The iPhone 6 Plus comes with the same new Apple A8 chipset as the iPhone 6, powered by a dual-core, 1.4 GHz CPU and a quad-core PowerVR GX6450 GPU, the latter of which Apple claims to be optimized for the more demanding display. That’s all aided by 1 GB of RAM.
All told, the specs don’t look incredibly powerful on paper, but per usual with this series of phones, that doesn’t really matter much considering how fluidly the device runs in practice. As is the case with the iPhone 6, just about everything you’d want to run quickly does indeed run quickly, with web browsing performance a particular highlight.
On the other hand, the iPhone 6’s storage space problem also carries over here. Apple has included only 16 GB for space in the default model of the iPhone 6 Plus, a relatively puny amount considering that the phone doesn’t support microSD cards, and that it’s already a pricey $300 with a two-year contract on its own. You’ll have to shell out at least $400 up front just to get the more reasonable 64GB model.
Luckily, the iPhone 6 Plus’ battery is a noticeable improvement over that of the iPhone 6. With a 2915 mAh capacity, it offers plenty of time for calls, multimedia playback, and browsing the web, more than enough to get you through a whole day without issue. We’re looking at close to two days of average to slightly above-average use without needing a charge, which is fantastic. This is a more positive instance of the iPhone 6 Plus resembling an iPad more than an iPhone.
For the most part, iOS 8 is the same on the iPhone 6 Plus as it is on the iPhone 6, but it has been specially adjusted in a few areas that help it resemble a smaller iPad. The main differentiator is that the phone’s home screens can be oriented in landscape mode, a welcome addition that frees you from constantly straining and adjusting your hands when trying to reach icons on the taller display. Similarly, some apps offer an adjusted UI for the bigger screen — Mail offers two columns in landscape mode, for instance — just like they do on the iPad. Just about everything else is identical to what we’ve seen before on recent Apple devices.
The main 8-megapixel camera here is a shade better than the already-great shooter on the iPhone 6 thanks to its support for optical image stabilization (OIS), which is meant to help smoothen out shots taken by shaky hands in real time. In practice, its benefits only really evident on night shots, when a slight level of noise would otherwise appear with darker tones.
During the day, the two cameras are practically identical in overall performance, which is to say they both produce sharp shots with accurate colors and lots of detail. However, the same disappointing 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera of the iPhone 6 is also here, still capturing largely unimpressive photos marred by a lack of sharpness.