Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review: Is Bigger Better?

Performance: Battery Life and Camera

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Performance

Despite huge megapixels numbers on Lumia phones and UltraPixels on HTC handsets, Apple’s iSight camera system has held up well. Apple optimized both the hardware and software on the iPhone 6 Plus' camera to good effect. The company is vertically integrated, and has immense power within the industry, which allows it to pick and choose the ideal sensor and optimize iOS for it.

The iPhone 6 Plus has an 8MP rear sensor with 1.5µ pixels, a new, advanced autofocus system that completely shames the iPhone 5s in terms of refocusing speed, and an f/2.2 aperture. The Plus also gets optical image stabilization (while the standard 6 gets a digital version), alongside True Tone flash, a five-element lens, hybrid IR filter, improved face detection, burst mode, panorama mode, and a new timer mode.

Apple still isn’t providing access to granular manual controls, so you won’t be able to tweak ISO, aperture, etc. on your own without relying on a third-party app such as Camera+. Still, it did up the ante on video with a new 1080p60 mode, and a Slo-Mo mode that now records at 240 frames per second (up from 120 frames per second on the iPhone 5s).

It’s difficult to pinpoint why exactly the iPhone shines so well in the photo-taking department, but as these unedited photos below detail, the proof is in the JPEG. Apple has its image processing algorithms dialed-in very well with the iPhone 6 Plus. Though they may not offer the same resolution as some other smartphones, overall quality is still excellent.

Click any image to enlarge

iPhone 6 Plus Battery Life

In our standard web browsing rundown test, which regularly reloads a Web link while cellular data is active, Wi-Fi is on and Mail / Twitter / Facebook are set to update every 15 minutes, we saw the battery exhaust itself after 18.5 hours. In everyday use, we had no issues getting through an entire workday. All told, we squeezed around 39 hours of regular, real-world use out of a single charge by using the iPhone as we normally would -- involving an hour or so of calls per day, multiple hours of browsing / checking notifications, and nonstop push updates from five connected accounts.

One of the complaints with earlier iPhone's was battery life. Samsung has even released ads poking fun at iPhone users that are continually tethered to electrical outlet. But the iPhone 6 Plus goes a long way towards addressing the issue. There's no reason to think that the average user could not get a full day of use from a single charge. And longer life is possible if you're not continually glued to your phone. The large chassis of the iPhone 6 Plus enables a highly capacious 2915mAh Li-Po battery to be shoved in, which allows it to compete with some of the best smartphones currently available in terms of battery life.

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