In our iPhone 6 Plus review we benchmark the new Apple phablet, run photo comparisons with the iPhone 5s and evaluate the iPhone 6 Plus’s design, features, and UK price. Plus: Is it too big for your hand? Here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone 6 Plus, including whether you should be concerned about Bendgate.
iPhone 6 Plus review
The iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest iPhone ever, with the sharpest screen of any iOS device in history. It’s a record breaker, but is it worth the money? And is it too big for its own good, or too big for the average person to use one-handed? Our iPhone 6 Plus review puts the device through Macworld‘s rigorous battery of speed tests, graphics tests and camera tests, and evaluates every aspect of the iPhone 6 Plus’s design, build quality, feature set, battery life, value for money and more.
Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus went on sale on 19 September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6, both of which are now 5 months old – and if the iPhone 6 is big, the iPhone 6 Plus is really big: a gargantuan 5.5 inches diagonally across its screen. It’s by a huge distance the biggest iPhone so far, but do the advantages of so much screen space outweigh the negatives: loss of portability, greater power requirements, and difficulty for one-handed use?
In our iPhone 6 Plus review we answer these questions, and many more. Such as: how can you buy an iPhone 6 Plus in the UK? What it the iPhone 6 Plus’s UK price, and is it a good deal? How does the iPhone 6 Plus compare with the iPhone 6, not to mention the older iPhones? Plus, which iPhone should you buy? We also cover the iPhone 6 Plus’s design and interface changes and its new features – and there are a couple of really interesting ones that will be denied to other iPhone owners even with iOS 8 installed.
iPhone 6 Plus review: Size. Or, is the iPhone 6 Plus too big?
Before the unveiling of the iPhone 6 series handsets, Apple was pretty conservative on size. The iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s all had 3.5in screens; the iPhone 5, 5c and 5s had 4in screens. We’re not used to dramatic change in this area.
But now the screen size has seen a dramatic jump: up to 4.7in on the iPhone 6, and on the iPhone 6 Plus a stunning increase all the way to 5.5in.
This is exciting stuff for the many Apple followers who had been crying out for bigger screens. But Apple had its reasons for keeping things to 4 inches or below for so long. It came down to how comfortable the phones were to use, with Apple designing the iPhone 5 so you could reach all areas of the device while holding it in one hand.
However, in its insistance on being right about size not mattering (or rather, bigger not always being better), Apple ceded the large end of the market to Samsung and co, and customer pressure began to build. Why wouldn’t Apple release an iPhone with a bigger screen? Even our own Ashleigh Allsopp joined the chorus. Eventually, Apple relented and introduced bigger iPhones. But the original reasons for staying small haven’t gone away.
To get an idea of the iPhone 6 Plus’s size, here it is compared to the iPhone 5s:
Having held the iPhone 6 Plus we have to say that it wouldn’t be the phone of choice for all members of the Macworld team. Some of us have small hands, and the iPhone 6 Plus dwarfed them. We could hardly grip the phone with one hand, let alone use it one handed.
But even those of us with relatively big hands find it a little bit uncomfortable to use: not egregiously so, just slightly awkward. We prefer holding the iPhone 6; we sort of miss the iPhone 5s. And while at first we thought the iPhone 6 Plus’s form would grow on us, even now, after five months of regular use, we’re still finding it an awkward shape and size.
Macworld’s Jim Martin, who uses the iPhone 6 Plus every day, says that, while he’s now used to the size of the smartphone he’s not overly keen on it. It’s not just the fact that you can’t use it with one hand (and even the Reachability feature that Apple has added doesn’t help much and he doesn’t use it at all anymore), it’s also that apps don’t make the best use of its pixels. Everything seems too big, because most apps aren’t optimised for the iPhone 6 Plus yet.