iPhone 6: Battery Life
The slimness of a phone can give an indication of its stamina. If we judged the iPhone 6’s battery life like that we’d be worried.
The iPhone 6 is powered by an 1,810mAh non-removable battery, which is a little larger than the one on the iPhone 5S, but then it needs it to supply the bigger and brighter screen. Compare that to the power packs in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 (2,800mAh) or the LG G3 (3,000mAh) and the battery on the iPhone 6 looks titchy.
But Apple does things differently and the iPhone 6 performs on par with most of the competition. It also manages to last a few hours more than the iPhone 5S before it.
Our video test, where we loop SD video until the phone dies, lasted ten hours, an hour more than the iPhone 5S but one less than the Galaxy S5 manages. In terms of 3D gaming the iPhone 6 managed two hours and thirty five minutes of non-stop action – an hour less than the Galaxy S5 and 6 Plus.
In real world testing we found the iPhone 6’s battery lasted 35 hours of low mixed usage (including standby) and 14 hours of heavy usage, with the brightness set to 50%.
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All this means that you can eek two days of life out of it if you’re very careful, but on most days you’ll head home after work with between 30-60% of your battery left depending on how much you use it.
One major positive about the battery is that it charges very quickly. You get 31% from a 30 minute charge and it charges fully in two hours exactly.
The iPhone 6’s battery life is solid but we can’t help but feel that we would happily give up a millimetre of thickness for a few more hours of use.
iPhone 6: Call Quality
A noise cancelling microphone sits at the top of the phone to improve sound quality when taking calls. There’s also a new system which uses your data connection to boost voice signal known as VoLTE (Voice over LTE). This doesn’t work out of the bat – your network or carrier needs to support the feature. Most have plans to add the feature but you’ll need to check with your provider to find out when.
Even without VoLTE the iPhone 6 has good call quality. The noise cancelling mic works well in windy conditions and voice quality carries well.
As with all phones if you are in an area with poor reception you will start sounding like you’re speaking with a gob full of toffee so we look forward to VoLTE becoming a mainstay of mobile phones.
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Should I buy the iPhone 6?
The 4.7-inch screen makes the iPhone 6 a very different proposition if you have an iPhone 4/4S/5/5S. The extra real-estate offers a great benefit that Android users have been enjoying for years now and comes with the added benefit of the best apps around, which will take full advantage of the extra space. One-handed use isn’t quite as intuitive, but it’s nothing like using some of the Android giants; the iPhone 6 is slim and narrow enough to make life easy unless you have very small hands.
The performance boost the A8 processor provides is also well worth considering for an upgrade, not if you’re on an iPhone 5S but certainly if you’re on an iPhone 5 or 4S.
The other consideration is whether you want this or the iPhone 6 Plus – the 5.5-inch phone Apple announced with the 6. Here the difference is massive, the iPhone 6 Plus is a beast. Be very sure you want a very big phone.
Finally, there’s the price. The iPhone 6 is a tad cheaper than the iPhone 5S was at launch and the 64GB version offers even better value when compared to its predecessor. Then there’s the resale value. iPhones retain their value better than any other handset, that is if you decide to sell before upgrading. That’s of no value if you leave your old phone languishing in a drawer.
The iPhone 6 is Apple’s best phone yet – but we expected nothing less. It might not be a design classic like the iPhone 4 or iPad mini, but it nevertheless looks and feels great. Like the 5S before it the iPhone 6 manages to do everything with aplomb – it has no serious weaknesses.
How we test phones
We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Battery Life 8
Calls & Sound 9
Screen Quality 9