Apple iPhone 6 Plus: An in depth review

Some things don't work at 5.5-inches, like the design of a small iPhone

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • High resolution screen
  • Great software
  • Finger scanner
  • Strong battery performance

Cons

  • Uncomfortable to hold and use daily
  • Apple's strict governance

Bottom Line

An iPhone that is uncomfortable to use contradicts what the iPhone is all about. This is a niche smartphone intended for a tiny group of multimedia junkies. And even then, the smaller 4.7in iPhone 6 should appease even the most demanding content users.

Would you buy this?

Apple is taking the fight to Samsung with its first large screen smartphone, the inimitable iPhone 6 Plus. It brings Apple’s famed iOS 8 software to a vibrant 5.5-inch screen, but we fear somewhere along the way the iPhone lost its magic.

Note: Small parts of this review was published in our iPhone 6 review, such as our thoughts on Apple’s Touch ID. Know the vast majority is fresh content inspired by the 6 Plus

Larger than comfort

Remember the aluminium body, tapered Gorilla glass and rounded corners defining the appearance of the responsibly sized iPhone 6? All these hallmarks can be found on the 6 Plus, although the appeal struggles to translate to the large screen variant.

The iPhone 6 Plus feels too like a tablet and not enough like a smartphone

The iPhone 6 Plus is ghastly big. The smartphone-tablet hybrid has a screen that measures the same size of LG’s G3, and yet it stands a centimetre taller. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4, which has an even larger, richer screen, measures 4mm shorter than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple claims the iPhone 6 Plus is more than a supersized iPhone. The design of the 6 Plus certainly doesn’t lend support to the claim. Every one of its angles resembles that of its smaller sibling, only stretched to unappealing proportions.

Here’s the problem: the iPhone 6, which has a hand friendly 4.7-inch screen, can pull off Apple’s stylised bezels. It fits in hands and pockets comfortably. The 6 Plus simply cannot.

It will dig into your thighs at the sight of ramps or stairs. Hop in the car and it won’t fit anywhere on the centre console. The big iPhone constantly taxes the small events that make up your day.

Large 5.5 screens alone strain the hand. The design of an ordinary iPhone drops in comfort when its stretched so large. The phablet form factor necessitates its own design, one with thinner bezels up top. The iPhone 6 Plus feels too like a tablet and not enough like a smartphone.

The screen alone can fit an entire iPhone 5S
The screen alone can fit an entire iPhone 5S

Let’s talk about “bendgate”

Several iPhone 6 Plus’ have reportedly had their aluminium chassis bend from pressure. Videos have surfaced demonstrating the 6 Plus being bent with bare hands, although scientific tests have determined it’s difficult bending the smartphone’s chassis. Apple claims only nine cases have been reported in the first week.

Good Gear Guide found the body of the iPhone 6 Plus gives from little flex and that it would be possible to bend the smartphone with our hands; however, doing so would demand more force than an ordinary smartphone is expected to withstand.

iPhone finally goes Full HD

The 6 Plus might have a larger screen than the iPhone 6 and some better numbers in its spec list, but little separates the two when it comes to everyday use. Its 5.5in screen has a 1920x1080 resolution and a 401 pixel-per-inch density. The improved pixel density is hard to notice with the naked eye, even when the 326ppi iPhone 6 sits adjacent.

Apple’s iPhone 6 excelled in finding a balance between colour accuracy, brightness and resolution. The 6 Plus achieves the same balance, only it extends the screen by 0.8 of an inch. All media is more enjoyable when viewed on the larger iPhone, but the spoils of the 5.5in display aren’t good enough to warrant lugging around the super-sized smartphone.

The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a single speaker lining its base. The location of the speaker is naturally covered by your hands when you watch videos in landscape
The iPhone 6 Plus comes with a single speaker lining its base. The location of the speaker is naturally covered by your hands when you watch videos in landscape

Click over for a comparison against rivals, camera performance, software innovations and more

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Read more on these topics: Apple, iPhone, Touch ID, iOS 8, 6 Plus, 6
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