Camera

Stunning photos are in abundance here with the camera, so it’s a perfect companion for sharing the memories.

For as long as we can remember, the iPhone has always been a strong performer when it comes to snapping photos. Unlike the other handful of flagships announced or released recently, which keep getting armed with bigger count cameras, the iPhone 6 Plus matches its predecessor by packing along an 8-megapixel iSight camera in its rear – complemented by its five-element f/2.2 aperture lens, true-tone dual-LED flash, 1080p video recording, and a neat 240 FPS slow motion capture at 720p.

Naturally, we’re not too concerned that it’s not trying to win the megapixel race, like how many of its rivals feature 13-megapixel and up sensors. However, what’s strange this time around, whereas it wasn’t an issue with prior iPhones, is the slight protrusion of the lens from the rear. It’s not flush, so the phone is uneven when it’s laid down on its back. At the same time, since the lens juts out, a small portion of it does indeed come in contact with the surface.

Generally speaking, most people won’t realize it, but the iPhone 6 Plus’ iSight camera sees a subtle improvement in its responsiveness. Armed with a new sensor with Apple’s fancy termed “Focus Pixels” phase detection autofocus system, the phone is able to seamlessly and instantly focus on something faster than before – so that translates into snapping photos in a heartbeat, and without the worry of images coming out blurry. The 6 Plus is also the first iPhone to come with optical image stabilization, helping for reducing handshake blur in low light and for keeping the video more stable.


As for the camera interface itself, it has a familiar interface with a few new options, among which is the self-timer. When it is enabled, a delay of 3 or 10 seconds is set before the camera takes a burst of photos. Speaking of which, the camera automatically starts shooting in burst mode when its shutter is held down. Another improvement in the new Camera app is the added manual control over the image's focus and exposure. Holding down a finger on an area of the frame will lock the focus and exposure at that point. If needed, the exposure can be adjusted with the help of a slider that appears. The manual controls are designed in a way that makes them really easy to use even by non-experienced photographers. 

When it comes to video recording, Apple has added Time-Lapse mode to its Camera app. While nothing new to see on a smartphone, this feature is used for shooting videos that "condense" a long period of time into a much shorter video.

You won’t go wrong snapping photos with the iPhone 6 Plus - it produces identical results as its sibling in the iPhone 6. Therefore, what it captures are photos filled with a ton of sharp detail, proper exposure, and colors that won’t fail to dazzle the eyes. Although there’s no separation between the qualities produced here versus the iPhone 6, there’s a moderate amount of improvement found with its low lighting performance against last year’s iPhone 5s.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1.93
2.1
435
293
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2.7
No data
494
353
Huawei Ascend Mate7 2.8
3.2
797
586
HTC One max 3.3
No data
562
389
LG G3 2.7
4.3
No data
No data

Video Quality


If there’s one standout that favors the iPhone 6 Plus over the standard iPhone 6, it has to be that it features true optical image stabilization – whereas with the iPhone 6, it’s only a digital one. We’ll vouch that the iPhone 6 Plus records some amazing looking 1080p videos that are filled with plenty of sharp details, lively colors, and moderate exposure adjustment.

Indeed, its OIS feature kicks in to smoothens out our videos, where it exhibits that flowwy look, but in all fairness, the iPhone 6’s digital stabilization produces results that make it hard to tell which one is actually using true hardware OIS. Nevertheless, we do appreciate that Apple has finally incorporated continuous auto-focus, which is pretty responsive in adapting. And finally, its audio recording quality has been improved, as voices now have a more prominent tone – whereas before with the iPhone 5s, it sounded like voices were distant. For those looking for 4K ultra high-resolution video recording, we'll disappoint you that the iPhone 6 Plus doesn't offer it, unlike most of its rivals.

Last year brought on the introduction of 120 FPS slow-motion capture at 720p, but the iPhone 6 Plus’ upgraded hardware now permits it to capture those same 720p videos at an astonishing 240 FPS. We all were impressed with the 120 FPS capture, but this totally takes it to a new level. Increasing the frame rate allows fast-movements to be slowed down tremendously – to the point where every motion has an artistic grace to it.


Multimedia

The best part about the iPhone 6 Plus is that it’s the perfect size for when it comes to watching videos.

With iOS 7, photos could be edited straight in the Photos application, but the editing options available weren't many. Yet now, iOS 8 allows us to fine-tune an image's light and color. Modifying any of the two parameters actually changes a number of values simultaneously for a more pronounced effect. For example, making a photo lighter boosts its brightness and contrast while reducing the exposure and highlights. We know this may seem complicated, but it is not. In fact, Apple has made its image editing features in iOS 8 so easy that anyone can do it. The instant previews show what a photo will look before it is even modified, which is neat. Also, we're glad to see that photos can now be rotated freely. The auto-enhance, red-eye removal, and filter tools from before are present.

The music player remains unchanged from last year’s offering with iOS 7, so the visuals and functions are identical. Even though it continues to be integrated with iTunes Radio, we’re still required to go into the phone’s settings menu to adjust its equalizer setting. Now, it would be more useful and logical, to have it accessible directly from within the music player – as opposed to exiting out from it and then proceeding to go into the settings menu.

You’d think that the iPhone 6 Plus would emit stronger tones than the iPhone 6 with its speaker, since it’s a larger sized phone and all, but that’s not necessarily the case here. Rather, its internal speaker cranks out a maximum volume output of 71.6 dB, which is less than the iPhone 6’s mark of 74.5 dB. Despite that, we can attest that its quality is pleasant due to its crisp tone – plus, it doesn’t crackle at the loudest volume.
To tell you the truth, we don’t know how some people lived all those years trying to watch long movies on the iPhone. Well, we’re happy to report that the iPhone 6 Plus is an exquisite thing for the occasion – now that it boasts a sizable screen that’s ideal. All sorts of videos come to life thanks to its large and sharp looking screen, which is complemented by its smooth playback. Functionally, though, it lacks the features of its main rivals. In particular, the multi-tasking elements with video playback on certain Android phones.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1.014
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0.43
HTC One max 0.65
LG G3 0.57
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 71.6
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 76
HTC One max 79
LG G3 81
Huawei Ascend Mate7 79

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138 Comments

1. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

It looks larger than the Note 4, yet has a smaller display and battery. Really gotta commend Samsung on the compactness of their phones. As for this phone, its good for those looking for a phablet running iOS, but nothing really special or attractive to those holding on to another phablet (L1520 or any of the Android phablets).

11. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I agree.Gaming will be great on this one.

15. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Best for multimedia

27. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

See again my same issue as in the iPhone 6 review... Why don't they take points off for the overall size. My one year old Note 3 is way smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus with a larger screen... That should automatically drop it to 8.5. Then no 4K video, that should drop it to 8.0... I just don't get why other flagships get knocked for size relative to screen but the iPhone 6 Plus gets a free pass. Also 1GB of RAM... C'mon, there are mid-range devices with more RAM. I just don't get why iPhones are not subject to the same type of reviews as other flagships. Why is PhoneArena.com so lenient with the iPhone... I am sorry 9.0 for a larger rehash is completely unacceptable. This phone is a 8.0 TOPS!

33. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

There is no way this phone is a better device than LAST YEARS Note 3, much less this years Note 4. The Sony Xperia Z3 is a better device than both the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus. To say that specs don't matter because it's an iPhone is a bunch of bull. Why is PhoneArena.com so scared to give a correct score to an iPhone? If a phone has bad battery life like BOTH the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus how in the world could it ever get a score of a 9.0. I am sorry that is EXTREMELY questionable. So I guess it got bonus points for being pretty while it charges??? So sad PhoneArena.com... SO sad!

37. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

My friend. This is the time of the year when John V. go gaga on iPhone again. Don't expect a fair review from him.

40. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I hate to say it but you are right. I remember a time when Johnnnn V. from PhoneArena was the best reviewer around. No bang for the buck in this review. Apple can charge you a kidney & it would not factor into the final score... Very, very sad indeed! +1

70. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

+1 for "Johnnnn V. from Phonearena.com"

134. marcski07

Posts: 600; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

well i think it impacts also the scoring about the expectation of the reviewer, you see, iphone yearly is a rehash, so they expect it that way but still delivers. look at z3, it is a disappointment that the upgrade was very minimal coz we expect them to go big, that's why it was scored very low, even though they are more powerful than iphone. on the other hand, note 3 to note 4 has a significant upgrades so it has a high score than iphone 6/6+, if note 4 was like z3, i bet they'll score lower than iphone 6s' scores coz it disappoint. disappointment is great with high expectations. I'm not disagreeing with you, but just my observation on how they score it. knowing iphone yearly has very minimal upgrades, but you see new features and it delivers well, the score won't be changed that much, but the trend in android is different, every flagship must have a significant upgrades, so if a flagship has very minimal upgrades, it will score very badly coz we expect them to bring monstrous specs or latest specs, unlike in iOS. iOS or iphone, has nothing to be compared but only their 1 year old gadget so it scores that high.

51. synot

Posts: 277; Member since: Sep 14, 2012

On phone arena Apple always wins.

119. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

In sales customer satisfaction customer service and on the stock market Apple always wins too. Let's not forget that. Not Tryna to toot their horn, but let's face it the company knows what they're doing man they make a good product

77. pulkit1

Posts: 354; Member since: Jul 03, 2014

it is a better device than note 3 and note 4 touchwiz becomes hell to use after 4 months and it looks so ugly gingerbread era interface .

79. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Oh, so you've seen and played with or had a Note 4 for about 6 months now? -_- Also, in what ways would you say it's better than the Note 3? Just curious, really... Like, in what ways does this improve or differentiate the experience over the 6 as the Note 3 did over the S4 to you?

84. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What?!? He has used the Note 4? It's not even out yet?

97. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

My point exactly. He's making comments about TW on the Note 4 and it's still about a month away from release.

106. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

+1 Well said bro.. Another point i noticed is PA is comparing Note3 & other phones in Headphones DB test. Not comparing with HTC One M8 which has 1.38 as against 1.01 for iPhone just to show iPhone is superior to all others. Don't be soo biased please... Soo bad..

129. aqibone

Posts: 4; Member since: Sep 29, 2014

Hey Easy Easy. Every reviewer has opinions and/or preferences. But they are better than GSMARENA who have become SAMSUNGARENA for last couple of years. By the way, I think Z3 is better than others including new Note 4.

78. f35hunter

Posts: 238; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

I If you want to see the real biased reviews just wait the camera comparisons they will say that iCrab photos is even better than lumia 1020's and DSLR's photos, just waiting Kudos to PA

93. beachedwhale

Posts: 22; Member since: May 30, 2014

Its better because all the speed benchmarks that test how good it's processor will perform and the iPhone with its dual core 1.4 ghertz chip is WAY faster than the competition

99. ph00ny

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 26, 2011

Multitasking doesn't work the same way as it does on android so 1GB maybe adequate enough for iphones. As for other features, not sure if they're doing blow by blow comparison for the point scale or comparison against the previous models which makes sense for the rating but not quite for competitor comparison scale

107. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 358; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Well Said.. +1..

118. darkkjedii

Posts: 30900; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You sound like a whiny little b

138. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

You I apple polishing whxre. Insult goes both ways.

38. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

You have ipad mini for that, 6 plus basically Mini version of ipad mini ...LOL

64. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Maxipad nano?

18. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I was hoping Apple would bring something different to the phablet game, like making tablet-only apps compatible. As it stands, this is just one more oversized smartphone.

29. hitmantb

Posts: 79; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

It destroyed all Android devices in every performance benchmark and has better battery life than Note 3, on top of iOS exclusive metal which makes iOS games look 100 times better than Android (check out Asphalt 8 on both platforms), great job Apple! We will see what happens when Note 4 comes out. Samsung already knows it can not compete and immediately offered a $200 discount if you trade in a $10 working smartphone. 9 is too low, A8 is a completely different league than Snapdragon.

39. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Nope it doesn't destroy in every benchmark. And ofcourse it has better battery life than a Note 3, it's newer. Yet it's battery life is considered average in tests. And 100 times better? If it's 10 times better, it will be on the high side. Especially with new graphic engines coming out for both platforms. Ofcourse it's a completere different league, A8 is iOS, Snapdragon the rest.

41. jeff327

Posts: 86; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

As opposed to Sprint and Verizon offering if for free with a trade in? When it in the world any carrier ever offer a new I phone for free under any circumstances? The answer is never. The fact is this phone will sell like crazy. There are enough hard core Apple fans that would but a $16 Casio watch if it had an Apple Logo. (check out Jimmy Kimmel) But a lot of the public has woken up and know that Apple makes a great phone but it is inferior to many Android phones. But you go ahead and believe your new I Phone is the best. I truly hope you enjoy it. I will keep using my LG G3 knowing I have in my opinion the best phone on the market.

48. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Too bad you don't inform yourself before making half assed statements, the iPhone 6 Plus is rendering those benchmarks as if it had the same barely more than HD as the iPhone 6, the reason must be that Apple doesn't want their precious premium phablet to have less performance than the regular iPhone 6. And if you used your brain to make a decent comparison you wouldn't compare the on screen results of devices that are indeed rendering games and benches at 1080p to ones that are rendering at 750p (almost 2x the pixels in 1080p, which results in 2x frame rate drop). Compare them to the Z3 compact which sports a S801 (older chipset) and 720p resolution, it scores 25FPS in Manhattan versus the 30FPS of the iPhone 6 which for a rehash of S800 (mid 2013 SoC) isn't that far behind of the A8.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)

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