all the iphone users make jokes about Android, but the truth is the entire problem is the closed, proprietary network of Imessage.

    I'm kind of fighting it, but those two issues will likely drive me back to the inferior display and the one way in, one way out apple ecosystem.
    02-04-2016 05:01 PM
  22. Sherry_B's Avatar
    For me the android world of customization gave me burn out. Every day I wondered which rom to install and such. Was never satisfied.
    With iPhone I can focus to other things and just use the phone.
    Agreed (still running old versions of Slimrom on both previous Android devices). But I do miss customizing the UI and having an app drawer.
    02-04-2016 05:45 PM
  23. NasVader's Avatar
    I impressively read this good article ! . I am using note 5 as well as 6s. Both the devices are attractive. However, the note 5 functions are more useful.
    02-07-2016 10:50 PM
  24. NexusGirlX's Avatar
    I impressively read this good article ! . I am using note 5 as well as 6s. Both the devices are attractive. However, the note 5 functions are more useful.
    I'm seriously loving my Note 5. I'm very close to making the Note 5 my main phone for awhile.
    ladyc0524 and sunrat39 like this.
    02-07-2016 10:58 PM
  25. sunrat39's Avatar
    I've had my note 5 since October. The sale from best buy was really pushing me to the 6s but I think the note 5 has spoiled me.

    The screen is amazing as is the camera. I was worried about the whole imessage/group text fiasco, but you can get your contacts to get WhatsApp (if they don't already have it).
    02-13-2016 09:33 PM
29 12

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