Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review

Call Quality

It’s decent for phone calls, especially using the earpiece in noisy settings, but its speakerphone is a little subdued.

Calls are pretty decent with the iPhone 6 Plus. For the most part, voices are audible through the earpiece, thanks largely to the strong volume of the earpiece, which makes it easy to use even in noisy environments. Switching to the speakerphone, however, it becomes just a smidgen problematic due to its subdued tone. Thankfully our callers have an easy time on their end making us out.

Although it’s not something relatively new in the greater scheme of things, the iPhone 6 Plus has support for Wi-Fi calling – an added benefit of course, especially if you’re in one of those spots where cell phone coverage is spotty. However, it’s something that’s carrier dependent. Currently, though, T-Mobile is the only major domestic carrier to support this.

Battery

Its battery life is longer than the iPhone 6, but it’s underwhelming when pitted against some other notable flagship phones.

Complementing its gargantuan size, the iPhone 6 Plus is treated to a larger battery than the iPhone 6. Not surprisingly, it’s able to offer us a longer battery life – where it’s more than ample for an entire day of normal usage. Heck, even power users will be pleased by its longevity. However, we wouldn’t go far to say that it’s significantly better than the handful of flagship Android phones that are presently available.

Well, our reservations are confirmed after running our benchmark test, as the iPhone 6 Plus puts up a mark of 6 hours, 32 minutes, which is an hour longer than the iPhone 6, but still far from the 7.5 hours of juice of the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the over 8 hours of the Sony Xperia Z2. Generally speaking, phablets have been known to offer superior longevity, but that’s not the case here.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6h 32 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
Huawei Ascend Mate7
9h 3 min (Excellent)
HTC One max
7h 27 min (Good)
LG G3
6h 14 min (Average)

Conclusion


No doubt, Apple is testing the waters with the iPhone 6 Plus. For the company, the move to compete in the phablet space is a logical one, since consumers are increasingly seeing the value of having a gigantic screen in a phone. Sure, it can make you look a little obnoxious holding a massive thing to your ear, but there are obviously advantages to having a big screen at our disposal.

Even though the iPhone 6 Plus is greeted to a few upgrades over the iPhone 6, what we have here in the end is still not much more than a larger iPhone 6. Yes, it has a higher resolution screen, optical image stabilization with its camera, and a longer battery life, but as a phablet, it still needs more to make it effective in being a true powerhouse. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a fantastic phone that earns high marks in a variety of categories – its design being the most notable, one that’s a cut above other phablets.

However, the software enhancements aren’t profound enough to actually make the most use out of the large canvas. Even though its iOS 8 experience brings along some added new functions to broaden the platform’s experience, as well as new landscape layouts with certain core apps specific to the iPhone 6 Plus, it still for the most part doesn’t have the insane productivity elements needed in making it a true workhorse.

Pricing isn’t too shocking for a phablet, as the iPhone 6 Plus starts off at $300 on-contract (or $750 outright) for the base 16GB model. Many of us are quite familiar with that pricing, but we know that some of you folks are wondering if it’s beneficial to fork over the extra $100 over the iPhone 6 to pick up this phablet. Well, it mainly hinges on size, which is what’s most apparent between them. If we look down the line and compare the two iPhones, the 6 Plus sees an advantage with its larger & higher resolution display, longer battery life, ideal video watching experience, and its more proper layout in landscape with certain apps – and that’s all folks! With the latter, we should mention that third-party apps support is non-existent at the moment.As the dust settles, what we have here is nothing more than a bigger iPhone 6 – or a smaller iPad mini with phone functionality on board. Quite frankly, the only decision you’ll need to make is whether having a larger screen is something that’s most pertinent to you.

Software version of the review unit: 8.0 (12A366)


Pros

  • It has the highest resolution screen in an iPhone
  • High quality display produces accurate colors & strong brightness
  • Enhanced layout in landscape with certain apps make it more productivity focused
  • For a phablet, it has one attractive design & sturdy construction

Cons

  • Battery life is underwhelming in comparison to other flagships
  • Camera lens sticks out
  • No 4K video capture
  • Expensive
  • Few apps make use of the optimized landscape layout

PhoneArena Rating:

9.0

User Rating:

9.1
41 Reviews

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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: 31529; 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: 361; 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: 241; 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: 2065; 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: 361; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Well Said.. +1..

118. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; 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: 3723; 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: 87; 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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