Wednesday, April 8, 2015

iPhone Sizes

Jason Snell:

And since my normal iPhone 6 is locked to AT&T, I used an unlocked iPhone 6 Plus as my phone for the trip.


This all made Myke Hurley, my co-host on the Upgrade podcast, thrilled, as he’s a proud iPhone 6 Plus user and hoped to convert me to his side as he’s been doing with other friends. Thus he began anticipating my defection with the hashtag #mykewasright.

I really did appreciate the iPhone 6 Plus’s longer battery life. The longer life is noticeable, and was much appreciated as I was wandering around London. And I got used to the size of the device in my pocket in no time. But beyond that, I have to say I’m hard pressed to find anything I prefer about the iPhone 6 Plus over my iPhone 6. Yes, the screen is larger, but I didn’t ever feel that I was seeing more of the world by viewing an extra tweet in Twitterrific or a little bit more territory in Maps.

I also noticed—and Myke confirmed—that the iPhone 6 Plus’s camera appears to be buggy.

Marco Arment:

Camera: The 6 Plus’ image stabilizer is a minor difference outdoors, but a noticeable difference indoors when it can select a lower ISO, resulting in less noise.

Typing: For whatever reason, the keyboard size on the 6 Plus (in portrait orientation) fits me better than the 6, resulting in far fewer errors. I’m already typing more accurately on the 6 Plus than I ever could on the 6.


The 6 Plus is indeed worse than the 6 for one-handed use, but not by nearly as much as I expected — both are poorly suited to it.


In fact, the iPad-crossover enhancements mostly annoy me, and I’d disable them if I could. The iPad-style treatment of split-view apps and slide-up modal views in landscape orientation feels cramped and hacky at best — it just feels like a too-small iPad, rather than a too-large iPhone. I’m also constantly rotating the home screen unintentionally, requiring me to use portrait lock regularly for the first time.


The biggest problem I’ve hit is that it just feels uncomfortably huge and awkward in my pocket more often than the 6 (which did have this issue sometimes as well, but not as often), and it’s clumsier to insert and remove from pockets.


CGP Grey summarized the difference well in the aforelinked Hello Internet episode: “I am more and more convinced that the iPhone 6 is the phone for nobody; it’s the in-between phone that has all of the disadvantages of both [the 5S and 6 Plus]”.

Manton Reece:

The lesson from all these switches couldn’t be more clear: there’s no longer one perfect iPhone for everyone. What works great for one person might be terrible for someone else. I personally love the 5C design — the size of the screen, the way the plastic feels in my hand, flipping or spinning it on my fingers without worry that it’ll slip, using it without a case, adding a little color to my life — but many people never even tried it because it contains underpowered hardware compared to the latest models.

Update (2015-05-04): Federico Viticci:

Giving up on years of certainties such as absolutely-required one-handed usage has led me down the path of using my iPhone differently. After a surprisingly fast adjustment, I’ve come to the conclusion that a big screen in the device I carry with me every day is better for me because it’s more comfortable. Comfort follows multiple directions: more battery, bigger touch targets, more content on screen, the ability to look at videos from a distance, or better photos in low light.

The iPhone 6 Plus has some flaws. iOS could do a better job at keeping apps paused in memory, and I’ve occasionally experienced slow animations and random Springboard crashes when switching between apps. Landscape mode is hindered on two sides by hardware and software, with an industrial design that doesn’t lend itself well to a horizontal grip with two hands and apps that are inconsistently updated to take advantage of split views and other custom enhancements.

Comments RSS · Twitter

Leave a Comment