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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  • 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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