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printed October 19, 2017
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Review: Apple iPhone 6 for Verizon Wireless

Form Performance Basic Extras Wrap-Up Comments  7  

Screen

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch screen with 1334 x 750 pixels. If you're thinking this is an odd resolution, you're right. It only exists to improve compatibility with apps made for older iPhones. The 4.7-inch display is smaller than those offered by other flagships, such as the GS5, HTC One, LG G3, and Moto X. Those competing models also go with full HD (or, in the G3's case, quad HD) resolution. That said, the iPhone 6's screen looks really, really good. It's not quite as impressive as the display of the 6 Plus, but it still packs in enough pixels to exceed 720p HD. Viewing angles are great. There's no brightness drop off and no color shift. I really like that colors are accurate and not over-saturated as on some AMOLED screens. I was able to use the iPhone 6 outdoors under a sunny sky with no trouble. It's a very good screen.

Signal

We tested the Verizon variant of the iPhone 6. It did well on Verizon's LTE 4G network in and around the New York City area. It maintained a connection to 4G without fail, even in areas with weak coverage. It always showed several bars of signal strength and was able to connect calls and pass data with no problem no matter where I took it. The iPhone 6 didn't drop any calls during nearly a week of use, nor did it miss any. Data speeds were consistently good. I noticed only the slightest of slowdowns in LTE when in weak coverage areas. Most of the time it was really fast.

Sound

The 6 on Verizon performs about as well as the 6 Plus did on AT&T. That is to say, phone calls were slightly below average in terms of quality and volume. The quality of voices coming through the earpiece ranged between awful and decent; it never impressed. Earpiece volume is not where it should be. It's better than older iPhones, but doesn't match other flagship devices, such as the HTC One. I was able to hear calls in coffee shops and when hanging out with several friends, but screaming kids and a loud TV were enough to drown it out. The speakerphone actually improves voice quality a little bit, but is also short of excellent when it comes to volume. I was able to maintain conversations in my home and office, but road noise made it harder to hear in the car. Those with whom I conversed through the 6 said I sounded far away and somewhat muffled.

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Ringtones are audible in your home or office, but crowded coffee shops made the 6 hard to hear. I wouldn't be surprised if people missed calls because they couldn't hear the ringer. On the flip side, the vibrate alert is among the strongest ever. In fact, it's too strong. The point of a vibrate alert is to be somewhat subtle. There's nothing subtle about the 6's vibrate alert. You can hear it loud and clear in a range of settings. Apple needs to dial it back a bit.

Battery

The 6 makes significant improvements in the battery department. I was able to coax an entire day out of the 6, though I often went to bed with just 20% power left. In other words, regular users shouldn't have a problem getting from breakfast to bedtime on a single charge. This is somewhat better than the iPhone 5/5s, which could kill off a battery closer to dinnertime. Power users might run into trouble slightly sooner than 11PM. The 6 Plus gets about a half-day more uptime from a single charge, so that might be worth weighing if you're on the fence about which iPhone to choose. Competing models from Samsung, HTC, and LG offer slightly better battery life.

iOS 8 doesn't offer advanced power-saving tools, but it does offer a guide to help you discover what's been chewing through your battery life. This way you can deactivate or disable those apps to conserve power.

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