The iPhone has finally joined The Big Boys Club!
Byline: By Andrew Yew
Ah yes, the iPhone 6 Plus. After going through various mobile operating systems during my tenure here, I guess it’s inevitable that Cupertino’s greatest is next on the list. Featuring exclusive functions not found in its smaller non-Plus sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus is easily summarised as Apple’s venture into *cough* phablet territory, an area previously that only Samsung’s GALAXY Note line-up, HTC One Max, and the Nokia Lumia 1520 explored. The question is: does bigger mean better for iOS?
Drop the Edges
The iPhone 6 Plus (and its smaller sibling) adopts a curvier design around its edges, ditching the chamfered side design that is synonymous with the iPhone 5 and -5S. This gives the iPhone 6 Plus some similarities to its bigger iPad cousins and harks back to the aesthetic of the first iPhone and its ‘curved pebble’ look. A body of metal and glass, thin plastic strips line the top and bottom, positioned to ensure maximum cell reception. The volume and power buttons are found along the sides – each offer a satisfying ‘click’ when pressed.
When placed in my hand, the iPhone 6 Plus does feel slightly unwieldy. A large device to begin with, the slippery back does not help matters as you have to deal with the constant fear of the device slipping from your mitts and having a high chance of meeting the pavement. If you have sweaty palms – and you will after handling a product that commands this high a price – you will have to wipe the backplate every so often. Personally, I would recommend the purchase of a case that has a textured back for a more comfortable hold.
The major selling point of the iPhone 6 Plus is, of course, the big 5.5in ‘Retina HD’ display. Of course, ‘Retina’ is Apple marketing jargon for its high-resolution display – the actual resolution of the 5.5in iPhone 6 Plus is 1920 x 1080 pixelsAKA Full HD. Why Apple refuses to use the default ‘Full HD’moniker is baffling, though I must say that I cannot dispute its beautiful colour reproduction performance. Colours pop out and text renders are sharp, making content viewed on this Apple device a wonderful thing to behold whenever you turn it on.
A major problem for devices with screens measuring 5in and above is one-handed operation, or more specifically, the futility of doing so. Android devices usually have a one-handed mode but it is ham-fisted at best, shrinking down all the content into a small, reachable area. The iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8 take a different, yet brilliant approach. Just touching the home button twice drags the top half of the screen down, hiding the bottom half, letting you access content with your thumb. I have tried this multiple times, gleefully accessing apps without bringing my left hand into the effort.
Powering the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is a series of proprietary components that make the mobile operating system run like a warm knife through butter. First, you have the 64-bit A8 dual-core processor, followed by 1GB of RAM. The M8 motion co-processor that works in tandem with the A8 collects and tracks movements from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and barometer. Internal storage starts from 16GB, with 64GB and 128GB models available. Tucked within the aluminium shell is a big 2915mAh battery.
Protruding from the frame ever so slightly is the 8MP camera. The protrusion can easily be remedied with a phone case, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. On paper, it doesn’t sound as good as other smartphones that double the Megapixel count but, what it lacks in digits, it makes up for in speed and image quality. Focusing and shooting is fast, and the images come out clear, albeit with some oversaturation at some parts. If you’re a fan of taking slow-motion video, then the iPhone should be up your alley as it can take 240fps footage.
With the larger display of the iPhone 6 Plus, you can now operate the device horizontally with the similar two-pane implementation found on its iPad cousins. Apple’s own apps like Reminders, Weather, and Memo support this, and you can expect developers to make their apps compatible with this function. In a way, you can multitask a little better with the iPhone 6 Plus, which is a boon for people who are constantly on the move.
Dimensions (W x H x D): 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
Display: 5.5in LED-backlit Widescreen Multi-Touch IPS Display, 1920 x 1080 pixels at 401ppi
Processor: Dual-Core Apple A8 64-bit CPU, M8 Motion Co-Processor
Operating System: iOS8
Camera: 8MP iSight Camera with 1.5µ pixels, f/2.2 and Optical Image Stabilisation, 1080p HD; 1.2MP FaceTime HD Camera, f/2.2 720p HD
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
Verdict: Apple fans who have requested for a large iPhone, really can’t get any larger than this.
Total Score: 8.4/10