iPhone 6 review

Growing old with grace

iPhone 6 review
A super-sleek phone that Apple will be proud of

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The iPhone 6 entered the market at a time when the rest of the competition not only already had its big players in place, a couple had even brought out iPhone-specific competitors in readiness. Then a new crop of 2015 heavyweights arrived, and duly impressed; what's more, they're now available for a price similar to that of a brand new iPhone 6, or even less.

So if you're stuck between the iPhone 6 and the rest of the smartphone gang, here's a frankly excellent round-up of how it compares to the other phones you might be quietly eyeing.

Samsung Galaxy S6

Galaxy S6

Samsung has long been seen as Apple's main competitor and with the move to a premium design for the Galaxy S6 it's a view that's never been more justified.

A 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 display leaves it both bigger and higher resolution than the iPhone 6 and it's got an incredible 16MP camera, though Apple's snapper is far from lacking.

For the first time ever on a Samsung handset the Galaxy S6 comes very close to the iPhone 6's build quality too, with a metal frame and glass back that look and feel worthy of a flagship.

Samsung has even delivered a convincing alternative to Touch ID and neither the Galaxy S6 nor the iPhone 6 is lacking for power. The iPhone 6 arguably edges it for design, but the Galaxy S6 wins on specs.

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

If any phone looks better than the iPhone 6 it's the HTC One M9, a handset which is almost as much a work of art as a piece of tech.

A slick interface and a whole lot of power help it go blow for blow with the iPhone 6 as well and the two handsets have similar battery lives.

HTC's upgraded the camera on its phone to a 20.7MP one, dwarfing the 8MP snapper on the iPhone 6, though megapixels aren't everything and in practice both handsets should keep smartphone snappers happy, but the HTC One M9 does have Apple beat with its 4 UltraPixel front-facing camera.

Our biggest issue with the HTC One M9 is simply that it's far too similar to the HTC One M8, but we're not comparing it to the M8 here and judged purely as an iPhone 6 competitor it stands up well.

Sony Xperia Z5 / Z5 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3

I've often been confused as to what Sony's doing with launching so many flagship phones, but there's no doubt that the Z5, and the Z5 Compact, are brilliant handsets that represent the best Sony has to offer.

Both are very similar; in fact, barring battery, screen size / res and price, they're identical in functionality. Both have very powerful cameras that will suit the photographer who likes more power at their fingertips, and both have very clear and bright screens.

There's also the fact both can offer Remote Play for a PS4 – it's a unique proposition that will entice plenty of users, and while Apple's got the lead in the mobile gaming market, this move will attract those that already have a PS4.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

I'd argue that the Z5 Compact is the real iPhone 6 competitor here: it's got a similar screen size (4.6-inch compared to the 4.7-inch of the iPhone 6) and a similar resolution too, while offering great specs to match (and beat) Apple in many ways, including expandable memory.

However, both the Z5 Compact and Z5 are cheaper than the iPhone 6 – with the former quite significantly so. If you're looking for a smaller phone, I'd give that one a look along with the new iPhone. It's a little more complicated to use, but very easy to learn and offers more raw power.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

Its screen may be smaller at 4 inches, and its design my have been taken directly from the iPhone 5S, but on the inside the iPhone SE is a much better propsition than the iPhone 6.

That's becuase the iPhone SE is packed with the same internals as the iPhone 6S, including its A9 processor and 12MP iSight camera. Then there's the fact the SE is $150 (£100, AU$250) cheaper than the iPhone 6.

If you can cope without the extra 0.7 inches of screen the iPhone 6 affords, the iPhone SE gives you much better value for money.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.