Wednesday, September 10, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are pretty much what people expected, except it turns out that the ugly antenna lines are real. Although I welcome the larger form factors, I’m disappointed that there is no longer a 3.5-inch or even 4-inch model. If there’s a smaller watch for people with smaller wrists, why can’t there be a smaller phone? It’s not just a matter of physically fitting in one’s pocket. The larger size will simply not be as comfortable in the pocket when moving around or seated. I find the iPhone 5s to be less comfortable in that way than the previous, smaller models, but it’s still acceptable and the larger screen is nice. It’s not clear to me that the same will be true of the iPhone 6.

And I’m skeptical that the one-handed Reachability mode will work well.

Update (2014-09-10): Clark Goble:

No RAM increase. And no new compelling features at all beyond size. For many of us larger, despite the Anrdroid market, is a big step backwards. I hope that in the future they move to keeping the 4″ form factor as the low end but put the latest chip inside. Because the 4.7″ (the smallest) is just too big for my use. I remember the days when having a small phone was a plus.

Ryan Smith:

From a performance perspective Apple is promising 25% faster CPU performance than A7. As is usually the case with Apple, they aren’t talking about the underlying CPU core – though this is a problem we’re working to rectify – so it remains to be seen how much of this is due to CPU architectural upgrades and how much is from clockspeed improvements afforded by the 20nm process.

[…]

Meanwhile Apple is being even less specific about the GPU, but from their published baseline performance comparisons against the iPhone 1, the A8 is said to be 84x faster on graphics. This compares to a published figure of 56x for the A7, which implies that the A8’s GPU is 1.5x faster than the A7’s.

Joshua Ho:

Looking past the size of the iPhone 6, there are a lot of noticeable subtle changes to the device compared to the iPhone 5s. In terms of low-hanging fruit, the side-mounted power button definitely helps with keeping a firm grip while turning on the phone, and I didn’t find any real issues when trying to turn the phone on or off. The slightly curved glass that helps to make for a smooth transition when swiping off the edge of the display is also a nice touch, although I’m concerned about the implications that this has for drop resilience and screen protectors.

Joshua Ho:

However, dual domain pixels are actually not as complicated as they seem. […] Anyone that has tried the HTC One (M7) or One X will probably understand the effect of this change as these phones have had this type of skewed subpixel format to get better viewing angles and less color shifting with changes in viewing angles. This can carry some risk though as black backgrounds may have some color shifting towards purple instead of yellow/blue, which can look strange but is quite subtle in my experience.

Andrew Cunningham:

The back of the phones are made out of aluminum with some clearly visible cutouts made to allow wireless signals in and out. The design as a whole is more reminiscent of the 2012 iPod Touch than current iPhones, an observation that extends to the slightly protruding camera lens. You won’t notice this bulge if you keep your phone in a case or sit it on a soft surface, but if you set the phone on a hard table it definitely will wobble a bit in place.

[…]

We’ll need to spend more time with it, but Reachability feels like a compromise right out of the gate. It’s a necessary concession to reality—iOS relies overwhelmingly on navigation buttons kept in the upper-left and upper-right corners of the screen. These were reachable with one hand on 3.5- and 4-inch screens. They are emphatically not reachable on either iPhone 6. Android and Windows Phone both solve the problem by putting a hardware or software Back button at the bottom of the screen, an element that has been criticized for its inconsistency but generally gets the job done.

Reachability solves the problem for iOS, but it does so in a way that doesn’t feel very intuitive. First, it’s an odd gesture that sort of overlaps with an existing one (double tap the Home button without pressing to enter Reachability mode, double press the button to bring up the multitasking switcher). Second, every time you press a button in Reachability mode, the app “window” zooms back up to the top of the screen, and you have to double tap again to re-enable Reachability and press the button again. It’s an OK solution for when you need to press one button, less so when you need to tap several navigation buttons at once.

Dave Klein:

The first and most significant reason is that it shows that Apple is being directed by their competitors and detractors. I know that there are some number of iPhone users who wanted a larger phone, though I’d argue that the 4.7 would have sufficed most of them, but the vast majority of noise about Apple’s lack of a giant phone was coming from the phone manufacturers who currently make them, or from the media pundits who inherently hate Apple. It’s very similar to when you hear political party A saying that party B is doomed unless they do X. Then party B does X, and it backfires on them, just as party A had hoped. In other words, don’t take direction from your enemies. With the iPhone 6 Plus, it appears that Apple is doing just that. And that scares me.

3 Comments

"...except it turns out that the ugly antenna lines are real."

Hard to believe anyone following iPhone rumors thought that was not going to be real. By now it should be quite obvious that the massive amount of leaks leading up to a new iPhone release, all showing the same thing, is the real deal – the good, the bad and the ugly (antenna lines, protruding camera lens). It has been like this for some years now.

I wonder whether the iPhone 7 refresh will be a three form line-up: the 4, 4.7 and 5.5"

A compelling case to address the concerns of a pocketable phone which is equally shared by the many!

@aidee I’m hoping for an iPhone 6S Minus. :-)

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