About two weeks ago, Apple hosted a special event where the iPhone 6 was announced. They confirmed many rumors of a secondary, larger phone model by simultaneously releasing the iPhone 6 Plus. The former has a screen size of 4.7 inches, and the latter of 5.5 inches, in contrast to the 4.0" iPhone 5s. There are a couple other differences between the two 6 models, but are they worth the $100 premium?
It turns out the Plus variant of the iPhone 6 is largely similar to the regular iPhone 6. They have three major differences, though: screen, battery, and camera.
[caption id="attachment_744" align="alignright" width="350" class="img100s"] The 5.5" iPhone 6 Plus is definitely the larger of the two devices. Graphic from Apple website (apple.com/iphone).[/caption] Here's the obvious difference between the two devices: the different size screens. Having less than an inch difference between 4.7" and the Plus's 5.5" might not sound like much initially. These diagonal measurements are a façade. When comparing the actual display sizes, The iPhone 6 Plus is 27% larger than the standard model. The Plus display really shines when it comes to the pixel count in the displays. The iPhone 6 has a screen resolution of 1334 by 750, totaling just over one million pixels. The iPhone 6 Plus buffs that number up to a 1920 by 1080 resolution, or the equivalent of an HDTV. Therefore, the Plus edition offers twice as many pixels as the non-Plus. To make this possible, the pixel densities of the devices differ. The regular 6 has the approximate pixel density of 326 ppi, the equivalent of all previous iPhone models since the 4. The Plus's specification is 401 ppi. In most cases, this difference is indiscernible. Unless the phone is observed from less than 8 inches or so away, the pixels can't be seen on Apple's previous 326 ppi iPhones.
The iPhone 6 Plus sports a larger battery than the non-Plus variant. The normal version has a battery with a 1810 mAh capacity, while the Plus has a 2915 mAh one. For comparison, the iPhone 5s has a 1560 mAh battery. An important note: while the 6 Plus battery is 37% larger than the 6, the screen size is 27% larger. These aspects will mostly counteract each other, thus giving the Plus only a slight boost over the 6 in this category.
The two iPhone 6 models both have fantastic cameras, but they have one key difference: image stabilization. The iPhone 6 includes a digital stabilization feature, which attempts to make pictures taken with a shaky hand appear sharper by merging together four simultaneously taken photos. This is still an improvement over previous devices. The iPhone 6 Plus instead touts optical image stabilization functionality. This means that the camera itself actually moves around in its enclosure to help stabilize images. Sure enough, studies are finding that the Plus's OIS does make a difference. However, depending on the circumstance, OIS in the iPhone 6 Plus can actually produce a worse result than the regular 6. Its DIS is very helpful for taking the blur out of shaky pictures.
The primary difference between the two devices is the display. Perhaps you want a "phablet", or a phone the size of a small tablet. You might desire a full HD display in an iPhone. Keep in mind, though, that the stock iPhone 6 also contains a fairly large 4.6" Retina display. Also, the increased size can be thought of as a negative quality. It's also less comfortable to hold with smaller hands, and you may want to avoid jamming it in your pocket. As far as size goes, you can save $100 by getting the more portable of the two options.
As mentioned earlier, battery life is far from a reason to shell out an extra $100. The battery is larger, but the screen is also larger, so the Plus will probably last around only 10% longer than the iPhone 6. If you want a larger battery, try a battery case or external battery, which both offer far more than 10% extra capacity and are cheaper than $100. If the iPhone will be your primary camcorder, the premium is considerable. Once again, though, mixed results are being found with optical image stabilization, some of which showing that digital stabilization is the better of the two. For this reason, camera is probably not a reason to pick the iPhone 6 Plus. In conclusion, your decision between the two iPhone 6's is largely one of personal preference. If you desire the extra screen size of the iPhone 6 Plus, then your decision is made. However, most people will probably pick the non-Plus iPhone 6 due to its lower price and increased portability. Which one will you pick?
Welcome! I'm BradzTech, a Computer Science student at Rochester Institute of Technology. I am passionate about computers and analyzing the latest happenings in the rapidly developing modern field of technology, specifically, using it to help people. I share my thoughts on Twitter and, occasionally, here on my blog. Learn more about me.