The iPhone 6 Plus features Apple's first standard display on a mobile device, a unit of 1080p resolution. It has the 16:9 aspect ratio first adopted by the iPhone 5 but is sharper than the Retina displays standardized with the iPhone 4. It has a pixel density of 401ppi (Apple's first) though there's barely a perceptible difference between the two.
Another first for the iPhone is that the 6 Plus supports landscape mode and some apps offer split-screen in landscape, two things that were so far reserved for the iPads.
Anyway, the screen is an IPS LCD with picture perfect viewing angles - you can tilt it in any direction and the image stays put as if printed on top of the screen.
Excellent color rendering and great contrast also help the overall image quality, the iPhone 6 Plus has one of the very best mobile displays on the market.
|Display test||50% brightness||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
The large 5.5" screen is almost as bright as the 4.7" iPhone 6 screen and one of the brightest LCDs we've tested. The reflectivity is slightly higher though, so sunlight legibility isn't quite as good but still among the best. There are few challengers in this screen size category, it's down to Samsung's Super AMOLED screens.
The iPhone 6 Plus screen is much larger than what Apple users are accustomed to, we made the table below to illustrate our point if the comparison shots above aren't clear enough. Using the 4" iPhone 5s screen as base, the iPhone 6 Plus screen offers nearly twice as much room. That dwarfs even the size increase offered by the iPhone 6 over its predecessor.
|Screen diagonal||Relative size||PPI|
|iPhone 6 Plus||5.5"||189%||401|
|Galaxy Note 4||5.7"||203%||515|
While we love the extra screen real estate we're not pleased with the screen bezels. The LG G3 has the same screen size (and with nearly 80% more pixels at that) and a much more compact body. We get it that Apple needs the Home key at the bottom for Touch ID but the bezel above the screen could have been smaller, especially since the front-facing camera is no longer stacked above the earpiece.
The Apple iPhone 6 Plus wireless connectivity is a dizzying array of GSM, CDMA and LTE. You'll have to consult your local carrier to check if the correct bands are supported by the version of the phablet you're buying but that's only if you're importing it.
The standard quad-band GSM and CDMA support ensures voice connectivity around the world. Then there's 3G GSM with up to 42Mbps downlink speeds and 3G CDAM (1xEV-DO) for a much slower 3.1Mbps.
The real speed for mobile Internet comes from the LTE connection though, which has been promoted to Cat. 4. That means the iPhone 6 Plus is theoretically capable of downloads of up to 150Mbps and uploads of up to 50Mbps. That's an improvement over the Cat. 3 LTE (100Mbps downlink) of the iPhone 5s and as fast as is practical today, carrier support for the faster category is lagging.
Note that Apple has enabled Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), which includes support for high quality audio in calls with HD Voice. Keep in mind that to use these technologies your carrier must support it and so must the receiving phone.
Local connectivity has grown faster too, the new iPhones support Wi-Fi 802.11ac alongside the traditional a/b/g/n. If you have an Wi-Fi 802.11ac -capable router and a fast home connection you should feel a boost in speed. Apple has also added Wi-Fi calling to the list of chops the new iPhones possess. Of course, availability of the feature is carrier-dependent.
Bluetooth is at version 4.0 with Low Energy support, which is Apple's preferred connection for sports accessories.
The iPhone 6 Plus supports the short-range NFC standard but that's exclusively for use with the new Apple Pay system. It seeks to replace your credit cards with your phone but sharing files locally is still done via the Air Drop system, there's no tap to pair or tap to send functionality (yet).
Wired connectivity brings no surprises, it uses the ubiquitous (on Apple products) Lightning adapter. It's symmetrical so it can be plugged in regardless oforientation. It provides charge to the phone, carries data to a computer, does TV out (with the right adapter) and supports various accessories.
The Apple iPhone 6 Plus has a 2,915mAh Li-Po battery, which stacks up very well against Android competition (for comparison the LG G3 has a 3,000mAh battery). The smaller iPhone 6 has just 1,810mAh in its tank and the previous iPhone 5s has about half of the 6 Plus' capacity.
We mentioned the charging rumors that you can fill up faster with an iPad charger in the unboxing chapter. There's a grain of truth to that, the iPhone 6 Plus does indeed charge about 25% faster on an iPad Air charger but it doesn't use anywhere near the full 2.4A capacity (it draws 1.25A).
The larger battery is a boon for talk time, helping the iPhone 6 Plus rebound from the disappointing time of its smaller sibling. The web browsing test lasted a bit over 9 hours, a solid performance though we've seen better, while the video playback test ran on for 11 hours. The new screen is the perfect resolution to watch FullHD videos but keep in mind we use an SD video for the video battery test.
Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating. Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.
You can also have a look at our detailed battery life test for the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.