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I thought the iPhone 6+ was too big; I was wrong

Michael deAgonia | Oct. 23, 2014
What happens when a reviewer buys a new phone sight unseen? Mistakes were made.

The 6 Plus measures 6.22 inches high, 3.06 inches wide and it weighs just over 6 ounces. But the case design allows for a phone that, despite its size, does not feel bulky in hand. In fact, the thin aluminum and glass materials makes the iPhone 6 Plus feel luxurious. The only drawback: I grip these phones a little tighter than before. The the sleek aluminum at these sizes gives the impression of a slippery surface, even with a two-handed grip.

To compensate for the screen size, Apple has implemented Reachability. It scrolls the top-most onscreen elements down closer to your thumb after you lightly touch the Home button twice. Despite my doubts, I've grown quite accustomed to one-handed operation on the iPhone 6 Plus with Reachability. Of course, getting the phone to sit just right in your hand takes a little maneuvering, and using Reachability adds an additional step or two. But it's clear to me now that the iPhone 6 Plus's size becomes something you notice less over time.

Impressive screen
Now, about that big display: I thought the iPhone 6 screen was impressive -- mostly, because it is -- but the 6 Plus is flat-out better. Apple calls both iPhone 6 displays Retina HD, and the 6 Plus is the best iOS device available if you want to show off that feature. Featuring a full 1080p resolution, the 6 Plus screen has 401 pixels per inch, a 1300:1 contrast ratio, and, like the iPhone 6, dual-domain pixels that produce wider viewing angles.

It's not just the hardware, it's also how the software reacts to changing conditions. One thing I noticed in the new iPhones is that Apple's software does a great job compensating for display brightness based on ambient conditions; the display looks great in low light or even in direct sunlight, with the adjustments made on-the-fly. iPhones have always done this to some extent, but the new models respond to changing conditions remarkably well. Overall, images are sharp and bright. As with my iPhone 6, I had to dial back the brightness setting on the 6 Plus a bit more than I did with the iPhone 5S in low-light situations.

I loved the enhancements to the rear camera of the new iPhone 6, and the same applies to the 6 Plus. There's the 8-megapixel camera with 1.5µ pixels, ’/2.2 aperture, True Tone flash, burst mode, geotags, panoramas up to 43 megapixels large, image stabilization, five-element lens with IR filter, on-the-fly exposure control, and more. The one thing you don't get on the iPhone 6 that is featured on the 6 Plus is optical stabilization, which really helps when shooting photos in low-light situations by reducing handshake. The result: sharper photos.


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