This morning I received my new iPhone 6. There are some good things about this phone and one bad thing too, I’m afraid.
First of all, let me start by saying that the moment you open the box, you get the feeling that something has changed. Not a lot, but there is a departure from the old Apple. Maybe it’s the all-white box, or more likely the fact that the cardboard flaps that hold the SIM eject tool broke after I repositioned the tool to its place a couple of times.
This feeling is somehow ludicrous, and I apologize for not being able to put it into words. While I was writing the previous paragraph, the sentence there’s no turning back of Robert Plant in Big Log resonated in my mind. Times They Are A-changin’ was one of the preferred songs by Steve Jobs.
Admittedly, the way I started this review is simply nonsensical. Yes, things are different but the iPhone 6 is a beautiful piece of technology. Read on.
Let me get this out of my head so we can move on. I want to apologize to Android users for not having seen the advantage of a bigger screen before.
For years I thought that a bigger screen was unnecessary. But after only a few hours of using the iPhone 6, I am a believer that for too many years we have missed out on something.
Bigger screen is great, bigger screen is better. There, I’ve said it, let’s move on now.
The iPhone 6’s larger screen makes almost every single action easier. Typing, reading, and seeing details are all activities that are more pleasurable to carry out on a 4.7” display. I’m writing these notes directly on the iPhone and the pleasure I get out of it is a clear sign that the bigger screen size was overdue. It also means that I’m going to be more productive on this device than I have ever been on a 4” screen.
Soon we’ll look in disbelief at 3.5”–4” screens and wonder how in the heck we were able to work on those devices.
In terms of shape, the iPhone 6 appears more harmonious than the iPhone 5s. Its height/width is 2.06 against 2.11 of the iPhone 5s. These are only fraction of a unit, but my eye can perceive it. The result is a device which looks more balanced.
The iPhone 6 weights 17g more than the iPhone 5s. This weight is distributed over a larger area, making it appear lighter than last year’s model.
Many reviews have mentioned that the iPhone 6 feels slippery.
Yes, it is more slippery than the iPhone 5s because of the rounded edges used in lieu of chamfers. My hands are of average size for a man, but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. I’ll continue with my tradition of not using a case with my iPhone. After all, Jony Ive’s work should be shown off.
The iPhone 6 feels impossibly thin for such a powerful smartphone. Holding an iPhone 6 against your palm feels like carrying a passport.
It feels good in your hands, if you manage to pick it up. The rounded edges in fact don’t have much of a grip in the same way that the iPhone 5s has. Be careful when you pick it up from your desk, because your fingers will hesitate just a little bit longer before finding the right grip under the rounded edges.
The slight bend of the glass panel and the precision with which it meets the aluminium case is a masterstroke. The tolerances of this small detail must be closer to a medical device than a consumer phone. Coming from the well-defined edges of the iPhone 4 and 5, the iPhone 6 appears deliciously smoother and more elegant.
I am not a photographer, but the improvements over the already great iPhone 5s camera are obvious to my eyes. I can clearly see the difference between the two devices.
Let me add a paragraph on the protruding camera lens. It’s a non-issue and somehow I like the way the optic mechanism stands out. My only fear is that the lens will get damaged while being in contact all the time with the surface you place your iPhone on. But then again, the lens cover is made of sapphire, so that should be just fine.
The phone is usable even with one hand. I’d almost say Apple has managed to make the impossible possible, with one caveat.
Women and in general people with small hands might have a problem though (the first thing my wife Florence said, after testing my iPhone 6, was that her thumb couldn’t reach the farther edge of the phone comfortably). The bottom line is that Apple has reached a compromise with the 4.7”. Expect to hold the phone two-handed more often than in the past.
Reachability (the iOS 8 function specific to iPhone 6 that shifts the upper part of the screen to about half-way down from the top so you can reach the user elements located further up on the screen) is well designed. I was very skeptical of what I thought was just a workaround. The truth is, I love the double-tap (not click) on the home button to easily reach areas of the screen that otherwise I would have to touch with a second hand.
Siri works great on the iPhone 6. I don’t know if it’s the microprocessor’s speed, or the iPhone 6 faster network connections, but Siri suddenly seems to be able to interpret my voice faster and more accurately.
The speakers are loud too, which is great when I want to listen to a podcast while showering.
I must give an absolute negative point to the location of the sleep/wake button. Who decided to put it on the side of the phone? Whenever I watch a video in landscape mode, with the phone propped against something, and press the volume up button, my iPhone goes to sleep…
Let me give you another use case in which the wake/sleep button in that position feels wrong. When taking a picture in landscape mode, and you press the volume up button, your thumb invariably presses the sleep button too. What a disaster! I really hope that I’ll get used to it because this situation is driving me crazy.
Battery life is slightly better than on the iPhone 5s, but then again I really never had any problems with the battery of the 5s. It always lasted the whole day without too many problems.
I’ve owned all iPhones from the 3GS on. With each release, the phone becomes a more mature productivity device. Thanks to its larger screen, the iPhone 6 is one of the bigger changes ever applied to the iPhone line up.
Do I love the device? Yes, I do. Has the iPhone 6 blown my mind? Maybe not like the iPhone 4 did, but this update is close to it.
With its larger screen, the flexibility of iOS 8, and with generous storage space (OK, I’ve gone for the 128GB version), the iPhone 6 is the phone that we’ve all been waiting for.