Update:We have revisited the iPhone 6 Plus almost three years after its launch. It's now packed with iOS 10 and our fully updated review reflects the new features that are packed inside the newest operating system.
Apple's debut phablet is still a winner if you're in the market for a cheaper iOS device with a big screen. But if you're curious to see how it stacks up to the iPhone 7 Plus, we've added that to the competition page. As you might expect, a lot has changed - but there's a lot that hasn't, too.
Has your iPhone 6 Plus exhibited symptoms of the dreaded Touch Disease, like a flickering display? You're in luck. Apple now has a repair program exclusively for the phablet (Sorry, iPhone 6 owners). You can find that right here.
A 5.5-inch iPhone. That might not seem so unusual now, but when it first appeared it was something which would have sent a shudder down the spines of a collective of die-hard Apple fans, as it was a handset some thought we'd never see from the Cupertino-based outfit.
Yet here I am, staring down the barrel of what was once the biggest iPhone in history – the iPhone 6 Plus.
It arrived alongside the iPhone 6 – Apple's 2014 flagship smartphone – which measured 4.7 inches, making it more welcoming to a wider array of palms than the supersized iPhone 6 Plus.
Many of you, especially those of an Android persuasion, may be wondering what all the fuss is about – after all, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 turned up with a 5.5-inch display a few years before the 6 Plus graced us with its presence.
Take a moment to glance at the history of the iPhone though, and you'll see why the iPhone 6 Plus was such a big deal.
Previously Apple has only dealt in two screen sizes: a 3.5-inch display graced the first five generations of iPhone, and just three have had the pleasure of a larger 4-inch display.
5.5 inches then is a huge leap forward for Apple, moving its iPhone range into the uncharted waters of the phablet market currently dominated by Samsung and other Android manufacturers.
It's less impressive now, with the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus (and even more recently, with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus) reinforcing Apple's commitment to the larger screen sizes.
Apple is looking to reach a previously untapped audience of smartphone users – those who demand a large screen – with 'productivity' the main buzzword being thrown around. A key market for the iPhone 6 Plus is Asia, where the general consensus seems to be bigger is better when it comes to smartphone screens.
In terms of specs and design, there isn't a huge amount of difference between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6, apart from the obvious size.
The iPhone 6 Plus does boast a couple of unique features however. It was the first iPhone to pack a full HD display, plus its bigger body means it houses a larger battery than its 4.7-inch brother.
Both sport A8 64-bit processors, 1GB of RAM, M8 motion coprocessors and 8MP rear-facing cameras – although the snapper on the iPhone 6 Plus benefits from OIS (optical image stabilisation), while the iPhone 6 makes do with EIS (electronic image stabilisation). This is a much smaller difference than we see in today's batch of iPhones, with the iPhone 7 Plus sporting a dual-camera setup.
iPhone 6 Plus price
As with all Apple products, the iPhone 6 Plus didn't come cheap at launch, but you can expect to find it much more affordable today.
The iPhone 6 Plus is no longer offered on the Apple Store, pushed out by the iPhone 7. However, the last time we saw it on Apple's online shop the SIM-free 16GB version was priced at $649 (£539, AU$1,079) – and that's just the start.
Apple ditched the 32GB variant for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus long ago, so if you're searching for one, you'll probably have better luck finding the 64GB variant in the wild.
There was also a 128GB model, but that's been discontinued as well, so if you need a boatload of storage you'll have to opt for the newer iPhone 6S Plus or iPhone 7 Plus.
As Apple no longer makes the iPhone 6 Plus, new handsets aren't so easy to come across these days. You'll have to take to the likes of Amazon, eBay and other online retailers to find box fresh handsets.
On Amazon we've spotted the 64GB iPhone 6 Plus for $345 (£499, around AU$435) but the price is likely to vary wildly as the last of the stock is snapped up.
When it comes to key features on the iPhone 6 Plus there's only one you really need to know about: the screen.
It is after all, the whole point of the handset, offering Apple fans a supersized screen on their most mobile of devices.
At 5.5 inches the display on the iPhone 6 Plus is certainly sizeable, but it's not uncommon in a market where 6-inch monsters like the Nokia Lumia 1520 and Huawei Ascend Mate 7 exist.
It's got plenty of company around the 5.5-inch remit too, but for Apple fans looking for a phablet-sized iOS handset, the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus are the only games in town.
The 6 Plus was the first iPhone to boast a full HD, 1920 x 1080 display. The iPhone 6 only musters a still somewhat average 750 x 1334 resolution with a pixel density of 326ppi.
By contrast the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 401ppi display, so there's only one winner when it comes to clarity. Compare it to the 5.7-inch, QHD Super AMOLED Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (515ppi) though, and the iPhone can't match its Korean rival – and that's before we get on to the ludicrous 4K resolution since achieved by the 806ppi Sony Xperia Z5 Premium.
The LED-backlit display has impressive viewing angles thanks to Apple's use of 'dual-domain pixels', which makes for an excellent visual appearance – especially if there are a few of you crowded round the screen.
The IPS panel helps make colours bright and clear, and with a 1300:1 contrast ratio to boot the new screen elements combine to deliver a noticeable improvement over the screen on the iPhone 5S.
The iPhone 6 has also been run through the expert DisplayMate battery of tests, which found in its shoot-out that "the iPhone 6 Plus [has] the best performing smartphone LCD display that we have ever tested".
This is quantified by stating that the records it breaks are in the day-to-day elements that need to work for consumers to enjoy a smartphone, especially in terms of removing reflections and being able to display content on the screen in both bright and optimum conditions, and when the phone is tilted.
It still holds up well now, with even the screen on the iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone 7 being virtually no better – although Apple's newer handset does sport 3D Touch and wider color gamut.
Apple also claims the screen has a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, although while I found the iPhone 6 Plus was much better than most at avoiding really obvious prints it certainly wasn't immune to my oily digits.
Colours obviously don't pop as much as on the Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Galaxy S7, and clarity isn't as razor sharp as either the S7 or the LG V20, both of which pack QHD screens – but the iPhone 6 Plus still has a very, very good display, and the more day-to-day elements, shown in the DisplayMate shoot-out, work very well and show that Apple has put some thought into which issues make it difficult to use your phone for general tasks.
If you're upgrading from an iPhone 4S, 5 or 5S your eyes are in for a serious treat.
As you may have already guessed, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus isn't exactly a small handset, but Apple is determined that, when it comes to convincing users about usability, its iPhones are still perfectly usable in one hand.
For the vast majority of the iOS interface and iOS apps, navigation is located at the top of the screen; there are no back keys at the base, as with Android and Windows Phone.
This wasn't a problem on the 3.5-inch and 4-inch iPhones, as their compact size meant you could easily reach all four corners of the screen.
Things are different on the iPhone 6 Plus. Some serious hand shuffling is required to move up to the top of the screen, especially when exiting an app by clicking the home button below the screen and then reaching for an app icon on the top row.
To combat this Apple has cooked up 'Reachability', which aims to reduce the amount by which you need to stretch your thumb to the very top of the screen.
It's very simple to use, as you'd expect such implementation would be from Apple, although I found the execution rather less pleasing.
A double tap (not press) on the home key will see the screen jump down, bringing the top part of the display to the middle.
This works on any screen, from messaging and Safari to the notification bar and third-party applications. What's not to love? Well, it just doesn't look very good, like the screen has got a bug. Which for Apple, is surprising.
Unless you're enabling 'reachability' (and FYI, I already hate that term) from the home screen where your wallpaper remains in the same place, you just get a big black block in the empty space.
It makes the whole system feel like a bit of an afterthought, and to an extent it is.
You can't scroll to the bottom of the screen in this reduced view, and the vacant space above feels ripe for a second app to be opened in it, but you can't do that.
This would allow you to take advantage of the larger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus, with two apps running side by side.
The use cases for this particular functionality are few and far between – even though Samsung tell us the opposite – so I can understand why Apple has shied away from it on its phones; although iOS 9 brought split-screen apps to the iPad range, so you never know – we might one day see it on an iPhone.
There's no getting away from the fact that the iPhone 6 Plus is a big phone – but that's okay as it is, after all, the whole point of this handset.
If you're looking to upgrade from a 4-inch iPhone – or, heaven forbid, a 3.5-inch iPhone – there's a good chance the 6 Plus will blow your palm to smithereens. Apple does have the 4-inch iPhone SE for you though.
Even those who are accustomed to 5-inch Android devices will note the considerable width and height of Apple's first phablet.
The iPhone 6 Plus measures 158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm, and tips the scales at 172g. To put that into some perspective the iPhone 6 Plus is wider, taller and heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Moto Z, both of which also sport 5.5-inch displays.
The weight difference is obvious – the iPhone 6 Plus has a premium metal body while those other two handsets sport plastic finishes – and to be fair it doesn't feel overly demanding in the hand in this respect.
Where things start to fall apart a little for the iPhone 6 Plus is its width and height, which could be the sticking point for some prospective buyers.
iPhones have historically been the smartphone you can depend on to fit nicely into both your hand, and the pocket of your tightest jeans.
At just 7.1mm thick, the 6 Plus is almost impossibly thin, making a slide into a jeans pocket easy – you may find it peeking out the top, but that's still one attribute ticked off.
Slide it out and hold it in one hand, though, and it's less inviting. I've been using the Moto X Play recently, so my hands have learned to live with a large smartphone, but I still found the iPhone 6 Plus tricky to hold on to.
The sizeable bezels above and below the screen provide additional height, and while the extra width may only be minimal compared to its rivals it's noticeable in the palm, with the 6 Plus stretching your fingers.
It's a very attractive looking handset; line it up alongside the competition and the iPhone 6 Plus is easily one of the best-looking phablets available, rivaled only by the newer iPhone 7, the short-lived Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and Google Pixel XL.
I had the pleasure of using the gold version during the review, and while it's my least favourite of the three colour options Apple offers (space grey and silver being the other two), I still found it a pleasing device to look at, touch and play with.
There's no doubting that the iPhone 6 Plus is a premium device, oozing class and style – and so it should, considering its lofty price tag.
The smooth, flat, brushed metal rear of the 6 Plus offers little in the way of grip and, while it sports a surprisingly slender profile, the fact it isn't bulbous on its rear means it doesn't fit as snugly into the palm as the LG G4.
That lack of grip can be a little troublesome, as you'll find yourself doing a fair bit of shuffling during one-handed operation as you move around different areas of the screen and aim to tackle the physical keys located on the sides and front of the 6 Plus.
The separated volume keys and rocker switch remain on the left side of the device, mirroring previous iPhone iterations, while the power key has been moved from its traditional position at the top to the side of the iPhone 6 Plus.
This makes a lot of sense, as it would be almost impossible to hit if it were located on top, and it's a location we see the majority of supersized handsets employ these days.
The power/lock key could do with being moved down the side of the 6 Plus a little, making it easier to reach. Sony has the right idea with a centrally located key, as it falls nicely under your thumb/finger depending on which hand you're holding it in.
It's a minor point, but if Apple swapped the location of the nanoSIM tray and power/lock key around the iPhone 6 Plus would be easier to use.
One blip in the smooth curves of the iPhone 6 Plus is the protruding rear 8MP camera. This isn't much of an issue though, and while I feared it would make it more exposed to damage during my review I saw no evidence of any wear and tear.
It is, after all, protected by sapphire crystal glass, making it super tough, so you shouldn't have any issues with breakages here.
There were rumours in the lead-up to their announcement that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would come with dust- and water-resistant qualities. Sadly this isn't the case – not a huge loss by any means, but it would have been a nice additional touch. However, if you're looking for an iPhone with these durable qualities, direct your attention to the iPhone 7.
The top edge of the 6 Plus is an uninterrupted curve of gold metal, while on the base you'll find the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone hole, lightning port and speaker grille.
I found the speaker wasn't located in the best position, with my hand sometimes covering it when I was playing games or watching movies in landscape orientation. The front-facing speaker setups on the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z3 are far better placed.
While it is just about possible to use the iPhone 6 Plus one handed, I found that most of the time I was employing both hands to ensure a firm grip and stable typing platform.
As far as phablets go the iPhone 6 Plus is in the same boat as the rest of them: many will find it simply too big to be practical, while those longing for a supersized iPhone will be over the moon with its sleek, premium chassis and elegant curves.
The iPhone 6 Plus shipped with iOS 8, which brought with it various enhancements and improvements, as well as some new apps and features.
Then came iOS 10, bringing a user interface overhaul atop of a whole host of changes. You'll find rich lock screen notifications, a new raise-to-wake feature, and third-party integration with Siri, among other things.
There are so many little details packed into the new software that we've dedicated an entire guide to it. Check it out at the link above.
Since the iPhone 6 Plus launched, we've seen some really good things happening on Apple's iOS platform. Much needed improvements, like Apple Maps now being able to tell you what restaurants, shops and other sights are nearby, and offers public transport directions in numerous cities.
Anyone transitioning from older iPhone handsets will feel very much at home on the iPhone 6 Plus, while Android users considering the jump will find the two operating systems have more in common than ever before.
The familiar rows of apps are displayed on home screens on the iPhone 6 Plus, and during initial step up you're given the option of two icon and text sizes – I stuck with the default option, which keeps things pretty much the same as on the .
The second option makes everything a bit bigger, reducing the free space surrounding the apps, filling the screen more and making everything a little easier to read.
I'd have liked an option to add an extra column of apps, as the 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 6 Plus could easily accommodate five columns, but unfortunately this isn't available.
Apple's simple drag and drop folder system still works wonderfully well, and Control Panel is present with a swipe up from the base of the display.
Options here remain the same from iOS 7, with quick settings for airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, do not disturb and screen rotation, alongside screen brightness and music controls.
You can also jump to the torch, calculator, camera and timer apps from Control Centre – and it can be accessed at any point, no matter which app you're currently using.
The notification bar has been given some tweaks too. There are no longer three tabs (Today, All and Missed), but rather a more condensed two (Today and Notifications), providing a cleaner experience.
On the Today page you can select which widgets you have displayed by tapping 'Edit' at the bottom of the page. Needless to say I made sure the 'Stocks' widget was quickly hidden from view.
Another handy feature is the ability to reply to a message from the notification alert at the top of screen, saving you from having to load up the messaging app every time.
Apple isn't the first manufacturer to offer this functionality – I greatly enjoyed a similar feature on the LG G2 – but I'm glad to see it land on iOS, and it's arguably easier to use here.
When a message comes through you need to drag down on the notification to enter reply mode, where a keyboard will pop up enabling you to tap out a quick message, after which you're returned to whatever you were doing.
If you'd rather ignore the message you can swipe sideways to remove it from view.
Double-press the home key and you'll be taken to the familiar multitasking menu, enabling you to quickly and easily skip between applications, though the design of this screen has been changed slightly for iOS 9, giving it a larger, Cover Flow look.
Another new feature introduced in iOS 8 (only for the iPhone 6 Plus) is the ability to rotate your homescreen (and multi-tasking menu), as you can on the iPad.
This enables you to remain in landscape mode for longer periods of time, perfect if you find yourself jumping between games and videos.
Apple has also adapted some of the stock apps, including Calendar, Messages and Mail, to run a dual-pane layout in landscape mode, again mirroring the apps on the iPad.
Providing the power behind the scenes on the iPhone 6 Plus is a 1.39GHz dual-core A8 processor with 64-bit architecture and 1GB of RAM.
That may not sound like a great deal of grunt, especially when you consider devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Alpha and Huawei Ascend Mate 7 sport octa-core chips, but Apple does a good job of deeply integrating iOS with the internal components of its devices.
I ran Geekbench 3 a number of times on the iPhone 6 Plus and it averaged a score of 2890, beating the iPhone 5S (2540) as well as the older LG G3 (2561) and Sony Xperia Z2 (2765).
That's a strong performance and puts it among the scores achieved by the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and OnePlus One. In short, there's more than enough power housed inside the iPhone 6 Plus.
In day to day usage I found the 6 Plus ran pretty smoothly, but it's not quite as quick as some of the top Android handsets on the market; every now and then the iPhone would pause for thought ever so briefly.
It wasn't long enough to cause any issues, but it was long enough for me to notice from time to time. Early issues with app crashes and bugs appear to have been fixed with iOS 8.1.1 and above, with everything now running far more smoothly.
Graphically intensive games loaded up in good time and gameplay was smooth throughout – and Real Racing 3 is now working correctly after early issues with the original software.
The iPhone 6 Plus (at 64GB capacities and above) comes pre-installed with a variety of Apple's own apps, most of which you can actually delete, which is good as it would be annoying if you knew you were never going to use them.
Among the applications here are some new and updated faces, including Health and Apple's now free-of-charge productivity apps (all of which can be deleted if you so wish): Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iTunes U, iMovie and GarageBand.
The Health app was a new addition for iOS 8, and aimed to bring together all your health and fitness data into one unified application for your immediate consumption.
For those out there who currently use a glut of different devices and applications to monitor various aspects of their lifestyle, Health could be a real blessing.
Out of the box the pedometer is active, and I was able to keep track of my steps each day. The iPhone 6 Plus can even detect when you're going up and down flights of stairs, thanks to the inbuilt barometer in the M8 co-processor – although accuracy does vary, and I found it missed a number of flights on various days.
It can also tell you how far you've walked/run each day, and the attractive graphs make it easy to monitor your progress over weeks, months and eventually years.
To get the most out of Apple Health though you'll want to link it up to other apps and devices. This then allows it to track various metrics, from nutrition, to sleep, to workouts and more. The Health app itself acts as little more than a hub, where you can find all this data in one place, but it's an attractive, easy to navigate hub.
The Apple Watch
Let's not forget about the Apple Watch, which can read your various vital statistics and beam them straight back to the Health app.
And it's a good though far-from-essential accessory for the 6 Plus, as that second screen – letting you know whether it's worth pulling the phone out of the pocket when walking down the road thanks to being able to know who that message or call is from – can help you avoid having to mess around with the larger phone.
Don't forget that the Watch isn't cheap though, as it costs $349 (£299) for the cheapest version, which, when combined with the $649 (£539) of the base model of the 6 Plus, means it's not going to be a cheap combination by any stretch of the imagination.
And that's before you even get into the upgrades – a few thousand dollars / pounds for the rose gold variant, anyone?
Of course, Apple has since unveiled the Apple Watch 2, which improves on the original in some meaningful ways, specifically its waterproofing and improved speed.
The iPhone 6 Plus sports an 8MP iSight camera on its rear and a 1.2MP front FaceTime HD snapper. It's by no means a poor camera, but the new 12MP iSight snapper on the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus and iPhone SE is a superior offering.
As already mentioned in this review, the camera on the back of the iPhone 6 Plus protrudes slightly from surface, as Apple attempted to make the handset as thin as possible.
You're unlikely to really notice this, though, especially if you stick the 6 Plus straight into a case, so you needn't worry. Plus the lens is covered with a panel of sapphire glass, giving it some seriously tough protection.
Seeing the 8MP spec you may fear Apple has just stuck the same old snapper from the iPhone 5S into the 6 Plus, but thankfully that's not the case.
It's done some tinkering behind the scenes to improve the quality of your snaps, and the larger 5.5-inch, full HD display means you get a lovely viewfinder to frame your shots with.
The camera app has been kept simple and clutter-free – which does mean, though, that the options you have at your disposal are limited.
What you do get is flash, HDR and timer controls along the top of the screen (when in portrait) along with an option to flick between the front and rear cameras.
At the base of the screen you get a link to the camera roll in one corner and a link to the effects overview in the other. The latter sports eight different effects, and gives you a real-time preview of all of them, including mono, fade, chrome and noir.
In the middle of these two is the large circular shutter button, although given the sheer size of the iPhone 6 Plus it can be a little tricky to hit.
Thankfully you can also use the volume keys on the side of the handset to snap your photos, and I found myself using these far more than the on-screen shutter button.
Slide your finger from right to left over the shutter key and you can change the aspect ratio to square, and also enter panorama mode.
Panorama mode only works in portrait orientation, which may frustrate some users, but hold the iPhone 6 Plus in landscape in this mode and you'll be able to take a great shot from the foot of a skyscraper all the way to the top.
If you slide in the opposite direction you'll come across the video modes. This first one is your straightforward video recorder, and with the iPhone 6 Plus you can shoot in full HD at 60fps.
Keep going across and you'll find slo-mo mode inherited from the 6 Plus's predecessors, but as well as shooting at 120fps the iPhone 6 Plus can also capture footage at 240fps, giving you some really awesome slow motion results.
One of the ways Apple has improved its camera on the iPhone 6 Plus is by introducing 'Focus Pixels', which provides the sensor with more information allowing for a faster auto-focus, and producing better results.
Face, blink and smile detection have all been improved, enabling the 6 Plus to recognise more faces, more quickly, from further away.
If you fancy fine-tuning the lighting in your photo, just hold down on the viewfinder and then slide your finger up or down to adjust the exposure of your shot.
It's a simple yet effective way to control the quality of your photos, and the viewfinder gives you an instant preview of how your changes are affecting the shot.
Auto HDR (high dynamic range) is another handy feature brought over from the iPhone 5S, and it lets the iPhone do the work for you to ensure you get a generally well-lit picture.
If you're not a fan of HDR then there is the option to switch it off (or instead, turn it on permanently), but even when it's set to auto you'll get two images saved to your camera roll – one with HDR applied and another without.
This can cause some confusion, not to mention a picture backlog, in your camera roll, so I'd recommend checking your shot after taking it and deleting the copy you don't wish to keep.
The iPhone 6 Plus also has a trump card up its sleeve, something not even the iPhone 6 can lay claim to: Optical Image Stabilisation (or OIS for short).
It may be the first iPhone to sport OIS, but the technology is already widely available on a variety of Android and Windows Phone devices, so it's good to see Apple embrace the tech.
So what does it mean? In the 6 Plus, OIS works with the A8 chip, gyroscope, and M8 motion coprocessor to reduce hand shake in lower light. This means you'll get clear, sharper shots even when the lighting isn't as good.
I found that the iPhone 6 Plus performed okay in low light, but it didn't exactly sparkle, with some images still looking rather muddy.
OIS has since been inherited by the iPhone 6S Plus (along with a newer 12MP sensor), but the iPhone 6S still lacks it, so you'll have to buy one of Apple's phablets if you want this feature.
There aren't pages and pages of every camera setting under the sun on the iPhone 6 Plus, as Apple is keeping things simple, and that's exactly what the majority of smartphone photographers want: a camera that's simple to use and which takes great shots with minimum fuss.
For the more advanced snappers out there, the additional enhancements Apple has added provide at least some measure of control.
It's the automatic settings such as Auto HDR, Focus Pixel and OIS which are the real winners for me here, enabling the 6 Plus to snap a decent photo pretty much anywhere.
Battery life has been a bit of a sticking point for previous iterations of the iPhone, but there's good news with the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple hasn't revealed the exact size of the battery inside the 6 Plus (although we've now found out it's 2915mAh, which is massive for Apple).
The quoted web browsing time over 4G or Wi-Fi is pegged at 12 hours, while Apple reckons you can get up to 14 hours of life from a single charge during video playback, or up to 80 hours from pure music playback.
These figures are always on the generous side of things, but I have to say I was impressed with the battery performance of the iPhone 6 Plus.
In standard usage I was easily able to get a full day from the 6 Plus (from 7am to around midnight), with some juice still left in the tank when it came to plugging it back in at night.
That included continuous background syncing of several email accounts throughout the day, around two hours of music playback, a couple of hours of gaming and various calls, messages and social media activity.
It's not quite at the same level as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8, but Apple has closed the gap considerably between it and its Android rivals – especially given that the newer Samsung Galaxy S6 is a step down from the S5's battery life.
The battery in the iPhone 6 Plus still suffers if you push it really hard though. I ran the techradar 90-minute video test, which sees a HD movie played at full brightness, with various accounts syncing over Wi-Fi in the background.
After the 90 minutes were up the battery level on the 6 Plus had dropped to 77% – a loss of 23%, which isn't a particularly stellar performance. However, that's on iOS 9, and it is an improvement on when the phone was running iOS 8; back then the same test cut the battery down to 73%.
In fact, while still not stellar, the update to iOS 9 has made the life of the iPhone 6 Plus easily comparable with other recent Apple handsets. Its results are almost a match for the newer iPhone 6S Plus, which dropped to 78%, and slightly better than both the iPhone 6 (74%) and the iPhone 6S (70%).
That's all at full brightness, and of course turning the screen brightness down will help preserve battery life a little, but along with high-intensity gaming, watching movies can drain the 6 Plus pretty quickly.
If your battery does creep into the red then a quick trip to the easy access Control Centre lets you reduce screen brightness to its lowest level, enabling you to conserve some extra juice.
The move to iOS 9 has also added a Low Power Mode to the mix, which reduces power consumption and minimises or disables automatic downloads, background app refreshes, visual effects and mail fetching.
I've never loved battery-saving modes, since they tend to take many of the 'smart' features away from your smartphone, but it's handy to have in an emergency, and the iPhone implementation isn't as restrictive as similar modes on some other phones.
As with any iPhone the battery is firmly sealed inside the metal chassis of the 6 Plus, meaning there's no option to swap out a flat battery for a fully charged one. This is less of an issue on the iPhone 6 Plus though, as its battery performance is considerably improved.
With the iPhone 6 Plus you can go out for a full day and not have to worry about being away from a plug, and that simple pleasure will be a huge plus for many iPhone fans.
iPhones have always been pushed as media consumption devices thanks to their tie in with iTunes and the well stocked App Store, but up until recently you had to make do with a small screen.
The iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus up a whole new world for iPhone users, allowing you to properly enjoy full HD movies and graphically-intense games on the move thanks to the 5.5-inch full HD display.
At launch Apple also included a new storage capacity – 128GB – with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, to really encourage users to get downloading films, TV shows, music, books, games and more. However, the largest size you can now get is 64GB, with 128GB reserved for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
As with all previous iPhone iterations, the iPhone 6 Plus doesn't offer any expandable storage, meaning you'll have to make do with the inbuilt space – and if you go for the cheapest 16GB 6 Plus model remember that a good chunk of that storage will be taken up by iOS 9.
Then again, if you fancy going for 64GB you'll be parting with quite a bit of extra cash.
A mainstay for Apple and its iPhone range, music has changed quite a lot recently. Apple's got into the streaming game with the imaginatively named Apple Music.
With a monthly subscription you can access millions of songs, curated playlists and recommendations. It's a strong service, but if you're comfortable with Spotify or another rival there's nothing to stop you sticking with that. Equally, if you prefer to own your music Apple still caters to that.
The well-stocked iTunes library provides access to a wealth of tracks and albums, while the intuitive Music app makes listening to your favourite songs a cinch.
Your whole iTunes library is stored in the cloud, and to save space you can select the particular albums and tracks you want to download to the iPhone 6 Plus – especially useful if you're rocking the 16GB model.
You can access music controls from anywhere on the iPhone 6 Plus. Slide up from the bottom of the display to access Control Centre where you'll find them, or if the phone is locked they'll be front and centre along with album artwork for whatever's playing.
From here you'll be able to play/pause, skip and adjust the volume of your tracks, making for a super-convenient way of managing playback.
Sound quality is good via a pair of headphones – while you get Apple's Earpods in the box with the iPhone 6 Plus their shape and design won't be to everyone's taste.
The single speaker located at the foot of the iPhone 6 Plus kicks out a decent volume, although as with most internal speakers your tunes will get distorted at the highest levels.
Apple hasn't done anything new with the way the iPhone 6 Plus handles video (or gaming for that matter) – it works in just the same way as previous iPhones.
The differences are the experience can now be enjoyed on a large 5.5-inch, full HD display and the fact the apps have been given a bit of polish.
There's a dedicated videos app pre-installed on the iPhone 6 Plus, giving you quick and easy access to all the moving picture files you have stored on the device.
If it's looking rather empty you can head over to iTunes, where a whole host of movies and TV shows are champing at the bit to be purchased and downloaded to your phone.
It's worth noting that HD movies tend to be about 3GB-4GB in size, so if you've got yourself the 16GB model you'll run out of space pretty quickly after just a handful of films.
You've got the option to buy or rent – and prices reflect those in stores, so be prepared to pay up.
For the first time on an iPhone you can actually enjoy your full HD purchases in all their glory. Not even the iPhone 6 can tout that feature with its 750 x 1334, 326ppi display, versus the 1080 x 1900, 401ppi display of the iPhone 6 Plus. Of course the same ability is now available on the iPhone 6S Plus, but it's not really any better than it is here.
The player screen is uncluttered, with just a few key controls including play/pause, scrub and subtitles toggles.
Unsurprisingly then, the 6 Plus is great for watching movies on. Turn the brightness up on the screen and you'll have a thoroughly enjoyable time – although you'll want to keep an eye on that battery life.
Slightly annoyingly, the single speaker is located at the base of the iPhone 6 Plus, which means I was regularly covering it with my hand and muffling the sound.
Cupping your hand round the speaker when the phone is in landscape orientation does force the sound towards your face, but I'd much prefer a front-facing setup as on the HTC One M9 and Sony Xperia Z5.
Considering the sizeable bezels above and below the screen on the 6 Plus you'd think Apple would be able to squeeze in some front-facers – but clearly that's not in Jony Ive's design manual.
Another area which benefits greatly from the 5.5-inch full-HD display of the iPhone 6 Plus is gaming, with more space for controls, and better graphics.
Real Racing 3 looks excellent on the 6 Plus, and Apple's A8 processor does a good job of keeping everything ticking over nicely.
I played a range of games on the iPhone 6 Plus, and I didn't experience any issues when it came to graphics, load times or controls.
If you love gaming on the go and are in the market for a new iPhone the iPhone 6S Plus has the 6 Plus beat, with twice the RAM and a faster processor. In practice, though, performance on the 6 Plus still feels near faultless; cracks might start to show over time, but for now you could save yourself some money and get almost as good a gaming experience from Apple's first phablet.
iPhone 6S Plus
If you're after the latest flagship phablet from Apple then it's the iPhone 6S Plus you'll want, not the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6S Plus packs in twice as much RAM (2GB), and a faster Apple A9 processor – although in practice the iPhone 6 Plus has near faultless performance anyway.
The design and screens are almost identical, and both phones run iOS 9. So what do you really get if you stump up the extra cash on Apple's flagship? Well, it features 3D Touch, adding a pressure-sensitive aspect to the interface, and it's available with 128GB storage, which is no longer the case with the iPhone 6 Plus.
Other than that, in real terms there's very little to choose between the two phones. But the iPhone 6S Plus will be more future-proofed, both in the sense that Apple will probably support it with updates for a little longer, and in that the extra power will eventually come in handy.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is probably the biggest rival to the iPhone 6 Plus. The Korean firm's supersized smartphones lead the way in the phablet market, and they always come jam-packed full of the latest tech.
You'll find an impressive 5.7-inch QHD display slapped on the front of the Note 4, trumping the full HD screen on the iPhone.
Samsung has updated its design language to include a metal frame running round the outside of the handset, giving it a more premium look and feel.
There's still a sheet of polycarbonate on the rear though, and overall the iPhone 6 Plus still offers the best in terms of design and premium appeal.
Take a look at the spec sheet for the Note 4, though, and it reads a lot better than the iPhone's, with a 2.7GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 16MP rear camera and 3.7MP front-facing snapper.
If you want a glut of power, features and spec then the Note 4 is king, while the iPhone 6 Plus offers a more refined, premium take on the now-popular phablet.
Samsung has since launched the Galaxy Note 5, but it's not available everywhere, and it's more of a rival to the iPhone 6S Plus. Still, if you want the cream of the Android crop – and can actually buy it where you are – then it's worth considering as well.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is one of Samsung's latest phablets, and it can match or beat the iPhone 6 Plus in a number of ways.
Its metal and glass design, along with a curved screen, makes it every bit as eye-catching. That screen is seriously impressive too – not so much for the curves, but for its sharp 1440 x 2560 resolution, which even stretched across its expansive 5.7-inch size gives it a much higher pixel density than the iPhone 6 Plus.
Remarkably, it also manages to be smaller and thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus, and with an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM its performance is beastly.
Despite all that it's roughly the same price as the iPhone 6 Plus. But it runs Android, so if you're set on an Apple phone that in itself could be a deal breaker.
LG's G4 is a phone that brings the best the brand has to offer – and then encases it in leather.
It's a great phone in a number of ways: the 5.5-inch screen might put this phone squarely in phablet territory, but it's a lot more compact than the iPhone 6 Plus, and has a much sharper and clearer screen as well as improved colour reproduction.
The price is a lot more palatable, even before the inevitable cost plummeting that we see from LG phones, and the camera offers so many modes that even the most seasoned photographer will want to take a look – although the 'auto' mode rivals Apple's for simplicity too.
The UI is a little more complex, and the overall construction nowhere near as good; but this is easily the best phone LG has ever created, and it's well worth a look.
Along with the new iPhone 6S Plus the iPhone 6 Plus is arguably the best-looking phablet on the market. If you want a big screen wrapped in a premium body, look no further.
It's good to see Apple finally embrace a full-HD display, and the offering on the 6 Plus doesn't disappoint, with vivid colours and crystal-clear text.
At 5.5 inches the screen is also great for watching movies and playing games – finally an iPhone that can really take advantage of the great content housed in iTunes and the App Store. You'll wonder how you ever coped with the teeny Retina display of the 4-inch iPhone 5S, 5C or 5.
The 6 Plus ships with iOS 8, and among the headliners here is the health app, which will keep track of your fitness and lifestyle with relative ease; and iOS 9 is now available to keep the phone up to date.
There's good news in the battery department too. It looks like Apple has really turned a corner when it comes to power consumption, with the iPhone 6 Plus easily lasting a whole day on a single charge. You will still have to be careful if you hit it hard with movies or games though.
The iPhone 6 Plus may look and feel fantastic, but its size does make it a little unwieldy in the hand.
It's taller and wider than other 5.5-inch smartphones, such as the LG G4 and OnePlus 2, and its flat rear means it's tricky to grip, and really stretches the fingers in the palm.
I found that one-handed usage had to be kept to a minimum, and while Apple's 'Reachability' feature is easy to use, it does feel a little half-baked.
Another sticking point with the iPhone 6 Plus is its price. The 16GB model is still as pricey as newer phablet rivals like the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+. Or for less money you could get the similarly old Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and stick a cheap microSD card in it.
And if you want more storage on the 6 Plus you'll need to hand over a lot more money. That said, it is still cheaper than the iPhone 6S Plus, and offers almost as much.
Combining premium design and Apple's high level of finesse, the iPhone 6 Plus is a highly accomplished smartphone that will hit all the right notes for anyone desperate for a big-screened iPhone.
Android fans hell-bent on a phablet-sized smartphone full to the brim with the latest tech and monster power are unlikely to favour the iPhone 6 Plus, which on paper doesn't stack up in terms of raw specs.
But that won't matter to Apple, or to those who part with a princely sum of money in order to own an iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 Plus brings together excellently Apple's tried and tested design, craftsmanship and interface in the larger form factor – providing the perfect smartphone for those who require a bigger display, while also revelling in the simplicity and intuition that an Apple handset continues to offer.