The iPhone 6 Plus Mini-Review: Apple's First Phabletby Joshua Ho on September 30, 2014 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- iPhone 6 Plus
While we’ve also written about the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus needs its own review in order to really understand the various features of the device that would otherwise be buried in the context of the iPhone 6. Without question, this device represents a significant departure from the way Apple has competed in the smartphone space. Until now, Apple hasn't competed in the phablet space and has thus avoided competing with Galaxy Note line that has been established as the dominant phablet for the past 3-4 generations. As a result, Apple occupies a fast-follower position at best.
This brings us to the iPhone 6 Plus, which really is an extension of the iPhone 6. Both phones share the same SoC, NAND configurations, front and rear camera sensors, LED flash module, industrial/material design, TouchID home button, earpiece and speaker configuration, WiFi/BT chipset, modem, and button layout. At this point, I’m going to stop listing similarities because the iPhone 6 Plus is interesting for its differences. Unlike similarities, the differences are simple. The iPhone 6 Plus is bigger, the display has higher pixel density, the camera has optical image stabilization, and iOS 8 has new app designs to take advantage of the larger screen. The iPhone 6 Plus is also more expensive, with the 16GB version starting at the same price as the 64GB version of the iPhone 6.
While I’ve already discussed the design of the iPhone 6, it’s important to see whether the same design translates to the iPhone 6 Plus. To this end, the iPhone 6 Plus does well. While the angular design of the iPhone 5 line would have looked and felt enormous in the hand, the shape is quite similar to the iPad line and is similarly comfortable in the hand, although the rounded edge really differentiates it, as does the control scheme. The only real issue here is that the top bezel on the front becomes surprisingly large, and this seems to contribute to a sense that the phone is top-heavy even though the phone is evenly balanced.
|Apple iPhone 5s||Apple iPhone 6||Apple iPhone 6 Plus|
|SoC||Apple A7||Apple A8||Apple A8|
|Display||4-inch 1136 x 640 LCD||4.7-inch 1334 x 750 LCD||5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD|
|WiFi||2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n, BT 4.0||2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, single stream, BT 4.0, NFC|
|I/O||Lightning connector, 3.5mm headset|
|Size / Mass||
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm,
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm,
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm,
8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash
1.2MP f/2.4 Front Facing
8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash
1.2MP f/2.2 Front Facing
8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash + OIS
1.2MP f/2.2 Front Facing
on 2 year contract
on 2 year contract
on 2 year contract
Overall, even though the iPhone 6 Plus is noticeably taller than the Galaxy Note 3 both feel similar in size. The iPhone 6 Plus is on the thinner side which makes a significant impression in the hand. At any rate, it’s physically impossible for me to use this device with one hand for most situations. It’s definitely a tablet in this sense, but in a much more compact and pocketable form factor.
Of course, drawing the comparison between the iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 3 inevitably raises the question of “bendgate”, which draws interesting parallels with “scuffgate” from the iPhone 5 generation. Unfortunately, I can’t destroy multiple review units in order to thoroughly investigate this issue. However, we can look at Consumer Reports’ data and come to a few conclusions about this problem. The first is that in the case of the iPhone 6 Plus, there appears to be an area near the bottom of the volume buttons that is a weak point as we see a clear failure of the casing in this area.
However, it seems that there is a significant amount of force needed in the first place in order to cause permanent deformation. Otherwise, everything that we’ve seen is primarily the result of fundamental differences between the two materials. It’s clear that in the case of the Galaxy Note 3 that a great deal of the structural rigidity is tied to the display itself, so the case doesn’t quite provide much in the way of protection as the polymer used is clearly in the elastic region all the way to failure. LG seems to have a different design though, as their polymer material has a clear case of brittle failure at the limit, which saved the display from shattering.
It's certainly possible to bend the iPhone 6 Plus (or really any phone or tablet), but the real issue here that hasn’t been addressed is the level of force needed to cause a certain level of elastic or plastic deformation in the material. This matters far more when discussing drop protection as the level of force in such a scenario is relatively small but applied over an extremely short period of time. There’s also no mention of force per unit area in any of these figures, so we can’t really have a serious discussion about this issue without the necessary data.
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KuyaMarkEduard - Monday, October 13, 2014 - linkHello Sir Golfmann. before you conclude that this site is, and will still offer the fairest, and the most unbiased review when it comes to Apple, you may want to take a look at this, and then, decide, if you can still, make this a trustworthy website, if it pertains to Apple's product:
AnandTech founder Anand Shimpi joins Apple:
The founder of one of the most in-depth mobile and computer tech sites, Anand Shimpi, is hanging up the tech journalism gloves as he joins Apple.
Founded in 1997, AnandTech is widely renowned for its technical analysis of personal computers and, more recently, mobile phones.
Shimpi posted his retirement from tech writing on a post on his site over the weekend, but did not mention joining Apple at that time. Since then, the Cupertino company has confirmed that the he will be joining the Apple fold. Specifics as to what his actual position will be are still unclear, but it is known that he will be joining former AnandTech senior smartphone reviewer Brian Klug, who also left for Apple back in February.
Anand Shimpi has built gradually a reputation as one of mobile tech’s most authoritative figures, and has even consulted with manufacturers to improve hardware products like solid state drives. It’s expected that his extensive knowledge of device engineering and industry connections are what made him an attractive hire for Apple, where he will likely contribute to the improvement of iPhone and, potentially, wearables.
Now what do you think? Can you still, boldly say that this, is a "Great review, as always! Anand was telling the truth! This is still a trustworthy website."?
krbrownin - Friday, October 3, 2014 - linkGeeze after an Apple review the haters sure come out in force. I have a iPhone 5s, and a Samsung Galaxy S4. I think the 6+ is gonna be awesome.
Both my S4 and 5s are great phones- just different. The S4 is my work phone and was issued to me by my employer. It has higher resolution, and a faster proc. But you know what? You cant tell. Side by side screen comparisons of the same app or website or photo (and I've done it many times at work during just such arguments like all these posts here) you really cant tell a difference. OK maybe a slight difference sometimes, but not that much. In fact sometimes the 5s even looks crisper or sharper. Its hard to explain but it does. On a 24" IPS monitor, the difference in resolution would be much more noticeable, but on a device that you hold in the palm of your hand...not so much. Come on, the 5s's display is freaking awesome so the 6 and 6+ are going to look great. Don't focus so much on "oh the + is only 1920x1080" - who cares. Also I've never had any crashes or problems on my iPhone 5s. Ever. I carry it all the time everyday even if I probably use my S4 a little more for calls. The 5s is my personal phone so family/friends call me on it. The S4 however, has locked up on me, crashed, and I've had several other issues. But I still love it mind you, and it looks like I will be getting an S5 shortly here at work.
But everyone should stop being such a fanboy. Get the phone you want. Don't try and slam the iPhone as being buggy and not as good as Android based phones. It just simply isn't true. And you cant hardly call me an Apple fanboy either, I'm using my S4 right now.
KuyaMarkEduard - Friday, October 3, 2014 - linkYeah sure! @krbrownin: the real battle here is not between iPhone and Android, but for sure, it is only between the American Apple, and the South Korean Samsung! All others are excluded!
KuyaMarkEduard - Monday, October 13, 2014 - linkwant to see and read the fairest, and the most unbiased reviews? Click:
at least there, what you are getting is just the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the TRUTH!, whether it is gonna be Apple or Samsung!
Yaru - Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - linkJust registered to say that I love Gundam Dynames too. I was surprised to see a Gunpla it in the review of the 6 Plus.
JimmiG - Wednesday, October 8, 2014 - linkBezel like it's 2007!
I thought huge bezels were a sign of a cheap phone.
Seriously if it had the bezels from the G3 they could probably squeeze a 6.2" display in there, maybe larger.
mpfjelsted - Thursday, October 16, 2014 - linkEm, check your math.
kopuschen - Sunday, October 12, 2014 - linkIt's amazing to see so many Apple vs Android again.
I think one just need to be aware the business model of each and everything follows that.
Android profits from ads, that's it. Which means your personal information is collected by Google for its giant network of search and ads. Their CEO once publicly said when asked about concerns that Google gives away Android for free, he said "we swamped the market with so many devices and you think we can't think of a way make money out of it?"
If you are comfortable with that (Google scan every piece of your personal information), then Google platform is a great choice. It's nothing to do with security, your phone can be really secure for others but Google is still reading it.
In comparison, Apple has no motivation to read your email scan your typed keywords etc. because it's profit model is simply selling devices.
In this world business model follows where money follows. For Apple users are consumers, for Android users are products. Think about it, all we are debating to death are result of that root cause.
ccd1 - Thursday, October 16, 2014 - linkHere is my take on it.
1) Arguing over specs is a waste of time. In terms of performance, both get the job done for the vast majority of users.
2) The Plus is one of the best phablets out there. If we were talking about any company other than Apple, this would be considered a great achievement for a first try. However, the Plus is an Apple product where we expect Apple to come late into the game, but totally change the market. Thus viewed the Plus is a fail because it is a very good phone, but not a game changer as past Apple products have been.
3) The choice comes down to two things: the operating system and the stylus. IOW, do you prefer the integration and user friendly interface of iOS or the customization of android? Do you need the stylus or not. Answer these two questions and you probably know which device is best for you.
ccd1 - Thursday, October 16, 2014 - linkForgot to add that the fight between Android/Note 4 and the Plus overlooks the other announcement this week that Google will be introducing the Nexus 6 which will be a premium phone this time around. It could be a game changer, though I doubt it. More likely, it will be a platform to show off Android L and will be a good or very good phone. The smartphone market may now be so mature that there are no big surprises left.