iPhone 6 Review: It May Be Old, But It’s Still A Fine Phone

£539
Price when reviewed

The iPhone 6 generation may be more than five years old, but it hasn’t stopped being a great device. And with the release of the iPhone 11, you can expect the iPhone 6 to dive into further affordability, used or new.

The device is available in the $100 range on Amazon compared to the iPhone 11 that costs around $600.

When the iPhone 6 was announced in 2014, Apple advertised it as its first “big” phone. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s smartphones are 4.7 inches while the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus are 5.5 inches, although at this point, the iPhone 11 Pro is 8.5 inches, and iPhone Pro Max is 6.5 inches. iPhone 6 series phones are pretty much consistent with the newer iPhones and can update to iOS 13, except for the iPhone 6. Only 6s and above can upgrade higher than iOS 12.

You can’t go wrong with an iPhone, and at such a low price compared to newer models, the iPhone 6 is a safe bet.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s smartphones are 4.7 inches while the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus are 5.4 inches. The iPhone 11 Pro is 8.5 inches and Pro Max is 6.5 inches

Original iPhone 6 Review

After years of mocking rivals for producing larger screens, and sticking to its pocket-sized principles, Apple has finally caved in, introducing not one larger-screened model, but two: the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display. It’s quite a climbdown on Apple’s part, but the company had to do it. If Apple had another year with a 4-inch screen on its flagship phone, consumers would have voted with their feet steadily trickling away to Samsung, HTC, and LG’s larger-screened alternatives.

In reality, Apple shouldn’t have been so frightened to go bigger because neither of the new phones feels out of place in today’s large-screen smartphone market.

Apple iPhone 6 review: Top half of front

Size and design

The iPhone 6, the smaller of the two phones, is the one that works best. Apple has gone back to rounded edges this time around, moving away from the dead straight sides of the previous four handsets (the edges of the glass on the front are slightly curved, too), and this works to create an impression that the phone is smaller than it is. It’s comfortable to hold, doesn’t feel too slippery in your hand – an accusation I could level at the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s – and the 4.7in screen size feels just right.

Apple iPhone 6 review: Bottom edge

If you were worried about the jump to iPhone 5S’ 4-inch diagonal screen size when it came out, you probably wonder what all the fuss is about with the iPhone 6. Yes, it’s taller, wider, and slightly heavier than its predecessor at 129g, but it’s far from unwieldy, even when slotted into one of Apple’s wraparound leather cases. The extra screen size means it’s easier to use in some respects, such as typing more accurately and using the iPhone 6 as a navigator in the car.

The sheer thinness of the handset makes it pretty comfortable to hold, too. It measures only 7.1mm from front to back, 0.5mm slimmer than the iPhone 5s, and in the current smartphone market, it’s slim profile is only beat by the skeletal Huawei Ascend P7 (6.5mm).

Apple has put some thought into helping those who just don’t get on with the size of the new phone: a light double-tap on the home button slides the whole screen down, allowing one-handed access to icons, buttons and address menus located in the top half of the screen. However, after several months of use, I don’t think it’s needed. I can count the number of times I’ve deliberately engaged it on the fingers of one hand. After using it for a while, I simply forgot the iPhone had grown in size and got on with life. I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to the tiny iPhone 5s.

Apple iPhone 6 review: Camera hump close-up

Aside from the size, there are a couple of other physical changes to note. The power button has moved from the top edge of the device to the side, making it easier to reach but too easy to hit when picking up the phone. The volume buttons are long and slim instead of circular, which makes them a touch easier to find without looking, and there’s now a single speaker grille on the bottom edge of the phone, where the iPhone 5s had a pair.

The oddest change to the design, however, is the protruding camera lens that sticks out about one millimeter on the rear side of the case. In everyday use, you probably won’t notice it: it doesn’t stick out far enough to catch on the lip of your pocket when sliding it in and out, you won’t feel it when holding the phone, and if you put your iPhone 6 in a case, the point is moot anyway.

The only major concern is for those who prefer to enjoy their iPhone in the metal; with the lens bearing the brunt of the impact every time you slap the phone down on a flat, hard surface, I have concerns about how long it will last.

Display

The sleek industrial design is accompanied by a swathe of upgrades to the hardware inside, but it’s the screen that makes the most significant impact. With the increase in size, Apple has boosted the iPhone 6’s resolution to 750 x 1,344, giving a pixel density of 327ppi (a mere fraction higher than the iPhone 5s’ 326ppi), and it looks pin-sharp.

Brightness, contrast, and color accuracy are also all exemplary, with the iPhone reaching a maximum brightness of 585cd/m2, gaining an eye-popping 1,423:1 contrast ratio, a highly impressive color accuracy rating with a Delta E of 1.74, and sRGB coverage of 95%. That contrast ratio is particularly remarkable, and a significant improvement on the 5s’ 972:1, lending onscreen images a little more depth and dynamism.

Apple iPhone 6 review: At an angle

There’s one small caveat to all this, however. On my review sample model, I noticed a dim strip around 5mm thick running along the top of the screen. Initially, I didn’t spot it thanks to the clutter of menus, but when I dropped into the full-screen reading view on the Kindle app, it became immediately apparent. It’s a shame since, aside from this, the iPhone 6’s display is as good as we’ve seen on any smartphone.

Details

Cheapest price on contract£255
Contract monthly charge£31.50
Contract period24 months
Contract providerwww.mobilephonesdirect.co.uk

Physical

Dimensions62.5 x 7.1 x 138mm (WDH)
Touchscreenyes

Core Specifications

RAM capacity1.00GB
Camera megapixel rating8.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes

Display

Screen size4.7in
Resolution750 x 1344
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes

Software

OS familyOther

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