iPhone 6 Plus: A Hands-On Look at Apple's Largest Smartphone Ever

iPhone 6 Plus: A Hands-On Look at Apple's Largest Smartphone Ever
That Is One Big Display
Apple's Design Is Still Quite Good
Health Could Have More Usability
This Is One Mobile Device
The Camera Quality Could Be Better
iOS 8 Performance Is What You'd Expect
That Screen Is Gorgeous
Call Quality Is What You'd Want
Will I Drop It and Break It?
It's Worth the Money
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iPhone 6 Plus: A Hands-On Look at Apple's Largest Smartphone Ever

By Don Reisinger

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That Is One Big Display

The size of the iPhone 6 Plus' display will shock anyone who has owned an iPhone in the past. Coming off an iPhone 5 with its 4-inch display and going to the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was a shocking change for me. After the shock wore off, I found the screen to be ideally sized for watching videos and scrolling through apps.

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Apple's Design Is Still Quite Good

Although Apple could have done more to build a truly revolutionary design with the iPhone 6 Plus, it's hard to take issue with the product's look. The iPhone 6 Plus is just 0.28 inches thick, and the combination of its black face and small bezel makes the screen feel even bigger than it is. The Space Grey color is also quite nice.

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Health Could Have More Usability

Due to a delay in HealthKit apps, Health, the feature built into iOS 8 that allows for users to track and share health data, isn't all that usable. In fact, right now the app is little more than a repository for health information. Over time, HealthKit apps should make Health a crucial component in our lives, but until then, don't expect too much out of it.

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This Is One Mobile Device

Apple has done an exceedingly good job at building a smartphone that's actually mobile despite its larger size. The device weighs just 6 ounces. While it's longer and wider than previous iPhone devices, it will still fit easily into a pocket or purse and won't add too much weight to either. Apple has found a way to make its phablet far more mobile than one might expect.

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The Camera Quality Could Be Better

The rear-facing, 8-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6 Plus could be better. In my tests, I found that its video and image quality could be grainy at times and in many cases failed to live up to the hype Apple had placed upon it when the company unveiled the device earlier this month. Still, for the majority of owners who want good quality photos and videos, the iPhone 6 Plus will do the job.

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iOS 8 Performance Is What You'd Expect

Although there have been some complaints about iOS 8 performance on legacy devices, so far the operating system has performed quite well on my iPhone 6 Plus. I've experienced no bugs or significant issues and found that it is able to handle resource-intensive apps, like high-quality video games, with ease. Although iOS 8 might be too much for certain older iPhones, it was handled with ease on the iPhone 6 Plus.

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That Screen Is Gorgeous

The quality of the screen built into the iPhone 6 Plus is beyond anything Apple has launched to this point. The screen is downright gorgeous and displays images, videos and other content in a crystal-clear setting. The Retina HD display built into the iPhone 6 Plus is officially my favorite mobile screen so far.

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Call Quality Is What You'd Want

Although there may be some devices out there that deliver slightly better call quality than the iPhone 6 Plus, as an iPhone 5 convert, I can say unequivocally that Apple has done a better job at handling background noise and overall call execution. Those on the other side of my conversations said I sounded crystal clear, and the speaker built into the iPhone 6 Plus is solid. I've yet to be in a position where the iPhone 6 Plus didn't hold its own on call quality.

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Will I Drop It and Break It--or Bend It?

One of my biggest concerns with the iPhone 6 Plus is the sense of fragility I get when holding the handset. Yes, Apple has said that it will be able to withstand a solid blow, and some tests have shown that it can be dropped at a few feet and survive the fall. But I found that the back of the case is somewhat slippery and could easily fall out of my hands. As someone who has experienced a cracked screen in the iPhone 5, I fear it happening again after holding the iPhone 6 Plus. But regarding all the talk about the bendability of the iPhone 6 Plus, I'm not seeing that as an issue. Maybe I'm just not trying hard enough to bend the phone?

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It's Worth the Money

Ultimately, you must be wondering whether spending $299 to start for an iPhone 6 Plus is really worth the money. In my opinion, it is. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus is an outstanding phablet that will hold up for the next two years and be a reliable handset for consumers and business users. The iPhone 6 Plus might be somewhat expensive compared with competitors, but it's hard to find too much fault in the device and the value it offers customers.

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