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Is Samsung Galaxy S6 Still Better Than the iPhone

There is a school of thought that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a better smartphone than the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6. The same may be true of the comparison with the iPhone 6s. Even if the Samsung phone is not much better, carriers, burned by the new Apple plan to sell more iPhones directly to customer on an installment plan, will push those customers toward Samsung.

The new iPhone 6s has a better camera, according to Apple. It has a better touch feature, although many customers may not care:

iPhone 6s introduces an entirely new way to interact with your phone. For the first time, iPhone senses how much pressure you apply to the display. In addition to familiar Multi‑Touch gestures like Tap, Swipe, and Pinch, 3D Touch introduces Peek and Pop. This brings a new dimension of functionality to the iPhone experience. And when you use 3D Touch, your iPhone responds with subtle taps. So not only will you see what a press can do — you’ll feel it.

Like the complicated features on new cars when many drivers just want to drive, the extras do not get used.

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What makes a “better” smartphone? The four carriers will determine that. Apple has cut them out of the upgrade cycle, at least for people who are willing to pay more for an unlocked phone that is not tethered to any carrier and that carrier’s upgrade cycle. Apple’s new plan:

After 12 installments, you can get a new iPhone and start a new iPhone Upgrade Program. No more waiting for your carrier contract to end. Just trade in your current iPhone for a new one, and your new program begins.

The pricing is $32.41 for a 16 GB model Galaxy S6 to $44.91 for the iPhone 6s Plus. Apple even has a bank partner for financing — Citizen One. The prices are not much different from what carriers change for similar upgrade programs, although the Apple charge will be added to a carrier charge, lifting the prices.

What makes a better phone? Consumers may see little difference between the Apple product and the Samsung one. Each has so many features, few people will use them all. That leaves much of the fight to price, and what carriers are willing to do to offset Apple’s new plan. It may be they have to be wildly aggressive on what they give customers financially and use the Samsung product as their other primary weapon.

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By Douglas A. McIntyre