Battery Life

One of the big draws of the larger form factor is battery life. Due to fundamental scaling issues, a bigger phone should be able to achieve greater battery life than a small one. This is because a smartphone's PCB generally remains constant in size, so it becomes an increasingly smaller proportion of the overall device size. This leaves increasingly large areas where batteries fill in the gap. In order to quantify just how big of a difference this makes when going from 4.7" to 5.5", we turn to our standardized battery life test suite. For those unfamiliar with our testing, the display is calibrated to 200 nits and all background tasks are disabled in order to ensure that only the foreground task is active in our tests.

Web Browsing Battery Life (WiFi)

As we previously discussed, the iPhone 6 Plus performs quite admirably in the WiFi web browsing test. As expected, there's a healthy bump over the iPhone 6, but it's not quite a massive leap as a larger battery size might suggest.

Web Browsing Battery Life (4G LTE)

Once again, we see a similar pattern with the LTE web browsing test. Since both phones are based on the same platform, it makes sense that their results track quite closely together as we're only scaling display and battery size within the context of these tests.

However, the web browsing test is a mostly display-bound test, even if there is an SoC efficiency aspect that can make a significant difference. In order to better test SoC efficiency and get an idea of the dynamic range that a phone has in battery life, we turn to our compute-bound tests. Unfortunately, Basemark OS II stops the test too early due to low battery notifications in iOS, so we cannot use that test for a proper comparison to other phones.

GFXBench 3.0 Battery Life

GFXBench 3.0 Performance Degradation

As shown in these charts, the iPhone 6 Plus manages to sustain a significant boost in battery life when compared to the iPhone 6, and performance is almost identical as well. It seems that the iPhone 6 Plus begins to throttle towards the end of the test simply because it has more time to generate heat rather than any real difference in cooling, as skin temperatures were also around 43C on the iPhone 6 Plus in this test. It's also important to note that the iPhone 6 Plus is rendering at 2208x1242 internally in order to keep proper scaling with the 163 points per inch system that iOS has, which accounts for part of the performance delta.

Overall, battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus ranges between about 20% higher to 40% higher depending on the balance of display power and SoC/baseband power in any given situation. Heavily display-bound situations will be closer to the 20% higher figure while more SoC-bound tasks will tend toward 40% or even higher. Purely idle situations should see even greater improvements as any situation where the display is off will see linear scaling with battery size.

Charge Time

Charge time is one of the key metrics for getting a holistic picture of battery life, as it's impossible to really understand whether a phone will be able to stay mobile as needed without considering recharging. In some cases such as a trade show or travel, it doesn't matter if a phone lasts 20% longer than the competition if it loses all the time gained in time spent on a charger. In order to test this, power is tracked from when the phone is connected to the charger to when it reaches the lowest power draw state on the AC adapter.

Charge Time

Unfortunately, the included charger is the same 5W charger that we've seen for years now. As a result, the iPhone 6 Plus is constrained by the relatively low maximum power that it can put out. Those that wish for faster charging should look into getting an iPad A/C adapter as the iPhone 6 Plus will charge faster when connected to it.

Introduction and "Bendgate" Display and Camera
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  • flutberf - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Android is incredibly secure. The only possible way it can get a "virus" (which on an android cannot happen anyway because of the permission system) is if someone disables 3rd party apk installs and downloads an app outside of the Play Store. Android being "open" has nothing to do with it.

    Also, maybe you get 10 times more calls for android phones than others because they have the vast majority of the market share?
  • Marthisdil - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Right - because IOS has been able to be jailbroken via software since the beginning of time...

    IOS could have those similar bugs, especially once jailbroken...

    I support hundreds of users and their devices, too. I get more calls on iphones than android phones.

    yes, crapple sucks.

    do i win now?
  • akdj - Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - link

    'do i win now?'
    Or Do I win now?
    Neither. iPhones outsell their flagship android counterparts many MANY times over. Most Android handsets are free, pay by the minute or 'tracphones'.
    I love my Note 3. I've huge respect for what HTC, LC,, even Oppo. A name I thought only I was familiar with as an audio/video geek! ...HUGE Respect for each of their products, design choices in some cases are skeptical but the innovation that's 'pushed' BOTH Sammy and Apple to innovate, stay 'in front' of each other with the SoC races and THIS is a GOOD thing
    A) you're either full of it, servicing Apple's 'hundreds of users and their devices too...and (sic) getting more support calls on iOS than Android' would I know?
    You're dealing with 'jail breakers' or those that brick their shit doing what they don't know how to, shouldn't be attempting and you're the only one that'll help them. Apple doesn't support jailbreaking their OS. Lotsa work goes into iOS, the App Store and payment to its developers. No reason they should. As well, jail breaking is essentially a thing of the past. iOS 8's capabilities far exceed Cydia's enticing possibilities earlier in iOS's life cycle. These days not much compelling other than side loading, screwing your device up or 'stealing' software.
    None of which most buyers of an iPhone or iPad are interested in doing ...or should j say most?
    Apple supports Apple. Not you. IF you're an IT manager and are operating a 'mixed' BYOD business, it's all about YOU. What you're using as your 'mainframe' (Linux? Windows? OS X?) & how you're allowing access to said workplace from outside or via VPN
    I've owned every iPhone. A dozen Android phones and tabs and can honestly declare your post bullshit. Other than driving over, diving into water with, or blatantly destroying your device using software hacks/jailbreak methods beyond your scope of wisdom are all dumb, foolish things to do to a thousand dollar computer.
    Why would you do it with your thousand dollar phone ...that IS a computer?
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Had iPhone 3gs and iPad 1. Now using android flawlessly (been through from 1.6 to 4.4)
    I just don't understand why people keep saying android is buggy. Apple devices were in fact more buggy to me (sudden app crashing, 'infinite apple logo' booting issues, freezing from now and then) and I had to jailbreak it to make it any useful, which brought even more bugs and issues.

    Common sense - if android is too buggy to even make a call, nobody will buy android. Period.
  • moose0422 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    I mean maybe it was just the phone I bought but Android is buggy. My Moto X wasn't the highest specced phone out there but the fact that it virtually ran the stock Android experience was what brought me to the platform. I unexpectedly became so frustrated with the OS that I had to go back to the iPhone. Between the lag, the crashing of apps, the unresponsive keyboard and random reboots I just couldn't take it anymore. Believe me I loved a lot about what Android offers. It has great features that iOS can't compete with but the overall experience just isn't the same.
  • moose0422 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    I had the 2013 Moto X and let me tell you it was an awful experience. It was the second android phone I've purchased, the first being the Samsung Captivate, and it randomly rebooted, apps crashed constantly, and the battery life was terrible. There were plenty of cool features on the phone such as Active Display, but the constant nagging of the bugs I encountered really made me hate the platform. I was an iPhone user pretty much since it was released and just recently went back to the iPhone 6 and couldn't be happier. The type of bugs I came upon just don't exist on iOS (even though it does suffer from some they are not nearly as annoying as those on Android 4.4.4). I'm hoping that Android L fixes a lot of those because the OS has a lot going for it in terms of being so open and customizable, but I was hardly impressed with my experience on KitKat and I feel that Google has lost me as a customer for foreseeable future.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    I used iPhone for 4 years, and now an Android phone for the last year. My Android phone (high end) has had a lot of bugs - serious things like not having it pause for 10-15 seconds between every word while trying to type an email (using default client). It wasn't until about a month ago that updates to Kitkat finally solved most of the issues. If I was at 2 years, I'd already have an iPhone 6+, but I'm too cheap to pay an early upgrade penalty, or buy one outright. I'm too cheap to even have a smartphone, but my work pays for the service, I just pay the subsidized phone cost. So after a year my phone finally works OK. My Nook HD+, on the other hand, well that's just buggy.
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Because iOS doesn't show an error message when an app crashes ;)
  • coldpower27 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Yeah I had the S3 and switched to the iPhone 5, a much smoother overall phone. Android doesn't really come into it's own until you reach Samsung S4 and it's derivatives, and basically Note 2 and on. Android needs Quad Core for smooth operation on Samsung.

    If your using stock Android, the Nexus 4/5 has been a solid phone, though those are cheap phones and not really meant to compete with iPhone.
  • Narg - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I try so hard to convince people that if they need a cheap phone, stay away from Android. A good cheaper Nokia is a so much better experience. Android just doesn't work well on so many devices.

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