iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus review roundup

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are Apple's latest, greatest — and this year bigger and biggest — new phones. They held their annual event just last Tuesday and that means this Tuesday, tonight, those who scored advanced review units are free to share their weeklong thoughts with us. How's that new screen? How's that better battery? How's the internet speed? We'll have our reviews posted next week, but for now, here's the early consensus!

John Gruber, writing for Daring Fireball:

The most amazing thing about the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is how utterly un-amazing it now seems to see Apple pull off this level of year-over-year improvement year after year after year.

Jason Snell, writing for Macworld:

Make no mistake: The most important new thing about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their size. While their processors run faster and their cameras focus more exactingly, the real story is that these are larger phones with larger screens. That's better for displaying photos and videos, of course, and often for just allowing more information to fit on the screen. But there's also a cost: The smaller your hands are, the harder these phones are to handle.

Jim Dalrymple, writing for The Loop:

There is no doubt in my mind that iPhone 6 Plus will be hugely successful, because clearly there are people out there that want a larger screen device. There are markets in the world where people like to use only one device and having a phone this large is a benefit.

Walt Mossberg, writing for Recode:

The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that's still small enough to handle easily. It's my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.

Lauren Goode, writing for Recode:

Apple has designed a giant phone that offers a few key large-screen features without overwhelming the senses, and it has a pretty good camera, to boot. More importantly, it feels sleek, and carries the cachet of being a "big iPhone" — if that's what you're into.

David Pierce, writing for the Verge:

For a variety of reasons, from the camera to the app ecosystem to the hardware itself, the iPhone 6 is one of the best smartphones on the market. Maybe even the best. But it's still an iPhone. The same thing Apple's been making for seven years. A fantastically good iPhone, but an iPhone through and through.

Nilay Patel, writing for the Verge:

I'm going to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. I'm taken with it; it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple, and it has such a killer camera I can't say no. It's every bit as good a phone as the iPhone 6; I'm docking it a little because Apple has a few software glitches to clear up. But I'm confident that will happen.

Brad Molen, writing for Engadget:

This year's iPhones aren't groundbreaking, nor are they perfect. But they demonstrate something far more important to Apple's success in the long run: freshness. Apple ditched the tried-and-true square design (which I've always been fond of) for a more rounded, modern look; it added features that should've been there ages ago (NFC, anyone?); and it made the phones large enough to start competing in a hotly contested space. No doubt about it, the iPhone needed to grow in size and function, and it did just that. Fortunately, it made the leap before it was too late.

Lance Ulanoff, writing for Mashable:

There are other smartphones that do some of the things an iPhone 6 can do. Others, like the Samsung Galaxy S5 do more. It and the Amazon Fire Phone actually watch you and react to your gaze. Even so, none put it all together in quite the same way. I do miss the edges of the old iPhone design, but Apple's iPhone 6 is, for my $200, the most elegant and effective smartphone on the market.

Vincent Nguyen, writing for Slashgear:

The iPhone 6 Plus won't be short of fans, and indeed I love its multimedia abilities and how productive I can be with it, but unless you're an avid gamer, a determined mobile video pro, or insist on as much time away from the AC adapter as possible, the iPhone 6 feels like a more encompassing option.

Molly Wood, writing for the New York Times:

The slim new iPhones aren't a big-screen slam-dunk, but they work well, as we have come to expect from Apple. Ultimately, it's what's on the inside that keeps them just in front of their competitors.

Geoffrey A. Fowler, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

Apple's strength is choosing the technologies that really matter and taking them mainstream. The iPhone 6 sets up Apple to make good on the long-promised evolution of the smartphone into a wallet and a companion for a universe of personal devices and data, including the forthcoming Apple Watch. Apple added technologies, including one called near-field communication (NFC), that will let iPhone 6 owners make payments at over 220,000 U.S. stores starting in October. I was only able to test Apple Pay in a demo situation, but it was remarkably simple.

Joshua Topolsky, writing for Bloomberg:

With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has proven that not only can it make a bigger phone, but it can make a bigger phone better than anyone else in the marketplace. Between the slick software, killer hardware, and deep integration into Apple's amazing ecosystem, the iPhone is back in the spotlight. Let the performance begin.

Charles Arthur, writing for the Guardian:

A beautifully made phone that finally reaches the screen size that many have hankered for from an iPhone, without sacrificing quality. The iOS 8 software adds a lot of key functionality - and NFC allied to TouchID has huge potential for offline and online payments.

Stuart Miles, writing for Pocket Lint not once but twice:

In the iPhone 6, Apple has managed to make a phone that doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the smartphone arena - Apple Pay aside - but at the same time makes everything work so effortlessly. All the features you will find on the iPhone 6 can be found elsewhere in the Android or Windows Phone world, but not always in such a fluid and easy-to-use way.The iPhone 6 [Plus] is certainly one for the power users and certainly one for those looking for a big screen experience. But with a bigger battery and a bigger display comes a device that for many will be just too big overall.

Darrell Etherington, writing for TechCrunch, also twice:

The iPhone 6 is the best smartphone available. It offers improvements in almost every way that matters, and it delivers those in a striking new design that balances consumer demand for larger screens with a thin, light and durable case. It's Apple's most attractive phone, visually, and the 4.7-inch size is going to be more generally appealing than the iPhone 6 Plus' larger proportions.But the iPhone 6 Plus surprised me: I went into this review expecting to find it was a niche gadget, reserved for those seeking the absolute top-of-the-line, convenience be damned. Instead, I found myself getting strangely comfortable with a phone I still find difficult to use one-handed. In short, the 6 is my favorite current smartphone, but the 6 Plus is its closest competition.

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

The iPhone 6 Plus is a great option for people who don't have or want an iPad — or simply don't want to carry it. Where the iPhone 6 is a great upgrade to the iPhone line, the iPhone 6 Plus is a fantastic 'computer'.

Check out the reviews and then come back here and let me know, did any of them change your mind about which new iPhone you want to get?

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

35 Comments
  • Based on her review I don't think Molly Wood will be getting review units of the iPhone 6s or the iPhone 7..
  • Lol, true true XD Posted via iMore App
  • Ever since the days of Buzz Out Loud, she has been critical of the iPhone. She is with NYT now they will continue to get review units. That aside I love the opinions of varying journalists. Can't wait for Rene's write up.
  • What are you guys talking about? She didn't even say anything negative.
  • Critical... Not negative. She was more critical than other reviewers due to her placing importance on distinct factors. That doesn't mean she was being negative. Brad Molen at Engadget was similarly "more" critical, and that is good. After reading all the reviews a potential customer would have a clearer picture of he/she is getting into.
  • The slightest hint of disapproval is reason enough to burn her house down.
  • She's a bitter man hating, feminist Android lover.
    Never heard of her, never heard of any of these shlubs. Reporters and reporting is dead. Story of some's like or dislike is what most read and take as prose. I as a man never care in THIS arena what a woman would think. Like trucks, cars and football, lady's, Get away.
  • I suppose spelling is a ladies' art, according to this comment. Funny post, though.
  • I think that, taking all the reviews in, all of them have a consensus that the new screen size is not the biggest deal, it's that they take what is effectively out there, large screen devices (well not really since 5.5 inch is quickly becoming the normal size) and do something that Android just does not do quite as well. Apple make it all tie in better, it works seamlessly. Having used Android on a Nexus 5, it has become more evident over the months that app's are crashing more and more and those that you would expect to be fixed are still the ones that crash ie Google's own App's. I won't be looking back fondly on my excursion into Android Land. To be serious, if I was to pick a personal feature that was a driving force to purchase the iPhone 6+ it was a combination of the larger screen AND the WiFi calling and the fact that it handles the seamless transition from WiFi to LTE to 3G and back again, it is something that I need being in one of the few dead spots around the City (in fact a T-Mobile Engineer came out and found that the dead spot is about the area of 6 homes and my home is right in the center). For me it means more to be able to receive calls through WiFi and see on the screen with that added bonus of returning to my favorite purchased apps and music.
  • Speak for yourself. I have had a Nexus 5 since launch and the phone works as well for me as it did the day I first opened it.
  • He was speaking for himself. He can't speak for anyone else's experiences but his own. That being said, let's not pretend that Android apps don't crash. And, let's not pretend that Google's Apps don't crash. I've used Google Apps on my old Nexus 5, Galaxy Note 3, countless other Android devices, and my iPad Air. They DO crash, sometimes, quite often. Hell, Chrome crashes on my iPad Air, at least once a day. YouTube has its moments, too.
  • Let's also not pretend that Apple apps don't crash either. Things lock up, freeze or crash all the time. The only difference with an apple app crash is that there's no error message afterwards. Instead, the app just shuts down and takes you back to the home screen. That, my friend, is an app crash
  • On ios.... Apps crash? Happens. Freeze? No. Lock up? Nope.
  • Someone hasn't used the ios7 initial release Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Ok, but, I'm also not the one in denial saying that they don't happen. And, the hilarious part about your reply is that I don't even use the Apple apps. So, my friend, thanks for playing.
  • I've used IOS for three years, Windows phone for two years and android for one year, and have gone back to android from time to time. Each time though I expect things to be smoother and apps to crash less and be less buggy but surprisingly it hasn't happened yet, As much as I try. It is very frustrating because I like android a lot but sure feels like a world of difference when going back to apple.
  • I believe the wifi calling is a Tmobile feature and has already been there for several years on all Tmobile branded smart phones, save the iPhone until now.
  • I wonder how many and how long these folks called on apple to develop a larger screened iPhone long after the formula had proven successful. Probably only Molen. I preordered a iPhone 6+ and it is good to be back for the first time since returning my iPhone 4. Also keeping my Androids. Having had 5 to 5.5 inch devices before, I am not surprised by the popularity of these devices and as a long time AAPL shareholder they bring a smile to my face. Nice job Tim & Apple! Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • So iPhone 6 or 6 plus Rene?
  • iPhone Plus!!!! Sent from the iMore App
  • I've pre-ordered a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus from AT&T and look forward to getting my new phone sometime in....November. (Grrr!) My iPhone 4S is showing its age big time and I'm excited to move on to newer tech. I'm hoping that the 5.5" screen will make for a better PDF/Kindle reading experience as well as a better platform for photos and photo editing.
  • I'm ready! Sent from the iMore App
  • Glad I got my preorder in... 52 miles to the apple store and worth every second it takes to get there.
  • AT&T sucks. Everyone that got their 6 plus orders in early got a delivery date of 10/2 or later.
  • Not so. AT&T received the most preorders and subsequently sold out the fastest, however if you were early enough and made your purchase at midnight PST, you were able to get any device. That said, my iPhone 6 Plus 64 GB on AT&T will arrive at my house Friday. Sent from the iMore App
  • If you go to MacRumors.com almost everyone has an October shipping date. I've yet to find one person with a 9/19 delivery date unless you ordered from apple.
  • "But after almost a week of trying the phones, it became clear that the hardware was not the best part of the package. In its quest to deliver bigger phones to a market clamoring for them, Apple has made one phone that is actually a little too small and one that’s a little too big. " Nothing negative in that para then?
  • I'm getting a 6 plus sometime in October (ah, demand outstripping supply...) and I feel like, even though it will take some getting used to jumping from a 4" phone it will be a pleasurable experience. Yeah, it's a behemoth to some people but because I use my phone 90% of the time 2-handed and maybe 5% of the time as a phone, it's fine for me to have a just-over-pocket-sized tablet. Heh.
  • Well, Engadget is my sorse for unbiased reviews, and they give the 6 a 90 out of a 100, the 5S had a 92. The 5C had a 87, as does the 6 Plus. They called on handed mode "frustrating". But, we will see when I finally get my hands on it.
  • It's funny that the reviewers are awed by the size of the phone. No one really said anything evolutionary or revolutionary about the phone. After all these years you would think apple would be taking the iPhone to the next level. I guess it's just a phone after all.
  • I think the move by both Android and Apple has been on a path of convergent evolution; where hardware design are essentially the same. This time around Apple has taken the best of Android and incorporated in to their existing ecosystem (screen size, button placement, etc...) without really coming out with anything revolutionary. It's enough to keep those already invested in the ecosystem to stay and to lure those needing a larger screen to back to Apple. Unfortunatley, truly new features are probably waiting to be released in the next iteration.
  • What would be the next level?
  • Awww iMore didn't get a review unit?
  • Reading all the reviews certainly validated me purchasing the 6 over the 6 Plus.
  • Battery life seems all over the place. Everything else is expected. It's an iphone with a bigger screen. I need better battery life! Mine arrives Friday btw.