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iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy?

Michael Sawh


iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy?

Looking for Apple's new phones? Try iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? We help you decide which of Apple's last generations smartphones you should buy

If you're not planning on buying the iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, there's still plenty of life in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Yes, you'll miss out on the improved camera and 3D Touch, but those are things most of you will be able to live without, if we're being honest.

To those still trying to weigh up the benefits of going bigger or sticking with a 'smaller' iPhone, we're here to help make that decision to pick between the two a more informed one.

We know they both look good. Perhaps not Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge good, but they are two of the best designed smartphones on offer right now. We know both have a strong list of specs, but what are they like to live with on a day-to-day basis?

Here's our take on how the iPhone 6 compares to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Watch our iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus video

Related: Galaxy S7 vs iPhone 6S

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Design

iPhone 6: Curved aluminium, gold or light/dark silver, 6.8mm thick, 129g

iPhone 6 Plus: Curved aluminium, gold or light/dark silver 7.1mm thick, 172g

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus look identical, but they do inevitably differ in the size and dimension departments. With the iPhone 6 Plus, you're getting a 2cm taller, 1cm wider and 2mm thicker phone. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it clearly makes a huge difference when you handling the two iPhones.

Related: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus reviews

Using the iPhone 6 Plus one handed is a dramatically different experience to holding the iPhone 6 and is likely to be a major factor for most picking between the two. Thankfully, it's not as bad as something like the Nexus 6, but it's going to be trickier for smaller hands. Reaching over the other side of the virtual keyboard is not easy to do for instance. You got little chance reaching your thumb to the top of the screen as well.

Some will get used to it though. It's not instant but like the Note 4, it handles its large stature well and does begin to feel more natural after a week or so.

If you're reticent to move to a big phone, then the iPhone 6 is going to be a better fit. It's still a bit of jump on the 4-inch iPhone 5S, but Apple strikes a good balance between giving you the extra screen estate and making it easier to handle than the 6 Plus.

While these are arguably not the most memorable phones from a design perspective, but as we've come to expect from Apple, they are beautifully designed and built to take some everyday rough and tumble. The screen is the most at risk of damage so Apple has included toughened glass on both displays. That's not stopped a few of the TR team cracking their iPhone screens, but it's not the only phone that has not survived an accidental drop on the floor.

Related: iPhone 6S vs Samsung Galaxy S6

iPhone 6 Plus

Without a case the iPhone 6 Plus feels like a liability. A case increases the dimensions even more but also makes the phones a lot more manageable thanks to the added grip.

Both phones are well crafted, but the smaller size of the iPhone 6 means it’s more ergonomic. It wins the design round.

Buy Now: iPhone 6 at Amazon.com from $459

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Screen

iPhone 6: 4.7-inch 1334 x 750, “Retina HD” LCD

iPhone 6 Plus: 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD, optimisation in landscape

Let's get the obvious one out of the way. The 6 Plus has a bigger screen. That means you get more room to browse, watch films and play your games.

But there's more to it than that and that's because with the 6 Plus, you get a higher resolution display in comparison the 6. The iPhone 6 Plus features a full HD 1080p screen and offers a 401PPI pixel density to deliver the exceptional clarity. The iPhone 6 has a 1334 x 750 resolution screen with a 326ppi pixel density. Hands down, the The 6 Plus has the sharper display but that's not to say that the one on the 6 is bad.

In a world where Samsung and LG are offering high resolution screens, Apple's displays might not sound as cutting edge. But we still love them and they offer solid all-round performance.

you won’t notice it too much unless you bring the phone up to your nose.

Related: iPhone 6 Plus vs Galaxy Note 4

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Camera

iPhone 6: 8MP camera, 1/3.06-inch sensor, true-tone flash,f/2.2 aperture dual-LED flash, phase detection

iPhone 6 Plus: 8MP camera, 1/3.06-inch sensor, true-tone flash,f/2.2 aperture dual-LED flash, phase detection, OIS

Apple's phone cameras are among the best in the business. They're easy to use, come with a really straightforward camera app and most importantly take really good photos.

Starting from the front, both have identical cameras so you can expect to get the same level of selfie and Facetime quality. Low light photography is not fantastic, but then the same criticism could be levelled at most front-facing cameras you'd find on most flagships these days.

The rear cameras are similar too. Both use 8 megapixel sensors with 1.5 micron sensor pixels, dual tone flash and include phase detection, which help the iPhones focus with speed.

The major difference here is that the iPhone 6 Plus comes with optical image stabilisation (OIS). This helps you take better photos by eliminating the blur caused by the small hand movements you make when taking a picture.

Related: iOS 8 tips, tricks and secrets

iPhone 6 versus

Here's an example of how the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cameras compare

In well-lit conditions you won’t notice much difference because the camera can shoot fast enough to minimise the effects of small shudders. When the lights go down the OIS on the 6 Plus shows its worth. Photos are sharper and colours more vivid when it’s dingy, and this applies to video as well.

Related: Best iPhone 6 apps

iphone 6 vs

In low-light the OIS on the iPhone 6 Plus helps

Both phones have great point and shoot cameras, but the OIS makes the iPhone 6 Plus the better camera phone.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus

Buy Now: iPhone 6 Plus at Amazon.com from $499

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Software

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: iOS 9

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are both now capable of running on iOS 9 just like the new iPhones. That means you to enjoy new features like the power saving mode and improved Apple Maps. It also brings a raft of changes including the additon of Apple Music. The experiences across both are pretty much identical barring the landscape mode you only get on the 6 Plus Even though the screen is bigger you get the same amount of apps viewable on your home screen – 20 in total.

iOS 7’s radical design makeover remains the same on iOS 9 but Apple has delivered some new features that make it a better operating system. A mixture of Android-esque features and some new additions help lay the foundations for a greater push into health and home automation over the coming months.

Related: What's new in iOS 9?

You can now add third party keyboards, use widgets, access apps from the new notification centre and have the ability to work across Mac and iOS devices in more intuitive way. Apple’s own keyboard has also had a bit of a makeover with predictive words now making an appearance.

The iPhone 6 Plus’s larger display also means that you get a few more keyboard shortcuts in landscape mode.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Performance

iPhone 6: Apple A8 64-bit and M8 co-processor

iPhone 6 Plus: Apple A8 64-bit and M8 co-processor

Apple’s new A8 is in both phones and it’s a great processor. It uses a 64-bit dual-core 1.4GHz CPU with a PowerVR GX6450 quad-core graphics chip supported by 1GB RAM.

In our benchmark tests both phones perform extremely well and beat much of the competition in graphics intensive tasks. That’s good news if you like gaming on your phone.

An M8 co-processor also makes an appearance. This looks after all the sensors on the phone and manages the data in a much more energy efficient manner, which means better battery life.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Storage

iPhone 6: 16GB (£539/$649), 64GB (£619/$749), 128GB (£699/$849), no micro SD card support

iPhone 6 Plus: 16GB (£619/$749), 64GB (£699/$849), 128GB (£789/$949), no micro SD card support

Neither of the new Apple phones offers expandable memory. However, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus do raise the storage ceiling, from 64GB to 128GB.

This year, you get to pick between 16GB models (for the scrimpers), 64GB ones and – for the flush – 128GB phones. There's no 32GB this year and Apple won't tell us why. We did ask.

An iPhone 6 Plus with 128GB of internal storage is dream for watching movies on, offering enough memory for a hundred or uncompressed SD-quality films or 25-plus HD ones. It's going to cost a whole lot of money to own it if you buy the iPhone outright though.

Winner: Draw

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Battery Life

iPhone 6: 1,810 mAh battery, 11 hours video, 11 hours browsing

iPhone 6 Plus: 2,915 mAh battery, 14 hours video, 12 hours browsing

If you think the larger iPhone comes with a larger battery then give yourself a pat on the back because you are absolutely right. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 2915mAh battery compared to the 1810mAh one on the iPhone 6. It means that the iPhone 6 Plus blows its little brother out of the water when it comes to stamina.

If you are a normal user you will be able to make the 6 Plus last two full days, which puts it up there with 2014's flagship Android phones like the Xperia Z3, One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. It just keeps going and going. The iPhone 6 isn’t bad by any means, it just doesn’t come close to matching the Plus. You’ll easily get a day of use out of it but it’s a phone that you will likely want to charge daily.

In our like for like tests running standard definition video until both phones run out entirely the iPhone 6 Plus lasts for 12 hours while the iPhone 6 for 10 hours.

However, the smaller size of the iPhone 6 means that you can plonk it into a charge case without it becoming too cumbersome. It’s not the most elegant solution, though.

iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6: Price

iPhone 6: 16GB (£539), 64GB (£619), 128GB (£699), no micro SD card support

iPhone 6 Plus: 16GB (£619), 64GB (£699), 128GB (£789), no micro SD card support

These are Apple phones so they were never going to be cheap but the iPhone 6 Plus is more expensive weighing in at a whopping £789/$949 for the top specification 128GB version. By comparison the same spec iPhone 6 costs £699/$849.

Buy Now: iPhone 6 at Amazon.com from $459

If you do decide to buy one of these phones we’d recommend going for the 64GB one unless you like to store lots of media or tinker with video editing on your phone.

Buy Now: iPhone 6 Plus at Amazon.com from $499

The 16GB versions only have 11GB of usable memory. That's not much at all and the lack of a microSD card means you can't add storage later. If that's important it's well worth considering the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Sony Xperia Z3 or HTC One M8.

Winner: iPhone 6

Next, read our guide to the best iPhone 6 deals

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Verdict

Big or small? Apple has taken real pains to make sure the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer a consistent experience. Similar screen tech, the same processor and similar-grade cameras make sure there’s no weak link here.

However, we do like that the extra display space of the iPhone 6 Plus and its greater battery life makes it more of a power user device.

We'd opt for the iPhone 6 Plus over the smaller iPhone. But we've loved using both. For the better display, battery life and camera, go for the 6 Plus. If you can live without two days battery life and far from fantastic low light images, then the iPhone 6 is a better fit.

iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus? Has this helped you decide? Let us know in the comments below.

Bruce Jefferies

September 9, 2014, 10:34 pm

1344x750 is possibly the stupidest thing I've heard all year.

Prem Desai

September 10, 2014, 11:53 am

Neither really.

Save your money - you cannot support such mediocre updates at such extortionate prices.

Prem Desai

September 10, 2014, 11:54 am

What about the clowns who're queueing up for 18 days to buy this??!!!!


September 10, 2014, 4:20 pm

What if you are currently using an iPhone 4 8GB, like me? I think I've waited long enough and fo rme the updates will be far from mediocre. In general though I think the updates are all pretty mediocre - except the screen.


September 10, 2014, 4:22 pm

I've seen this post on other sites with different names. So not sure what your agenda is. You aren't selling anything....so I dunno. When you say "there is barely any different between the first iPhone and the latest model" I have to call BS there. There is a HUGE difference.


September 10, 2014, 5:29 pm

very pedestrian design on the phones and the watch, apple was always interesting to keep half an eye on from a design perspective, in its attempts to create a kind of sci-fi utopia in the present, but all of this rounding off and quite clumsy looking ratios between shapes rather breaks with the past. The 27" imac for example, is something that is refined in a way that does garner respect. The old chrome backed ipod touch was a nice item. These new products are just so uninspiring. But with such a massive cash-flow to maintain, it seems that the design aspect has been sacrificed for revenue generating tried and tested platforms. Never bought apple myself but it does seem the few admirable traits the company did have are well on their way out. I'd be interested to see bang and olafsen or other concept design companies move into the portable technology sector as it's in great need of refreshing. For my money it's nokia that were really moving in interesting directions, and I hope some of that can be maintained by Microsoft.

Chris Chitty

September 10, 2014, 6:35 pm

Might just be me, but I'm getting tired of the phone race. I don't really see the point of having a phone with this much power, when you can do everything so much better on a tablet, with either it's own sim card or tethered to a cheap phone on a data contract. Then there is the inate fragility, stealability and the £100s up front and £35 a month value for 2 years equation. I'm going back to a blackberry!


September 10, 2014, 8:07 pm

You forgot one thing that actually is really important. PRICE!
6plus will be more expensive. Oh and dont forget gaming!!!

Prem Desai

September 10, 2014, 10:42 pm

The 4 is quite old now and will not be supported by iOS 8. You have done well keeping it this long.

My own opionion is that you either buy a second hand 4s or 5s and save your cash. You will need to replace all your chargers and docks if you go for the 5s so factor that into your costs.

Alternatively have a look at other platforms like Windows and Android.

All the OSes will do pretty much everthing. There may be availability issues with specific apps that you need so look into that.


September 10, 2014, 11:06 pm

Same here, I've seen the same comment before too.

Mark Win

September 11, 2014, 4:47 am

Hey as a wasteful American let me say this, when you need help to fix whatever problem you have fallen into, then figure it out yourself and don't ask for our help!

No we are not perfect, but part of our vision as a country is that if you work hard you can find money to buy nice things - some people go for cars, others for electronic gear and others for homes or businesses.

Oh yeah, I can afford to pay for my phone in cash with no problem, so please keep on saving and complaining, me I'm going to live a balanced life and be happy!

Erik R.

September 11, 2014, 9:09 pm

It might help to print out the iPhone 6 models and hold them in your hand.



September 20, 2014, 8:43 am

...and then dropping it onto concrete, right out of the box, infront of the tv cameras!


October 5, 2014, 3:17 am

((What if you are currently using an iPhone 4 8GB, like me?))

I'm also looking to trade in my 4. I have an iPad, so I didn't really feel the need for a giant phone. I held a 6 in my hand at an Apple Store and really liked it's portable size. It was large enough to make a big difference, yet portable enough to still feel like a cellphone.

The 6 plus felt oversized and would definitely take some getting used to. However, watching a movie on the 6 plus stunning display was pretty awesome. The iPhone 6 display doesn't come close. Even though the 6 felt ergonomically more comfortable in my hand. I may be swayed by the Plus stellar display. Tough choice. Still thinking about it...


October 5, 2014, 8:19 pm

((Never bought apple myself))

That's probably why you don't "get" it.

These days it's not merely about exterior design. The devices after all, are just rectangles containing content. It's the operating system that holds the deceptively simple design factors. The art of navigation. UI aesthetics enhanced with subtle animations transitioning between applications, seamlessly syncing content between devices. If you’ve never actually owned Apple, how could you possibly understand an ecosystem “designed” to make work seem like play?

What frame of reference could you have to appreciate an iOS powerful enough to support bleeding edge apps that animators depend on for the growth and expansion of our craft? Such as Disney’s unprecedented “Animated” http://tinyurl.com/m3lsuu2 or the vast “Animator’s Survival Kit”, http://tinyurl.com/n5293qm

If Android or Microsoft's operating system ever becomes robust enough to support these kind of Apps, I might consider them. Until then, I’m just thankful that Jobs set up a company that tries it’s best to keep his dream alive in the face of disapproving nay-sayers and uninformed side-line critics.


October 8, 2014, 3:03 am

"Unless you enjoy communism?" What are you rambling about? In case you hadn't noticed a bunch of iPhones will be SOLD in China this year. Yeah ok...you keep parroting your masters at Faux News.


October 10, 2014, 7:00 pm

Just curious how they determined the iPhone 6 Plus has a more color accurate screen than the 6. According to AnandTech the 6 has a superior quality screen in terms of color accuracy, whites/blacks, and brightness and they have very thorough data to back it up.


October 11, 2014, 8:23 am

that is not true comunism


October 17, 2014, 5:33 am

And there is a "true" anything. Like "true" capitalism? This ignoramus was confusing a political system with a lack of consumer choice. Your know what limits consumer choice? Oligarchal Capitalism. So save the red baiting for another channel.


October 17, 2014, 5:42 am

I shall do as I please commy


October 21, 2014, 1:44 am

Does it bend?


October 25, 2014, 5:45 am

Juan.. Go to bed, man..

Livé Heath

November 1, 2014, 11:15 pm

Yes and no. Yes it does bend if you bend it, like if you try to bend a wall phone, it's going to bend. But you can bend anything that has some sort of flexibility. No because would you really spend over $300 on a phone and try to bend it?


November 10, 2014, 6:30 am

gold leather cover with elegant design for iPhone6, wonderful ,light weight and perfect fit was found from gadget2us. also only cost USD4.9


November 18, 2014, 8:05 pm

So on your homepage it says this was updated now that you've reviewed both phones and you would give us your final verdict, but then we read the final verdict....and you still don't tell us which one is "better".

Love being tricked into reading the same crap I've already read...

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