comscore Apple iPhone 6 Plus review roundup: Does bigger mean better?
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Apple iPhone 6 Plus review roundup: Does bigger mean better?

apple-iphone-6-plus

In addition to the iPhone 6, Apple also launched its first ever phablet the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone phablet flaunts a 5.5-inch display and will focus on an audience who like their big smartphones and until now only had an Android phablet to choose from. Here s a roundup of the reviews of the iPhone 6 Plus. Also Read - iPhone 12 Mini reaches end of production already, say rumours

Also Read - Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza sale top deals: iPhone SE, Poco X3 Pro and more on discount

Let s take a look at the specifications first. The iPhone 6 sports dimensions of 158.1 77.8 7.1 mm and weighs 172 grams. It flaunts a 5.5-inch Retina HD display with a pixel resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, and is powered by a 64-bit A8 processor paired with an M8 coprocessor and 1GB of RAM. Also featured are 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.2-megapixel front-facing Facetime camera, 16GB, 64GB and 128GB internal storage, and it runs on iOS 8. Also Read - Beware! This new iOS bug breaks WiFi on iPhones: Here's a quick fix for it

Design

The iPhone 6 Plus will be too big for a lot of people, but there is a sizeable crowd, which love smartphones with big displays. According to the reviewers, these people will love the bigger iPhone s size and design.

Mashable starts describing the iPhone 6 Plus saying, It has unusual, almost hypnotic powers.

I ve witnessed people who are initially confounded, even repulsed, by the 5.5-inch phablet, hold and play with it for a while and then proclaim this is the iPhone 6 for them. Perhaps that s why Apple chose to build an iPhone that s almost too big for a pocket, but, as one woman told me, would fit quite nicely in a clutch.

With its size and weight, the iPhone 6 Plus feels more like a mini tablet than a phone and easily fills one of my pockets. I prefer the smaller smartphone, but based on recent pre-order reports, I may be in the minority.

If you want a phablet, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very good one. That big screen is especially well suited to movie watching and game playing, but also packs in a lot more info from web pages and emails than you ll get from the iPhone 6, 5S and other, smaller smartphones.

Display

It is not only bigger, but the iPhone 6 Plus is also the first smartphone in Apple s portfolio to flaunt a full HD display. But can the display compete against some of the Android rivals?

The Verge s Nilay Patel says,

The 6 Plus has an absolutely stunning display. It s a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 panel, which works out to 401 pixels per inch. That s the highest-density display Apple s ever shipped, but there s a whole range of Android phones out there with big and great-looking high-density screens: the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5 at 432ppi, the 5-inch HTC One M8 at 441ppi, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 at 515ppi, and the 5.5-inch LG G3 at an insane 538ppi.

Of course, it s debatable whether your eyes can even perceive any of these higher pixel densities, and driving all those extra dots takes a toll on battery life. Apple seems to have aimed firmly at the middle ground with the iPhone 6 Plus: it s a great-looking display that s plenty sharp, but it s not so crazy high-res in the service of specs that it needs a bigger battery to keep it lit up all day.

Apple s using some other tricks to make the display look amazing, though: there s a new polarizer that makes the phone easier to see in sunlight, wider viewing angles with more accurate color reproduction, and overall higher contrast than previous iOS screens. And perhaps most importantly, the entire display stack is thinner, so it looks more like you re touching the pixels directly than ever before. It s like the screen is painted on. This, more than anything, is what makes the iPhone 6 Plus display pop I haven t seen another phone display that looks quite so immediate. It would be nice if there was a spec-sheet number to describe this quality so the rest of the industry could race to improve it; that seems to be how these things work.

Re/code s Lauren Goode too describes the display in similar vein, saying,

The iPhone 6 Plus s Retina-display resolution is actually not as high, nor its pixel density as great, as some of its competitors. But the display still looks clear and bright.

Pocket-Lint s Stuart Miles also touched upon the display modes on the iPhone phablet, saying,

Coming off the back of this upscaling approach is a new display option, Standard or Zoomed. Standard allows you to benefit from the new resolution, while Zoomed replicates the display of the iPhone 5S. The immediate difference is that everything is bigger, perfect if you don’t want to wear your glasses. But bigger also means softer fonts, no sixth row of apps, and not really giving you a benefit from the new improvements you’ve bought into with the big display.

Regardless of which one you choose – we opted for Standard – until apps from third-party developers are updated to use the new resolution, they will show as Zoomed meaning you are jumping between the two scales constantly.

Performance

It too is powered by the same 64-bit A8 processor as the iPhone 6, paired with an M8 coprocessor and 1GB of RAM. Though the same processor is powering a bigger smartphone, the overall performance doesn t seem to have taken a hit.

TechCrunch s Darrell Etherington says,

The iPhone 6 Plus may be powering a much larger display, and it may need to output content at a higher resolution, but it s not showing any additional strain vs. the iPhone 6 despite the extra legwork required. The 64-bit A8 process that Apple has designed, which uses a new, smaller and more power-efficient 20nm process, is more than up to the task of serving up animations, swipes, switches and multitasking for the 6 Plus.

If you re new to the world of iOS and iPhone, you ll probably just note that the performance is excellent and move on. But if you re upgrading from an older device, like perhaps the iPhone 4 or 4S, you re going to instantly take note of just how speedy everything is with this new processor architecture. The screen sizes are stealing headlines, but the performance of the A8, in graphics-intensive applications and in rendering interface flourishes, means that you ll be feeling the effects of Apple s next-generation processor improvements long after people are used to the bigger displays.

Cameras

The iPhone 6 Plus too has the same 8-megapixel primary camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera, and like the iPhone 6, performance seems to be top-notch.

Patel says,

The iPhone 6 Plus camera is the best smartphone camera I ve ever used. Apple s holding firm at 8 megapixels while everyone else is racing to put ever-bigger numbers on spec sheets, and it feels like the right decision: the iPhone 6 Plus focuses faster, works better in low light, and generally produces the best photos I ve ever seen from a phone. The 6 Plus has the same basic shooter as the iPhone 6, but it adds optical image stabilization to the mix, which improves low-light performance even more. It s not going to help you when you re shooting anything that moves, like people, but for sunsets and skylines, it s clutch. It basically lets the camera hold the shutter open a little bit longer than it otherwise could without causing a blurry image, so more light hits the sensor.

If you re like me and you mostly find yourself taking photos at dusk and in dark rooms, you ll end up with many more usable shots. Until you take too many shots and everything gets blurry regardless. The iOS 8 Camera app is also much improved; I love the feature that lets you instantly adjust exposure by dragging up and down on the screen. And the new time-lapse and 240fps slow-mo modes are pretty fun slow-mo works really well, and while the time-lapse mode isn t quite as good as Instagram s Hyperlapse app, it s still pretty good. There s also a new feature called Cinematic Stabilization which does an impressive job of smoothing out unwanted motion in video clips; it s strong enough to make a meaningful difference but subtle enough that you won t notice the effect until you re looking for it.

Battery

While the iPhone 6 battery impressed the reviewers, the iPhone 6 Plus has an even bigger battery. In other words, performance is expected to be much better.

Not surprisingly, CNET s Tim Stevens says,

One place you will certainly notice a huge difference between the 6 Plus and the iPhone 5s, and indeed the iPhone 6, is battery life. The iPhone 6 Plus managed a solid 13 hours and 16 minutes in our battery rundown test. It backed that up with impressive real-world performance, easily and repeatedly making it through a full day of heavy use (constant Web surfing, gaming, video streaming, and GPS navigation), often lasting well into a second day before needing a charge.

Sadly, charging still requires that you fish out a Lightning cable. While the Apple Watch will offer wireless charging, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still make do without.

Goode too was impressed with the iPhone 6 Plus battery, saying,

Oh, and if, like me, you rarely get a full day out of your current iPhone s battery, this might excite you: In my tests, which involved setting the display brightness to 50 percent and cycling through my regular routine of apps and phone calls, the iPhone 6 Plus would last from early one morning until evening the following day.

Verdict

The overall verdict on the iPhone 6 Plus is a mixed bag of sorts. While some are not impressed by the massive size, others are in love with it.

Goode falls in the former category, saying,

Of course, there are downsides to a phone this big.

It didn t fit well in pockets. And it was too big to hold in my hand, or even wear on my arm, during fitness activities. This is key for me. I usually take my test phones on at least one distance run; with this one, I didn t even try. I did carry it during a hike, and it slipped out of my hand and hit the dirt before I hit the two-mile mark.

Finally, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn t come with a stylus. Samsung s Note phones have stylus pens, and some people really like them. But Apple is standing by Steve Jobs s theory that the best styluses are our fingers.

Stylus or not, some other jumbo phones have felt like plastic toys to me. Apple has designed a giant phone that offers a few key large-screen features without overwhelming the senses, and it has a pretty good camera, to boot.

Patel however has no such qualms, and claims he is in love with the big iPhone.

I m going to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. I m taken with it; it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple, and it has such a killer camera I can t say no. It s every bit as good a phone as the iPhone 6; I m docking it a little because Apple has a few software glitches to clear up. But I m confident that will happen.

There s nothing here that competitors aren t doing with their big phones Samsung in particular is pushing the envelope with its S Pen stylus and multiple-app features but the overall package is so good it s hard to ignore. The smaller iPhone 6 feels like just the next iterative update to the iPhone, but the 6 Plus feels like something else entirely; with a few more software tweaks and some love from developers, it could really be my main computer. It s as much iPad as iPhone.

We re going to need bigger hands.

Also Read: Apple iPhone 6 review roundup: Is this the best iPhone ever?

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: September 17, 2014 1:33 PM IST
  • Updated Date: September 17, 2014 1:34 PM IST


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