- Great 4.7-inch screen
- Good all-round camera
- Class-leading performance
- Great new software features
- Shorter battery life than rivals
Review Price £539.00
Originally reviewed on 26 September 2014
What is the iPhone 6?Times have changed, and 4-inch displays are now on the specs lists of budget handsets, not flagship smartphones. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are Apple's reaction to this new age. The iPhone 6 boasts a 4.7-inch screen, which already seems a rather pedestrian size, especially next to the giant 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus, but it's the compromise that most people seem to want, and it's nice that Apple has finally listened to the masses.
The screen is certainly the headline feature of the iPhone 6, despite being overshadowed by the undoubted phabletness of the 6 Plus, but the new super-slim design, improved processor and the addition of iOS 8 mean there’s loads more to the iPhone 6 than the display.
As you might expect, the iPhone 6 is a great phone, but these days there's no shortage of those from the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC, while cheaper contenders such as the Motorola Moto X and Google Nexus 5 have closed the gap on the flagships. Has Apple offered that little bit of extra magic to launch it to the top of the premium smartphone pile?
Watch our iPhone 6 video
SEE ALSO: Best iPhone 6 Cases
iPhone 6: DesignGone are the machined aluminium edges of the iPhone 5S. Instead the iPhone 6 opts for soft curves and seamless, chamfered joins between the screen and the back. Barring some plastic detailing on the rear, which houses the antennas, it’s all glass and metal.
It’s not as striking. The square design and shiny edges of the iPhone 5S stand out and it clearly distinguishes between the chassis and the screen. It’s the same with the iPad mini and iPad Air, although they marry the diamond cut edges with rounded edges.
The iPhone 6 looks like it’s been hewn from a single piece of metal and glass and fused seamlessly together. The effect is particularly strong in the space grey finish and with the screen turned off. It is a beautiful slab of black glass and anodised aluminium, but the design feels safe rather than ground breaking. The white bezel on the silver version ruins the seamless effect a little – we’d go for space grey every time.
SEE ALSO: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus
As always with Apple’s phones the iPhone 6 has superb balance, it feels right in the hand regardless of orientation. The comfy edges are also a lot easier on the palm than the sharper ones on the iPhone 5S and the 6.9mm thickness makes it feel sleek yet strong.
Some owners are already claiming that it may not be quite as robust as Apple hopes. Reports of the iPhone 6 bending in pockets have surfaced. We’ve had it in the front pocket of jeans and have not experienced any issues even after a few half hour bike rides, and Apple have refuted the claims stating that only nine complaints have surfaced. That's not bad out of more than 10 million phones sold already.
It’s big, but not too big
And while it is bigger, the iPhone 6 doesn’t feel too big. Aside from being much thinner and lighter at just 129g it’s very similar in size to the original HTC One, one of our favourite phones of last year. If you have smaller hands you might struggle to get to the top corners of the screen, but we had no problems.
SEE ALSO: iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5
There is some help if you do find the screen of the iPhone 6 too big. Clunky one-handed use features are available on some Android phones, but they’ve never felt particularly intuitive. They often just shrink the whole screen diagonally down. Apple has also thought about the issue and come up with a typically elegant solution. Tap twice on the home button and the entire top of the screen scrolls down bringing all the hard to reach areas into your thumbs range. It works on every app that works in portrait mode too, so you can easily get to the address bar or a browser without a problem.
Apple has realised that a power button at the top of the phone of this size doesn’t work. Instead the power button is at the right edge, above the nano-SIM tray. This makes it easy to access with your thumb, if you’re right -anded or with your index finger if you’re a lefty. It works a lot better than the top power button on the HTC One M8 which requires a little juggling to get to if you’re not ET.
In all other respects the layout of the iPhone 6 is the same as previous versions. The slightly recessed volume buttons sit on the left just under the mute toggle. The 3.5mm headphone jack resides at the bottom, with the lightning port and six handsome holes for the speaker.
SEE ALSO: iOS 8 Tips, Tricks and Secrets
There’s only one area where the iPhone 6 deviates from the principles of smooth, seamless design and that’s with the rear camera. To ensure no compromise on image quality due to the slimness of the phone, Apple has had to raise the camera slightly from the body. But it isn't anywhere near as severe as some other phones. Put a case on and you won’t notice this at all, but you will feel it when holding the phone in landscape. Helpfully, the edges are lightly chamfered, which means it slips into pockets without snagging at all.
All-in-all the iPhone 6 has an accomplished design. It doesn't scream 'look at me', instead it’s refined, elegant and ergonomic, great for long hours of use, whether you’re gaming or visiting your favourite sites. Do we like it more than the HTC One M8’s design? The jury’s still deliberating; we have mixed views at the TrustedReviews' offices.
There’s one final thing to talk about. The iPhone 6 is not water or dust resistant unlike the Galaxy S5 or Sony Xperia Z3. If that’s important for you then you’ll need to either opt for a waterproof case or go for one of the Android phones.
Next: iPhone 6 Screen
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