The iPhone 6 was a phone we all expected to see for the last two years. But only recently did I really start to think Apple might join the phablet race too.
The new iPhone 6 Plus is a phone that might not make a lot of sense to some people – after all, it’s basically the iPhone 6 with a larger screen and a better battery, but at the expense of pocketability.
But that overlooks the bigger picture: this is a phone that’s about choice, sure, but also servicing the exploding smartphone market in Asia, where bigger = better when it comes to smartphone screens.
Specs are also key issues too, but Apple’s proven its tag as a luxury brand can help it get past that handicap.
That said, the iPhone 6 Plus is no slouch in that department either – with its A8 processor, 5.5-inch 1080p screen, upgraded battery which offers 80 hours of standby and all new design to match the iPhone 6, it’s a decent proposition.
OK, it doesn’t have the same octa-core power Samsung is touting around, but then again the iPhone has never been about specs, instead focusing on the user experience.
In the hand, it’s definitely…big. That feels weird for an iPhone, and iOS stretched to this size feels odd. I know that it’s not that far off iPad mini level, but there’s something in most people’s heads that marks a boundary between tablet and phone, and this device blurs that.
The fact the home screen has a landscape mode shows that this is equal parts tablet and smartphone – something I didn’t expect from Apple.
That said, the super slim dimensions (it’s only 7.1mm thick) mean it feels amazing and light, that the larger screen balances it all out well in the palm. You definitely have to fiddle around with it to get to all the corners of the screen, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off to get a big screen iPhone, if that’s what you’ve yearned for
The materials are identical to those found on the iPhone 6, with the same metallic / ceramic feel stolen from the iPad Air.
The rounded edges feel nice on the larger device, and Apple will be hoping that the cut out lines (presumably for improved antenna sensitivity, so you can actually use the thing as a phone) become iconic for the brand, rather than breaking up the uni body chassis.
It’s brilliant that Apple has split its strategy here – by adding a 1920 x 1080 screen to the iPhone 6 Plus it’s shown that this isn’t simply a blown-up version of the iPhone 6. It’s a powerful tool in its own right, and it gives an even greater impression when looking at the pin sharp graphics.
There is the issue of fragmentation in the App Store – now there are apps for iPhone 4S, 5S, 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad range, all at different resolutions. But that’s not an issue given most apps will auto-scale up, although they can be optimized for the iPhone 6 duo.