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Apple iPhone 6 And iPhone 6 Plus Review

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are bigger and better than ever, but are they a worthy upgrade for existing iPhone users? What if you previously passed over the iPhone because of its small screen, does it now merit a second look?

Camera: Video Quality

Video Quality

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus receive a few new features and video performance upgrades. While 4K video recording is still absent, there is a new option for recording 1080p video at 60 FPS. Slow motion video gets a faster shooting mode too, with an option for 720p at 240 FPS in addition to the 720p at 120 FPS mode available on the 5s. Both the 1080p at 30 FPS and 720p at 120 FPS modes record at the same bitrate as the 5s.

The Focus Pixels in the new camera sensor provide continuous autofocus during video recording. Not only does this make recording video easier (no more tapping on the screen to refocus), it also drastically improves video quality. Objects in the video always remain in focus, no matter how much they move relative to the camera, eliminating blurry videos.

Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus rely on electronic image stabilization (EIS) while shooting video (the 6 Plus does not use OIS in video mode), however, it receives a significant upgrade. Apple’s new cinematic video stabilization does a better job keeping the video stable and smoothing out vibration and hand shake.

In the two videos above, the rear cameras for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6 are held as closely together as possible while shooting HD video outdoors. The iPhone 6’s cinematic video stabilization greatly reduces the amount of motion caused by walking along the sidewalk. We can also see the continuous autofocus at work on the iPhone 6 when zooming in on the flowers.

These two videos highlight the iPhone 6’s continuous autofocus feature and the dramatic effect it has on video quality. The iPhone 5s sets its focus at the beginning of the movie and never changes it as the camera moves closer to the dark side, producing a rather blurry video. With the iPhone 6, however, Darth Maul’s face remains in focus for the length of the video, regardless of his position relative to the camera.

In these boring videos of cars driving past the camera, we see the advantage of shooting video at 60 FPS versus 30. Just as an LCD screen with a higher refresh rate exhibits less ghosting and motion artifacts during high action scenes, the 60 FPS video looks smoother and shows less ghosting behind the cars.

Above is a comparison of the two slow motion modes. At 240 FPS, the definition of each wheel can easily be seen, while at 120 FPS they’re still spinning a bit too fast to be perfectly clear.

Here’s another example of a 240 FPS slow motion video. It doesn’t show anything new, but I think it looks pretty neat.

Apple’s Focus Pixels, along with a faster ISP in the A8 SoC, combine to produce some nice enhancements to video quality. While not everyone will utilize the new slow motion, 1080p/60 FPS or time-lapse video modes, the continuous autofocus and cinematic video stabilization features greatly improve every video you shoot with the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

  • manez
    I can think of a thousand more interesting things to review than the newest iphone x.
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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??
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply