Hands on: unboxing and sizing up Apple's new iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2014
Apple's latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are most obviously larger than previous models. However, the new phones aren't just bigger, they're also thinner and have a rounded edge that makes them feel less bulky than other phones with big screens.

iPhone 6


Compared alongside the 4 inch iPhone 5s, the new 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus look a lot bigger, although they're not nearly the size of even the 7.9 inch iPad mini.

iPhone 6 unboxing

While otherwise fancier all around, the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ship in a plain white box with a simple embossed shape. Inside the box, there's the same EarPod headphones, Lightning cable and small 1amp (i.e. slow) USB charger.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 vs iPad, iPhone 5

iPhone 6 is not only larger, but introduces an entirely new industrial design that looks and feels not only more modern but more practical and functional.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6


The additional, higher resolution of the new "Retina HD" displays allows for an extra row of app icons (6 rows on iPhone 6, compared to 5 on iPhone 5 models and 4 on iPhone 4 and earlier models), while app developers can revamp their titles to make additional use of the extra pixels.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 vs 6 Plus

Here's an idea of how big the phones look in your hand (well, my huge hand). We may well look back on smartphones in ten years and ask "what were we thinking?" with the size of big phones, but a lot of us increasingly use our phones as pocket computers more often that we actually hold it to our faces in conversation. And of course Bluetooth headsets have also become a popular option.

iPhone 6


Here's a video showing how you can expect the new phones to fit in common pockets: jeans, dress pants and various jackets.

Phablet without the phlab

Android phones have been inching larger ever since 2010, the year Samsung and other iPhone competitors abandoned the idea of trying to sell smaller phones and started introducing phones with bigger screens and higher resolutions, beginning with the 3.7 inch Motorola Droid.

In 2012 Android phablets took off, with the Samsung Note II reaching 5.5 inches. However, to accommodate the large screen, Samsung shipped a device 9.4 to 9.7 mm thick and weighing over 6.3 to 6.5 ounces (180 to 185 grams). Samsung improved its phablet thickness and weight numbers last year to 8.3 mm, but is now getting larger again with the 8.5mm, 176 gram Galaxy Note 4.

Apple formerly maintained the thinnest flagship with the 7.6 mm thin iPhone 5s, while the HTC One hit 9.3 mm and Google's Motorola X and Nokia's Lumia 1020 both reached 10.4 mm.

Apple's iPhone line is now catching up in screen sizes, but not without major improvements in design and build to hide the heft and bulk normally associated with the "phablet" category. Apple's 4.7 inch iPhone 6 is just 6.9 mm thick and weighs only 129g, while the larger 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus is only 7.1mm thick and weighs 172 g.

iPhone 6


In other words, both of the new iPhone 6 models are thinner than the super slim iPhone 5s already was. They also sport a unibody aluminum shell with a new rounded edge design that makes them more comfortable to hold and frictionless to slide in your pocket. This really does hide much of the added size of both.

Rather than a chunky "phablet," the two new iPhone 6 models feel like modern and expansive versions of the familiar iPhone. The smaller iPhone 6 feels sort of "just right" for an iPhone while the larger 6 Plus initially seems oversized, as if too big to be real.

However, the more you use it, the more you might find it easy to like. The additional resolution allows for iPad-like user interface elements in Mail, Messages and other apps, and the Home screen also pivots to landscape (and even upside down), the first iPhone to behave in such a fashion.

iPhone 6 Plus


There's also Optical Image Stabilization on the iPhone 6 Plus, which is otherwise nearly identical in specifications to its scaled down sibling. The choice really comes down to size, and in particular how big you feel is too big. However, it seems Apple worked hard to make iPhone 6 Plus an alluring choice for a $100 premium, even for those of us who never thought we'd want a very big phone.

AppleInsider is preparing an in-depth review to cover the other details of the new phones, so be sure to post your questions in the comments so we can try to find answers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 128
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,341member
    Around 300 queuing here in Cardiff, whilst 10 including me in the reserved line.

    Seriously, if you wanted an iPhone 6 so badly why didn't you get out of bed and preorder one last week?

    It just beggars belief!
  • Reply 2 of 128
    1) Picture 1 increased by desire for the 6 Plus by 15% and picture 7 (with the hands) increased it by another 5% for a total of 30% against the iphone 6 at 68%. I've holding at 2% for the new Blackerry designed by Porsche¡ :D

    2) The video was a great touch as I'm going to do exactly that (or at least attempt to) when I hit the Apple Store tomorrow. I don't wear skinny jeans but my suits are bespoke, but when wearing a suit I like to store my phone in the left jacket pocket so that's not an issue. I'll have to see if I can put the 6 Plus in my pocket and sit-down to test it. If I'm on the fence because I can't do the test adequately in the store I may have to buy it, test it, and then return it if it doesn't suit my needs, but I'd rather them just get me some dude in the back to test out instead of potentially doing that to a new device.
  • Reply 3 of 128
    saarek wrote: »
    Around 300 queuing here in Cardiff, whilst 10 including me in the reserved line.

    Seriously, if you wanted an iPhone 6 so badly why didn't you get out of bed and preorder one last week?

    It just beggars belief!

    Most of humanity are reactive more than proactive. You and I can benefit from these lazy and/or ignorant and/or unintelligent people.
  • Reply 4 of 128
    I would have loved to preorder... But with needing to pay off the rest of my 5S, plus the wife's car break-down, I just couldn't afford it last week...

    But it's payday today!!! So I'm off to try my luck right now... 128gb iPhone 6 Plus in Space Grey. Not sure my chances will be good, though.
  • Reply 5 of 128

    The article amuses the hell out of me. AI is tacitly saying that Apple has finally lost it's lead in Smartphones. I mean REALLY !! if the only thing you can find that stands out about the 6/6+ is that it is a millimeter thinner than the Samsung Note 3 .. then you're saying a lot and its all bad. Where is the Wow effect ? 

     

    So AI is left to try and squeeze something positive out of a device pair that demonstrate that Apple has entered "me too" mode and given up any attempt to lead. Why the F do you devote half the article to saying that it doesn't actually look and feel as bad as we have spent years on AI (ie since introduction of the Phablets in 2010) saying a phablet is.

     

    Truth is that the 6+ is barely distinguishable from the Samsung note II from its appearance (yeah, the note 2 had rounded edges too ... sooooo modern).

     

    But take some comfort ... the competition is also finding it hard to come up with technical innovations that are worth talking about. Seems that the function-set of a smartphone has more or less been finalized and that we can't expect too much more to come in the next couple of years. Not from Apple, not from the rest. I still think that IOS has the edge in some areas over Android .. but the lead is diminishing daily. But the hardware race has been lost. 

  • Reply 6 of 128
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,614moderator
    taniwha wrote: »
    The article amuses the hell out of me. AI is tacitly saying that Apple has finally lost it's lead in Smartphones. I mean REALLY !! if the only thing you can find that stands out about the 6/6+ is that it is a millimeter thinner than the Samsung Note 3 .. then you're saying a lot and its all bad. Where is the Wow effect ?

    Lose its lead to which smartphone? It was in the lead and it's still there. They could have released another iPhone 5s and it would also still be there because nobody else has brought out anything to supersede it.
    taniwha wrote: »
    So AI is left to try and squeeze something positive out of a device pair that demonstrate that Apple has entered "me too" mode and given up any attempt to lead. Why the F do you devote half the article to saying that it doesn't actually look and feel as bad as we have spent years on AI (ie since introduction of the Phablets in 2010) saying a phablet is.

    Truth is that the 6+ is barely distinguishable from the Samsung note II from its appearance (yeah, the note 2 had rounded edges too ... sooooo modern).

    But take some comfort ... the competition is also finding it hard to come up with technical innovations that are worth talking about. Seems that the function-set of a smartphone has more or less been finalized and that we can't expect too much more to come in the next couple of years. Not from Apple, not from the rest. I still think that IOS has the edge in some areas over Android .. but the lead is diminishing daily. But the hardware race has been lost. 

    Apple won the hardware race with the first iPhone. Since then, they have just improved the components but the overall experience was set by that design. To say any iPhone looks like any Android phone is disingenuous. All Android phones take design cues from iPhones and always have. The Note 3 looks closer to the iPhone 6 but again because it takes design elements from the iPhone:

    1000

    As for future developments, if there's nothing missing feature-wise then I don't see how that's considered losing. Are laptops done for because they aren't adding major new features?
  • Reply 7 of 128
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

     

    But take some comfort ... the competition is also finding it hard to come up with technical innovations that are worth talking about.


    I don't think we ever really needed consoling, but er, thanks. Spec bumping (increasing memory, cpu, screen size) is not innovation ... not when Samsung does it, or Apple. It's just bloody obvious. There's been little true tech innovation since the first iPhone ... just incremental improvements.

     

    The innovation comes from the whole package. I would actually have said Android almost caught up to iOS a few years ok (not in ecosystem, of course), but now iOS is pulling away again. Things like continuity just aren't going to work as well when you don't control all the hardware and all the OSes involved. Yet this is the true innovation in how phones and computers are used, and how the lines are blurred, is coming. And it's innovation that people will actually use, care about, and come to expect.

  • Reply 8 of 128
    So glad I pre ordered the 5.5" 6
  • Reply 9 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Taniwha View Post

     

    The article amuses the hell out of me. AI is tacitly saying that Apple has finally lost it's lead in Smartphones. I mean REALLY !! if the only thing you can find that stands out about the 6/6+ is that it is a millimeter thinner than the Samsung Note 3 .. then you're saying a lot and its all bad. Where is the Wow effect ? 

     

    This article is only addressing the size of the two new 6 models to help people making a buying decision today. 

     

    There are lots of major differences between iPhone 6 and Note 3:

     

    iOS security vs Knox 

    iOS ecosystem with first tier real apps, not just half assed ports and wallpapers and utilities

    Apple's first party apps iMovie, iPhotos, GarageBand, Pages, Keynote & Numbers are all free. Android lacks substantial apps. 

    Hardware accessories that work, i.e. BLE

    iOS UI vs Touch Wiz mess

    Works with AirPrint, AirPlay, AirDrop, Continuity 

    Core OS engineered by professionals, not hobbyists

    Gets OS updates for 3+ years, rather than maybe 1 if you're lucky

    Touch ID works

    64-bit CPU with Metal for great games and sophisticated apps vs 32 bit Java VM with Flash-quality games

    sensors that work, software that gets developed for them

    hardware that has significant value after one year

     

    So AI is left to try and squeeze something positive out of a device pair that demonstrate that Apple has entered "me too" mode and given up any attempt to lead. Why the F do you devote half the article to saying that it doesn't actually look and feel as bad as we have spent years on AI (ie since introduction of the Phablets in 2010) saying a phablet is.

     

    Truth is that the 6+ is barely distinguishable from the Samsung note II from its appearance (yeah, the note 2 had rounded edges too ... sooooo modern).

     

    Except that the Note 2 had a crap screen, maxed out at 32 GB, has a 32 bit Cortex A9 chip with Mali graphics and is 1/3 thicker

     

    But take some comfort ... the competition is also finding it hard to come up with technical innovations that are worth talking about. Seems that the function-set of a smartphone has more or less been finalized and that we can't expect too much more to come in the next couple of years. Not from Apple, not from the rest. I still think that IOS has the edge in some areas over Android .. but the lead is diminishing daily. But the hardware race has been lost. 

     

    If you prize high sounding specs with poor software support and no apps that take advantage of them. One would have to be pretty unimaginative to think that smartphones don't have incredible potential ahead. 

     

    iPhone 6/6+ are going to make a major dent in high end Android the same way iPhone 5 took away huge share for 4G LTE in excess of all the 4G Android phones put together when it launched. Given that Samsung is already in deep trouble and losing share and profitability rapidly, it better start innovating something. Because it can't keep riding big screens anymore. 


  • Reply 10 of 128



    Dat white balance.

  • Reply 11 of 128
    Dan, I really liked the video of how the 6 and 6 Plus fit in different pockets. Unfortunately, though, you neglected to cover the one place where I actually keep my own iPhone 5s: the pocket on the front of my shirt.

    So could you do a shirt pocket demo too, please? My iPhone 4S used to fit in that very nicely, and my current 5s is OK too, though the fact that it's a bit taller makes it feel slightly less secure there. I'm concerned that the 6 will be just too big for safety in a shirt pocket... and that the 6 Plus won't even fit in one at all. On the other hand, if the 6 Plus does fit in, but is tight, that might make it more secure than less, in that it'll be less likely to slide out if it's gripped by the pocket.
  • Reply 12 of 128

    Both are nice iPhones. Apple change its small size iphone strategy and thanks God moves to large one Apple iPhone 6 plus is 5.5 inches which looks good to carry and its round slippery edge also differentiate it from previous one. But still not as inspiring as the perception of people before its release. 

  • Reply 13 of 128
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by potatoman View Post



    Those boxes! Whhhyyyy. They are ridiculously unappealing. Imagine them on a shelf in a store. Eugh.



    LOL, potatoman, there are THOUSANDS of people in line right now HOPING to see those ridiculously unappealing boxes on a shelf in the store!!

  • Reply 14 of 128
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by potatoman View Post



    Those boxes! Whhhyyyy. They are ridiculously unappealing. Imagine them on a shelf in a store. Eugh.



    Also, I think the ridiculously unappealing boxes offer a stark contrast to the incredibly appealing iPhones inside.  I love the unappealing boxes.  Why slap a bunch of color and pictures all over a box that will get thrown away by most people?  To me, it's like the Wizard of Oz - black and white, unappealing beginning to the movie, then when the door opens to the full color land of Oz, WOW!!  That's the WOW factor!!

  • Reply 15 of 128
    taniwha wrote: »
    The article amuses the hell out of me. AI is tacitly saying that Apple has finally lost it's lead in Smartphones. I mean REALLY !! if the only thing you can find that stands out about the 6/6+ is that it is a millimeter thinner than the Samsung Note 3 .. then you're saying a lot and its all bad. Where is the Wow effect ?

    Apple can start worrying about losing a lead when any of its competitors are able to deliver a phone with a CPU which compares with the CPU in the 5S released last year.

    Then we can talk about their tremendous lead in GPU, software, industrial design (1mm thinner is also about 15% thinner, which is tremendous and makes a great difference in the feel), UI, integration, build quality, customer support, etc.

    Apple's competitors are f'ed and they know it, which is why Samsung releases an ad that says Apple copied them (hahahahaha) because Apple released a 5.5in. Phone.

    Really, Samsung? Choosing similar screen sizes is your definition of copying.
  • Reply 16 of 128
    So when Apple absolutely crushes Android in the high end market, will the Phandroids just disappear in a poof of smoke? Or will they come up with new and more exciting ways to troll? Stay tuned!
  • Reply 18 of 128
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,341member

    Well after a few hours use I can honestly say that I love the phone, but wish it was 4" or smaller. The reachability option does work, but let's face it, it is a workaround.

     

    It's a shame, short of the size it's the perfect phone.

  • Reply 19 of 128
    I love that video - too funny!
    solipsismx wrote: »
    ...but I'd rather them just get me some dude in the back to test out instead of potentially doing that to a new device.

    While your in the back with that ?dude, ask him how he wears his 5.5 incher¡


    potatoman wrote: »
    Those boxes! Whhhyyyy. They are ridiculously unappealing. Imagine them on a shelf in a store. Eugh.

    Take phone out of the box when back home, quickly. Problem solved.
  • Reply 20 of 128
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I have to say kudos to AI for not stooping to the Clickbait whoring of MacRumors. Right now on their front page is an article about the phones not survivng a drop test. But there's another video (link below) from Android Authority that also does several drop tests on both phones and the only damage was some scuffs/nicks on the aluminum case. This video though doesn't make it into MR's story. Shameful. :rolleyes:

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