META-REVIEW

The new iPhone reviews are in—and they’re still iPhones, only bigger

The first iPhone 6 and 6 Plus reviews from sites that received phones early from Apple went up today. As is typical, they’re generally very positive, if unimaginative—Apple makes good phones! They also try to answer this week’s big question: Should you buy the iPhone 6 or the larger 6 Plus?

iPhone 6 (4.7-inch screen)

  • The iPhone 6 is “the best smartphone on the market,” according to Re/Code’s Walt Mossberg, who nevertheless shattered his review unit’s screen by dropping it onto the driveway. (So that problem isn’t fixed yet.) Mossberg says the new display looks great but the new, smooth back can feel a bit slippery. And the battery life is better.
  • The iPhone 6 is “the most comfortable smartphone I’ve ever held,” the WSJ’s Geoffrey Fowler says. He notes that the battery “proved mediocre” at full brightness and wishes Apple made its phone thicker to hold a larger battery.
  • It’s begging for a case, The Verge’s David Pierce writes. “It helps obscure the unsightly plastic strips, it make the otherwise slick phone a little easier to grip, and it compensates for the awkwardly protruding camera lens on the back, which prevents the phone from sitting flat on a table.”
  • Pierce is also crazy about the phone’s new slow-motion video feature: “at 240 fps even the most mundane activity becomes awesomely cinematic.”
  • Battery life was also an issue for Joshua Topolsky, now reviewing at Bloomberg: “I experienced several days during the review period where I barely made it to the charger before the phone lost power.”

iPhone 6 Plus (5.5-inch screen)

  • “The iPhone 6 Plus isn’t beautiful,” says The Verge’s Nilay Patel, who informs us immediately that he has big hands. But, he says, “I consistently got about two days of battery life from the 6 Plus in regular daily use.” (The iPhone Plus has room for a larger battery than its slightly more petite sibling.) And he’s sold: “I’m going to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. I’m taken with it; it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple, and it has such a killer camera I can’t say no.”
  • “It didn’t fit well in pockets,” writes Re/Code’s Lauren Goode, who also dropped her phone while hiking. “And it was too big to hold in my hand, or even wear on my arm, during fitness activities.”
  • Goode also reports good battery life. “In my tests, which involved setting the display brightness to 50 percent and cycling through my regular routine of apps and phone calls, the iPhone 6 Plus would last from early one morning until evening the following day.”
  • “I found the iPhone 6 Plus too large and unwieldy to use as my daily driver,” says Bloomberg’s Topolsky.
  • Yahoo’s David Pogue blew up a watermelon in his review. He made a typically goofy video that does a nice job showing off the iPhone 6 Plus’s image stabilizer and slow-motion feature.
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