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With both iPhones and iPads in their line up it seems only natural that Apple should branch out into the phablet market, and the result is this year’s release: the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s the biggest mobile device that Apple have produced so far, and with jaw dropping design and solid internals, this is one awesome mobile.
Why should you think about buying it? Because it’s not only got a big screen (and we mean big), but it’s also got more internal storage than any other phone on the market, and a new operating system version too. For iPhone lovers and phablet lovers alike, the iPhone 6 Plus is going to be a very tempting device, and it’s definitely got the performance to back up its price tag.
The iPhone 6 Plus is clearly an Apple design, but it looks a lot more like the iPad Air than it does the old iPhone 5S. Edges are neatly tapered, corners are rounded, and the front glass stretches all the way to the edge of the device. Not only does this look like a premium product, but it feels like one too, it’s full metal body, light and thin. The major difference in looks is the relocation of the power button, which is now on the right hand side, making it easier and more convenient to press.
Cosmetics aside, the internals on the iPhone 6 Plus have had an overhaul as well, making it better in every spec when compared to last year’s 5S model. You’ll be getting solid performance, with more speed and more responsiveness, which is really all you can ask for in an upgraded model.
Have Apple made a success of their first phablet? The answer to that is a resounding yes, and that shouldn’t be surprising given that they’ve got both the phone and the tablet skills to combine into an awesome new device. If you want a top end phablet, then the iPhone 6 Plus is going to be a no brainer.
We have to be careful looking at Apple specs, because numbers aren’t really Apple’s thing. They tend not to equip phones with overpowered processors, preferring instead to give a mobile just enough power to get the job done and no more (why pay for power you’re not using, after all?).
The 6 Plus runs a dual core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz, with 2 GB of RAM and a new Apple A8 chip set. Performance wise you’re getting responsiveness and speed, no matter what you’re running (even high end games), and that’s really what counts. There was not even a hint of lag, so obviously processing power is more than adequate.
The 6 Plus does run the newly released iOS8 out of the box, and whilst this is still the operating system that we know and love there have been a few tweaks. We like that Siri now recognises music tracks far better, and also the new keyboard on screen that’s a lot more clever when it comes to predictive text.
As a user, the iPhone 6 Plus feels smooth and fast, and input response is excellent. And that’s really what things come down to, it’s performance, not spec numbers, that really counts.
The 6 Plus is a phablet and that means a big, no, a huge screen. Measuring in at five and a half inches the 6 Plus gives most other phablets a run for their money. But Apple have done their best to make the screen convenient. You can flip everything to horizontal (including the home screen) and you can also switch to one handed mode, which will shrink what’s on display down into the bottom corner of the screen so it’s easy to hit icons with your thumb.
Apple have once again pulled out their Retina technology, so the 6 Plus has awesome colour reproduction as well as wide viewing angles (a big plus point over AMOLED screens). Resolution is good too at 1080 x 1920 (around 401 PPI), so we’re full HD and pictures are sharp and very well defined.
A screen needs to have a great picture and easy on screen typing, and unlike the old 5S model, the iPhone 6 Plus really handles both of these with skill. It’s a pleasure to look at, and one of the best iPhone screens around.
We can’t not mention the huge internal memory on the iPhone 6 Plus. 128 GB. That makes it the largest phone memory around. Just for reference that’s enough space to download around 30,000 music tracks.
You can’t add memory to this (or any other) iPhone, but that really shouldn’t be an issue. With 128 GB to play around with you’re going to be able to keep as many photos, music tracks, apps and games on your device as you want, and not risk performance slow down due to low memory.
Taking a look at the camera specs, again, numbers aren’t incredibly impressive, though performance is. The front facing camera is 1.2 MP, but gets better face recognition and focussing as well as the ability to shoot HDR. No big shakes, but good enough.
The rear cam is only 8 MP, but don’t make that let you think you won’t get a good picture. The combination of less digital noise, a new sensor with faster focus time and default HDR means that you’ll get a great shot every time.
The 6 Plus has the same dual tone LED flash that we saw on the 5S, which gives you better colour reproduction in low light, and you get panorama and burst modes, as well as optical image stabilisation and facial recognition. All in all, you’re going to be taking some sweet pics.
Apple have allowed both WiFi and LTE calling on the iPhone 6 Plus. On top of that they’ve played around with protocols and you’re now getting WiFi speeds that are up to three times faster, as well as LTE speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
The biggest connectivity change is the fact that the 6 Plus is fully NFC capable. This is going to come in handy when Apple launch their new digital payment system in the UK (though you’re going to have to wait at least a few months for that to happen).
|2G Network||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524|
|CDMA 800 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - A1522 (CDMA), A1524|
|3G Network||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524|
|CDMA2000 1xEV-DO - A1522 (CDMA), A1524|
|TD-SCDMA 1900 / 2000 - A1524|
|4G Network||LTE 700/800/850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100/2600 - A1522 (GSM), A1522 (CDMA), A1524|
|TD-LTE 1900 / 2300 / 2500 / 2600 - A1524|
|Dimensions||158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 in)|
|Weight||172 g (6.07 oz)|
|- Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID)|
|- Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Type||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches (~401 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Shatter proof glass, oleophobic coating|
|- Display Zoom|
|Alert types||Vibration, proprietary ringtones|
|Internal||16/64/128 GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Speed||DC-HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; EV-DO Rev. A, up to 3.1 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 150 Mbps DL, 50 Mbps UL|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.0, A2DP, LE|
|Primary Camera||8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Features||1.5µm pixel size, geo-tagging, simultaneous HD video and image recording, touch focus, face/smile/blink detection, panorama, HDR|
|Video||1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps, optical image stabilization|
|Secondary Camera||1.2 MP, 720p, burst, HDR|
|CPU||Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)|
|GPU||PowerVR GX6650 (hexa-core graphics)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Messaging||iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Colors||Space Gray, Silver, Gold|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- AirDrop file sharing|
|- Siri natural language commands and dictation|
|- iCloud cloud service|
|- iCloud Keychain|
|- Twitter and Facebook integration|
|- iBooks PDF reader|
|- Audio/video player/editor|
|- Document viewer/editor|
|- Photo viewer/editor|
|- Voice memo/dial/command|
|- Predictive text input|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Ion battery|
|Stand-by||(2G) / Up to 384 h (3G)|
|Talk time||(2G) / Up to 24 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 80 h|
Apple have really done themselves proud with the iPhone 6 Plus. People have been demanding a larger screen iPhone for a while now, and it’s nice to see that the company were actually listening. And this isn’t just a large version of the regular iPhone 6, the 6 Plus has features and specs of its own.
Along with all the new tech, you’ll be getting the Apple fingerprint scanner as well as iCloud storage, and of course, 3G, 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth as well.
What’s not to like? We don’t like not being able to add memory via an SD card slot, but with 128 GB of internal memory built in, we’d be silly to quibble over that. The iPhone 6 Plus is a great device, with tons of memory and screen space. This is an awesome first attempt at a phablet from Apple.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.