iPhone 6 Plus review

Apple's first big iPhone examined in-depth

iPhone 6 Plus review
It's bigger, it's better - Apple's made a very decent phablet

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iPhones have always been pushed as media consumption devices thanks to their tie in with iTunes and the well stocked App Store, but up until recently you had to make do with a small screen.

The iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus up a whole new world for iPhone users, allowing you to properly enjoy full HD movies and graphically-intense games on the move thanks to the 5.5-inch full HD display.

At launch Apple also included a new storage capacity – 128GB – with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, to really encourage users to get downloading films, TV shows, music, books, games and more. However, the largest size you can now get is 64GB, with 128GB reserved for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

As with all previous iPhone iterations, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn't offer any expandable storage, meaning you'll have to make do with the inbuilt space – and if you go for the cheapest 16GB 6 Plus model remember that a good chunk of that storage will be taken up by iOS 9.

Then again, if you fancy going for 64GB you'll be parting with quite a bit of extra cash.


A mainstay for Apple and its iPhone range, music has changed quite a lot recently. Apple's got into the streaming game with the imaginatively named Apple Music.

With a monthly subscription you can access millions of songs, curated playlists and recommendations. It's a strong service, but if you're comfortable with Spotify or another rival there's nothing to stop you sticking with that. Equally, if you prefer to own your music Apple still caters to that.

The well-stocked iTunes library provides access to a wealth of tracks and albums, while the intuitive Music app makes listening to your favourite songs a cinch.

Your whole iTunes library is stored in the cloud, and to save space you can select the particular albums and tracks you want to download to the iPhone 6 Plus – especially useful if you're rocking the 16GB model.

quite a lot recently. Apple's got into the streaming game with the imaginatively named Apple Music.quite a lot recently. Apple's got into the streaming game with the imaginatively named Apple Music.iPhone 6 Plus review

You can access music controls from anywhere on the iPhone 6 Plus. Slide up from the bottom of the display to access Control Centre where you'll find them, or if the phone is locked they'll be front and centre along with album artwork for whatever's playing.

From here you'll be able to play/pause, skip and adjust the volume of your tracks, making for a super-convenient way of managing playback.

iPhone 6 Plus review

Sound quality is good via a pair of headphones – while you get Apple's Earpods in the box with the iPhone 6 Plus their shape and design won't be to everyone's taste.

The single speaker located at the foot of the iPhone 6 Plus kicks out a decent volume, although as with most internal speakers your tunes will get distorted at the highest levels.


Apple hasn't done anything new with the way the iPhone 6 Plus handles video (or gaming for that matter) – it works in just the same way as previous iPhones.

The differences are the experience can now be enjoyed on a large 5.5-inch, full HD display and the fact the apps have been given a bit of polish.

There's a dedicated videos app pre-installed on the iPhone 6 Plus, giving you quick and easy access to all the moving picture files you have stored on the device.

iPhone 6 Plus review

If it's looking rather empty you can head over to iTunes, where a whole host of movies and TV shows are champing at the bit to be purchased and downloaded to your phone.

It's worth noting that HD movies tend to be about 3GB-4GB in size, so if you've got yourself the 16GB model you'll run out of space pretty quickly after just a handful of films.

You've got the option to buy or rent – and prices reflect those in stores, so be prepared to pay up.

iPhone 6 Plus review

For the first time on an iPhone you can actually enjoy your full HD purchases in all their glory. Not even the iPhone 6 can tout that feature with its 750 x 1334, 326ppi display, versus the 1080 x 1900, 401ppi display of the iPhone 6 Plus. Of course the same ability is now available on the iPhone 6S Plus, but it's not really any better than it is here.

The player screen is uncluttered, with just a few key controls including play/pause, scrub and subtitles toggles.

Unsurprisingly then, the 6 Plus is great for watching movies on. Turn the brightness up on the screen and you'll have a thoroughly enjoyable time – although you'll want to keep an eye on that battery life.

iPhone 6 Plus review

Slightly annoyingly, the single speaker is located at the base of the iPhone 6 Plus, which means I was regularly covering it with my hand and muffling the sound.

Cupping your hand round the speaker when the phone is in landscape orientation does force the sound towards your face, but I'd much prefer a front-facing setup as on the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z5.

Considering the sizeable bezels above and below the screen on the 6 Plus you'd think Apple would be able to squeeze in some front-facers – but clearly that's not in Jony Ive's design manual.


Another area which benefits greatly from the 5.5-inch full-HD display of the iPhone 6 Plus is gaming, with more space for controls, and better graphics.

Real Racing 3 looks excellent on the 6 Plus, and Apple's A8 processor does a good job of keeping everything ticking over nicely.

iPhone 6 Plus review

I played a range of games on the iPhone 6 Plus, and I didn't experience any issues when it came to graphics, load times or controls.

If you love gaming on the go and are in the market for a new iPhone the iPhone 6S Plus has the 6 Plus beat, with twice the RAM and a faster processor. In practice, though, performance on the 6 Plus still feels near faultless; cracks might start to show over time, but for now you could save yourself some money and get almost as good a gaming experience from Apple's first phablet.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.