My Review of the iPhone 6 Plus After 6 Weeks (+ a Brief Rant)
I recently decided to upgrade from an iPhone 5 to an iPhone 6 Plus. After using it extensively over the last few weeks, I’m ready to share my thoughts.
First, a bit of background: I had been thinking about getting a second iPad Mini. I really love the size of the Mini, and I’ve had one for a couple of years. It’s the perfect size for speaking, teaching, and reading ebooks.
However, my 10-year old son Ben has been the primary user of the iPad Mini for about a year. He has a ton of games on it but mostly plays Terraria and Minecraft. I am OK with this because other than a Nintendo Wii, he doesn’t have any other new or expensive game systems.
(However, we do still play our original NES occasionally. He loves Super Mario Bros 3. After almost 30 years I still can’t beat that game. Pathetic, I know.)
Despite wanting both a new iPad Mini and a new iPhone, I didn’t want to pony up for both. Once the new iPhones came out last Fall and I saw the gigantic iPhone 6 Plus, I was intrigued. Could the Plus be the perfect middle ground between an iPad Mini and a smaller iPhone? If so, I could save money and enjoy the best of both worlds.
When I set up our new contract with AT&T, I chose the iPhone 6 Plus model (with 64 GB). Here is my take on what I like and don’t like about it:
What I Like About It
I like being able to see everything more clearly. When I try to read anything on an iPhone 5 (or especially an iPhone 4), it looks tiny. I like having less eye strain.
- I love reading ebooks on the 6 Plus. I have been reading more in the last month because it’s a great experience on the Plus.
- Netflix looks great. Not as good as an iPad (or obviously, a HDTV), but the bigger screen size makes watching TV and movies more enjoyable.
- Most of all, I like the fact that I have one device that is big enough to do just about everything. I wouldn’t object to having an iPad, except I don’t have to manage three devices (including my MacBook).
- The 6 Plus has a great camera. The ability to shoot in 240fps Slo-Mo is a nice touch.
- I love the Touch ID feature on the home button. This was introduced on the iPhone 5s, but I previously had a regular iPhone 5. Touch ID makes signing in and making purchases a snap.
- The 6 Plus has great battery life (at least in comparison to my previous iPhones). If it’s fully charged I can go more than a day (with normal use) without recharging.
- It fits perfectly in my jacket pocket and back pants pocket. (It wouldn’t fit well in your front pocket, but I never carry it there anyway.)
- Apple Pay is a nice touch (no pun intended) and I’ve tried it a few times at Walgreens. However, it doesn’t seem any faster than using a debit card because you still have to put in your card’s PIN number.
What I Don’t Like About It
- The larger screen size does make it a challenge to use with one hand at times. The phone has a “reachability” feature that moves the content from the top of the screen to the bottom. This works OK but is not a very elegant solution.
- There is a period of adjustment in using the 6 Plus because you do need to use both hands at times. For some people this will be a deal-killer, but for me it’s worth the trade-off because I enjoy the bigger screen so much more.
So there’s what I like and don’t like about the iPhone 6 Plus. As you can see, I’m a pretty big fan of it overall.
Now for a brief rant.
This is not a complaint about the 6 Plus, but about iOS in general. Apple has not made any major changes to the functionality and look of iOS since it was first released. Yes, there have been improvements but these have mostly been smaller in scale, tweaks really. You still can’t do some things Android users can do, such as customize individual screens and have two apps open at once.
Why doesn’t Apple stop focusing on insignificant tweaks such as “Hey, we made the typeface really, really thin! Isn’t that great!?” and start borrowing more ideas from other companies that are producing devices with cool features that are truly useful?
OK, rant over.
Side note: I saw a post from Andy Traub about Kavaj iPhones cases and knew I had to get one. I am using the “Dallas” model and have really enjoyed it. It’s a great-looking leather case that is very functional as well. If you sign up for their newsletter you will get a $5 coupon on a Kavaj case on Amazon.
Bottom line: I really like the iPhone 6 Plus. You do have to get used to the bigger size, but that has not been a problem. Any inconvenience is greatly outweighed by a better user experience due to a larger screen.
What type of phone do you use? Have you considered using one of the bigger smartphones now available?