|Style & Handling|
|+ Beautiful design||- Screen could be higher resolution|
|+ Long battery life||- Monstrously expensive|
|+ Brilliant camera||- Too big for some people|
Verdict: The iPhone 6 Plus is an even better phone than the iPhone 6 in many ways, but its large size and high price tag may hold it back.
Apple has finally embraced larger screen sizes with the iPhone 6 and taken it to the extreme with the iPhone 6 Plus. This is a phone which positively dwarfs the iPhone 5s, but is it better for it? And can it stand up to the other phablets of the smartphone world? Read on to find out.
While the ‘Plus’ in the iPhone 6 Plus’s name isn’t solely referring to the size it’s safe to say that’s the main meaning behind it. Because it adds quite a lot on to the already fairly large iPhone 6’s dimensions.
To be more precise the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch display, one with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 and a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. All of which is greater than the iPhone 6, so the ‘Plus’ relates to the size, the resolution, the pixel density and more besides, but we’ll get to that.
At 1080p the iPhone 6 Plus displays sharp images, but they’re somewhat lower resolution than the identically sized LG G3 and the slightly larger Samsung Galaxy Note 4, both of which have 1440 x 2560 QHD displays.
Still, it’s a decent resolution in its own right and the iPhone 6 Plus also has great contrast, wide viewing angles and better colour reproduction than ever before. It’s not quite as vibrant as Samsung’s offerings but images look slightly more natural.
The last few Apple phones have been known for their sharp corners and straight edges but the iPhone 6 Plus is the complete opposite with curved edges and rounded corners. In fact it’s so in love with curves that even the glass front panel curves slightly at the edges, so as to create the impression that the iPhone 6 Plus could almost be a single thing rather than being made up of multiple components.
At 158.1 x 77.8mm and 172g it’s on the large and heavy side, but no more so than you’d expect for a device with a 5.5 inch screen and at 7.1mm it’s actually very slim. The standard iPhone 6 is slimmer still and along with the smaller size that makes it look a little better, but the 6 Plus is certainly a close second.
It’s difficult to talk about the power of the iPhone 6 Plus because Apple hasn’t been very specific about the processor and RAM specs. In fact it hasn’t said anything at all about how much RAM there is, though it’s widely suspected that there’s 2GB, one gigabyte more than the iPhone 6 is thought to have.
As for that processor it’s a 64-bit A8, likely clocked at the same speed as the iPhone 6, though what that speed is hasn’t been confirmed either.
What we can say is that performance seems flawless so far, with slick and speedy response times whatever you’re using the phone for.
It also has a speedy 4G chip built in, which supports speeds of up to 150Mbps, so it’s just as fast when dealing with data as when running apps and games.
The iPhone 6 Plus has an 8 megapixel camera complete with optical image stabilisation, which is a first for iPhones and helps avoid motion blur and the effects of camera shake.
It also has a number of shooting modes, options and improvements, such as fast autofocus, exposure controls and high resolution panoramas.
For video there are options to shoot in 1080p at 60fps or in 720p slow-motion at 240fps and you can even make stunning time-lapse videos. There’s also a camera on the front of course. This is just 1.2 megapixels but with improved face detection, a timer and a burst mode that can capture ten photos per second it’s easy to take the perfect selfie. FaceTime video calls also get a boost thanks to an HDR mode.
The main new feature of the iPhone 6 Plus is Apple Pay. This is a contactless payment solution which uses NFC (which itself makes its iOS debut here and in the iPhone 6) to allow you to pay for things in stores using your phone. Apple has partnered with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for this so expect to see it supported in a lot of places.
The iPhone 6 Plus also includes Touch ID, which is now better than ever because with iOS 8 (which the iPhone 6 Plus ships with) it will begin supporting third-party apps.
Then there’s the M8 motion co-processor, which can keep track of your activity throughout the day, measuring how many steps you take, how far you travel and any changes in elevation.
Apple hasn’t said how big the iPhone 6 Plus’s battery is, but it has said how long it lasts for, specifically 24 hours of talk time, 16 days of standby, 80 hours of music or 12 hours of internet use, which are some highly impressive stats and another reason for that ‘Plus’ in the name.
For storage you can choose between 16GB, 64GB or 128GB, with prices of £619, £699 and £789 respectively, so it’s not cheap, in fact it’s just about the most expensive mainstream smartphone around. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
The iPhone 6 Plus is a surprisingly impressive device, or rather it’s surprisingly more impressive than the iPhone 6, thanks to a better screen, optical image stabilisation, longer battery life and possibly more power.
Inevitably though it’s also more expensive than that already pricey phone, whether it’s worth the extra is somewhat debatable and mostly comes down to whether you’ll benefit from a larger screen.
We certainly can’t see it selling as well as its smaller sibling but if you take price out of the equation it just might be the better phone of the two.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus SpecificationDimensions : 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm Weight: 172 grams Screen size: 5.5” IPS LCD (1080 x 1920) Screen Resolution: 1080 x 1920 display resolution Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 401 Processor: 1.4GHz Dual core application processor TBC RAM: 1GB TBC On-board Memory: 16GB / 64GB / 128GB Camera: 8MP (rear) (1.2 megapixel front-facing) Operating system: iOS 8 3G / 4G LTE: Yes/ Yes Bluetooth / NFC : Yes/ Yes Battery capacity: TBC Colours: Space Grey, Silver, Gold Launch Date: 19th September Price: £619