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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4: September date for the big smartphone battle

September is going to be a big month for all technology enthusiasts as both Apple and Samsung will gear up for big launches. With Samsung, it’s going to be the Galaxy Note 4 at the Berlin IFA show on 3 September, while Apple will launch the iPhone 6 on 9 September.

With the iPhone 6, we are going to see a big change from iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c as Apple is expected to launch two new versions of the device, with rumour mills indicating a 4.7-inch device and a 5.5-inch phablet. Where Note 4 is concerned, Samsung could give it a 2K display.

So what should we expect from these two devices? Let’s take a quick look at the differences between the two. Of course a lot of this could be different when the actual devices launch.

Screen: As we’ve noted for Apple, the iPhone 6 will mark a big change as it will finally launch a smartphone with a bigger screen. Given the popularity of phablets, Apple’s iPhone 6 will have a 4.7-inch version and 5.5-inch version. According to reports, Apple supplier Foxconn has already gone into mass production and the company has asked for 70-80 million iPhone screens to be kept ready.

A report on 9to5Mac had shown that iPhone 6 may get a ‘curved’ display just like Samsung’s Galaxy S3. The slightly curved display glass could be included to accommodate the rounded edges, which means the display may not be convex on the top. With an increase in display size, it remains to be seen what Apple will do with the ‘Retina Display’ and whether the pixel density will go higher than the current 326 pixels per inch for iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 is also likely to feature haptic technology that emits minor vibrations depending on the touchscreen area you’ve pressed. This means developers can take advantage of the technology for building intuitive games and apps. Reports also claim that the new haptic motor to be employed in the next-gen iPhone would be two to three times more expensive.

As far as the Galaxy Note 4 is concerned, a report at CMNO had stated that the Note 4 would come with 2K display, and the screen size could increase from Note 3’s 5.7-inch although if that happens we’re wondering what will will happen to the Samsung Mega range of smartphones.

The Galaxy Note 4 is also expected to be waterproof and will have an eye-scanner technology as well, which could scan the eye to pay bills at the grocery store, electricity bills, mobile bills etc. There are also reports that the Note 4’s screen could use Samsung bent screen technology which was showcased at the CES 2013 in Las Vegas.

Processor, RAM, Space: As far as the iPhone 6 processor chip goes it will be the A8 chip and should support 64-bit like the iPhone 5s. Apple’s next set of devices will also most probably come with the next level of the M7-co-motion processor chip. Whether A8 will be dual-core processor or quad-core processor remains to be seen, but Apple has largely ducked the quad-core trend for now. With RAM, it’s likely that Apple will stick to 1GB RAM, although 2GB RAM would really make a lot specs-obsessed people happy. The iPhone 6 will of course stick with Apple’s 16, 32, 64 GB models and is unlikely to support microSD slots.

As far as the Note 4 is concerned, rumours indicate that it will come with an octa-core Exynos CPU or a Snapdragon 800-series SoC, coupled with 4GB RAM (Note 3 has 3GB RAM). The company might as well build both variants, and as seen earlier. Speculation is that the Note 4 will have global LTE coverage. The rumoured features list also includes 128GB onboard storage, and it should support a microSD slot as well.

Camera: Once again with iPhone 6, Apple is expected to stick to the 8 megapixel camera and avoid the megapixel wars. But given that it is ditching the 4-inch screen, we could be in for a surprise here as well. Supply chain speculation however says that such a surprise is unlikely.

Instead, the company will introduce functional improvements including in the optical image stabilization (OIS) module in the 8 megapixel camera. The dual-flash is expected to continue. In addition to this Pacific Crest Securities analysts John Vinh and Kevin Chenreported that  optical image stabilization may be a feature just for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone.

Apple has also got patents for interchangeable mobile camera lenses. The patent mentions a camera add-on that connects using a physical locking mechanism like a DSLR lens, as well as a magnetic component for quicker attachment. Of course, seeing this feature in iPhone 6 seems highly unlikely for now.

As far as Note 4 is concerned, Samsung will give it a bigger camera and rumours indicate a 20.1 megapixel shooter in the rear. The Front camera is reported to be 4 megapixel. However a report on trusted Samsung source Sammobile says that it will be 16 megapixel camera in the rear along OIS and a 3.7 megapixel front camera.

Other big rumours: Apple is reportedly going to introduce Sapphire crystal display protection, which is already there on iPhone 5s’ fingerprint scanner, will now be extended to the iPhone 6’s screen. It is speculated that the next-gen iPhone will have a sapphire crystal display protection to ward off scratches.

A report on 9to5Mac had said that Apple had already set up a plant in Arizona for a new critical component and patented a technology for the sapphire crystal display as well.

Ultraviolet Sensor and eye-scanner are supposed to be the next big changes in the Note 4. According to reports, Note 4 is said to come with an ultraviolet sensor, which can measure UV radiation and alert users about possible precautions via the S Health app. A report on Sammobile said that “ sensor will be used to measure the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and prevent users from damaging their skin, ageing it prematurely, and increasing their risk of skin cancer by giving recommended guidance based on the current UV index level”

It’s clear that both Apple and Samsung have a lot riding on these next two-releases given that smartphone market is seeing in a decline in demand for premium devices and the rise of the sub$100 category. We’ll have to wait and see how they live up to expectations and how many of the rumours come true.

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