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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  • MacrosTheBlack - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Yet apple's A series "dual core" processors typically outperform the latest quad core flavor of the week and do it at a lower clock rate. Derp. Go back to your cave now.
  • Alexey291 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    yeeeeeeeah usually in a single over-optimised benchmark aka sunspider :D

    Aaaaaand nothing much else.
  • bigstrudel - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    And Octane, Browsermark, Kraken, Peacekeeper, WebXPRT...and Sunspider. And that's just the web benchmarks.
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Browser performance is single threaded testing and obviously favors higher-clocked low-core APs (or apple devices). Also don't forget that anandtech is always using chrome browser for testing android browser performace, which is almost twice slower than samsung's stock browsers - and they are using highly optimized Safari for testing apples. Totally not fair.
  • akdj - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Samsung's 'stock' browser? FAST? You've GOT to be kidding me. I've got the Note 3 and at least a dozen browsers. Samsung's is by FAR & AWAY the slowest turtle of them all. Why continue spewing? Did you not read any of the article? The review on the '6'? This A8 is top of the heap. Browsers. Computationally. Graphically. While not always number one, it's in the top two or three in every bench performed including GB3/Kraken/Octane. Not to mention the display accuracy, battery efficiency and ...well, yeah. Totally. Fair.
  • beaker7 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Feel better?
  • melgross - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Wasting our time again, I see.
  • bitNine - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Have you ever watched someone do a really terrible job at something, then turned around and learned from those mistakes and built something better? That's what Apple is doing. It's actually quite genius. They watch Samsung, HTC and LG fail in certain areas as they pump out the next pointless device which a few thousand people will buy, just to struggle to compete. Meanwhile, using an OS which is fragmented to its core, and reminiscent of Windows Mobile <=6.5. Google makes it, HTC modifies it and ruins it (just like they always did with windows mobile), and unfortunately community roms aren't much better because they lack QA. Buggy, susceptible to malware, but wide open and capable of doing more.

    As for copying and saying Apple has no innovation, what's with Samsung suddenly copying the fingerprint reader in the home button? What about the fact that Apple is first to have 64bit architecture? All the rest are eons behind, and STILL haven't released any devices with 64bit. It's no longer 2005. They all copy each other in order to compete, and that's what makes ALL DEVICES better. The sooner you get that through your head, and past those ugly blinders you're wearing, the better.

    When you directly compare Samsung flagship phones to Apple phones, they constantly one-up each other. You'd know that if you actually paid attention to the raw tests done here at Anandtech. The S5 beat the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 destroys the S5 (except in physics category). It's a leap-frog game, and one you clearly can't see because of those aforementioned blinders.

    Over-expensive? All other device types aside, when you compare prices with Samsung, LG and HTC, Apple is quite competitive. Not quite so in the tablet market, but phones are competitive. They are all $199 with a contract, and most of them start in the $650 range for full price.

    Why is it you believe everyone needs more than 16GB. There are plenty of people out there who wouldn't care about more space. Apple caters to those people and provides a $100 cheaper phone for that reason. They know the market, and you obviously don't.

    As for pixel density, who gives a crap which has a higher pixel density considering that 100% of people can't see the individual pixels anyway. I've got 20/15 vision and have never had a complaint about any retina screen being too low resolution. That's just a specs game that iHaters are quick to exploit, and it's something that makes it clear that you don't actually know what you're talking about when it really comes down to it. The only thing you actually got right about the screen is the superiority of OLED over standard LCD (even IPS). Any idea what a larger, and unnecessary, resolution does for the phone? It uses more power, which equals less battery life. Especially when you're talking about a backlit screen. There is simply no need to have a higher resolution screen when it's unnecessary. Pushing for a higher resolution and convincing consumers that it's so necessary, is just as stupid as attaching a marketing term like retina display. They are the same thing, but your brlinders don't allow you to see it. I mean, "Super AMOLED" is a Samsung marketing term. There's not even a reason to have the AM because OLED is, by default, Active Matrix. Yet for some reason, you don't realize this because of your blinders. Don't forget that OLED screens tent to deteriorate faster than an LCD, meaning that iPhone displays will outlast Samsung's. And nevermind that Samsung makes over 90% of OLED phone displays in existence today, and they can barely keep up with their own demand for screens. Adding another several million displays doesn't help that matter. The supply and manufacturing chain must be developed first.

    Now, let's take a look at the differences between Samsung's flashy new phone, the Galaxy Note 4. OMG, a fingerprint reader! That's it, aside from a processor upgrade. There's nothing else to the phone aside from the basic updates. It's like the update from the iPhone 5 to the 5S. But you'd never in a million years admit that it's EXACTLY THE SAME THING APPLE DOES, because of, again, the blinders.

    I am not dissing Android or Android phones, because Android is an awesome OS with its own faults just like iOS and WP. They are all the same. There is nothing special about what Samsung, HTC and LG do. Just like there's really nothing special about what Apple does. Unfortunately, you're so one-sided that your blinders don't allow you to see that they are all the same, and that the competion between them is exactly what we need and want. Apple gives you better Android phones, and Android phones give iPhone users better iPhones. They are all innovative, and they all have awesome ideas that are better than the other side of the fence.

    As I always say, anyone who says one platform is clearly better than the other (other than saying it's better specifically, and only, for themselves), doesn't know wtf they're talking about. You're one of "those people".
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    What a load of BS. Apple is milking customers by not providing memory expansion option (64GB microSD now costs as little as $30, and it will be even cheaper!), and NEVER ever lowers the prices of their device for a whole year. All other OEMs offer cheaper devices from the start, even cheaper with memory expansion, and that gets even more cheaper as time goes by.
    And apple has the worst hardware - iPhone 6 has worse display than $300 phones, and 1GB of ram is just downright laughable in 2014. Oh there IS passive matrix OLED by the way.

    Compare two keynotes from samsung and apple. Sammy showed WQHD OLED, new pen with 2048 levels of sensitivity and tilt sensing, new larger and higher resolution front and back cameras, curved screen, and finally portable VR device presented by god damn John Carmack himself.

    Was that ANYTHING new with the apple keynote? Absolutely nothing. And their iPhone 6 plus offers basically nothing new over standard phone (sammy has active pen and multi-screen multitasking for example)
  • akdj - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    You'd do yourself a favor reading bitNine's response to you. Or learning before speaking. Apple released a new CODE! (Swift), a low level code and OpenGL ES overhead elimator (Metal), integrated iOS and OS X with Handoff and Continuity and contrary to your ridiculous OLED fantasies and ignorance about iphone 6's display (or the actual review itself, did you read it?), it's the Best in the Business Bud!
    I love my Note. Love my iPhone. Dig my iPad and enjoy my HP 2in1. Don't be a DBag and preach from one side of the fence. Jump it and open your mind.
    You sound ridiculous (or 13).

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