Samsung Galaxy S6 mini vs iPhone 6 comparison preview

March is set to be a big month for the smartphone market, with many of Apple's closest rivals expected to launch new devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the beginning of March. Among those rivals is Samsung, which is hosting an 'Uncovered' event on 1 March that's likely to give us our first glimpse at the Galaxy S6 and perhaps the Galaxy S6 mini, too.

We've gathered up all of the Samsung Galaxy S6 mini rumours to give you an idea of how the new smartphone might compare with Apple's iPhone 6. Of course, we can't be completely certain about what the Galaxy S6 will be like until it's officially unveiled, but the rumour mill tends to be pretty accurate these days so if you're considering buying an iPhone 6 but are curious about what Samsung has got up its sleeve with the S6 mini then you've come to the right place.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Release date

As mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is set to be unveiled the day before MWC 2015 officially kicks off. That's 1 March, at the Samsung Unpacked event at 18:30 CET.

Whether the Samsung Galaxy S6 mini will arrive at the same time is currently unknown. It's certainly possible, although it took several months for the S5 mini to arrive after the launch of the flagship Galaxy S5 last year.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, became available to buy in September 2014, so is available to buy from Apple and smartphone carriers now.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: UK Price

The Samsung Galaxy S5 mini went on sale on 7 August 2014 with a price tag of £390, so comes in at a much lower price than the iPhone 6. It's expected that the Galaxy S6 mini will cost around £400 SIM-free, but that the price will drop quite quickly to around the £300 mark after a few months.

That’s a difference of £140 over the iPhone 6, which has a starting price of £539 but reaches up to £699 for the 128GB model.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Display

While the prices of the Samsung Galaxy S6 mini and iPhone 6 are going to be quite different, the screen size is what makes the compact version of Apple's flagship a closer match to the iPhone 6 than the Galaxy S6 itself (that's likely to be closer in size to the iPhone 6 Plus and Apple's upcoming iPhone 7, which is why we've got an iPhone 7 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 comparison here).

Based on the numerous rumours we've heard so far, we're expecting the S6 mini to have a 4.7in full-HD (1920x1080) screen, which would equate to an impressive pixel density of 468ppi.

That's better than the 4.7in screen found on the iPhone 6, which is 301ppi with a resolution of 1334x750, so if the S6 mini does indeed sport the screen we're expecting it'll be a major selling point for the smartphone.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Processor, memory and storage

Inside the iPhone 6 is a powerful A8 processor paired with an M8 motion co-processor, making a speedy and efficient combo that helps the smartphone top our smartphone speed and graphics performance charts.

The Galaxy S6 mini will probably have the Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core chip, which we also expect to be powerful but perhaps not quite matching the speed of the iPhone 6.When the S6 mini is officially launched, we'll be testing it in our labs here at the Macworld office to find out exactly how it compares with Apple's offerings.

We do think that the S6 mini will have 2GB of RAM compared with 1GB in the iPhone 6, though, but software plays a big part on how effective that extra RAM is so it's difficult to compare at face value (we'll talk about software in more detail later).

That £390 - £400 price tag for the Galaxy S6 mini is likely to offer you 16GB of built-in storage, but unlike the iPhone 6 it'll have a microSD card slot that should allow you to add up to 128GB additional space.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, comes in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models, so you'll need to decide how much space you think you'll need before you buy. Remember that the 128GB will cost you £699, which is £160 more than the 16GB model, while a 128GB microSD card for the S6 mini will cost you as little as £25.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Design & build

We're expecting the Samsung Galaxy S6 mini to be made with a half-metal and half-plastic build, and to come in Charcoal Black, Copper Gold, Electric Blue and Shimmery White.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, is made entirely from metal and glass for a more premium finish. It's anodized aluminium and comes in Silver, Gold or Slate Grey, so essentially similar colours to the S6 mini aside from the blue option.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Cameras

When it comes to cameras, it's likely that the S6 mini will come with the rear-facing camera that's currently found in the Samsung Galaxy S5, which is a 16Mp snapper with 4K video recording. The camera on the front of the S6 mini is expected to be 5Mp following the selfie craze.

The iPhone 6's camera is very impressive, but not necessarily on paper. The rear-facing camera is 8Mp, but it does have larger pixels (see: The iPhone camera and the megapixel myth). It can record video in 1080p HD. The front-facing camera is 1.2Mp.

Take a look at our iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5 comparison for more about how the cameras could compare.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Other features

Other features found in the iPhone 6 include the Touch ID fingerprint sensor beneath the Home button, as well as NFC for Apple Pay (coming to the UK soon). There's also 802.11ac WiFi.

The S6 mini is likely to have a fingerprint sensor, NFC and 802.11ac WiFi, too, as well as a UV scanner and a heart-rate monitor.

iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 mini: Software

This is where things get tricky, as we've always firmly believed that software is down to personal preference. Here at Macworld, we love iOS, and therefore we've got media, apps and other content that would require re-downloading should we move to a different operating system. Plus, iOS communicates seamlessly with our Macs, which is a huge boon when it comes to efficiency.  

But for those who already know and love the Android operating system it's tricky to argue that iOS is better, and the same goes for Android users who want to argue that it's better than iOS. There's no definitive answer. It's all about which you personally prefer using, and that's going to have a huge effect on which smartphone you buy.

The iPhone 6, of course, runs Apple's iOS 8, which you can find out more about here. iOS 9 is expected to be previewed soon, too.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 mini will run Google's new Android 5.0 Lollipop, which you can find out more about here.

We're going to leave it up to you to decide which you prefer.

iPhone comparison reviews

If you've enjoyed this article, perhaps you'd be interested in more iPhone buying advice? We've written a series of comparison reviews, which set various combinations of iPhone against one another, head to head:

These may be useful if you're trying to device between two specific iPhone models.

iPhone buying guide, autumn/winter 2015

And for a broader look at Apple's current iPhone range, take a look at our iPhone buying guide video for autumn/winter 2015:

Or, if you'd prefer to see our buying advice in written rather than video form, head over to our iPhone buying guide article.

But now, on to the verdict!

OUR VERDICT

Without an official release from Samsung we can't come to any conclusion about which is the best smartphone, but we hope that you've got a better idea of what the Galaxy S6 mini will be like and how it will compare to the iPhone 6. We'll update this article when the Galaxy S6 mini launches, and when we've carried out all of our benchmark tests.

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