Review: Updated: iPhone 6 Plus

A 5.5-inch iPhone. It’s something which will send a shudder down the spines of a collective of die-hard Apple fans, a handset some thought we’d never see from the Cupertino-based outfit.

Yet here I am, staring down the barrel of the biggest iPhone in history – the iPhone 6 Plus.

It arrived alongside the iPhone 6 – Apple’s new flagship smartphone – which measures 4.7 inches, making it more welcoming to a wider array of palms than the supersized iPhone 6 Plus.

Many of you, especially those of an Android persuasion, may be wondering what all the fuss is about. After all the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 turned up with a 5.5-inch display over two years ago.

Take a moment to glance at the history of the iPhone though, and you’ll see why the iPhone 6 Plus is such a big deal.

Previously Apple has only dealt in two screen sizes – a 3.5-inch display graced the first five generations of iPhone, and just three have had the pleasure of a larger 4-inch display.

5.5 inches then is a huge leap forward for Apple, moving its iPhone range into the uncharted waters of the phablet market currently dominated by Samsung and other Android devices.

Apple is looking to reach a previously untapped audience of smartphone users – those who demand a large screen, with ‘productivity’ the main buzzword being thrown around. A key market for the iPhone 6 Plus is Asia, where general consensus seems to be bigger = better when it comes to smartphone screens.

In terms of specs and design there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6 – apart from the obvious size.

The iPhone 6 Plus does boast a couple of unique features however. It’s the first iPhone to pack a full HD display, plus its bigger body means it houses a larger battery than its 4.7-inch brother.

Both sport A8 64-bit processors, 1GB of RAM, M8 motion coprocessors and 8MP rear facing cameras – but the snapper on the iPhone 6 Plus benefits from OIS (optical image stabilisation) while the iPhone 6 makes do with EIS (electronic image stabilisation).

As with all Apple products the iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t come cheap, and you may want to brace yourself because it’s one of the most expensive handsets around.

SIM-free the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus carries a lofty price tag of $749, £619, AU$999 – and that’s just the start.

Apple has ditched the 32GB variant for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with the next storage level coming in at 64GB, and for the 5.5-inch iPhone that equals $849, £699, AU$1129.

The good news for storage fans is that Apple has finally introduced a 128GB model – which may quieten those whining about the lack of a microSD slot – but it will cost you a small fortune. $949, £789, AU$1249 to be exact.

That makes the iPhone 6 Plus comfortably more expensive than rival phablets including the LG G3, OnePlus One, Nokia Lumia 1520 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

It’s big, it’s expensive and it’s likely to play second fiddle to the iPhone 6 – so is the iPhone 6 Plus worth considering? Read on to find out.