Compared to the angled and almost industrial design of the iPhone 4 and 5, the iPhone 6 Plus makes something of a return to the original iPhone with curved sides. The screen gently curves at the edges to meet the sides and, even though it’s not much thinner than the iPhone 5, it feels it because it’s so much larger (it measures 78x158x7.1mm).
And it really is a lot larger. Just look at the footprint compared to the iPhone 5S and 4S above. It’s bigger than quite a few Android phones which have 5.5in screens: not wider, but taller. And this explains why Apple had no choice but to move the power button to the side. Whether you hold it right- or left-handed the power button now falls under your finger or thumb. The only problem is that the button is directly opposite the volume buttons, so it’s very easy to accidentally press both. Usually, this means turning the phone off when you meant to increase the volume or take a photo using the volume button.
Like everything, though, you quickly get used to the size of the 6 Plus, and the bigger screen really makes a positive difference when browsing websites and using any apps which have small controls which are fiddly to use.
However, it’s not perfect if you’re used to using your iPhone one-handed. The first issue is that the bigger screen combines with the thick bottom bezel to make it very tricky to reach even half of the display with your thumb. Double-tapping the home button to activate the Reachability feature isn’t the greatest solution as it’s still hard to tap anything on the opposite side with your thumb. Unless you have giant hands, that is.
In our Windows 10 vs OS X 10.10 Yosemite comparison we pit together the two upcoming operating systems from Microsoft and Apple. Windows 10 vs OS X 10.10 Yosemite features, Windows 9 vs OS X 10.10 Yosemite release date, Windows 9 vs OS X 10.10 Yosemite price. A weird world in which Apple makes sensible, iterative decisions and Microsoft shoots for the moon – it’s 10 vs 10 10.10.
Bought SIM-free, the older Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is much cheaper than the Note 4. At the time of writing you could pick up a new 32GB Note 3 in white with two batteries and a free 8GB Micro-SD card from eBay for £289, although the auction site notes that the price for the Note 3 trends at around £339.
On the same site the Galaxy Note 4 commands an extra £200, although we found it SIM-free at Amazon for £449. That puts at very least a £110 price difference between Note 3 and Note 4.
Few people will buy either the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Note 4 outright, instead choosing a two-year tariff from one of the UK’s mobile operators. If you are looking for the cheapest deal, though, check out the best SIM-only deals 2015.
The second issue is weight and – more specifically – balance. When holding the 6 Plus in one hand at the bottom so you can reach the home button the phone wants to tip out of your grasp. The solution is to use two hands, just like a tablet. We’ve got used to this limitation, and the benefits generally outweigh the drawbacks, but it’s important to try out a 6 Plus before buying if you’re unsure whether it’s too big or not.