Which should you buy, the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus?

Bigger is not always better

Now that the iPhones are on sale, it's time for iPhone fans to make the decision: Which model should they buy? I've got advice and specs to help make the decision.

Screen size

This, of course, is the big differentiator between the two models. The iPhone 6's screen is 4.7-inches with 1334 by 750 resolution, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a much larger 5.5-inch, 1920 by 1080 screen. There's no doubt that if you use your phone much for videos, the iPhone 6 Plus is for you.

You may want the larger phone not just for videos, but for Web browsing as well. That extra screen real estate makes a difference, especially if you want to zoom in on text and pictures. And the larger screen can make a difference even when using apps, because it supports landscape mode in apps that support it. Landscape mode in Mail is especially useful.

Phone size and weight

When it comes to phones, size matters, but not always in a good way. The iPhone 6 Plus weight 6.1 ounces and is 6.2 by 3.1 by 0.28 inches. The iPhone 6 is considerably lighter and svelter, at 4.6 ounces and 5.4 by 2.6 by 0.27 inches. Depending on how tight you like your jeans, the iPhone 6 Plus may or may not fit in a pocket. But even if it does, it certainly won't fit comfortably. The iPhone 6 on the other hand, will fit easily.

The iPhone 6 Plus may not feel particularly comfortable in your hand, either. And it's certainly not easy to use for one-handed operation.

To get a sense of the size difference between the phones, get this printable size template from fellow ITWorld blogger Melanie Pinola.

Camera

If you only read the basic specs, you'd think that the 8-megapixel cameras on both phones are identical. There is a slight difference, though. The iPhone 6 Plus has optical image stabilization, which is superior to the digital image stabilization on the iPhone 6. I won't bore you with the details, but that means that the iPhone 6 will be better at handling jitters or hands that shake. In those instances, its photos will be clearer. So if this is important to you, get the iPhone 6 Plus.

Price

No surprise here: The iPhone 6 is less expensive than the iPhone 6 Plus, $200 with two-year contract compared to $300 for the iPhone 6.

The bottom line

If you use your phone for multimedia, like more screen real estate for apps and the Web, and want a slightly better camera, then the iPhone 6 Plus is for you. But if a phone that large will feel uncomfortable to lug around or carry, and you don't want to fork over the extra $100, stick with the smaller iPhone 6.

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