Final Words

Overall, the iPhone 6 is a significant step up from the iPhone 5s. One of the first areas where we see noteworthy changes is in the industrial design of the phone. Instead of the hard edges that we saw with the iPhone 5 design, the sides of the phone are now all curved in nature to give much better in-hand feel, and the result is surprisingly appealing as well due to how the glass curves down to meet the metal body. The iPhone 6 is also sitting right around the best balance of display size and one-handed usability, which helps with the in-hand feel aspect. I really have to make it a point to address size in the case of the iPhone 6. While this is definitely a matter of personal opinion and will vary from person to person, I find the size of the iPhone 6 to be refreshing after using phone after phone that pushed display size too far. While Reachability is definitely helpful, the size of the iPhone 6 is such that I really wouldn't miss such a feature on the iPhone 6 because it is an appropriate size. I never really had any issue handling a flagship from 2013 like the Nexus 5, Galaxy S4, G2, or One (M7), so this is a recent issue for me. Those that find those phones to be a good size will likely find the iPhone 6 to be similarly fit for their hands.

While I like the iPhone 6’s industrial design, increasing overall thickness to eliminate the camera hump could be an interesting variation as it would also bring a larger battery. Some users may also dislike the thick plastic lines, though I personally don’t notice this in day to day use.

The display itself is also a solid improvement, with incredible native contrast, high brightness, great viewing angles, and great calibration. I still feel like I’d want higher pixel density to make it the “perfect” display, but it’s clear that there are some very real limitations on resolution selection for iOS devices due to the point system used. Given that the resolution cannot be changed, the iPhone 6’s display is ultimately one of the best I’ve seen all year.

The SoC is also a significant upgrade, although not quite the jump that we saw from A6 to A7. For the most part, the architecture of the new CPU cores is relatively similar and we see a jump in GPU performance that puts the GX6450 on par with the Adreno 420. Apple continues to ship some of the best CPU and GPU choices on the market, and in our GFXBench rundown test it’s obvious that Apple has an extremely efficient system as skin temperatures remain in check while running at maximum performance for the duration of the GFXBench test. It’s clear that the NAND is also of high performance, although random I/O performance isn’t quite as amazing as sequential performance.

In battery life, once again Apple has managed to successfully maintain good battery life despite a relatively small battery capacity. The iPhone 6’s battery life is consistently near the top tier in this category. In the GFXBench rundown where the iPhone 6 falls short it makes up for it with incredible sustained performance.

Outside of the basic user experience, there are still even more improvements. The new camera seems to have better low light performance than before, along with significantly improved focus speed. The continuous auto focus enabled by phase detection autofocus is a killer feature for video when combined with the improved stabilization function. For a relatively small sensor size, Apple has managed to drive performance that rivals the relatively larger cameras of the competition. At the 1/3” sensor size, I’m not aware of a camera that is more balanced in its capabilities for daytime photography, low light photography, and anything in between.

In audio quality, Apple has delivered a solution on par with HTC’s audio solution, which places it among the best for this generation that we’ve tested. While there are some issues, there’s relatively little value to pushing audio quality any further unless high resolution audio becomes common.

Finally, the software experience continues to be great. Apple has taken advantage of the increased display size to increase information density out of the box, and generally improved the polish of iOS with iOS 8. We continue to see strong integration of TouchID into software, and with time I expect to see its value increase even more as Apple Pay and the use of TouchID for third party apps becomes widespread. There are only two significant issues that I noticed in my week with the iPhone 6, and one is because the application was originally intended for iOS 6. The only flaw that the iPhone 6 has is a lack of RAM, and this is only an issue if you also felt it was an issue on the iPhone 5s.

Overall, the iPhone 6 has been a surprise for me. While not all that much changed on the surface, this is the first phone that I’ve reviewed all year where I’ve found more to like the deeper I dug. The iPhone 6 is a great phone in its own right and needs no qualifications in that recommendation. While as a current Android user I’m still reluctant to use the iPhone 6 as my only phone, the iPhone 6 is good enough that I’m willing to consider doing so.

Cellular, GNSS, Misc.
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  • bobobobo - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    solid phone, solid improvement. Reply
  • AppleCrappleHater2 - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Worship the holy apple.

    The apple way, selling over expensive crap to stupid consumers that like to
    get robbed.

    This has been a disastrous launch in every respect. The iwatch is such an
    ugly piece of crap, it is truly unbelievable how a company, formerly known for
    its remarkable design, dares to put out such a crap ton of shit. Some
    characteristics are glaringly obvious and inherent to it: over expensive,
    hardly innovative, limited functionality and usability (need of an iPhone to
    make it work), looks exactly like a toy watch and so on.

    There are of course way better smart watches out there, especially from the
    likes of Samsung, Sony, Motorola, Asus, LG, simply put, there is no need for
    another piece of over expensive junk.

    The iPhone 6 is technologically stuck in pre-2011 times, a base model with
    a capacity of 16GB without the possibility to use SD cards isn't even funny
    anymore. The screen resolution is horrendous, it isn't water proof, shock and
    dust resistant, it offers nothing innovative, just some incremental
    updates over its predecessor, both lacking severely behind their competitors at
    their respective launch dates.

    Now the Iphone 6 Plus offers a „Retina HD“ screen, full 1920x1080p, oh wow,
    where have you been for the past 4 years apple, talk about trailing behind.
    That’s pathetic. The interesting thing about that is the fact that apple
    always manages to sell backwards oriented, outdated crap to its user base, all
    while pretending to be an innovative technology leader. The similarities
    regarding any form of sectarian cult are striking.

    You gotta love how Apple always comes up with new marketing bullshit terms,
    aka "Retina HD", with the intention to manipulate its users while preventing easy
    comparisons with its competitors by withholding the actual specs. Apparently it’s
    not enough to have a 1080p screen, you have to call it "Retina HD" to make those
    suckers buy it, otherwise someone could look at the 4K Amoled and Oled screens
    form LG and Samsung devices and get outright disappointed. Same goes for
    everything else. Every outdated „feature“ needs to get its own marketing label
    to persuade buyers with crappy „experience“ and „usability“ ads, while covering
    the truth with marketing gibberish, knowing full well that only a fraction of
    aforementioned buyers cares to look at the facts and dares to compare them.

    Car engines come to mind. For comparisons shake let’s look at a 1.0 liter, turbo
    charged petrol engine and a V8 compressor. What’s better should be obvious, but
    by calling the former an „ecobooster“, thus giving it a special marketing label,
    this joke becomes a „feature“, something positive that can be added tot the list
    of features of a car.

    By doing so a negative aspect is transformed into a positive one, the
    reality is distorted, non tech savvy buyers are manipulated and comparisons are
    made more difficult (another layer of marketing bullshit to overcome), well done
    marketing department. You see , if something is seriously lacking (of course for
    profit, what else), don’t bother explaining, just give it a nice marketing term, distort
    reality, make it a feature and call it a day. Fuck that!!

    FACT: Apple has been forced to copy Android in style and size for
    years because people abandoned their tired, moribund and fossilized
    devices for superior and innovative Android devices.

    Steve Jobs said no one should want a 7" tablet until everyone went and bought
    Android devices forcing Apple to copycat with the iPad Mini. Apple
    didn't think anyone wanted a phone screen larger than a business card
    until they all bought Androids thus forcing the arrival this week of the
    iPhone Galaxy and iPhone Galaxy Note clone phones.

    Swipe down notifications that don't interfere? Copied from Android and WebOS. Siri?
    Bought and ruined from a private developer; Google Now crushes it.
    3rd-party keyboards? Welcome to 2010, iChumps! Widgets? Welcome to 2009
    except you can't place them on your home screen. Live wallpapers and
    hidden icons? Maybe Apple will get around to copying those in iOS X in
    2016. Who knows.

    Apple lacks creativity and honest people acknowledge it. Steve Jobs gets credited as an
    innovator when all he was, was a huckster who'd spot someone else's tech, polish it up nicely,
    then slap a gnawed fruit logo on the back, charge a premium price and
    wait for the rubes like Jim Smith to hand over their cash like the good
    iSheep they are.

    But after that initial iteration, Apple is incapable of actually innovating something new.
    They literally cannot make a product until someone else shows them how and they copy it.
    They are also unable refine things because they believe to improve is to
    admit something was imperfect the first time. (This is why QuickTime 4
    had a legendarily terrible UI that was never changed through QT7 a
    decade later.) All they can do is make things incrementally thinner or
    faster but it's just minor refinements since they can't invest their way
    out of a wet paper bag.

    For all their squealing about Retina displays, they never even had a HD display until now;
    8th time is the charm, though you need the iPhone Galaxy Note to get the 1080p that many Android
    users have had for at least a year and is now considered
    bare-minimum spec. At the rate Apple drags along, QHD screens should
    arrive in 2018. Maybe. A graphic went around after the reveal comparing
    the iPhone Galaxy to the Nexus 4 from 2012. Exactly.

    The Apple Iphone 1 and Ipad 1 might have been innovative at their time,
    but since then, the bitten apple has been continuously rotting from the inside
    outwards, always swarmed by millions of Iworms which regale themselves with its
    rotten flesh, not forgetting all other Americans who support apple by means of
    their tax dollars to finance its bought US Treasury/Government bond interest rates.

    Last but not least, every Apple product includes a direct hotlink to the NSA,
    free of charge, something that might make it a good value, after all.

    Ceterum censeo Applem esse delendam.
    Reply
  • esterhasz - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Since we're quoting Cato today, here's a good one: "grasp the subject, the words will follow". Reply
  • uhuznaa - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    You seem to be a tiny bit obsessed. Reply
  • iphone6splus - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    Yet, he didn't comment on Touch ID. Reply
  • kevin_newell - Thursday, October 09, 2014 - link

    Apple is lagging far behind it's competitors both in user satisfaction (source: http://www.consumertop.com/best-phone-guide/) and innovation. I mean, who was first with large screens and phone cameras that work well in low light? It sure wasn't Apple. Reply
  • Caliko - Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - link

    A large iPhone is NOT innovation.

    Sorry iPhoney fan.
    Reply
  • lowtolerance - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    I can recommend some good therapists. You need one. Reply
  • vickyksoni - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    you can also read more details about iphone 6 at https://smarttopten.com/ as they have lot more information Reply
  • melgross - Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - link

    You sir, are a complete idiot! Reply

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