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
Storage 16GB/32GB/64GB 16GB/64GB/128GB 16GB/64GB/128GB
I/O Lightning connector, 3.5mm headset
Size / Mass 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm,
112 grams
138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm,
129 grams
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm,
172 grams
Camera 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
Price $99 (16GB),
$149 (32GB)
on 2 year contract
$199 (16GB),
$299 (64GB),
$399 (128GB)
on 2 year contract
$299 (16GB),
$399 (64GB),
$499 (128GB)
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.

Battery Life and Charge Time
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  • lilo777 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    When posting so many claims ("Androids are just lower quality iPhones" etc.) try to provide some proof otherwise you are just demonstrating that you are an insecure Apple fanboy.
  • Narg - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    There is so much proof to his statement on the web, why don't you Google it instead of being lazy?
  • flutberf - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I own a Sony Xperia Z1s. Here are the things it has over the iPhone 6 right now:
    - Waterproofing
    - 1080p screen
    - Android 4.4 (it might seem foreign to you, but I like android more than iOS)
    - 5" screen (Perfect compromise between the 6 and 6+)
    - Superior build quality

    There are reasons to buy an Android that an iPhone cannot match.
  • mactricity - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I think you both project and protest too much. Obviously, you envy the walled garden since you are so dismissive of it. Does Apple copy? Sure. Does Android copy? Sure (see: TouchID and Siri). You have something like 1000 words about displays. If the phone were just a display for watching things, then yes, it means a lot. But I have a TV for a reason. My phone is not my TV. Will my movies look as good on an iPhone 6 as the latest Android? Maybe not. Is the resolution better? Not in some cases. The point is that my phone is not my main media consumption device.

    I prefer the ease of use of the software and hardware marriage that Apple pulls off. My stuff works. Is the software as customizable as Android? No. But I don't suffer from the rash of spyware and malware that Android suffers from. We could talk about the NSA, but then you live in a glass house.

    Putting Latin at the end does not make you smarter nor your opinion more valid.
  • twtech - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Whatever works for you. But if you stick to Google Play for your apps, you're not going to end up with a bunch of malware on your device. I've never had any malware on any of mine in the past 5+ years.

    The biggest can't-live-without Android customization feature for me? The keyboard. I can type fast enough using the Messagease onscreen keyboard to be able to comfortably make posts like this one without feeling frustrated by the slowness (approx 35 wpm).

    The default keyboards (unchangeable on iOS) are a small virtual emulation of a physical keyboard originally designed for use with a mechanical typewriter. Messagease - despite the somewhat dorky name - is designed from the ground up as a keyboard for touchscreens.
  • Taloverae - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I like opinions; everyone's entitled to their own, of course. Being factually correct, is another matter.

    iOS 8 supports third party keyboards, at the discretion of whatever developer bothers to code it.
  • teng029 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I've always wondered why some people spend so much time and energy to prove how much they hate a product. Frankly, no one cares about your rant in the end. People will still buy what they want, whether if it's made by Apple or Samsung, or whoever. Apple will still make their money whether you bash their products or not as will other manufacturers.

    Here's a tip that will save you time and energy in the future; if you don't like Apple's product, don't buy it. It's a novel concept, I realize, but it actually does work..
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    People getting mad about telephones...

    Nice shitty copy/paste that nobody is going to read, by the way.
  • SpacePants - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    You should probably consider seeking professional help. It's not healthy to obsess over things that cause you so much distress and negative feelings. I can imagine you reading this article filling up with weird rage at the benchmark results and then unloading your feelings of inadequacy in this comment. I'm not saying this to be rude or make fun of you but just to maybe help you confront the problem. Sometimes people don't realize they need help unless others show some concern about odd behaviors that the person may have come to believe are normal. To that point my comment is not only directed at you but all the folks who might be reading this that have such intensely strong negative obsessions about technology products. This is not normal. It's often a result of a person choosing some random thing to (mis)direct their emotional problems at. Its a coping mechanism to avoid dealing with the real emotional issues. If this sounds familiar to you please seek professional help before it consumes you to the point where we hear about you killing a bunch of people at an Apple store because you're just so outraged over a new SoC that you snap.
  • bji - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Spot on. Seriously. Like everyone else, I didn't even bother reading the full rant, only the first few sentences, but I agree, the guy needs some help.

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