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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  • jameskatt - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    The vast majority of Chinese will want the iPhone 6 Plus - in gold. Samsung is dead to the Chinese.
    To any wealthy and upper middle class Chinese, the iPhone is the only worthy phone to get. Xiaomi, Lenovo, and other Chinese tigers make up the bottom half. And Samsung is nowhere to be seen. The larger iPhone 6 Plus completely eliminates the need for a Samsung phone.
  • jameskatt - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    If you can't afford an Apple iPhone, simply buy the much cheaper Chinese alternatives.
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    And enjoy fragmentation ,malware, bugginess, terrible software and hardware and on and on. Also Google spying on everything you do a and selling it.
  • thesavvymage - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    yeah, no. Google services dont work in China
  • Narg - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    The Chinese apps stores are much worse for malicious apps....
  • Narg - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    No, if you can't afford Apple, go with a cheap Nokia. 10 times better experience and much better overall in terms of what you get for your money.
  • vFunct - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Why would anyone get a fake iPhone when you can get a real iPhone instead?

    Androids are just lower quality iPhones. They don't innovate like Apple does and Android vendors just try to copy and cheapen, but they can't get the quality right. That is why their products are horrible to use compared to iPhones.

    Again, if you're gonna get a smartphone, get a real iPhone instead of a fake one with Android in it.
  • JeffFlanagan - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Better non-apple products are fake iphones in your extremely limited mind? Can anyone be as clueless and delusional as you pretend to be?
  • vFunct - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Well, the article does say that this is the best on the market, so there goes your argument there.

    You would do well to remove your Android bias.

    Remember, Apple invented the modern smartphone. Everything else is just a lower-quality imitator, with Android devices always trying to play catch-up on Apple's innovation.

    Again, if you want an iPhone, just get a real iPhone.. you don't need to get a fake iPhone like any of those Android devices.
  • Alexey291 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    It certainly bends better than anything else in the market :3

    What else does it do better?

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