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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?

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.

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.

BluetoothOff
Brightness200 nits
CellularSIM card removed
Display ModeDevice Default (nonadaptive)
Location ServicesOff
PowerBattery
SleepNever (or longest available interval)
VolumeMuted
Wi-FiOn

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:

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
Memory1GB LPDDR31GB LPDDR31GB LPDDR32GB LPDDR33GB LPDDR33GB LPDDR3
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?