Apple iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Review

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How We Tested Apple’s iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus

Benchmark Suite

Our current iOS test line-up comprises five key sections: CPU, Web, GPU, Display and Battery.

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HTML5 And JavaScript BenchmarksJSBench, Peacekeeper 2.0, WebXPRT 2013
CPU Core BenchmarksBasemark OS II Full (Anti-Detection), Geekbench 3 Pro (Anti-Detection)
GPU Core Benchmarks3DMark (Anti-Detection), Basemark X 1.1 Full (Anti-Detection), GFXBench 3.0 Corporate
Display MeasurementsBrightness(Min/Max), Black Level, Contrast Ratio, Gamma, Color Temperature, Color Gamut (sRGB/AdobeRGB)
Battery TestsBasemark OS II Full (Anti-Detection), GFXBench 3.0 Corporate

Test Methodology

All handsets are benchmarked on a fully updated copy of the device's stock software. The table below lists other common device settings that we standardize to before testing.

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Brightness200 nits
CellularSIM card removed
Display ModeDevice Default (nonadaptive)
Location ServicesOff
SleepNever (or longest available interval)

Furthermore, for browser-based testing on Android, we're employing a static version of the Chromium-based Opera in order to keep the browser version even across all devices. Due to platform restrictions, Safari is the best choice for iOS-based devices, while Internet Explorer is the only game in town on Windows RT.

Comparison System Specs

For this benchmarking session we’ll be comparing the A8 SoC in both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to the previous-generation A7 in the iPhone 5s and several other smartphones running the popular Snapdragon SoC. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 represents the older Snapdragon 800 SoC. HTC’s One (M8) uses the faster 801 SoC and with a comparable screen size, is a direct competitor to the iPhone 6. The brand new Galaxy Note 4, which competes with the iPhone 6 Plus, uses the latest Snapdragon 805 SoC. We’ll wait for the next iPad Air to see how the A8 fares against Nvidia’s Tegra K1, since its thermal envelope is too high for a smartphone.

The table below contains all the pertinent technical specifications for today’s comparison units:

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ProductsiPhone 6iPhone 6 PlusiPhone 5sHTC One (M8)Samsung Galaxy Note 3Samsung Galaxy Note 4
SoCApple A8Apple A8Apple A7Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (MSM8974AB)Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM897AA)Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (APQ8084)
CPU CoreApple Cyclone? (2 Core) @ 1.4GHzApple Cyclone? (2 Core) @ 1.4GHzApple Cyclone (2 Core) @ 1.3GHzQualcomm Krait 400 (4 Core) @ 2.26GHzQualcomm Krait 400 (4 Core) @ 2.26GHzQualcomm Krait 450 (4 Core) @ 2.7GHz
GPU CorePowerVR GX6450PowerVR GX6450PowerVR G6430Qualcomm Adreno 330 (32 ALU) @ 578MHzQualcomm Adreno 330 (32 ALU) @ 450MHzQualcomm Adreno 420 @ 600MHz
Display4.7-inch IPS @ 1334x750 (326 PPI)5.5-inch IPS @ 1920x1080 (401 PPI)4-inch IPS @ 1136x640 (326 PPI)5-inch IPS @ 1920x1080 (441 PPI)5.7-inch SAMOLED @ 1920x1080 (386 PPI)5.7-inch SAMOLED @ 2560x1440 (515 PPI)
Storage16, 64, 128GB16, 64, 128GB16, 32, 64GB16, 32GB, microSD (up to 128GB)32, 64GB, microSD (up to 64GB)32GB, microSD (up to 128GB)
Battery6.91Whr (3.82V 1810mAh, Non-removable)11.1Whr (3.82V 2906mAh, Non-removable)5.96Whr (3.8V 1570mAh, Non-removable)9.88Whr (4.35V 2600mAh, Non-removable)12.16Whr (3.8V 3200mAh, Removable)12.4Whr (3.85V 3220mAh, Removable)
Size138.1 x 67.0 x 6.9 mm, 129 g158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm, 172 g123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, 112 g146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm, 160 g151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm, 168 g153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, 176 g

Apple’s A8 SoC should continue the iPhone’s dominance over the CPU and Web benchmarks, but what will be the performance advantage over the A7? Will Imagination Technologies’ latest PowerVR GX6450 be able to compete with Qualcomm’ Adreno 420 GPU and Snapdragon 805’s massive memory bandwidth?

  • manez
    I can think of a thousand more interesting things to review than the newest iphone x.
  • blackmagnum
    Everyone would want to own one and be the envy of their peers. They want a device that is attractive, well-made and intuitive. That's how Apple sells them by the millions, don't you agree?
  • lanbaner
    Nvidia has a better GPU. The G3 has a better display. The Note 4 has better camera. Gone are the days were the iPhone was the leader on all fronts. Would be nice to see all the strengths from the competition in one phone. Considering the transition to 20nm for Maxwell early next year we could possibly see an iPhonekiller on all aspects. Although I have to agree that the build quality on the iPhones is always top notch.
  • M3God
    Other then just sticking to just 1GB internal memory, there is no mention that apple switched to cheaper and slower TLC memory to make more profits while screwing the customer. The TLC memory has been linked to crashes and bootloops that require a trip to the apple store.
  • aaaas
    I browse the Web and talk on the phone on Verizon all the time. At least the last two generations of devices have been able to do this... at least for android...

    Interesting article, as I've been considering a switch to iphone.
  • KaptainK
    " Wi-Fi calling is currently only supported by T-Mobile in the U.S."

    Not True! Republic Wireless has been using wi-fi calling for years. Republic also includes a feature where it will hand the call off from wi-fi to cellular if you leave the wi-fi zone during the call. Does the iPhone do this??
  • cknobman
    A. Thanks for including the Lumia 1520 in the comparison chart of phablets, most other sites dont do this.

    B. The price for the 6 plus in that same chart ($299) is on contract while every other device price is off contract.

    As a whole if you are an iPhone user I am sure you are happy with the changes made to the 6. Outside of that the iPhone "cool factor" ship has sailed and this wont be winning over many Android users.
  • cmi86
    How can this guy sit here and hump apples leg by saying the A8 should be competitive if not class leading when it's competition averages over 1Ghz higher clock speed and 2 more cores.... I know a lot of people doing reviews now a days feel obligated to shine up certain companies and make their products appear in a positive light. This is not that... this is a blatant lie.
  • SirKnobsworth
    How can this guy sit here and hump apples leg by saying the A8 should be competitive if not class leading when it's competition averages over 1Ghz higher clock speed and 2 more cores.... I know a lot of people doing reviews now a days feel obligated to shine up certain companies and make their products appear in a positive light. This is not that... this is a blatant lie.
    Clock speeds and core counts can be deceptive, the key point here being that Apple's Cyclone cores can execute about twice as many instructions per clock cycle as most of their competitors. This shows up in the benchmarks - the iPhone 6 and 6+ do very well in single threaded tests, though tend to lag behind competitors in multithreaded tests like physics. Note that this is also the approach that Nvidia is taking with their Denver cores - fewer, bigger cores as opposed to more small cores.

    How this translates into actual performance will vary of course - most smartphone workflows aren't particularly well threaded so having four cores as opposed to two probably won't make a huge difference in many situations, but I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions.
  • ZXS
    Due to their zero reading on the black level tests, AMOLED displays are said to have an infinite contrast ratio.

    MATT, do you know this is Samsung's marketing BS?

    Smartphone displays reflect about 6% of incoming light (which is much more than LCD backlight emits). Actual contrast of AMOLED is worse than that of LCD since the reflections are so high, but maximum brightness is much lower than that of LCD.