On Friday 19 September, along with the iPhone 6 Apple's iPhone 6 Plus went on sale - Apple's first phablet-style iPhone with a screen that measures 5.5-inches diagonally.

If you're looking for information about the 4.7in iPhone 6, visit our iPhone 6 specs and UK price article or our iPhone 6 review. Apple Stores and other resellers around the world opened at 8am allowing thousands who had queued through the night (complete with thunderstorm) to get their hands on the new devices.

Unfortunatly iPhone 6 Plus stocks are constrained, as we learned as we walked down the line. Many were disappointed that they were unable to purchase the new even bigger iPhone model. We overheard an Apple employee at the end of the Regent Street Apple Store queue (which reached all the way back to New Bond Street via Hannover Square) that there were no more iPhone 6 Plus models available.

iPhone 5.5 dimensions

The iPhone 6 Plus might be the biggest ever iPhone, but it’s thinner than the iPhone 5s.

Where the iPhone 5s was 7.6mm thin, the iPhone 6 Plus is just 7.1mm. The iPhone 6 is even smaller at 6.9mm

Apple says that they have aimed to make this bigger iPhone "still comfortable to hold and easy to use."

The iPhone 6 Plus is 158.1mm tall by 77.8 mm wide. It weighs 172 grams.

In comparison, the iPhone 6 is 138.1mm by 67.0mm and weighs 129 grams, while the iPhone 5s is 123.8mm by 58.6mm and weighs 112 grams.

iPhone 6 Plus design

Like the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6 Plus (and iPhone 6) are covered in anodised aluminium and come in gold, silver and Space Gray.

Apple claims that it has worked hard to make the iPhone environmentally friendly, and it is now beryllium-free.

There are also new silicone cases for the iPhones, including a Product (RED) option for the AIDS in Africa charity. They cost £25 each.

iPhone 6 Plus spec

The iPhone 6 Plus (and iPhone 6) come in three storage options, with a huge difference to previous years. The options are: 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Yes, there is no 32GB and presumably that means the 64GB now moves into the mid-rage price bracket. We hope that the 64GB and 16GB versions see a like-for-like price drop compared to last years models.

iPhone 6 Plus UK price 

The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £619 for the 16GB model, £699 for the 64GB model and £789 for the new 128GB model.

In comparison, the iPhone 6 costs £539 for the 16GB model, £619 for the 64GB model and 128GB model for £699.

When it launched the iPhone 5s cost: £549 (16GB), £629 (32GB) and £709 (£64GB). The iPhone 5s will still be available for £459 (16GB) and £499 (32GB) - the 64GB model has been discontinued. The iPhone 5c also remains: the 8GB version will cost £319.

The iPhone 6 Plus is £80 more than the iPhone 6 at the 16GB level. The 64GB version is £70 more, and the 128GB model is £90 more than its smaller counterpart.

So the iPhone 6 starts at £10 less than the iPhone 5s did. The 64GB is £90 than the 64GB model was last year. And the top of the range iPhone 6 comes in at less than the iPhone 5s flagship did.

The iPhone 6 Plus will be available to buy from Apple’s retail stores, and through O2, Vodafone, EE, Hutch, GiffGaff, Virgin, TalkMobile and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

iPhone 6 release date

iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders will start on the Friday 12 September. With shipping starting the following Friday, 19 September.

iPhone 6 Plus screen

The new iPhone features a glass front that curves around the side to meet seamlessly with the anondized aluminum back, complete with stainless steel Apple logo.

Both new iPhones also feature brand new next generation Retina displays, referred to by Apple as Retina HD displays. Colours are said to be sRGB accurate. They also feature new thinner backlights.

The LCD is made with a tech called dual domain pixels. According to Apple, the contrast is higher, the blacks are darker, and the angle of view is broader. Photos look gorgeous, claims Apple.

The screen boasts 1920x1080 pixels, 401ppi for the iPhone 6 Plus, compared to 326ppi (1334x750) on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. That’s more than two million pixels on the iPhone 6 Plus. 185% more pixels than the iPhone 5s.

The bigger, sharper screen also means you can see more text on a page, clearer. You can also benefit from an iPad-like screen layout, which even includes a horizontal home screen view. Even the keyboard has extra keys in landscape, like dedicated cut, copy, paste keys. The team at Apple has done a lot to make it easier to use one handed, according to Phil Schiller.

iPhone 6 Plus camera  

The new iPhone has a 8MP rear facing camera, like iPhones before it. Apple’s still not increased megapixels, but we don’t think they need to because 8MP is perfectly adequate for the size of shot anyone is likely to ever print out of view on a screen. And anything bigger would just take up more space on your iPhone. The camera offers a 1.5-micron pixels and a f/2.2 aperture – the same as the iPhone 5s. However there are various new technologies built in, including phase detection autofocus, which is incredibly fast autofocus.

There are some new camera features that are only available on the iPhone 6 Plus. For example, there is optical image stabilization on the iPhone 6 Plus – while iPhone 6 offers digital image stabilization. The lens on the iPhone 6 Plus can actually move up and down, and side to side in order to adjust and stabilize images. Apple claims it works really well in low light.

iPhone 6 Plus video camera 

Boasting that the iPhone is now the world’s most popular video camera, Apple’s Phil Schiller announced that it can shoot video at 1080p at 30 fps or 60 fps.

It can also shoot slow-mo video at 240 fps on 6/6 Plus. In the iPhone 5s slow-mo shooting was at 120 fps at 720p.

There is a new iSight sensor in the rear-facing camera that has Focus Pixels that help users get fast autofocus. These Focus Pixels also help when shooting video. These pixels automaticly focus continuously while you're shooting. You no longer need to touch the screen to tell it where to focus, it does so immediately, according to Apple.

iPhone video recording also gains Cinematic Video Stabilization, according to Apple.

iPhone 6 Plus FaceTime, selfie Camera

The front facing, FaceTime camera features a new sensor with a larger f/2.2 aperture that lets in 81% more light – perfect for low-light selfies and video calls. It also offers improved face detection and, new to the front-facing iPhone camera is Burst mode, which will take multiple photos a second while you hold the shutter button down.

The front-facing camera is also offering single-shot HDR shooting too, for better photographs when there is a lot of contract between light and dark.

iPhone 6 Plus, Touch ID and NFC

Apple Pay is Apple’s new wallet technology (turns out it’s not called iWallet). Apple Pay uses NFC, which is included in the new iPhone 6 Plus. It also works in conjunction with Touch ID and a “new secure element” that stores all payment information securely.

Users can pay in stores just by holding the iPhone near the contactless reader while keeping a finger on Touch ID. There is no need to unlock your iPhone or launch an app, says Apple.

This means you can now pay using Touch ID on your iPhone. It will work in the US at launch, UK start date of this service is to be confirmed.

New iPhone 6 Plus gestures

Speaking of making it easier to use the iPhone 6 Plus one handed, Apple has added some brand new gestures to the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple is calling these Reachability.

For example, you can double touch the Touch ID button and the whole display will slide down so you can reach the top without taking your hand off the bottom of the display.

In Safari you can move backwards and forwards by swiping back and forth.

And you’ll notice that the sleep/wake button is now positioned on the right side instead of the top, making it easier to reach while holding the iPhone 6 Plus in one hand.

New iPhone 6 Plus apps

Wondering if your existing apps will work on the iPhone 6 Plus, and whether they will look as good as they do on your existing iPhone? Within Xcode are automatic layouts that will enable iPhone apps developers to tell their app to scale depending on the phone you are using. An app doesn’t have to be redesigned, it will just scale to the size of the iPhone. However, app developers can redesesign their apps to take advantage of the new horizontal view, or to take more advantage of the portrait view.  

Apple says that with Metal, its new graphics technology in iOS 8, developers can take performance of the A8 chip even further to bring console-class 3D games to iPhone.

iOS 8 will be availabile to download on Wednesday 17 September.

New iPhone 6 Plus A8 processor

Apple explained that there are 2 billion transistors in the A8, compared to 1 billion in the A7. Like the A7 it is 64-bit. It uses the 20-nanometer process, that’s 13% smaller than the A7. The CPU is up to 25% faster, and the GPU is 50% faster. This means the iPhone 6 is up to 84x faster than the original iPhone.

Apple said that with the A8 it is striving to deliver that performance with energy efficiency; 50% more efficient than A7, so can sustain performance over a longer period of time. With other smartphones, Apple claimed, it is necessary to throttle down performance so the device doesn’t overheat.

Apple explained that the combination of the new A8 chip and Metal (the new games technology) they will be able to maximize performance and “do amazing things”. 

iPhone 6 Plus battery life

This better performance also aids battery life. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus offer better battery life than the iPhones before them.

According to Apple, the iPhone 6 Plus can offer 80 hours of audio. 12 hours of LTE 4G browsing.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand, offers 50 hours of audio playback, 11 hours of video or wi-fi browsing, and 10 hours of LTE or 3G browsing. It seems likely that the iPhone 6 Plus boasts more battery life because there is room for a bigger battery inside the case.

iPhone 6 Plus M8 motion co-processor

There is also a new version of the M8. The M8 works with all the iPhone sensors to tell when you're cycling, walking, and running. It can also estimate distance and tell how many steps you're running, how far you've gone, and what the elevation was. There is also a new sensor in the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a barometer which measures pressure to provide relative elevation.

iPhone 6 Plus – calls and Wi-Fi

The iPhone 6 Plus will support over 200 LTE carriers worldwide, and up to 20 LTE wireless bands - more than any other smartphone in the world, according to Apple. Apple is also adding a new technology called VoLTE – voice over LTE to the offering. The new phone also supports Wi-Fi calling.

Both iPhones also include 802.11ac Wi-Fi with speeds up to 433 Mbps and Bluetooth 4.0.

iOS 8 features for the iPhone 6 Plus

There are various new features in iOS 8 designed to make one-handed use easier. Other features take advantage of the new M8 motion co-processor.

Messages

The new Messages application includes an Audio messages feature and a new controller to make it easier to use one-handed.

Health

Takes advantage of the capabilities of the new M8 Motion co-processor.

More to come...

To read our notes about all the rumours leading up to the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus, go to page 2...