Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review: Is Bigger Better?

Introduction and Specifications

When introducing the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple described it as the “biggest advancement in iPhone history.” Naturally, the use of “biggest” was quite intentional, a pun almost. Prior to 2014, Apple’s entire iPhone line had only ever had two screen sizes: 3.5-inch and 4-inch. Those sizes were perfectly acceptable in their day, but of late, the market has asked for more. More screen real estate, more pixels, more horsepower and more battery life. While Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Sony, and just about every other smartphone maker on the planet introduced larger and larger smartphones, Apple held steady. Samsung pushed the very limits of what we’d label a “phone” with its jumbo-sized Galaxy Note line, which has turned out to be anything but a fad. In fact, you could probably credit Samsung's trailblazing in the sector for pushing Apple to produce an iPhone with a 5.5-inch, 1080p display. And, as is typically the case when Apple releases a new product, the market has reacted. Apple sold 10 million of its iPhone 6 handsets in the opening weekend alone, shattering records from prior launches.

The iPhone 6 Plus is a giant departure for Apple (there's that pun again, sorry). It’s potentially even addressing a new market segment for the company, and more than ever, it's designed to attract Android users who have contemplated the switch to iOS, but wanted a large-screen phone.

Apple made a couple of clever choices on the 6 Plus, too. Not only did it equip the larger of its two new iPhones with a full 1080p display, but it also gave it two distinct hardware perks: optical image stabilization on the camera and batter battery life. That means that there’s more to the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus decision than display preference.

Let’s take a look at what’s inside Apple’s largest, most powerful, and most expensive iPhone yet.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Specifications
Specifications & Features
CPU Speed Apple A8 silicon (64-bit; dual-core 1.4GHz Cyclone ARMv8)
Platform iOS 8
Memory Flash 16GB/64GB/128GB + 1GB RAM
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches  (LxWxT)
Weight 6.07 ounces with battery
Display 5.5" Retina Display with 1920x1080 resolution; 1300:1 contrast ratio; ~401pp; Multi-Touch; 16M colors; LED-backlit IPS LCD technology; Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front, in-layer touch panel
Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524; CDMA2000 1xEV-DO - A1522 (CDMA), A1524; TD-SCDMA 1900 / 2000 - A1524; LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600 (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29) - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA); LTE 700/800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600; TD-LTE 1900/2300/2500/2600; (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/38/39/40/41) - A1524
Navigation All touchscreen
GPS Assisted GPS and GLONASS antennas
Sensors Digital compass, Barometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer; Fingerprint Identity sensor (TouchID)
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0 (A2DP, LE)
Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi (dual-band)
3.5mm stereo audio jack
Apple Lightning Connector
Camera 8-megapixel iSight rear camera with phase-detection auto focus and 1080p video capture (up to 60 frames per second with audio) and 240FPS Slo-Mo; LED Flash; FaceTime HD front camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p) up to 30 frames per second
Battery Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (non-removable 2915mAh; 11.1Wh)
Talk time: Up to 24 hours on 3G
Standby time: Up to 384 hours
Internet Use: Up to 12 hours on 3G, LTE, or Wi-Fi
Audio Playback: Up to 80 hours
HD Video Playback: Up to 14 hours
Expansion Slot None
In-Box Content Main unit, Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic, Lightning Connector to USB Cable, USB Power Adapter, Documentation
$299 - $499 On Contract With AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile; $749 - $999 unsubsidized
Find it @ Amazon

In light of previous iPhones, the iPhone 6 Plus' specifications are better overall, thanks to an updated, dual-core A8 SoC that packs a more powerful graphics core. Despite having fewer CPU cores and lower clocks than many SoCs from companies like Qualcomm, iPhones in general have performed very well, thanks to Apple's hardware and software optimizations. We expect that the components within the iPhone 6 Plus will satisfy both upgrading iOS loyalists as well as Android or Windows Phone users considering making the transition.

If the new innards and new screen size weren’t enough, the iPhone 6 Plus also ships with an entirely new operating system, iOS 8. We’ll evaluate the whole shebang in the pages ahead. 

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