Is bigger better? - iPhone 6
Form factor9
Build quality9
Ease of use9
Performance8
Value for money7
8.4Overall Score

Last September, Apple released the first batch of iPhones in select countries. Among them is Hong Kong and, as expected, a deluge of buyers came flocking to Apple Stores to get their hands on the new iPhone 6. We managed to secure an iPhone 6 and it came with a huge price tag. Gray market prices jacked up the price to almost twice the retail price—very typical of Apple iPhones on their first few weeks of release.

What is interesting about this year’s release is the focus on display size. For the longest time Apple has resisted the challenge of making bigger smartphones. They gave in to the competition this time and made not one large iPhone but two. Here’s a look at the 4.7-inch device:

  • With the iPhone 6, you can expect the same premium metallic build and flawless craftsmanship. It feels good in the hands and it is very light for its size.
  • Despite having a larger display, it’s thinner and lighter than the 5s. At only 6.9mm, the iPhone 6 has a very slim profile so the hold and grip on the phone is a bit awkward and slippery. There is not enough girth to comfortably hold the device in one hand—which is the same feeling you get when you hold the iPod touch.
  • The glass panel at the front has a significantly curved edge that extends toward the side to meet the rounded frame. The iPhone 6 feels familiar with its 4.7-inch display. While it has the same pixel density as previous iPhones, Apple managed to make the iPhone 6 look gorgeous. Safe to say, it is the nicest display we’ve seen in any iPhone to date.
  • Even with the changes in resolution, Apple cleverly kept the same 16:9 aspect ratio for its screen, which means current apps will automatically scale up to fit the iPhone 6.
  • Call quality on the iPhone 6 is very good with clear and crisp audio when making voice calls. Signal reception for cellular and Wi-Fi is also at par with the iPhone 5s. The new A8 chip supports up to 20 LTE bands, which allows it to be compatible with more networks in various countries.
  • Apple boasts of its camera that has a large 1.5-micron pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture. It’s not as impressive on paper as the 2.0 micron and ƒ/2.2 aperture of the HTC One M8. But like the iPhones that came before it, it can take great quality shots with very little noise.
  • The camera can also record 1080p full HD at 60 fps, 240-fps slo-mo, and time-lapse video. Just like the 120fps slo-mo video of the iPhone 5S, the 240fps 720p video of the iPhone 6 is an amazing feature of the camera. It creates dramatic scenes and shows details you won’t normally see with regular video recording on a smartphone.
  • This is the first time Apple incorporated an NFC chip into the iPhone. It is meant to support Apple’s mobile payments service, Apple Pay. Unfortunately, Apple Pay is currently only supported in the U.S. and there’s a very slim chance that it will be available in the Philippines.
  • Unfortunately, the NFC chip is locked to Apple Pay so there’s no way to use it for pairing with other NFC-enabled devices.
  • Aside from the increased display size, there isn’t any significant differences between the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6. Actually, we wished Apple could have just retained the design and thickness of the iPhone 5s and increased the size. This would leave more room for a lithium-polymer battery to improve battery life.

The verdict:

Unless size matters to you, the cheaper and more widely available iPhone 5 or 5s with iOS 8 could be a better bang-for-the-buck Apple device right now. Nonetheless, if you have the money to spare for the steep gray market price, go ahead. We could not stop you even if we tried. We might reconsider once the iPhone 6 is officially released in the Philippines sometime in December—the prices would go down to more reasonable levels then and telcos will most likely offer them for free with postpaid plans.


 

Spec sheet:

Display: 4.7” IPS LCD (1334×750 resolution, 326ppi)

Operating system: iOS 8

Processor: Apple A8 1.4GHz dual-core Cyclone, PowerVR GX6450 quad-core GPU

Memory: 1GB RAM

Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB

Connectivity: HSPA+/LTE 150Mbps, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC

Camera: 8-megapixel rear camera (dual-tone LED flash; 1080p@60fps, 720p@240fps), 1.2-megapixel front camera

Other features: Fingerprint sensor

Battery: Li-Po 1810mAh

Dimensions & weight: 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm, 129g