Everything is better and nothing is different. That’s the story of the iPhone 6. Apple took this opportunity to upgrade nearly everything about the device, from Wi-Fi to LTE to build quality to the already-remarkable camera. And since it has a big-enough screen but still works well in one hand and fits snugly in my pocket, this is a device that almost every phone buyer on the planet will at least consider. The iPhone 6 is utterly without obvious problems or drawbacks – it’s going to be a huge hit. I’m going to buy one. (Space Gray, 64GB, Verizon, in case you were wondering.) Yet there’s nothing truly ambitious here, no grand vision of the future or of a new way of living in the present. Apple doesn’t have better ideas about how to make use of more display real estate, or how to help users navigate a bigger device. It’s not on the precipice of offering a new kind of do-it-all computer, as it might be with the iPhone 6 Plus. The latest iPhones could have been a chance for Apple to really re-examine what smartphone hardware should be, but Apple just built a bigger iPhone. Because that’s what people wanted.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 features a respectable display size and a comfortable in-hand fit; it's also my personal favorite after using both for several days. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, on the flipside, isn't as easy to hold in one hand, but you'll want it if you're hoping to get an iPad-like phone with great battery life and a lot more screen real estate. This year's iPhones aren't groundbreaking, nor are they perfect. But they demonstrate something far more important to Apple's success in the long run: freshness. Apple ditched the tried-and-true square design (which I've always been fond of) for a more rounded, modern look; it added features that should've been there ages ago (NFC, anyone?); and it made the phones large enough to start competing in a hotly contested space. No doubt about it, the iPhone needed to grow in size and function, and it did just that. Fortunately, it made the leap before it was too late.
The Good A bigger, crisp display, improved LTE and Wi-Fi speeds, better camera autofocus, bumped-up storage capacities to 128GB at the top end, and NFC Apple Pay mobile wallet features on the horizon.
The Bad In early tests, the iPhone 6's battery doesn't fare any better than last year's model; some Android phones fit an even-larger 5-inch screen into the same size frame; it lacks the optical image stabilization of the bigger, more expensive 6 Plus.
The Bottom Line The iPhone 6 delivers a bigger screen while remaining easy to handle, with plenty of features to satisfy everyone -- and the promise of Apple Pay on the horizon to potentially sweeten the deal even further.
I’ll wager that for most iPhone 5 users, the iPhone 6 will be a solid upgrade, and after a few days of adjustment, they’ll never miss their old iPhones. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s a device that will undoubtedly find its adherents. They might be people who use their iPhones constantly and also need as much battery power as possible, or people with large hands, or people for whom it will be the only computing device they’ll use every day. Samsung and other competitors have showed that there’s an audience for extra-large phones—and that’s now an audience that can buy an iPhone. That’s the whole point.
Bottom line - The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.
In the iPhone 6, Apple has managed to make a phone that doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the smartphone arena - Apple Pay aside - but at the same time makes everything work so effortlessly. All the features you will find on the iPhone 6 can be found elsewhere in the Android or Windows Phone world, but not always in such a fluid and easy-to-use way.
With iOS 8 and the new screen size, Apple has pretty much removed all excuses not to upgrade from older devices, as well as making the iPhone 6 a phone that's difficult to ignore for those on other platforms.
Needing to choose between two high-specification iPhones is a good problem to have. Pre-order customers have already voted with their wallets: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have given Apple its most successful smartphone debut to-date. The results could be eye-opening, too, once pre-orders start arriving and the sheer scale of the iPhone 6 Plus becomes apparent to users more familiar with 4-inch displays.
I'm relieved Apple took a two-pronged approach and offered both the iPhone 6 Plus and the more mainstream iPhone 6. Yes, you lose OIS if you opt for the 4.7-inch iPhone, but in its place you gain the practicality of its more convenient scale.
The iPhone 6 is the best smartphone available. It offers improvements in almost every way that matters, and it delivers those in a striking new design that balances consumer demand for larger screens with a thin, light and durable case. It’s Apple’s most attractive phone, visually, and the 4.7-inch size is going to be more generally appealing than the iPhone 6 Plus’ larger proportions.
There are other smartphones that do some of the things an iPhone 6 can do. Others, like the Samsung Galaxy S5 do more. It and the Amazon Fire Phone actually watch you and react to your gaze. Even so, none put it all together in quite the same way. I do miss the edges of the old iPhone design, but Apple’s iPhone 6 is, for my $200, the most elegant and effective smartphone on the market.
First, the iPhone 6 gets most of the basics right. Existing iPhone owners won't have to learn new software or buy new cables. The screen is a bit more readable in sunlight than its best-selling rival, the Samsung Galaxy S5. Apps are snappy; the iPhone 6's processor is up to 20% faster than last year's iPhone.
That 0.7-inch bump in screen size from the 5S to the 6 buys you a lot. You get an extra row of apps on the home screen and can see an extra email in your inbox. Long-form reading is easier: When using the Kindle app, setting fonts to roughly the same size, I got about 30 more words on each iPhone 6 screen than on an iPhone 5S. (That means a third less time turning virtual pages.) And anyone with poor vision will appreciate a new "zoomed" mode that's like reading glasses for your iPhone.
If you see another review we should add. Let us know in the comments!
Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for more Apple news and tutorials!