iPhone 6 Plus Reivew

It took me a bit longer to get my hands on a new iPhone this year, which is odd, as there’s a lot of it to get hold of.

As mentioned every year on this site, with iPhone reviews, I always elect to spend a week with the device so that I can give a balanced and fair minded analysis.

Let’s get in to some of the headline specs where the 6 Plus is concerned and then get in to what it’s actually like to live with. Apple launched the iPhone 6 at an event in September (predicted by this site in January) along with the Apple Watch.


As with every number generation of iPhone, the 6 is a completely new design. The deriders in the audience at this point say, ‘how can a rectangle be new?’. Well, let’s look at it like this, taken from a profile view, the new iPhones are actually pill shaped. The addition of curved glass and the new uni-body aluminium shell all create one seamless curve around the edges of the device. This is important, as with the iPhone growing in screen size, there had to be something done to enable the phone to sit in the hand easier.

iPhone 6 Plus Edge ProtectionWhen the leaks were landing, there was a lot of hate for the antenna breaks at the top and bottom of the device. I hypothesised that said breaks would also function as edge protection, given that an iPhone it typically put down by the back corners or bottom edge. This has seemed true in use, but given that mine has spent almost all of it’s time in a case, it’s harder to quantify.

The other external changes of note are the repositioning of the Sleep/Wake button to the right hand side of the device. A good move, given the new hight of the phones. The camera now also protrudes slightly from the back of the phone. This isn’t an issue, as it’s made of what may be liquid metal but definitely houses a sapphire lens cover to stop any damage.

The above three paragraphs are all transferable to the iPhone 6 as well as the 6 Plus.

When we get in to the 6 Plus specifically it’s hard to call it anything other than huge, initially. I’ve never really taken notice of the size of other people’s hands, but when you see someone holding a Plus, it can either seem perfectly sized or like you’ve handed a tablet to a child. As for me, well, the Plus is large, but that’s exactly what I wanted.

Here’s a confession; I’ve always been a bit jealous of the larger screens on some other handsets. I blame Nokia and their high-end Lumias for that. Knowing that the extra real-estate had potential that (in my opinion) was wasted on sub-par operating systems, and the same goes for Android devices.

After looking over what I said two years ago about the iPhone 5 and it’s modest screen increase, I can detect a tone of complacency and jealousy when it comes to the screen size. The truth of the matter is, Apple could have released a larger screen device 2 years ago but the trade-offs in quality and battery life would have rendered it a no. We should be glad of that, because when it comes to getting something right, doesn’t necessarily mean getting there first. (See for evidence, the Sony Xeperia Ultra 6.3 inch ‘phone’).

The screen on the iPhone 6 is a scaled up version of that from the 5 and 5s, where as the screen on the 6 Plus is a completely new panel. This is a full HD display. Again, Apple are not the first to this game, but they are yet again, the best. After comparing the 6 Plus’s screen to the AMOLED and Super LCD competitors, the Retina HD display is, I’m going to say it, Perfect. Perfectly readable in sunlight, comforting in low light and with a visual clarity beyond commercial print. I think this screen is going to make me complacent and expect the same from all my devices.


Ahhh iOS 8. What seems like the least important beta I’ve ever been through has proven to be a bit more important than previously considered. Some time ago, I called iOS6 just an iOS 5.5 and at the time, it turns out I was right given the internal politics and subsequent high profile exits at Apple after the Maps fiasco. iOS feels like a level of polish that iOS 7 deserved and as such, almost feels like a .5 update. That was until the iPhone 6 launch.

All of the little gestures that were brought in to iOS 7 now have a core place in in the interactions with the 6 and 6 Plus. Swiping to go back and forwards through levels in applications and web pages makes a lot more physical sense when your finger is drawn in that direction by the curve of the glass. The extra ‘white space’ in the icon layout makes sense when you consider the new higher resolution displays can work in a zoom mode.

There are some built in apps in iOS that fall in and out of favour with me as time goes on and better apps arrive. For instance, for about 2 years, my go to camera app was not the built in one, it was Camera+, the same goes for Mail being replaced with MailBox and Calendars and Messages being superseded by Calendars 5 and WhatsApp respectively. In iOS 8, all of these have been switched back to default and that’s because of the 6 Plus. For instance, the fact that when you open the Camera app, you find that it’s immediately in focus (if you have the light for it). That makes for very fast picture taking and when you dive in to Photos, the editing tools have rendered most other image editors on my iPhone surplus to requirements. Calender, Messages and Mail now all have landscape views that increase usability and all of this really starts to make you of the Plus as a productivity tool.


The camera was mentioned above, but it merits it’s own section when it comes to the 6 Plus. Not only does the Plus contain the same new Focus Pixel technology as the regular 6, the Plus comes with OIS, better known as Optical Image Stabilisation. What does that mean? Well, to put it simply, OIS keeps the camera steady so it can get better photos and videos. You can see the effect it has in the videos below, one shot in a moving car that comes out very smooth and the second video makes use of the new 240 frames per second Slo-mo mode. Introduced with the 5s at 120fps, the 6 brings twice that giving some truly impressive results.

When it comes to pictures, the OIS allows the aperture to stay open for longer and allows more light in to the sensor. This makes for brighter images in low light and in bright light keeps the camera sensor stable.
Take a look at this delicious red velvet cake and then the 100% crop to see what I mean.

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Test

Wrap up

After a week with the iPhone 6 Plus, there’s one over riding thought in my mind: This phone is not for 90% of iPhone buyers. Most people shouldn’t buy it.

This isn’t a comment on the phone specifically, it’s a comment on phones of this size. I got a good long time to play with a regular iPhone 6 and it is almost perfect. That statement is qualified with the small proviso that you can not create a device that’s perfect for everyone. The iPhone 6 has the best match up of design and specification on the market. That makes it the best option for 90% of people. For the other 10% there’s the Plus.

The iPhone 6 Plus is effectively and iPhone Pro. The extra screen real estate makes it a hell of a productivity tool and something truly different for Apple fans. It’s everything you love, with the screen that you’ve always dreamed of.

As with everything, the choice you make is personal preference, you chose what fits your life best. With that, I implore you to play with both sizes to get an idea of what is right for you, but either way, you ones be disappointed. I’m not, the iPhone 6 Plus is the best phone I’ve ever had.

Takeaway Points


  • The screen is amazing
  • The camera is the best mix of sensor and software available
  • The battery life is like a Terminator made out of Duracell bunnies
  • Bigger phone means bigger aerials and thus far better signal and connection


  • Lots of landscape optimisation, but for some reason, not the lock screen
  • Apps not updated for the bigger screen
  • Getting used to the larger screen may put some people off
  • You have to come up with lots of witty answers to the question ‘is it bent yet?’

In the gallery below, all images were taken with the iPhone 6 Plus:

iPhone 6 Plus 240 FPS Slo-mo Test:

iPhone 6 Plus OIS Video Test: