iPhone 6: Hands-on video and first impressions

BY Jason

Published 11 Sep 2014

iPhone 6

Apple unveiled the iPhone 6 earlier this week during its special event at Flint Center in Cupertino, and let reporters at the event get some hands-on time with the device. Read on to find out what they have to say about it.

Because they only had a short time with the device, these first impressions focus on a small part of the package. Some offer comments on the performance based on observation and not benchmarks. The real reviews will come when the phone lands in the hands of reviewers and they get some quality time with device.

The Loop:

For people not interested in the larger iPhone 6 Plus, there is the iPhone 6. I have absolutely no concerns about the iPhone 6 and its larger screen. It fit comfortably in my hands and allowed for one-handed use throughout all apps I tried.

Upgrading to the iPhone 6 will be like upgrading from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 5S—yes, it’s bigger, but it’s also very comfortable. It will be a very easy upgrade for most people.

That said, I’d be hard pressed to guess which model will be the top seller for Apple. The company has proven in the past that the inexpensive model isn’t always the top seller. I think many people will be like me and need to see it in person and see how it feels. It’s a departure for Apple, but one they could make work with iOS 8 and the special gestures incorporated into the software.


While the new iPhone 6 isn’t lighter than the iPhone 5, it feels incredibly thin compared to the iPhone 5s I had on hand for comparisons.


In terms of the design of the device, it’s clear that Apple had to break some trends that seemed to be present in previous iPhones. For one, the noticeable camera bump came from a need to maintain and/or improve camera quality while simultaneously driving down z-height overall, so there seems to have been an industrial design trade-off here for the sake of functionality. There’s also the relatively thick plastic lines which are a departure from previous designs but seem to be necessary for NFC capabilities. I’m personally unsure how I feel on these two design elements, but they may be an issue for some.

Ars Technica:

The back of the phones are made out of aluminum with some clearly visible cutouts made to allow wireless signals in and out. The design as a whole is more reminiscent of the 2012 iPod Touch than current iPhones, an observation that extends to the slightly protruding camera lens. You won’t notice this bulge if you keep your phone in a case or sit it on a soft surface, but if you set the phone on a hard table it definitely will wobble a bit in place. Both phones feel lighter than you’d expect them to—4.55 ounces for the 6 and 6.07 ounces for the 6 Plus, compared to 5.64 ounces for the 5-inch HTC One M8 or 5.08 ounces for the new Moto X—but they still feel as sturdy as you’d expect from an Apple product.


In the hand, the iPhone 6 definitely feels noticeably larger, but what’s remarkable is that it doesn’t feel significantly bulky. The rounded sides and thin, lightweight chassis kind of harken back to older devices, in fact, like the iPhone 3GS and earlier, but the more premium materials used here add another dimension of quality.

Playing with the new camera reveals the improvements there are also impressive. The iPhone 6 gets all the new features besides optical image stabilization, including slow motion video at 240 FPS, which is two times faster than the iPhone 5s (and so two times slower when played back). The camera’s autofocus is fast and effective thanks to the addition of phase detection, and it no longer highlights the point of focus, which it doesn’t really need to because of its improvements.


Naturally, there’s going to be some hesitation by those who’ve been used to the 3.5-inch or 4-inch size of all previous generations of the iPhone, but the 4.7-inch model is still reasonable enough that most users should easily get used to the new size. At 6.9mm, it’s thinner than the 5s (7.6mm), and its curved sides bring a sleek look that should still be plenty comfortable for most traditional iPhone fans. I had no problem gripping the iPhone 6, and it felt right at home in my palms.



At 4.7-inches, the device doesn’t feel big; the thinness might help perpetuate that illusion, or maybe it’s just that we’re used to from bigger devices. It’s also really light, and the power button being moved to the right side is in the perfect spot. You won’t have to stretch your hand up to the top just to sleep/wake your device. It looks like a major step up from the iPhone 5s, and we know how much Apple fans loved that design.

When you are done reading the early first impressions, you can voice your opinion on the iPhone 6 in the comments. Do you like it, hate it or don’t care?