iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison

screen: iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus main

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison

Pit theiPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in mortal battle, and the biggest differentiator between the two is their screens: it’s here that the two Apple smartphones vary the most, not only in size, but also in pixel count and density.

The screen on the iPhone 6 is the smaller of the two devices, measuring in at a fairly modest-sounding 4.7in; this is a mere 0.8in smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5in phablet-esque display. That might not sound like much, but in terms of actual viewable screen area, the iPhone 6 Plus’s is 37% bigger: put the two handsets side by side, and the difference is night and day.See also: iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5.

The two screens aren’t simply a larger and smaller version of the same LCD panel, though – there are a variety of both subtle and more significant differences between the two. The easiest of these to spot is pixel density, and it’s here that Apple happily ignores its original reasoning behind its Retina display – the 5.5in device now has a higher pixel density screen than any other Apple device on the planet.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screens: pixel count

On paper, the iPhone 6 Plus has the better screen of the two devices: its 1,080 x 1,920 pixel screen easily trumps the 750 x 1,334 pixel display of the iPhone 6.

The interesting metric here is the pixels per inch (ppi) measurements; Apple previously claimed that the 326ppi Retina Display iPhone screen was as many pixels as a human eye could see when using a smartphone normally – any more than that was overkill. Therefore it’s interesting that Apple has equipped the iPhone 6 with a standard 326ppi Retina display and the iPhone 6 Plus with a 401ppi Retina HD display.

In practice, though, the difference is noticeable if not dramatic. Images do look slightly sharper on the iPhone 6 Plus and, crucially, viewing webpages is far more comfortable on the iPhone 6 Plus’ display thanks to its combination of higher pixel density and a larger physical display.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screens: performance

From a technical point of view there are also small differences in the performance of the screens, with the iPhone 6 coming out slightly better overall. We tested both displays with our X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter and a copy of the open-source display calibration and profiling software, dispcalGUI.

The iPhone 6 got off to an impressive start with a maximum brightness of 585cd/m2 and a 1,423:1 contrast ratio. It continued by turning in excellent colour accuracy and gamut figures : we recorded an avearge Delta E of 1.74 and a maximum deviation of 3.64, and the panel reproduced 95% of the sRGB colour gamut.

The iPhone 6 Plus’ results were good too – albeit not quite as impressive. It posted a maximum brightness of 493cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 1,293:1. Our iPhone 6 Plus’s panel also reproduced a very slightly wider range of colour than our iPhone 6, with its IPS panel covering 95.5% of the sRGB colour gamut. The downside? It fell behind its smaller stablemate in the colour accuracy portion of our tests, with a poorer average Delta E of 2.85 and a significantly larger maximum deviation of 5.33.

In reality, though, you would be hard pushed to notice an actual difference between these screens. Even though the iPhone 6 Plus is a little less colour accurate than the iPhone 6, we only noted a slight tendency to lighten colours and greyscale tones – nothing serious, in other words.

Verdict: iPhone 6 Plus wins

Both displays are spectacular, but if you can put up with the handset’s extra bulk we’d choose the iPhone 6 Plus every time – it might not be quite as colour accurate as its smaller sibling, but image quality remains excellent by any standards, and its larger display and greater pixel density make all the difference in everyday use.

See also: what’s the best smartphone of 2014?

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