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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • GigaMonster - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    iOS has built in support for a stylus.
  • GigaMonster - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    iOS has built-in support for numerous stylus. Feel free to pick one up if you feel the need. WACOM provides a very nice 2048 one and there are plenty of apps available that make use of the multiple levels of sensitivity.
  • Narg - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    I would liked to have seen photo comparisons with Nokia's phones in this....
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    WHY, WHY anandtech keeps using chrome browser for any browser based benchmark, and using safari browser for apple device? It's just not fair. Sammy's browser has almost TWICE better sunspider score compared to chrome, almost the same as Safari!
  • Parhel - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Not true at all. Not even close to true. Not even a little tiny bit.
  • nerd1 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Check other reviews who tested both browsers. Stock browser get ~400ms for sunspider test, which is almost 2X better results than chrome.
  • port1974 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    LOL...get a clue!

    When Ford builds a V8 engine do you really think it holds up to ones built by the likes of Porche or Ferrari??? Do you think your 40,000 car can compete with one that costs 400,000.

    Like so many others, your are obviously upset at the fact that you can't afford, or refuse to pay more for these handsets. You are also swayed by raw numbers as opposed to real life performance.

    Apple doesn't need a low end 13 megapixel camera to take great shots when it can accomplish the same result with a properly built 8 Megapixel sensor, that's been optimized fully.

    The operating system is so tightly programmed that it doesn't require 4 cores and 3 GB of ram to outperform the competition.

    Android is a Mal & Spyware riden operating system with over 1 million corrupt apps and counting. It's the Windows of mobile computing. Sloppily written and full of security compromises.

    When Apple updates its software everyone who owns any previous models is immediately included, unlike Android users that have to wait years, if they get them at all. Let me guess...you're still on Jellybean "1 point who cares" !

    Comparing a quality built product to one built out of mediocre scraps is beyond ridiculous and only goes to prove you refuse to grasp reality.

    Let's not even get started on the smartwatch debate...that's a definite dead end for you, given the crap other companies have put forth so far.

    I'm not trying to put you down, as you appear to be trying to do to others, with your less than well thought out rant...just hoping at some point you get the chance to remove the blinders.

    Best of luck with that!
  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Hyundai genesis v8 is actually faster than Porsche panamera baseline model.
  • GigaMonster - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Maybe 0-60, but that's just spec wars. That Gv8 will never keep up with the Panamera around a course or through some mountain roads.
  • nerd1 - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Based on Nürburgring lap time results, Gv6 is ~10 sec slower than low-end porsches (8:30 vs 8:40), so I bet the v8 version can easily keep up with 310HP baseline panamera at tracks. Maybe I am wrong.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now