We've asked for it, and Apple has delivered. Two iPhone generations ago, the iPhone 5 brought a modest bump in screen size, pushing the diagonal from 3.5" to 4.0". The same exact display area was kept by the 2013 flagship as well, the iPhone 5s. 4 inches were still doing the job well in most use cases, but being surrounded by a plethora of large-screen smartphones, many an iPhone user wished they could get in on the act. Well, now they can, as Apple has just launched the iPhone 6, and this time, Cupertino is introducing a significantly larger panel – one that measures 4.7 inches in diagonal.

The result? The iPhone 6 is considerably bigger than its predecessor, but that's the trade-off one has to make when they want a bigger, more immersive media experience. But larger screen size is far from being the only major enhancement introduced by Apple's latest and greatest. The iPhone 6 improves on the overall offering of the iPhone 5s by featuring a faster processor, better camera, more versatile networking, and mobile payment capabilities, among others. It's a substantial upgrade across the board, explaining why Apple is willing to call the iPhone 6 (and its even bigger variant, the 6 Plus) "the biggest advancements in iPhone history".

But even though the iPhone 6 is a big step forward, and one that we've been anticipating for a while, we know what many iPhone 5s users out there could be thinking right now: "My iPhone 5s still packs quite a punch, and even though the screen is relatively small by today's standards, is there really that much to gain in replacing my one-year-old device with this new model?" And we know those users will be absolutely right to ask that question. After all, the processor is faster, and the camera is better, but are they, and the rest of the enhancements brought by the iPhone 6, that much better, so as to make an upgrade from the 5s to the 6 a no-brainer? We'll look at all the essential components that constitute the user experience in these two smartphones, and try to come up with a clear view of just how much there is to gain in upgrading.


It's chamfered edges vs rounded corners in this 'old' vs 'new' design comparison

The iPhone 6 isn't just a bigger 5s, it brings a new design that changes how the phone looks and feels significantly. While the metal frame surrounding the 5s was flat and had these sharp edges, the one used by the iPhone 6 is rounded, giving the new phone rather different appearance and character. Also, gone are the small glass pieces that were present on the back side of the iPhone 5s. Instead, its successor goes for an all-metal back (a la HTC One), with some black antenna lines near the top and bottom ends ornamenting its look. This new design of the back is by no means bad, although most people don't seem to be in love with it. Meanwhile, the signature front appearance of the phone has been largely kept intact, with a new detail here being the slight curve of the front glass, adding to the overall rounded nature of the iPhone 6.

Aside from these visual differences, we're pleased to say that both handsets feel equally premium. Their exterior styles are pretty different, but both utilize some very high-quality materials in their construction, plus they are built in an extremely solid way that makes them feel like the exquisite and expensive products that they are.

So, the new iPhone is bigger. While the iPhone 5s sits well in most hand sizes (with the exception of extra-large ones), switching to an iPhone 6 may initially feel slightly inconvenient, especially if you haven't used a big smartphone before. The larger size is something that one quickly gets used to though, since the iPhone 6 and its 4.7” screen don't come off as overwhelmingly big. We could say that the new iPhone is extremely close to the sweet spot between screen size and overall dimensions. So, yeah, after just a few days, or maybe even hours, using the iPhone 6 will feel pretty natural, and not that much more uncomfortable, compared to its smaller predecessor. The razor-thin profile of the iPhone 6 definitely helps in this regard.

Button design has also changed in the iPhone 6. While the Touch ID-enabled home key remains the same, the volume keys no longer have the circular shape they have in the 5s, but are elongated instead. Additionally, the power button has moved from the top to the right hand side of the device, where it's easier to reach in a big phone.

Aside from that, both models have their 3.5 mm audio and Lightning ports situated on their bottom ends, so no changes in accessibility there. Meanwhile, the Nano SIM card slot also has the same positioning on both handsets – on the right hand side, and yes, both will require you to use a SIM card ejector tool, or a clip, in order to open it.

Overall, we can only say good things about the designs of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s, as they are both beautiful and extremely premium. The appearance of Apple's last-year flagship is probably a bit stricter in comparison, as its shapes are sharper, and it avoids “design frivolities,” such as the iPhone 6's antenna lines or the protruding camera, but on the whole, these are still minor details to consider the iPhone 6's design any less premium than that of its predecessor.

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6


5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm


4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5


4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm


3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 6

Apple iPhone 6


5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches

138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm


4.55 oz (129 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5


4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm


3.95 oz (112 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page


From 4” to 4.7”: Apple manages to increase the size of its mobile displays without serious compromises in screen quality

Now, this is where the iPhone 6 shows that it's a radical departure from what Apple has been doing with the iPhone line thus far. Flaunting a sizable, 4.7” display, the iPhone 6 openly recognizes the fact that the general consumer has gotten ready for, and is expressing willingness to use a big screen on a mobile. Thankfully, though, Apple has also increased resolution along with size, so the new display will deliver exactly the same pixel density as before – 326 ppi. For the record, the iPhone 6 has a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, while the iPhone 5s' resolution is 640 x 1136 pixels. And, since the new, 750p resolution of the iPhone 6 crosses the 720p mark, this has allowed Apple to call the new screen “Retina HD display”.

Color balance of the iPhone 6 has barely changed. Color temperature is still hovering around the 7150 K mark, with the 6500 K considered the reference point. The contrast has been increased, though – it now stands at around 1:1500, compared to the 1:1000 of the previous model. Thankfully, maximum brightness has been slightly bumped to 600 nits. In comparison, the iPhone 5s peaked at about 580 nits, which is still great. However, the minimum brightness has been heightened a bit – from 5 nits in the 5s to 7 nits in the iPhone 6. This is still a good figure, though.

For those looking at the Delta E values (which stand for average 'color error'), those are ever so slightly higher on the iPhone 6, as you can see in the table below, but they are still considered in the safe zone.

At the end of the day, the larger display of the iPhone 6 makes things easier to look at, but it's also a bit harder to use with one hand. Apple has tried to address this issue with the Reachability feature, which brings the whole UI down upon a double-tap of the home button, and to some extent, this works, although it naturally isn't as easy and intuitive as simply using a smaller display.



22. ThePython

Posts: 902; Member since: May 08, 2013

Truth be told, the iPhone 5s is a much more polished and well thought-out device than the iPhone 6, which looks like a rushed product made just for the sake of catching up with the market.

25. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

My thoughts exactly...

20. Classique

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

iPhone 6 vs Z3 Compact PLEASE

18. blackberry_Boy

Posts: 213; Member since: May 27, 2014

I'll wait for the 6s model I think the s models are a lot better any ways that's why I still got my 5s 64gb plus my camera don't stick out and design is a lot better

15. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Apple: Let's take iPhone 5s and make it larger, calling it revolutionary 'large' display with the same camera, marginally smaller performance and poor battery life, and call it the iPhone 6. Oh and slap on a new ugly design and hefty price tag.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Wish I could go and find some of those original Note articles where you Apple fanboys were bashing the Note for having a 5.3 inch display, now all praising and loving your iPhone 6 Plus with it's 5.5 inch display. Oh the irony is so sweet.

23. PsycheEyeMike

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 24, 2014

FYI, that wasn't just Apple fans... It was everyone and their mothers. There are still people from "both camps" bashing big screen phones. I get bashed all the time at work for my Note 3.. i'm double dipping though. Using an iPhone 6 atm. I always laugh a bit on the inside when i see people like you, speaking like every apple user ever bashed the big screens back then.. Then you act like those exact people are sitting here now, reading your comment.. No irony here at all.. Just a fanboy spewing crap.. Thank god i don't chose sides, like some of you internet warrior di##s. I love all technology.

24. g2a5b0e unregistered

+1. Not often you hear someone speaking this much sense in one post on this site.

7. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I can say that I love my Plus. The screen is awesome and just having that larger screen space makes all those old movies and games new again.

9. Flippyphone

Posts: 67; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

I've had that on my Notes for awhile now. Welcome to the club.

6. Iodine

Posts: 1520; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Can I ask phone arena for some thickness measurements ? The iPhone 6 looks significantly thinner than the 5S and I heard an info that the 6,9 mm thickness is the thickest point eg. cammera bump.

3. darkoman4

Posts: 183; Member since: May 30, 2014

It looks much bigger than 5S. Moto X 2013 is/was the best 4.7" phone. At least considering size/screen ratio. God I wish they make Moto X Mini. I will not buy a phone bigger than 4.7".

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

6 is nice too, the plus is killin it

4. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Yeah the Plus sounds like the true flagship. How good is the Plus dark?

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

So far, it's very good. Turning out to be a top notch device. I'm still discovering things, that make it super efficient and easy to use. Loving it, haven't compared it to the note 3 yet.

1. AppleJuice

Posts: 145; Member since: Sep 12, 2013

Display is the same, camera same, performance about the same and same RAM. I don't know what to think of the iPhone 6.

5. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

About RAM - unless it's lagging who needs more? Specs


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

You do realize PC heavy demand games require more RAM to play right? Same goes for mobile devices as well. But hey if you want to be a blind fanboy and think you don't deserve more RAM after 2-3 years of having just 1GB, that's cool too.

16. g2a5b0e unregistered

Hi. Diehard Android user here. Gonna play a little Devil's Advocate. I've never heard of any iPhone having gaming/graphics issues due to the amount of RAM. In fact, the iPhone has been known to excel in that area. I've never seen or heard of any high end iOS games stuttering or having issues because of the RAM. Too many Android fans are too concerned with the numbers. What about the metric that actually matters? Real world performance. I'm guessing that if developers were having issues with it that Apple probably would have addressed it. They haven't. Get over it. I know this post won't be popular because everyone on this site feels the need to bash Apple mercilessly, but I really just don't care.

17. romeo1

Posts: 828; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Its obvious that it wont stutter as the games are made for the 1gb of ram. Try playing a game like minecraft with 1gb of ram. More ram means better multitasking as it is much faster than rom. The moment the next iphone gets 2gb or more ram the games that will be made to get the most out of its potential won't be playable on the 1gb versions or only on low quality. Also the new iphones have higher resolution screens wich needs more of everything. So im really curious about the iphone 6 plus as it got a 1080p screen. Not sure if it has better hardware than the normal 6(ill look it up later on the day)


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

That is because developers have been restricting themselves by optimizing their games around the iPhone's specs or lack of I should say. You are telling me that you can justify a high end flag ship phone only having 1GB of RAM after 2-3 years later just because the OS runs fine? I'm sorry but that sounds like BS to me.

21. g2a5b0e unregistered

I just think it's an apple to oranges comparison (excuse the pun). Because high-end Android devices have 2-3GB of RAM, iOS devices have to as well? What's good for the goose isn't necessarily good for the gander. Just my thoughts.

12. phljcnth

Posts: 567; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Then you just paid for a new phone essentially for the bigger screen only. That's a blatant form of milking money.

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

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