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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.

A great camera made better
The iPhone 6 Plus also has the same video capabilities of the iPhone 6. You can shoot 240-frames-per-second slow motion, 1080p footage captured at 60 frames per second, continuous autofocus in videos, time-lapse abilities and the cinematic video stabilization, which helps videos look smoother. They're not quite steady-cam silk, but much smoother than without this feature in place.

The only drawback to the rear-facing camera is that it isn't flush with the casing, protruding just enough to cause slight rocking when the iPhone is lying on its back. The lens is made of sapphire, though, so the chances of it getting scratched are pretty slim.

The front-facing FaceTime camera has also been improved, and is now capable of 1.2-megapixel photos. It featrures a ’/2.2 aperture, 720p video recording, burst mode, on-the-fly exposure control, and HDR for photos and videos. The sensor has been improved, as the FaceTime camera now sports a backside illumination sensor similar to the better-specced iSight camera.

Battery life bump
Another area in which the 6 Plus outshines the iPhone 6, is battery life. Apple says the bigger phone will get 12 hours of use for Wi-Fi, LTE, and 3G web browsing, 14 hours when watching HD video, 24 hours of talk time over 3G, 80 hours of audio playback and 16 days of standby. In my use, the iPhone 6 Plus lasted several hours longer than the iPhone 6, which lasted a couple of hours longer than what I typically got per day with the iPhone 5S. I've been traveling with the iPhone 6 Plus, specifically using GPS and the camera features, and using it constantly to stay in touch with friends and family via messaging, social media and email. I also spent a lot of time making video clips with my eight-year-old niece and editing them in iMovie for iOS.

(In a short time, the Plus has also become my niece's favorite gaming device, and she often reached for my phone even when iPads were within grasp. "It's perfect," she told me. "It's a mini iPad mini!")

Through constant use, I've had the Plus nearly last an entire day without plugging in; I suspect that for many people, the Plus will last much, much longer. There are reports that some owners managed two days straight without a recharge, which is pretty good for an iPhone.

The iPhone -- despite its gorgeous and fast hardware -- still relies on iOS 8 to work well. In that sense, Apple has optimized iOS for the iPhone 6 Plus display, which uses the additional screen real estate to support iPad-like flourishes when the phone is held horizonally. There's split-pane view in apps like Mail, Notes, and Messages, a non-fixed and rotatable Home screen and a Safari that mimics features found on the iPad and Mac, including pinch-to-zoom-out to tab view, and a tab menu you can swipe through. The experience brings a bit of iPad functionality to the iPhone.

 

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