The iPhone 6 is entering the market at a time when not only does the rest of the competition already have its big players in place, a couple have even brought out iPhone-specific competitors in readiness.
So if you’re stuck between the iPhone 6 and the rest of the smartphone gang, here’s a frankly excellent round up of how it compares to the other phones you might be quietly eyeing.
Samsung Galaxy S5 / Alpha
Be it through marketing or actually decent phones, Samsung is considered to be the main competitor to Apple in many people’s eyes.
I’ve lumped the two together here as they are very similar phones in a lot of ways – so let’s dive in:
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a phone that needs very little introduction, but despite Apple’s screen size boost, it’s still a lot bigger with a 5.2-inch screen. The chassis construction is also poorer, but it does have the advantage of being water and dust resistant.
There is the added bonus of a microSD slot, so while you’ll generally be buying a 16GB phone to start with, you can up that by 128GB if you’re so inclined.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha is a very similar phone in terms of raw power, a very decent Super AMOLED screen and the same TouchWiz UI. However, it goes with the same lower-res 4.7-inch display as Apple, although the colours are more vibrant, and also eschews expandable memory, but with fewer storage size options to choose from.
The design, much slimmer and with a metal band compared to the Galaxy S5, is more of a match for Apple, but hold both together and you’ll see that the iPhone 6 is definitely the superior.
The S5 has the better camera out of the two Samsung devices, but both have a better megapixel count than Apple’s device. But as I mentioned, the MP number isn’t all powerful, and there’s a lot to love about the simplicity Apple has with its snapping prowess.
HTC One M8
HTC’s challenger is something of a work of art, and as such still nicks it for me, at least in the design stakes. Its battery is slightly better (although nothing compared to the power of the Galaxy S5) and while the Android overlay is quite hefty, still slips along slightly better under the finger than the iPhone 6.
The camera capabilities of the One M8 aren’t as powerful as the iPhone 6, but it’s capable of taking faster snaps and ones that perform better in low-light too.
While it might not be a big win for a lot of people, there’s also the fun duo-focus camera that really allows you to take some clever shots with good background defocus. A nice trick that yields strong results if used correctly, but a gimmick for some.
Sony Xperia Z3 / Z3 Compact
I’ve often been confused as to what Sony’s doing with launching so many flagship phones, but there’s no doubt that the Z3, and the Z3 Compact, are brilliant handsets that represent the best Sony has to offer.
Both are very similar; in fact, barring battery, screen size / res and price, they’re identical in functionality. Both have very powerful cameras that will suit the photographer who likes more power at their fingertips, and both have very clear and bright screens – in fact, the Z3 offers the brightest on the market of the flagships.
There’s also the fact both can offer Remote Play for a PS4 – it’s a unique proposition that will entice plenty of users, and while Apple’s got the lead in the mobile gaming market, this move will attract those that already have a PS4.
I’d argue that the Z3 Compact is the real iPhone 6 competitor here: it’s got a similar screen size (4.6-inch compared to the 4.7-inch of the iPhone 6) and a similar resolution too, while offering great specs to match (and beat) Apple in many ways, including expandable memory.
However, both Z3 Compact and Z3 are cheaper than the iPhone 6 – with the former quite significantly so. If you’re looking for a smaller phone, I’d give that one a look along with the new iPhone. It’s a little more complicated to use, but very easy to learn and offers more raw power.
I could argue this is more of an iPhone 6 Plus competitor, given it has the same 5.5-inch screen size, but given its market positioning, many will consider it next to the iPhone 6.
The screen is the main draw: a dizzying Quad HD affair that packs a 538PPI, compared to the 329PPI of the iPhone 6.
The tradeoff here is for the brightness though: the extra pixels squished in mean the overall quality of the display is diminished. You’ve also got accept a phone that looks good (in terms of appearing to be made in brushed metal) but actually feels a little poorer thanks to being made of polycarbonate. Apple definitely takes the ergonomic crown here.
However, the G3 is still a fabulously powerful and great-to-use phone, with one of the best spec lists on the market for a really rather competitive price. If size isn’t an issue to you, this could be a dark horse in the race to be your next smartphone.
Having read all the above, perhaps you’re thinking ‘Well, I do want an iPhone still, but not one that’s so expensive’.
I like where your head’s at, and the iPhone 5S will still be supported, in terms of software, for the entire length of your contract, so it’s a strong proposition.
The design is still well-packaged, although not as ergonomically soothing as the iPhone 6, and the screen resolution the same as the 6 too.
However, it’s a smaller display (which might not be a bad thing to some users) and one that isn’t as bright or colourful as the newer device.
The camera is strong, but won’t pack all the features of the iPhone 6, and the battery life is certainly poorer.
That said, if it’s an iPhone you want and the price of the new models is prohibitive, then consider buying this off contract (yes, you’ll need to save a up a little) getting a SIM only deal and then selling it in 12 months time when the iPhone 6S comes out.