File-It-Under: Reviewed devices By: D.F.Skin
First off lets clear somethings up before we go on with this review. There will not be any bend test that you've seen gone viral around the Internet,nor will there be any smartphone drop tests. I actually paid hard earn money for the iPhone 6-Plus,no review unit here. I do plan on getting the absolute most out of this smartphone. The iPhone 6-Plus has now been in my possession for past 5 days, I've played around with iPhone 6-Plus extensively,put it through a battery of test,ran it through a slew of benchmark apps,even exhausted the battery life on a single charge without resorting to whipping out the power brick and lightning cable every hour. A midst all of the bent smartphone reports that you've seen or heard through the media, I have taken on the challenge of owning and handling this 5.5-inch smartphone. This is Apple's own very first big smartphone,and you know what? I have somethings to say about it,here's my review,lets go.
About That Hardware and Display
Other than the the iPhone 6-Plus battery which I will get to in a few, the other big selling point is the display, which further convinced me to get this smartphone. To put it bluntly,the iPhone 6-Plus display is gorgeous,but this should not be a surprise to many since the retina display inception a few years back with the iPhone 4, the iPhone's display has always been stunning. The 5.5-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, which equates to 401 pixels per inch,making it one of the brightest display Apple has produced thus far. Is it the best display on the market, certainly not, there is the 5.1-inch Samsung Galaxy S5 which has a 432ppi, the HTC One M8 which comes in at 441 ppi,then we have the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 which has an amazing 515 ppi, and finally we have the LG G3 which by far has the brightest display of any smartphone on the market with an insane 538 ppi. But I always say a good display is what's pleasurable to the eyes,and those who are less technical than most should measure any mobile device display with the naked eye,Just take a close look at the text when you expand the page,if you view noticeable pixels in black text,you're dealing with a display that's more or less sub par at best. With the new iPhone 6-Plus,there are no noticed pixels when you expand images,a stunning display overall.
Over onto the hardware,I'm somewhat disappointed (just a bit) with the internal hardware within the iPhone 6-Plus, I thought Apple would've push the envelop and beefed up its working internals, you have competitors like Samsung and others using a much faster processors (some are even using quad-core processing) and more memory in the tune of 3GB. With that said,the iPhone 6-Plus hardware is not terrible,in fact its 1.43GHz dual-core A8 chip with 64-bit architecture with an added M8 motion co-processor, just wished Apple went far and beyond with its hardware.
While manufacturers joust for who has the most megapixels in a smartphone, Apple remains stagnant with its 8 megapixel camera,but that does not mean that quality of images suffer. In fact many would say the late model iPhone 5S is probably one of the best smartphone around when it comes down to its camera. The same can be said about the iPhone 6 which has a pretty awesome camera,but the iPhone 6-Plus has what its brethren doesn't have and that's image stabilization or OIS for short. One thing that stood out with me is the iPhone 6-Plus camera's ability to capture images in low light which is pretty odd to see on a smartphone, nevertheless the images I've taken so far besides looked impressive,which was captured in minimal light, images are very sharp due in part to the cameras slower shutter speed,much slower than the iPhone 6. The camera also has much longer exposure thus having lower ISO which lends itself to less image noise and better color.
The iPhone 6-Plus camera shoots video in 1080p and captures video at 60 frames per second (with an option 30 fps). Shooting in slow motion videos can be boosted, up to 240fps from 120fps. Even though the front-facing camera has been updated, for whatever the reason Apple didn't implement video stabilization,there is though an offering of f/2.2 aperture. This allows the front-facing camera to take in more light directly upon its sensor. To put it simple you'll have more detail looking selfie pictures.
iOS 8 and Its Software
Far as iOS 8 goes, the mobile operating system pretty much address some of the features I wanted to see or for the lack of the better term was craving for a long time. Yeah I know,there are those who will say most of the features you see in iOS 8 Android users have enjoyed for years. If you're a frequent jail-breaker like myself,then you know these features that Apple has instituted in iOS 8 aren't close to being innovative,but there are indeed a welcome edition. If you had to ask me what is the most standout features in iOS 8 I'd probably have a hard time pinpointing which feature is my favorite. I can say this,I love the updated iMessage,you can now do more in your messenger,like send audio, video and pics with ease. You can now implement group messaging within iMessage,again nothing we haven't seen before. If you're a frequent user of Tinychat and WhatsApp then these features look very familiar.
Spotlight search actually relevant to the point of being useful,you actually type in your favorite comic character in spotlight search and boom,you will be hit with a barrage of website information that's sourced from Wikipedia, type in your favorite artist,you'll get Wikipedia information and if by chance you have the artist song stored on your device via iTunes,you'll see a list of songs all within Spotlight Search. I mean this what Spotlight Search should have always been,more responsive and useful. Then we have to famous Siri the voice command app in iOS 8 is surprisingly much improved and more responsive, I mean there is a lot to like about iOS 8,but the new mobile OS is not without some minor problems.
When I upgraded to iOS 8 on the iPhone 5,there were noticeable glitches and random crashing when pulling up certain apps,even experience sudden screen freezes which led me to rebooting the entire smartphone. Fast forward to iOS 8 on the iPhone 6-Plus,I expected the smartphone to operate in peak condition,yet like with the iPhone 5,I did experience some moment of software glitching. Are the glitches a big problem to point of worry? No,just minor glitches that can be corrected with software updates.
The Performance and Battery Life
Despite the fact that I think the iPhone 6-Plus hardware should be on par with the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note 4,or the LG G3,the smartphone for the most part performs well under extreme conditions. When I mean by extreme,I mean constant multitasking,constant streaming of video,gaming,just constant usage overall. One can't describe the overall performance of the iPhone 6-Plus without throwing you some benchmark numbers in comparison to the iPhone 6.
Its rather tough to compare benchmark numbers with other devices on the market considering most of these smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the LG G3 hardware are slightly superior to the iPhone 6-Plus in the hardware department, so it would be wise to do a benchmark comparison to the iPhone 6. In my 3D Mark Ice Storm test, the iPhone 6-Plus pulled a total score of 17384, compared to the iPhone 6 which pulled a overall score of 17,222. Here's where it gets interesting, In the GeekBench test,the iPhone 6-Plus scored a 1541 single-core and a 2578 Multi-Core score, compared to the iPhone 6, which scored a 1627 single Core score and a 2920 Multi -Core score. One would think being that the iPhone 6-Plus is bigger in size the scores should go in its favor. However when doing my research as to how are the Geekbench scores surprisingly higher with the iPhone 6, I discovered that though both smartphones have Apple's own A8 chipset dual-core CPU,the iPhone 6 is clocked at 1.39GHz, while the iPhone 6-Plus is clocked 1.32GHz,that's a -70MHz off its speed. It's quite possible that this could indeed be an error on behalf of Geekbench as the suite itself is not yet fully optimize for Apple A8 architecture.
The battery life on the other hand is no comparison,in fact besides the bigger display, the iPhone 6-Plus bigger battery was the selling point for me,its actually a god send,no kidding. Coming from a iPhone 5 where yes I was one of those wall hogging patrons who needed to charge their iPhone 5 every hour on the hour, the iPhone 6-Plus without having any activity taking place can probably go a day and half on one full charge. When active,I estimated that my iPhone 6-Plus held 13 full hrs on one charge,that is without plugging my smartphone into any adapter for a quick charge. I streamed mass amount of videos which you know uses heavy bandwidth,sync my smart watch (The Pebble) via Bluetooth,used Spotify and even downloaded a bevy of apps,still had 56% battery power left after 12 hours of full activity. Very impressive to say the least.
Then We Have The Design
In describing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6-Plus design,I would say it closely resembles the iPad Mini (Retina display),it pretty much has a similar design,withthe same button placement,only thing is the volume rocker on iPhone 6-Plus is on the usual left side of the device. The power button is no longer placed on top,instead its now located on the right side of the device. The overall design of the smartphone is very sleek and thin and to me that makes for an impressive device, I just have this passion for compact sleek devices. The overall build of the iPhone 6-Plus rear is encased in a all aluminum construct,the entire front portion of the device is covered in glass (no the glass display is not made of Sapphire). The iPhone 6-Plus is a big smartphone,very big,big and intimidating if you have small hands. If you're a long time iPhone user as myself and you've finally decided to venture off to a 5.5-inch smartphone,then you will experience a bit of a culture shock because smartphone is, well big. I must admit it took me a couple of days to get used to feel of the iPhone 6-Plus,it was definitely a big adjustment to say the least. After using it for a couple of days though,the iPhone 6-Plus began to gradually have a more natural feel to it.One thing though I must mention,clearly the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus like most devices on the market are made for right handed users I mean we live in a right hand dominate world,being that the iPhone 6-Plus is such a big device and geared toward right handed users,left handed users will clearly be at a disadvantage and will have a hard time reaching over to access buttons on the device,so I strongly suggest whether lefty or right handed that you handle this smartphone with two hands.
Now what's a iPhone 6-Plus review without mentioning the whole bendgate fiasco which has dominated the news for the past couple of days. I must say this,without being impartial to the matter at hand,because I did purchase this smartphone for my own personal use. I found the iPhone 6-Plus to be very sturdy in its build,is it sturdy enough to resist any damage from extreme bending,of course not, still and all the fact that everyone said the device is super fragile and lite in its weight to point of sudden damage is a bit exaggerated. In fact I beg to differ in everybody's opinion. I found the iPhone 6-Plus to be very sturdy in its build, and as far as the weight of the device is concern,it almost feels exactly like the iPhone 5S. Bottom line is unless you apply extreme pressure to the iPhone 6-Plus or place the device in your back pocket yet at the same time sit down on a hard surface awkwardly, I can see where the iPhone 6-Plus can protrude a bit ,but the same can be said about most smartphone's on the market, if you apply enough pressure and don't handle your smartphone with care, damage can take place. If you want to safeguard yourself from the sudden case of the bends,I strongly suggest that you get yourself a nice sturdy case for this iPhone 6-Plus.
About the pockets though,can the iPhone 6-Plus fit nicely in your pockets,the answer is it depends. If by chance you're one of those skinny jean wearing hipsters,then I can see reasons for discomfort. My advice is if you plan on keeping your smartphone in your pants pocket and not use a Fanny pack case,you know the one you clip on your belt, then make sure the pockets in your pants can accommodate the entire smartphone with ease.
In closing,the question you might be asking is the iPhone 6-Plus for everyone? The answer is it all depends,if you're looking to migrate to the iPhone 6-Plus because you want that extra display real estate,then get the smartphone. If you're looking for a device that performs well under extreme usage yet at the same time have excellent battery life, you know, one that doesn't require you to plug your smartphone into a outlet every hour on the hour,then invest in a iPhone 6-Plus. In my opinion 5.5-inch form factor smartphones is definitely not for everyone,especially if you have small hands and or you don't think you can adjust to a bigger device. I for one love the iPhone 6-Plus for its display,the way hardware flows with the software,and of course the battery life,the device can go almost an entire day without charging,that alone was enough for me to purchase the device. Now is the iPhone 6-Plus perfect,no,it still missing some features that Android users have enjoyed for years,like an SD card slot for extra storage and iOS 8 is definitely not glitch free. Other than that,the smartphone has suited my needs thus far,and I'm looking forward getting the most out of this device from here on out.