What’s the Better Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6?

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How are we ever to choose between the iPhone 6S and the Samsung Galaxy S6?

While there are, of course, considerations of factors like price and which apps to use, the underlying difference between the two phones is nearly philosophical. Apple’s mobile environment is ultimately closed, famously referred to as a “walled garden,” while Android’s is significantly more open, granting its users many more options on how to use their phones.

As the flagship devices of these platforms, the 6S and Galaxy S6 are loaded with all the features we’ve come to expect out of our smartphones: fingerprint sensors, cameras that shoot still images at more than 10 megapixels while doubling as shockingly good video cameras, and even a wireless data connection. The biggest physical difference that actually matters is probably resolution; the Galaxy S6, with a resolution of 1440×2560, is nearly twice as sharp as the iPhone 6S, running pixels at 1334×750. The phones are rather close in size and shape: about 5.5 inches tall, 2.5 inches across, and just shy of a third of an inch deep. You’d be forgiven for mistaking one for the other at a glance.

If they have so much in common, then why does everyone seem to have a strong opinion on which one is better? Because depending on how you frame the question of Android versus iOS, both could be argued as being in first place. Apple surely makes more money selling its luxury-grade phones and has name-brand cachet as the purveyor of fine smartphones, but Android is installed on more devices worldwide and is generally preferred by technology professionals.

Android maintains its open-source bragging rights as an operating system that phone manufacturers can use at no cost, but such freedom often comes at the expense of granting the casual user far more control than they require. Apple’s devices will always have a better selection of must-have apps, but you still can’t select a video for your iPhone’s wallpaper. The choice ultimately comes down to personal preference.

So which side of the line do you fall on in the smartphone wars?

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