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
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  • nerd1 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Also current android flagship (with snapdragon 805) is FASTER than iPhone 6+ in terms of multithread load (which anandtech never tests for some curious reason), and their browsing performance is on par with iPhone 6+ when tested with their STOCK browser (yet anadtech only tests with chrome, which is 2X slower)

    Camera is simply no match. Take a look at DXOMark individual scores. iPhone 6/6+ has both lower acuity (resolution) and higher noise than galaxy S5. It got high score for autofocus, which *curiously* made the total averaged score to the top.

    And apple devices are suffering greatly from lack of memory, which is even worse with 64 bit address set (which eats up 20~30% more memory). A simple test is opening multiple tabs in safari and going through them. You will see them refresh ALL THE TIME due to lack of memory.

    I know iDiots can't understand this and won't listen anyway though.
  • ninjaroll - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    Sorry, what did you say? I'm too busy enjoying using my phone and getting things done.
  • GigaMonster - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Oh we understand your cycling through tabs "test". We just know it's meaningless because it's just a dumb demo test. It doesn't reflect normal daily usage, is not a "user story" that needs to be fulfilled, and is a waste of our time to sit there cycling through tabs when we cod just be getti stuff done.
  • val580 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - link

    IPhone 6+ design and feel in hand is similar to galaxy note 2.
    The screen size and bezel are also the same.

    Apple is stuck in 2012 and don't care because peope buy the product
  • Mugur - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    The conclusion that 6+ is the best phablet out there is simply ridiculous. It's like saying that the best Android tablet is HTC One Max.

    6+ has no phablet merit other than the screen size.
  • KuyaMarkEduard - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link


    alibis after excuses after exculpations!

    "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."

    how-much did the rotten fruit company pay you for this review?

    I know you won't reply to this, but just for the sake of argument, granting that you will, and you say that you're not making any excuses whatsoever, when Galaxy note 4 an Edge come to your hands for review, will you also defend all of the possible flaws that you may be able to discover? and also for the massive features and capabilities of the two note devices, for the sake of utmost fairness, oh well, if you really are in the first-place, and you indeed insist, will you also praise them?, and say like this, or that feature is awesome or something to that effect? or you just say that this, or that, is nothing compare to your product, but a bunch of gimmicks!

    …Just a piece of advice, if you care to listen anyway, whatever you're gonna say when that time finally arrives, don't be too obvious...…
  • Parhel - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Not sure what you're getting at, really. They were calling them out on the fact that the included wall adapter sucks, and that you can charge your phone twice as fast with an iPad adapter. A lot of iPhone users (most?) already know that and buy aftermarket A/C adapters. I know I do. It only changes the recharge time, not the performance of the phone or the benchmarks or anything else.
  • Michał - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    I very much welcome the 6+. My eyesight is not what it was and I don't like the portrait size keyboard on my 5. Just a little too small. I do feel that the many senior users of iPhones will welcome this phablet model and that the large size of this segment of the market is being overlooked in many reviews. A mature market will have three sizes of phones. Small for girls, children and those with small hands. Middle size for most of the market and large size for those who have eyesight and accessibility needs short of disability. Many people like me have waited for this Iphone phablet..
  • KuyaMarkEduard - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Allright then. however, if you could wait, just a little bit longer, you then may be able to choose between Samsung's Galaxy Note4, or the Note Edge; whichever you like, and it would certainly get, a lot more of your money's worth..., just too many to enumerate!
  • ninjaroll - Thursday, October 2, 2014 - link

    Thanks KuyaMarkEduard@samsung.com!!

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