Whatever the fanboys claim, it was Samsung who started the trend of large screen devices, with the Note series. That did inspire every other brand except Apple, to make larger phones as users have started adopting to the larger screens. Apple (Steve Jobs, to be specific) had different plans in mind, and it was believed by them that any phone with a screen larger than 4-inch is not good to use as a phone. But, were they able to avoid the trend after all? No. Here comes two smartphones from Apple this year, both with screen sizes more than 4.5-inch.
We’ve got the iPhone 6 Plus, with the 5.5-inch 1080p display, and a size no where different than that of the Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung.
The one we have with us, is the iPhone 6 Plus, and while it rests on the table, beside the Galaxy Note 4 and the Sony Xperia Z3, it doesn’t look like an iPhone at all. For me, who has been an Android user for years now, and have used the iPhone only for the time when I reviewed it, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t look that huge because I’ve made a habit of holding large devices with comfort, as the Galaxy Note 3, LG G3 and such phones are nowhere small. But, for an iPhone user who has been in that ecosystem for a while, will start with a rough ride initially as the device will feel really huge.
The thickness of the 6 Plus still retains a little comfort, with some credits shared by the curved sides. But, this aluminum body is smooth enough to make the phone slippery and I had to hold it with some grip. With regards to the design, another notable change is the shifting of power/lock button from the top to the right frame, and that is an intelligent move – it’s not easy to reach towards the top corner of the phone with the same hand.
Apart from all that, what you saw in the iPhone 5s, is the same here – the front fingerprint scanner with home button function, which Apple calls as the Touch ID, and on the left, there are volume rocker keys with the switch to toggle between silent and general sound profiles. The Apple iPhones have always been unibody devices with no memory card storage expansion, so you can see a SIM tray with a keyhole on the right side, below the power/home button.
The camera on the back was mentioned a lot during the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus, because although it pops out a little, Apple tried to show the back as a flat one. Still, there is a metallic ring around the lens, and that is good enough for protection. For the early impressions, the camera did an excellent job against what the numbers talk (8-megapixel), but I didn’t like the limited width of the captures, comparing it with the cameras on the flagship devices from other brands.
The Touch ID recognition was good, and although not perfect, this is way better than that on the Samsung Galaxy series (S5 and Note 4), and you don’t have to always keep trying before the device recognizes and lets you unlock the screen. Does the software have something really new? The iOS 8.1 update is no where a huge one, so one cannot say much, but for always it has been Apple’s own ecosystem with the devices, apps and OS where the compatibility has never been in question. What I loved about the iOS 8.1 on iPhone 6 Plus, is the landscape orientation where the apps are perfectly aligned and it does look great.
Under the settings, a feature that many wanted to see – the 2G/3G/4G network toggle for voice and data, is now available, thus becomes a great addition for those who travel and see a lot of network fluctuations.
Overall, for the initial impressions, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is huge, literally. But at the same time, this is not the only large phone now from Apple, because there is iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display, unlike the 5.5-inch Full HD display on this one. Apple has made sure the display looks excellent, and it is no where disappointing. Crisp, clear and with vibrant color output, it does stand out and call itself a strong contender in the phablet market, where Apple has never given a choice to the users. Again, the iPhone 6 Plus won’t be an easy shift from any earlier gen. iPhone, because the size might make your earlier iPhone look like a miniature.