Call Quality

Conversations are handled pretty easily by the iPhone 6, but we wouldn’t go far to say that it’s perfect.

Using it for phone calls, the iPhone 6’s quality is minutely improved over its predecessor. Voices through the earpiece, once again continue to have a strong emphasis behind them – so even in noisy environments, the earpiece’s volume output is loud enough for us to comprehend our callers. Over the speakerphone, however, there’s just a subtle amount of distortion. It’s not something that diminishes the experience tremendously, but nonetheless a noticeable thing. Conversely, our callers on the other end of the line have little issue in trying to distinguish our voice.

Although it’s not something relatively new in the greater scheme of things, the iPhone 6 now 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

A skinny profile earns the iPhone 6 some good points, but there’s a compromise to its battery life – it’s just not as good as its contemporaries.

In compensating for the iPhone 6’s larger display, it’s been stuffed with a larger battery than its predecessor. Sadly, though, it fails to keep pace with some of its highly-esteemed rivals in the space. Indeed, it manages to get us through a single day or normal usage, but power users will surely give the phone some work – as in it needing to be recharged at some point during the afternoon, before it’s completely tapped out when the clock strikes 5:00 PM.

Putting it through the paces with our battery benchmark test, it delivers a ho-hum tally of 5 hours, 2 minutes from a full charge – a tally that’s average. The iPhone 6 definitely gets some points with its slim profile, but there’s a compromise to its battery life.

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
5h 22 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy S5
7h 38 min (Average)
HTC One (M8)
7h 12 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z2
8h 10 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z3
9h 29 min (Good)
LG G3
6h 14 min (Poor)
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
10h 2 min (Excellent)

Conclusion


The race to the top is always a competitive one, where companies are constantly reinventing their phones in order to keep up the pace. Apple, naturally, doesn’t believe in the specs war – where successive phones employ the beefiest of hardware to earn the acclaim of being the biggest and baddest thing on the block. Oh no, that’s not like Apple at all! Rather, they focus on producing a smartphone that’s not about the specs, but mostly on the performance in how it complements our life.

To that end, the iPhone 6 stands true to Apple’s philosophy of simplicity and ease. Compared to its rivals, the hardware it’s packing doesn’t seem menacing, but the outcome is always the same – a phone that simply just works well. We gladly accept the decision to bring a larger screen to the phone, which now puts it in the same pedestal as its contemporaries. On the software side, iOS 8 might not be as much of an overhaul in comparison to iOS 7 last year, but the added new features definitely help to give it a more rounded function.

Pricing doesn’t change with this new model, as the 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options are priced respectively at $200, $300, and $400 on-contract – or $650, $750, and $850 outright. Frankly, we recommend skipping out on the 16GB option, since the 64GB options has more value to it. At the end of the day, however, the iPhone 6 is mainly a bigger sized version of the iPhone we all know and love – with enough incremental improvements in its performance to make it a strong contender for anyone considering to pick up a new device.

Software version of the review unit: 8.0 (12A365)


UPDATE: You can now read our iPhone 6s review and iPhone 6s Plus review!

Pros

  • Premium construction makes it one of the more quality-made phones
  • The screen delivers accurate colors and a strong brightness output
  • Rounded edges and slim profile make it comfortable to hold
  • New Apple A8 chip is really snappy with its performance
  • Improved low-lighting camera performance
  • 240 FPS slow motion capture has a slick look

Cons

  • Battery life is underwhelming against its rivals
  • Decent pixel density with its screen, but it could be better
  • Camera lens sticks out
  • No 4K video capture

PhoneArena Rating:

9.0

User Rating:

8.9
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