Big alternatives to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Welcome to the big-phone party, Apple.

Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930

Credit: Nokia

Apple’s release today of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus mark the end of the company’s streak as the lone major holdout in a smartphone sector dominated by larger devices. So what’s the competition look like?

Galaxy S5 Maurizio Pesce/CC 2.0 license

Galaxy S5

Probably the best-established competitor to Apple’s new iPhone 6 line is the Samsung Galaxy S5, which fits in between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, size-wise. The Galaxy S5 is very closely matched with Apple’s newest handsets in terms of specs, and may edge the iPhones out in isolated areas. Fans of premium materials will likely prefer the iPhones, however, as the Galaxy S5 retains the polycarbonate construction of its predecessors.

+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Apple introduces iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus | The Evolution of Apple's iPhone +

Not so for its stablemate the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, however. The Note 4 – an outsized device roughly the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus – packs outlandishly good specs and brings metal-and-glass construction to the table. The iPhones could well beat the Note 4 to market, however, and Samsung’s reluctance to reveal a sticker price in advance could herald a wallet-lightening of no small order.

HTC M8 HTC

HTC M8

The HTC M8, on the other hand, is priced just about like every other flagship phone on the market, looks nice, features solid internals, and comes with 50GB of Google Drive storage, to boot. It’ll need that storage space, however, as it doesn’t pack as much internal storage as any but the lowest-end iPhone 6 models. It’s about midway between the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in terms of size.

The LG G3 occupies the same size slot, but manages to cram a 1440p screen into its impressive, thinly bezeled 5.5-inch frame. While it suffers a bit in terms of built-in storage, like the aforementioned M8, it’s a strong contender across the board, even if it doesn’t excel particularly in one department.

Sony Xperia Z3 Sony

Sony Xperia Z3

Like the Galaxy Note 4, the Sony Xperia Z3 is an impressively harmonious design, which contains equally impressive hardware, including a whopping 20.7MP camera. What’s more, it packs said hardware into a package barely larger than the iPhone 6. Also like the Galaxy Note 4, however, it’s not out yet and could wind up costing you a pretty penny. It’s also as light on storage as the HTC M8 and LG G3.

All of the big phones mentioned so far have been Android devices, but the Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 930 also deserves a mention. More toward the iPhone 6 Plus end of the size spectrum, it features slightly less impressive silicon than many of its competitors, but balances that with quality construction and an aggressively high-end camera, which features Nokia’s much-vaunted PureView technology.

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