Review: iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

I’ve been using the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for a week now. I picked them up from Apple after the event ended on September 9 and have been switching back and forth for the last seven days.

One thing has become very clear over the last week: The choice over which of these to buy will be the most personal decision that iPhone owners have ever had to make when choosing a device.

I find it interesting that Apple’s naming convention for the iPhone 6 models changed slightly from the previous generation. Currently we have the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, which gives you the feeling that there is a lower-end model. I don’t think that worked too well for Apple.

With the new iPhones, we will have the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. To me that indicates that Apple has a high-end model and a higher-end model. There is no low-end model anymore. It’s a very small change, but I think it fits Apple’s image much better.


As with all of my reviews, I will give you my opinions based on how I use the iPhones, not on the specs.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 is probably the easiest and most satisfying upgrade an iPhone owner will ever have. It looks like an iPhone, it feels like an iPhone, and it comes with a new design and new features.

Of course, the biggest new feature that everyone will notice is the larger 4.7-inch screen. It is stunning. Large enough to be impressive, but a subtle enough of a change that it’s not overwhelming for switchers of the latest generation iPhones.

This isn’t just a larger version of the iPhone 5S display—this is a new Retina HD display. You can see the difference just looking at it. It seems brighter and more vivid to my eye.

While in comparison, the design of the iPhone 5s is a bit boxy, the iPhone 6 has smooth, curved corners, that make holding the device very easy. It fits perfectly in my hands and allows for mostly one-handed access to the entire screen.


I’ve said before that one-handed use is important to me. I often use my iPhone while drinking a coffee (or Heineken), or walking through an airport, or so many other scenarios where using one hand is a must, so being able to control the device with one hand is significant.

It is tough to reach the far top edge of the screen, but I can do it with a little stretch. It’s easier to shimmy my hand up the phone and touch the far edge, if I need to, but to be honest, holding the iPhone in my left hand, there isn’t much on the far right side that I ever need to touch. Of course, I could always use Reachability, a new feature for the new iPhones, but that seems more useful on the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 fits easily in my pocket, which is another thing I really like. I typically don’t use a case with my iPhone, so I don’t have any extra bulk to worry about, but I did wonder if it would be comfortable walking around with, and it was.

With the larger size of the iPhone 6, Apple did make one change that makes sense, but has been hard to get used to—the Sleep/On/Off button has moved from the top to the side of the iPhone. When I hold the device in my hand, the button is perfectly situated on my index finger, which makes it easy to put the iPhone to sleep. If they kept the button at the top, I would have needed to adjust my grip or use two hands to put it to sleep. That was a smart change.


This is the iPhone I think most people would find to be a perfect fit for their lifestyle, whether they are coming from another manufacturer or a previous generation iPhone.

iPhone 6 Plus


That’s what I said when I first got my hands on the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s big—bigger than I expected, even after seeing it on screen at the keynote.

After handling the iPhone 6 Plus, I was sure it was a device that I wouldn’t use long term. However, the more I used it, the more I found myself wanting to use it.

The 6 Plus was awkward for me to use at first—it was kind of like using a smaller version of the iPad mini, but it was a phone. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of using it on an ongoing basis, but the larger screen eventually won me over.

I wear reading glasses now because text on Web pages and email is getting more difficult for me to read. The iPhone 6 is certainly an improvement for me, but the iPhone 6 Plus was perfect.

Text on the Plus is clear, big, and easy to read, every single time you pick it up. I think that’s why I began using it more as the week progressed.

There is certainly a convenience factor in having a smaller phone and being able to tuck it in a pocket and continue on with your day. However, being able to properly use the device will outdo convenience every time for many people.

The other thing I really enjoyed with the iPhone 6 Plus is using the larger screen when taking pictures. I’m not a photographer, but I do enjoy taking pictures when I go places. In recent years, those pictures have become more blurry, mostly because I can’t see the screen when I snap the shot. The 6 Plus solved that issue for me.

The larger screen also allowed Apple to make alternate views of Mail, Messages and other apps, similar to what you get on an iPad, when you turn it to landscape mode. Personally, I like that because you get more information on the screen, which means less tapping back and forth.


My fear was that Apple would make a larger screen iPhone, but not do it right. When doing a larger device like this, you have so many more details to worry about. Some of those details are aimed squarely at users like me that like the one-handed use of smaller iPhones.

Apple addressed this by implementing a new feature called Reachability. This allows you to double-tap the Home button on the iPhone, which makes the entire screen drop down, giving you access to touch items that were too far away to reach. It works on every screen and it works very well. That doesn’t fully address the side-to-side stretch, but it does help.

Of course, the easiest way to use the iPhone 6 Plus is with two hands. My experience with the 6 Plus became much more enjoyable after I gave up trying to see how it worked with one hand and used two. One-handed operation can be done, two-handed is optimal.

Surprisingly, I could fit the iPhone 6 Plus in my pocket. It wasn’t as comfortable as the iPhone 6, but it can be done without any issues.

I still can’t imagine walking around with a device as big as the iPhone 6 Plus to my ear, talking on the phone. That would just look silly. I’ve said it about other devices this size in the past and my opinion on that hasn’t changed. Maybe a Bluetooth ear piece would be a nice add-on for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Bottom Line

There is no doubt in my mind that iPhone 6 Plus will be hugely successful, because clearly there are people out there that want a larger screen device. There are markets in the world where people like to use only one device and having a phone this large is a benefit.

For me, I think the iPhone 6 will be the perfect upgrade for people in the U.S. that haven’t embraced larger screen devices yet. It’s the perfect size for almost any hand.

Both devices are very fast and with the help of Apple’s iCloud services, they can be setup and ready to use in under two minutes.

I found nothing significant in my week of use with either iPhone 6 model that would lead me to any other conclusion than to recommend both. Choose the one that fits your lifestyle the best and be happy.

  • Joseph Blake

    So I (as the person who has to answer my mother’s “which one to get” question) am wondering–can you simply zoom up everything to iPhone 5 resolution but bigger on either the iPhone 6 or 6 plus? And I don’t mean non-upgraded apps or the home screen only–I mean the phone always thinks it’s got an iPhone 5 sized screen and everything is just blown up bigger?

    • Lim Thye Chean

      Yes. This is build in for both 6 and 6+

    • janakj

      As Lim said, yes, there is an option for this. See “Display Zoom” on to get a good feel for how it looks.

      Basically, the iOS7 slider still apparently exists, but now there’s a new Zoom mode, in addition, which runs apps at the old 1136×640 resolution and simply scales them up.

      I think this’ll be handy for my father.

    • Albert Graham

      Apple Watch Vs Swiss Watch (Which is better) Video:

  • Michael Emery

    Would you wear an iPhone 6 Plus on your arm during fitness activities (i.e. making the most of your Apple Watch and HealthKit)? I expect it would look as awkward as it felt.

    • Colin Mattson

      Backpack cases: Coming soon to an Apple Store near you.

      • Brent

        Or a Plus necklace

    • Dennis_

      Lauren Goode from Recode talks a bit about the iPhone 6 plus and jogging and hiking and seems to suggest it’s probably not a great idea. She didn’t even feel like trying it on a jog and dropped it while hiking. I’m a mountain biker and was thinking the huge battery of the 6+ would be a good for long rides, but I love keeping it handy for snapping pictures so can’t see keeping that beast out all the time.

    • vincanss

      Two words: fanny pack.

    • Albert Graham

      Apple Watch Vs Swiss Watch (Which would you buy) Video:

  • Brent

    Don’t like the idea of the size of the 6+ on my face. Do want image stabilization. Sucks that I’ll have to choose between the two.

    • stevenjklein

      You could always get the 6+ and use it with the bundled wired earphones. Or you can go with a 3rd-party wired or bluetooth headphone.

      I used to use bluetooth but I didn’t like having it in my ear all the time, and I really disliked the need to charge it.

      I didn’t like Apple’s EarPods because one of them kept falling out of my ear, and I couldn’t find a way to make it stay in.

      So I bought a Jabra wired headset with built-in mic and volume controls.

    • Tim Meesseman

      I felt the same way and decided the pros would outweigh the cons. I wanted the OIS, screen, battery, and landscape mode. At the end of the day, I realized most of the time I’m using my phone, I have it resting on my stomach or whatever when I’m lounging around. I don’t use it one-handed while walking all that much.

    • W Van Landingham III

      Bluetooth headset. Problem solved.

      Get a nice stereo bluetooth headset and you can use it for everything, including music. I’ve had one for a while now and it’s as much a part of my iPhone as the phone.

      • Brent

        But I’ll still be pulling it out of my pocket in the bar to text my buddy who’s late once again. And the hottie next me may no longer think I’m REALLY happy to see her.

      • GFYantiapplezealots

        No thanks. I’ve tried the BT headset route and it’s a PITA. I just use the included headphones which are super comfortable and sound great.

      • vincanss

        I regularly see people wandering around talking to themselves using blue tooth. I always wonder how they can’t realise they look and sound pretty idiotic and mad. :/

    • I chose the 6+ I made a cardboard mockup. It fit in pockets and bags. I too was concerned about making calls, then I realized it was no bigger than the cordless land line phone I use, and that seems perfectly reasonable.

      So I think, just like taking pictures with an iPad has, it will become acceptable as people get used to seeing it.

      • msetten

        But did you try sitting down while having the 6+ (cardboard) in your pocket? It really starts to bend making it impossible to really sit down or bike with a 6+ in your pocket. Anyone tried that with a real 6+?

        • I had thought about that. By chance I have an air conditioner remote which is almost exactly the same height, but thicker than the 6+, so that worked well as a proxy.

          For me, with the 5S it’s so light and small that often I’m not even certain that it’s in my pocket and I have to double-check. That definitely won’t be happening with the 6+, but the large size trumps everything.

          As for one-handed use, that’s not an issue either. Even with the 5S I use two hands for all but the most trivial actions.

    • Tylke

      Buy whatever you want then because both got image stabilization… the difference is optical vs digital.

      • Brent

        Right, but the question is, and I haven’t seen anyone get into it in their reviews yet… what are the differences experience-wise with the two cameras. I have to believe a lot of folks are waiting to hear on this.

        • Tylke

          The biggest difference between the digital and optical image stabilization are that the optical takes better images in low light. But in general the photos we take are in good conditions. I’m excited to get a good review as well I don’t think you well be able to tell a photo from Iphone 6 or plus. With that said, buy the phone that fits your needs (battery life) and hands best because the camera will blow your mind either way.

          Here’s the first review on the iPhone 6 and TheVerge made one for iPhone 6 plus also if you like to check it out. Cheers.

      • psac

        The Yahoo Tech reviewer strapped the 6+ to his bike and road around and got very clear video/pictures. The 5S was very blurry. He didn’t do the 6, but I would expect it to much more like the 5S than the 6+. Like the OP, I wish I could get the IS in the 6 (which is what I pre-ordered.)

        • Tylke

          TheVerge made a demonstration about the image stabilization on the iPhone 6 and its good, very good! 4:07 in the clip or watch the whole thing.

          • psac

            Thanks, good link!

    • Assuming you have a phone you like now, waiting a year to see what happens is also an option. That’s my plan.

    • Darwin

      You get image stabilization on the 6 but its digital.

  • Michael Cohen

    “I still can’t imagine walking around with a device as big as the iPhone 6 Plus to my ear, talking on the phone.”

    Um, you know, the traditional telephone handset is even bigger, and people used those for decades. Anyway, if I’m talking on the phone in public, I want people to be able to see that I’m doing that and not just holding my hand to my ear and yelling at invisible sprites.

    • You walked around with a traditional telephone handset to your ear?

      • Michael Cohen

        Yes. Around the house and around the office. There used to be these long coiled phone cables, you know? I’m sure you have seen them in a daguerreotype…

    • vincanss

      Just because they were used for decades doesn’t mean the people using them didn’t look like idiots the whole time though. That said, i am buying an iPhone 6 Plus. It is clearly ‘not’ a traditional handset, and I won’t use it predominantly as a phone anyway.

  • Bob Dylan

    “That was a smart change.”

    Right. HTC and Samsung have been doing that years. Was it smart then?

    • Yes it was. They sold a bunch of ’em.

      • I doubt the placement of the power button had too much to do with sales. Even my annoyance with the iPhone moving it will be a small factor in my decision and no factor to most people.

    • Jonas Ensby

      No, then it was “they make phones so huge they have to move the button to the side” insert manical laughter by jim here

    • No, it wasn’t smart then. One handed, I constantly hit the power button those phones when I try to use the volume buttons. It’s very annoying. I’ll be watching very carefully how annoying it will be with the iPhone and if the other features will trump that.

  • Hi Jim, excellent review as always, looking forward to listening to Amplified to hear your views on the two new models. Personally, I am considering an iPhone 6 Plus but don’t want to make a decision before I have the phones in my hand and I can then make a decision. Just wanted to bring your attention to a small typo: ” the button is perfectly situation on my index finger” I think you may have wanted to write situation, but auto-correct may have kicked in.

    • chadcesari

      Or situated! 🙂

      • LOL, thanks Chadcesari, yes indeed, ‘situated’ is what I meant to write also.

  • Nice review, Jim. I have a 6 Plus pre-ordered for delivery on Friday but I was also lucky enough to get a reservation for a 6 in my local Apple Store. I guess I’ll be going to the store on Friday and getting a feel for them both before I make my decision. As you have said, I also believe that the 6 Plus will be incredibly successful.

    If I could give you a Heineken for writing this review I would but I’m all the way in Berlin. ^_^

    • So you’re the one causing everyone else to wait till october for an iPhone. Ordering one just to test.

  • Storm Garelli

    How was the real-world battery life, as compared to the 5s?

  • RobertPerez1

    It seems to me that it boils down to this. If you wanna exercise with your phone in the gym or out running you buy the 6, if you don’t exercise with a phone, or ever, you can buy the 6 Plus.

  • William D
    1. The comparison Jim gives at the beginning between this year’s naming convention and last seems a bit odd. the 5C was not technically equivalent like the 6/6 Plus (almost) very much are. Apple sold the 5c with the specs of a device sold a year earlier and put a plastic case on it. The 6 to me is very much the ‘true successor’ to previous iPhones. The aims of these two are very much different. For a start the 100$ differences between the two are starting a 100$ higher!

    2. I dont know how we can qualify this as looking and feeling like an iPhone, when the 5/5S looked and felt completely different, no? This to me looks like an HTC.. (dont get me wrong i love iPhones and have had all of them throughout the years with exception of the 5C)

  • The next year iPhone won’t have the camera protrusion.

    • It looks like a camera with a phone already.

  • Costa K

    In terms of naming, I would’ve simply called it the iPhone 6, which comes in two sizes. That way, both phones would be considered high end.

    • shdwghst457

      I think both phones are considered high end.

    • Hi, did you get the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6?

  • Atlanta Owner

    One thing I’ve noticed from a couple of other reviews however, when the reviewers dropped the phones (this has happened already), the screens are cracking “in multiple spots”.

    The reason I think: The new design “wraps” the glass around the edges of the phone to meet the body. This LOOKS really cool, but, let’s think back a bit – the Samsung Galaxy SIII a couple of years ago adopted this same screen design – and as time passed, it was said to have been (and still is) the most damageable and breakable smart phone that had hit the market. I even confirmed this with a guy I know who locally does a phone repair shop, and he told me that the SIII was by far coming in more than any other phone due to cracked screens due to that design. And now, Apple has adopted that same screen wrap design. And everyone who has dropped the review phones so far, has indeed cracked their screens.

    Only time will tell if this becomes a huge problem with this generation of iPhone, but a couple of reviewers have made comments like, “It’s perhaps even more important with the iPhone 6 to use a case than it was the last model” – and maybe that is the reason for the warning. I always use cases that protect the edges, but will definitely make sure I get a good impact case that does this if I upgrade to one of these now.

    • jimpocket3d

      @Atlanta Owner—Really, I think you ought to provide links or at least pointers for search when you introduce a potential deal-killer issue like this. Too many trolls make up similar bogus stuff for nefarious purposes.

    • vincanss

      Frankly these reviewers you’re talking about who dropped their phone within a week of having them shouldn’t have them in the first place. The same applies to other idiots at large … The problem isn’t in the design, the problem is people who shouldn’t own high priced tech.

  • lkalliance

    Interested in reading more reviews, but I am in the fortunate position of being on the in-between year of the two-year upgrade cycle. My initial reaction to the new phones hasn’t yet changed: I still prefer the current 4″ sized screen, and very much love the materials, form factor and “hand feel” of my iPhone 5c. At the time I decided to purchase the 5c instead of the 5S, I expected/hoped that by two years down the line it would still exist but it will have inherited some of the 5S’s technology.

    I don’t like how the 6 looks in images, I don’t like the size-to-thickness ratio, I don’t like that the camera isn’t flush any longer, and I’m not surprised by “Atlanta Owner’s” post from earlier about brittleness.

    All of this may change (and probably will to a greater or lesser extent) when I’ve seen and held the new phones, but that’s at least what I feel right now.

    My dream phone a year from now, at least as imagined currently, would be a 5c size and case, with the 5S camera and flash, TouchID, an A8 processor, the M8, and the new NFC hardware for Apple Pay. Sounds like a lot, but I hold out hope that the 4″ size is not gone, and that the 5c isn’t, either.

    • I think the new sizes are here to stay.

      • lkalliance

        If that turns out to be the case, then I’m very disappointed.

  • Hmm.. Not sure about the placement of the power/sleep button. I am constantly hitting that button on other phones when it is opposite the volume buttons, and that becomes annoying very very quickly. I’ll have to try one out at the Apple Store and see if it does that and if I can adjust to being annoyed in order to get the rest of the coolness. You’d think it’d be a minor thing, but it definitely would push me from getting one now to waiting for a while.

    • Gandhi

      Double tap for reachibility is different from double click for list of running applications.

      • Aha. Hadn’t caught the difference in tap (screen) and click (button). Thanks for clarifying!

  • Acid wh0Le

    Awesome review! Thank you!

  • I ordered the iPhone 6 (64GB). I’m only 165cm (5ft 5in) tall. The 5.5″ of the iPhone 6+ doesn’t fit in my pants pockets when I sit (used a friends Samsung to test).

  • Grazegeek

    Talking about Android.. Does anyone remember that picture made by Android fans comparing the new iPhones and 2012-2013 Android devices? This is the biggest rage I’ve seen yet related to that, funny as haha

  • vincanss

    I will use my iPhone plus predominantly for games, internet browing, email and apps. I do very few calls, and don’t generally take that many calls, but it’s nice to have the phone feature so the device can be my catch all for anyone who does want to reach me. That said, for people who do use the phone more as a ‘phone’ and will regularly be seen talking on it, I’d go for a 6 instead. I’d feel awkward having a huge tablet like device against my face like that.

  • Albert Graham

    Apple Watch Vs Swiss Watch Video:

  • Greven85

    im taking photos now and then but i also listen to music…..a lot!! so the actual battery time (first hand) and music-time is the deal-maker for me, and i see 6 and 6 plus have 50 and 80 hrs, which is fine…but how long does the two last with average usage? and as far as OIS goes, the picture quality is more or less the same right? if you manage to keep them equally still(?) i would love to see some photos demonstrating one-hand use on the 6 Plus

  • Dr Jim

    The biggest mistake is Apple still offering a 16GB phone. To small a memory without the ability to expand it with a SD chip. In regards to size if you watch videos bigger is better!

  • bob

    what commission are you on? Basically just telling people to buy every new coming out of Apple, never thought of if they actually need that, people should be sane and calibrate their needs before getting ahead of themselves.

  • Fakir Smith

    Everyone thinks the Plus is too big because they haven’t held it or used it, but really once you use it you won’t ever go back. It’s the perfect size. If all you do is talk than yes, buy any other phone. If you take pictures, make videos, text, surf the internet, use maps, etc. etc. etc. and occasionally talk (as most people do these days) than buy a iPhone 6 Plus! Apple now has to figure out why someone should buy an iPad.

  • Eddy

    A beautifully made phone that finally reaches the screen size that many have hankered for from an iPhone, without sacrificing quality. The iOS 8 software adds a lot of key functionality – and NFC allied to TouchID has huge potential for offline and online payments.

  • 486DX50
  • Kenh

    Boy, I disagree with the repositioning of the ON/OFF button. It’s new position is awful. I always hit it inadvertently when trying to get my phone out of its carrying pouch. Wish it was on top where it didn’t get accidentally pushed.

  • Dithot

    My husband got the 6 plus, and I cannot stand that the wake/sleep button in now on the side. I am forever turning it off by accident, particularly when trying to take pictures, and you can’t turn it on it’s side for viewing very well, either, ’cause you either turn up the volume or put the phone to sleep.

  • Rakesh jain

    Vkworld T1 Plus Kratos is good phone. T1 Plus Kratos features a 6 inch JDI LTPS display which can outrun the display on iPhone. It has vivid color, high brightness and contrast. Search on google “T1 Plus Kratos VS iPhone 6” for compare.