8 rivals to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus

While Apple has dominated the phone and tablet markets for the past few years, the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus marks the company’s first entry into the phablet arena. This sector is already well-trodden by the likes of Sony and Samsung, with a fresh crop of rival devices to Apple’s latest offering announced at IFA 2014 and CES 2015, among others. Read on to discover the iPhone 6 Plus’ main competitors as we round up the latest phablets and compare them with Apple's offering.

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  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G3
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs Sony Xperia Z3
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs HTC One M8
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs Google Nexus 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G Flex 2
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs Nokia Lumia 930
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
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iPhone 6 Plus vs Sony, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google & Nokia smartphones

Apple has gone to great lengths to present its debut phablet as a top-of-the-line beast of a machine, with enough processing horsepower to shame HAL 9000 and a large enough screen to put your local multiplex out of business. However, the iPhone 6 Plus is a relative latecomer to this particular race, and it’s got some substantial competition.

You can read our full review of the iPhone 6 Plus here, or a comparison review of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus here.

Display
The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in display, which Apple describes as Retina HD. It's 1080x1920 pixels, which equates to a good pixel density of 401ppi, better than the 326ppi of the iPhone 6.

Design
Apple is well-known for its sleek, sophisticated designs, and the iPhone 6 Plus is no exception, despite its enormous screen. It's made with anodised aluminium available in Silver, Gold or Space Grey, and has a soft, curved design. It weighs 172g (compared with 129g for the iPhone 6) and is a slim 7.1mm thick, just .2mm thicker than the iPhone 6.

Specs
Inside the iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's A8 processor, paired with an M8 co-processor and 1GB of RAM. Combined, those chips are powerful and efficient, and manage to beat many of Apple's smartphone rivals in our benchmark tests. You can find out more in our article listing the fastest smartphones of 2015.
Capacities: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB (no microSD card slot for expansion)
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G.

Camera
The iPhone 6 Plus's camera offers a slight improvement over the iPhone 6, with an 8Mp rear-facing iSight camera with optical image stabilisation, 1.5 micron pixels, a dual-LED flash, f/2.2 aperture and 1080p video recording. On the front is a 1.2Mp front-facing 'FaceTime' camera, with 720p video recording and burst mode.

Additional features
The iPhone 6 Plus also includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the home button, in addition to an NFC chip that works with ApplePay (and currently only Apple Pay, but not in the UK until later this year).

Software
The iPhone 6 Plus runs Apple's iOS 8, and will get iOS 9 when it arrives later this year.

Price
16GB - £619, 64GB - £699, 128GB - £789

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Apple has gone to great lengths to present its debut phablet as a top-of-the-line beast of a machine, with enough processing horsepower to shame HAL 9000 and a large enough screen to put your local multiplex out of business. However, the iPhone 6 Plus is a relative latecomer to this particular race, and it’s got some substantial competition.

You can read our full review of the iPhone 6 Plus here, or a comparison review of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus here.

Display
The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in display, which Apple describes as Retina HD. It's 1080x1920 pixels, which equates to a good pixel density of 401ppi, better than the 326ppi of the iPhone 6.

Design
Apple is well-known for its sleek, sophisticated designs, and the iPhone 6 Plus is no exception, despite its enormous screen. It's made with anodised aluminium available in Silver, Gold or Space Grey, and has a soft, curved design. It weighs 172g (compared with 129g for the iPhone 6) and is a slim 7.1mm thick, just .2mm thicker than the iPhone 6.

Specs
Inside the iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's A8 processor, paired with an M8 co-processor and 1GB of RAM. Combined, those chips are powerful and efficient, and manage to beat many of Apple's smartphone rivals in our benchmark tests. You can find out more in our article listing the fastest smartphones of 2015.
Capacities: 16GB, 64GB, 128GB (no microSD card slot for expansion)
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G.

Camera
The iPhone 6 Plus's camera offers a slight improvement over the iPhone 6, with an 8Mp rear-facing iSight camera with optical image stabilisation, 1.5 micron pixels, a dual-LED flash, f/2.2 aperture and 1080p video recording. On the front is a 1.2Mp front-facing 'FaceTime' camera, with 720p video recording and burst mode.

Additional features
The iPhone 6 Plus also includes a Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the home button, in addition to an NFC chip that works with ApplePay (and currently only Apple Pay, but not in the UK until later this year).

Software
The iPhone 6 Plus runs Apple's iOS 8, and will get iOS 9 when it arrives later this year.

Price
16GB - £619, 64GB - £699, 128GB - £789

iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G3

The LG G3 is the current crown jewel of LG's smartphone line-up, sporting a gorgeous Quad HD screen, 4K video recording, and an impressively premium build quality. At a cost of under £500, it is also very competitively priced, considering its series of features. This is definitely one to watch in the phablet race.

Display
The LG G3 has a 5.52in LCD display, with a resolution of 1440x2560. That makes a whopping 534ppi, which is a record-breaker that leaves the iPhone 6 Plus's 401ppi screen in its dust.

Design
The design of the LG G3 is certainly attractive, though we'd argue that it's not quite as sleek as the iPhone 6 Plus. It has a plastic rear cover, but it does have a metallic sheen that helps it look more premium than plasticky. There are also some metal portions elsewhere, including the LG G3's frame. What we do particularly like about the LG G3 is the tiny bezels, which make the stunning screen look even better. It's 8.9mm thick (compared with 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 Plus) and 149g, so lighter than Apple's big iPhone.

Specs
The LG G3 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.46GHz Quad-Core processor paired with 2GB RAM, or 3GB if you opt for the 32GB capacity model.
Capacities: 16GB, 32GB, microSD card slot for up to 128GB
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G, NFC, Infrared blaster

Camera
The LG G3 has a 13Mp rear-facing camera, with a dual-tone LED flash and optical image stabilisation like the iPhone 6 Plus. There's a new Laser Auto Focus feature that makes images crisper, and video recording has been upped to an impressive 4K. The front-facing camera is 2Mp (compared with iPhone 6 Plus's 1.2Mp).

Additional features
There's no fingerprint sensor in the LG G3, but there's a cool Knock Code system that allows you to unlock the device, rather than requiring a password. There's also wireless charging, achieved by purchasing a separate wireless charging unit, and LG's Rear Key button on the back.

Software
The LG G3 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, with an Android 5.0 update on its way.

Price
£439.99 (much cheaper than iPhone 6 Plus's £619 starting price).

iPhone 6 Plus vs Sony Xperia Z3

The Xperia Z3 is Sony’s current flagship smartphone, heading up the company's range of mobile devices. It features some fairly impressive specs, including full waterproofing, substantial battery life and the ability to use it for remote-play on the Sony PlayStation 4.

Display
The Sony Xperia Z3 has a 5.2in display, so is slightly smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus. It has the same 1080x1920 pixels packed into that display though, so the pixel density is better at 423 compared with 401ppi.

Design
The Sony Xperia Z3 has a more squared design than the iPhone 6 Plus, which we've discovered can cause holes in your jeans if you tend to store it in your pocket. It's still good-looking, although the copper and green models won't have as much mass appeal as the white and black models.

It's a tiny bit thicker than the iPhone 6 Plus at 7.3mm (compared with 7.1mm) but weighs slightly less at 152g. The Z3 is more sturdy than the iPhone 6 Plus, though, not only due to its durable corners, but also thanks to its IP65 waterproof rating.

Specs
Inside the Xperia Z3 is a Snapdragon 2.5GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor with 3GB RAM, and an impressive battery that can last for up to twice as long as the iPhone 6 Plus.
Capacities: 16GB, microSD card slot for up to 128GB additional
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G.

Camera
The Sony Xperia Z3's camera is one of its big selling points, at 20.7Mp and capable of recording 4K video. The front-facing camera is 2.2Mp and offers 1080p video recording. Plus, a high ISO of 12800 means better low-light pictures.

Additional features
There's no fingerprint sensor in the Sony Xperia Z3, but it does have a dedicated camera button, as well as Remote Play for PS4 gamers.

Software
Like the LG G3, the Sony Xperia Z3 runs Android 4.4 with an upgrade to 5.0 Lollipop coming soon.

Price
16GB - £549

Read our iPhone 6 vs Sony Xperia Z3 comparison

iPhone 6 Plus vs HTC One M8

The HTC One M8 is the flagship smartphone offering from HTC, and is a solid rival to the iPhone 6 Plus – a popular one, too. Here's what you need to know about it.

Display
The HTC One M8's display is smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus's, at 5in, so is really positioned between the 4.7in iPhone 6 and the 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus. It has the same 1080x1920 resolution, but with the smaller screen that makes 441ppi compared with 401ppi of the iPhone 6 plus.

Design
Made with aluminium, the HTC One M8 matches the premium design of the iPhone 6 Plus, and it comes in similar colours too: Metal Grey, Artic Silver and Amber Gold. It weighs less than the iPhone 6 Plus at 160g compared with 172g, but is a fair bit thicker at 9.4mm compared with 7.1mm.

Specs
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor is paired with 2GB of RAM, and is suitably speedy.
Capacities: 16GB with microSD slot for up to 128GB additional storage
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G, NFC

Camera
HTC has adopted a similar approach to the camera in its flagship as Apple, with a 5Mp sensor with bigger pixels and a wide-angle lens. There's a dual-LED flash, and a fun dual-focus feature is fun. The front-facing camera is 5Mp, too, so selfie-lovers are going to enjoy this one.

Additional features
We love the front-facing speakers found on the HTC One M8, setting it apart from rivals including the iPhone 6 Plus. There's no fingerprint sensor in the HTC One M8, though.

Software
Again, Android 4.4 KitKat is the HTC One M8's operating system until Android Lollipop lands on it soon.

Price
£550

iPhone 6 Plus vs Google Nexus 6

Just before 2014 came to an end, Google unveiled its Nexus 6, which is the biggest smartphone on our list with a (you guessed it) 6in display.

Display
The 6in AMOLED display on the Nexus 6 is impressive. It's Quad HD like the LG G3 and Samsung's offerings, but has a lower pixel density due to its bigger screen, at 493ppi. That's more than the iPhone 6 Plus's 401ppi, though.

Design
The Nexus 6 is actually made by Motorola, so looks a lot like a super-sized Moto X. The 6in display manages to squeeze into a chassis that's not much bigger than the iPhone 6 Plus overall, though, which is impressive. It's thicker, though, at 10.4mm at its thickest point, making it one of the bulkiest phones around. It's the heaviest in this round-up, too, at 183g.

Specs
You'll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz and paired with 3GB RAM with the Nexus 6, but oddly not 64-bit despite Google's 64-bit Android Lollipop. Still, it beats the iPhone 6 Plus in many of our benchmark tests.
Capacities: 32GB, 64GB (no microSD card slot for additional storage
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, 4G

Camera
The Nexus 6 has a 13Mp rear camera with a dual-LED flash and the ability to record 4K video. It also has optical image stabilisation, and a 2.1Mp front-facing camera.

Software
As it's Google's, the Nexus 6 comes with Android Lollipop, and is likely to be one of the first smartphones to get forthcoming software updates.

Price
32GB - £499, 64GB - £549

iPhone 6 Plus vs LG G Flex 2

Announced at CES 2015, the LG G Flex 2 is the successor to LG's original bendy smartphone. It's designed with ergonomics in mind, and while it won't appeal to everyone, the new model is definitely a step in the right direction.

Display
The LG G Flex 2 has a 5.5in screen, though it looks slightly smaller thanks to its curved nature. It's FullHD like the iPhone 6 Plus, and 403ppi so very similar in quality.

Design
At its thinnest point, the LG G Flex 2 is the same 7.1mm as the iPhone 6 Plus, and weighs less at 152g. We'll admit, it does feel good to hold and comfortable to use for phone calls thanks to its curve, but putting it your pocket is another matter. It comes in Platinum Silver or Flamenco Red.

What's cool is the improved self-healing back cover, which takes seconds to remove small surface scratches thanks to its special coating.

Specs
Inside the G Flex 2 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and it's the first time we've seen this chip in a smartphone so far. It's 64-bit like the A9 processor in the iPhone 6 Plus, and is Octa-core clocked at 2GHz. It comes with either 2 or 3GB of RAM.
Capacities: 16GB, 32GB, microSD card slot for up to 2TB (yes, you read that right).
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, SlimPort, 4G.

Camera
The LG G Flex 2 has a 13Mp rear-facing camera, the same as the one found in the LG G3, with optical image stabilisation, a dual-tone LED flash and laser auto focus. At the front is a 2.1Mp selfie camera.

Software
The LG G Flex 2 comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box.

Price: TBC

iPhone 6 Plus vs Nokia Lumia 930

We've got a Windows Phone smartphone for you now, in the form of the Nokia Lumia 930, which is just about the best Windows Phone smartphone you can buy right now.

Display
The 441ppi of the Nokia Lumia 930 is achieved by packing a resolution of 1080x1920 (the same as the iPhone 6 Plus) into a 5in display.

Design
This smartphone is almost as different as you can get to the iPhone 6 Plus when it comes to looks. It's blocky, bright (if you opt for the neon Orange or Green models), and thick at 10mm. There are black and white models available, too.

Specs
There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM inside the Nokia Lumia 930. Disappointingly, it's 32GB or nothing with this smartphone, though.
Capacities: 32GB, no microSD card slot
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G, NFC

Camera
Like the Sony Xperia Z3, the Nokia Lumia 930's camera outshines the iPhone 6 Plus when it comes to megapixels. It has a 20Mp rear-facing camera, and manual control over shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus and other settings means you can capture some stunning images with this smartphone. It also offers a dual-LED flash.

Additional features
Other features include wireless charging, which doesn't require an additional purchase as the charger accessory comes in the box.

Software
As a Windows Phone, the Lumia 930 runs Windows Phone 8.1.

Price
£435 (much cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus 32GB, which costs £699)

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Boasting a colossal 5.7-inch screen, Quad HD and a Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy Note 4 is Samsung’s big kahuna. While it’s still cheaper than the iPhone 6 Plus at around £600, it’s definitely on the upper end of the price range.

Display
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 is one of the biggest smartphones in our iPhone 6 Plus rivals round-up, bit it also has one of the best displays around. It's a Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 2560x1440 pixels, making an amazing 524ppi.

Design
The Note 4 is not the best-looking smartphone in the world, with a faux-leather back cover that we think looks a bit tacky and four colour options including Frost White, Charcoal Black, Bronze Gold and Blossom Pink. We definitely prefer the first two options. It does have a metal frame, though.

Specs
The processor found under the hood of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a 2.7GHz Quad-core or a 1.9 Octa Core processor depending on your region. There's 3GB of RAM, too.
Capacities: 32GB, microSD up to 128GB
Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1, 4G.

Camera
When it comes to cameras, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a 16Mp rear-facing snapper and a 3.7Mp camera on the front. There's optical image stabilisation, too.

Additional features
The Galaxy Note 4 has an Infrared Blaster, works with Samsung S Health software, has a quick charge feature, a fingerprint scanner, UV sensor and heart-rate monitor.

Software
The iPhone 6 Plus Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Price
32GB - £600

Read our iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

The companion to Samsung’s flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note Edge’s main unique selling point is its screen, which is curved on one side to accommodate notifications and touch controls. Other than this admittedly novel feature though, the Note Edge is to all intents and purposes the same phone as its big brother.

Display
The Note Edge's display is 5.6in diagonally, and is Quad HD Super AMOLED like the Note 4, with a resolution of 1600 x 2560 pixels and 515ppi.

Design
The first thing you'll notice about the Note Edge is that it has a curved screen on one side for notifications and controls. Aside from that it has the same design, as the Note 4, but is only available in black or white.

Specs
The Galaxy Note Edge has the same camera, capacity, connectivity and processor as the Note 4.

Price
32GB - £650

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