review. – “bigger than Bigger” iPhone… 6 Plus

A rundown of Apple’s latest “bigger than Bigger” iPhone

As a previous owner of an iPhone 4 (my first smartphone), I have never appreciated it fully until this year; enter 2015 with the new iPhone 6 Plus (Space Gray).

Skipping about 4 generations of iPhones (I’ve lost count after the 5C), my experience with the iPhone 6 Plus has been great so far. I can’t even compare it with 2010’s iPhone 4 because of the exponential step in new features and technology. Experiencing the speed and performance of the iPhone 6 plus had me looking forward. However, I do feel some nostalgia looking at the iPhone 4 design & aesthetics.

bigger

specs.

  • 5.5” Retina HD Multi-Touch Display with contrast ratio of 1300:1, 1920×1080 resolution at 401 ppi;
  • 6.22″ in length, 3.06” in width, 0.28” in thickness; 6.07 oz
  • A8 chip with 64-bit architecture; M8 motion coprocessor
  • New 8-mp iSight camera
    • Optical image stabilization (only iPhone 6 plus)
    • Panorama (up to 43 megapixels)
    • 240 fps slo-mo video
    • 60 fps 1080p HD video recording
    • Cinematic video stabilization
  • Apple Pay (NFC)
  • Voice over LTE
  • Sensor: Barometer
  • Battery (Standby 384 hrs/16 days)

*for complete specs visit Apple’s website.

details.

Having the iPhone 4 almost 4 years, the first thing that blew me away with the 6 plus was the screen. Being used to the smaller screen of the iPhone 4, I was just overjoyed by the improved quality and size. The 4 had the first generation retina screen while the 6 Plus ups this to a retina HD display. Coming from the iPhone 4, I’m used to having the power button on top-right side. It took a while to get use to pressing the power button on the upper right side of the phone. The volume and silent buttons are still on upper left side of the phone parallel to the power button. I find that when I’m pressing volume up button I tend to hit the power button as well which is a minor hindrance. The earphone minijack is on the bottom left side of the phone while the lighting connect sits in the middle and speakers on the bottom right.

The thinner dimensions and weight is just right. However, the length and width are much wider than I’m used to. It is something you get used to after a while though. The curved sides also help to make the iPhone 6 Plus feel smaller than it is.

I would describe the streamlined design as “smooth to the touch”. Running your fingers on the surface of the iPhone 6 plus makes it a seamless tactile experience compared to holding its rectilinear predecessors. To be honest, it feels very delicate just to hold it and I wouldn’t recommend leaving it “naked” (without a case). One thing I’d to note is that the back cover design for the iPhone 6/6 Plus is not as pleasing to the eye. I’m talking about those bands. It is for antenna functionality but I think there is a better to design and integrated it rather than making it look incomplete. However, it doesn’t look too bad especially with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus leather case. It just enhances the appearance of the phone.

day-to-day.

In terms of speed and performance, I can definitely see why this is such a great phone to have. Especially for someone like me who uses a lot of apps for productivity, social media, and gaming. Everything is so instant and the lag is minimal in comparison to the iPhone 4. The new A8 chip with M8 co-processor just brings it to a new level of use. The loading of apps are much faster than before. Opening the camera app on the iPhone 4 it would take at least 4-5 seconds. The iPhone 6 plus loads it in an instant. Switching from the Calendars app to the Reminders apps is a breeze along with the Notification Center. The larger screen allows you to read and write more content. This is useful if you productivity apps such as Evernote or Day One. The screen is also just right if I’m reading an article in the web or an ePub in iBooks.

For the increased size, Apple created the Reachability function. I’ve honestly only used it several times when I’m using Safari to type in the web address. I prefer holding the phone with my two hands just to secure it since I have fairly short-medium hands to begin with. The coolest thing would be the Home/Touch ID sensor since if I want to unlock my home screen I just have to press the home button without entering my passcode unless I’ve just restarted the device. The Touch ID sensor is great for authentication such as buying apps from the Appstore or music from iTunes.

The new barometer enhances the experience in gaming and tracking functionality. I really enjoy the accuracy of the fitness tracking capabilities of the 6 Plus. I primarily use the Health App and Argus to keep track of health and activities. I recommend linking with a health tracking device (ie. Fitbit, Pebble Smartwatch, etc).

photography.

The new 8.0 mp iSight camera holds promise for the mobile photographers like myself. The quality of the photos show such an improvement. I’ve noticed that even with low light it can still capture fine detail. The Focus Pixels of the sensor allows for faster auto-focus. The new Camera app allows you to have exposure control before taking the photo. The Panorama function with iOS 8 lets you take panoramic photos up to 43 megapixels.

With the new Optical Image Stabilization photos are much more clear and crisp, blur is minimized which is great in low light settings. In addition, you also get Continuous Autofocus and Cinematic Stabilization in video recordings as well. The higher fps on video will also give you smoother HD video playback. The camera records 1080p HD videos at 30/60 fps and 720p slow-mo videos at 240 fps.

longevity.

The battery life on this new iPhone is longer due to the capabilities and efficiency of the new A8 chip. On a typical day use, the battery would probably last me for the whole day. This would include checking Facebook or Instagram, iMessages or WhatsApp, browsing the web or just listening to music. Due to the new A8 chip with the M8 coprocessor, background tracking apps have minimal effect on battery usage. I find that using apps that require heavy graphics such as 3D gaming does drain the battery faster but not as significant in the earlier iPhone models. If you are charging it overnight, always take it out from case if you have case protector since it does tend to heat up.

conclusion.

One thing I have yet to comment on is the Apple Pay (NFC) capabilities of the iPhone 6 plus. Living in Canada, there tends to be a delay due to the regional roll-outs Apple tends to do. However, I am definitely looking forward to trying out and making full use of the Touch ID functionality along with Apple Pay.

For those who are wondering about pricing, it really depends on your budget, the usage, and the storage you need. For those who are more budget conscious, I recommend opting for the a 2-year tab/agreement with your choice of service provider. For those who don’t want a contract, the price will be steep but worthwhile for the added flexibility. I myself, went with the 64GB outright because I didn’t want to get tied into a 2-year term.

On a 2-year tab/agreement:

16GB – $295-375
64GB – $405-485
128GB – $515-595

On a month-to-month/outright:

16GB – $859
64GB – $969
128GB – $1079

Links.

Apple / Bell / Fido / Koodo / MTS / Rogers / SaskTel / Telus / Videotron / Virgin Mobile

-Louie Y.

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