My iPhone 6 Review

I received my iPhone 6 last Friday.  After going through the setup and using it for a few days, I wanted to give my initial impressions, some of which I almost regret to offer.

I purchased the standard iPhone 6, not the 6 Plus.  My previous phone was an iPhone 4.

The Good

It’s very, very beautiful.  This phone gives an amazing first impression.  The sleeker design is a big improvement.  I immediately noticed how much thinner the 6 is than my iPhone 4, and that it has fewer lines.  Overall the effort put into making the aesthetics as seamless as possible payed off.  Much credit to Apple for raising the bar in this area yet again, even after the 6th iteration of the product.

It’s lightning fast!  The mobile network screams.  My mail inbox updates instantly now, and Safari rips through web pages as fast as my desktop.  Touch events also respond quicker and smoother than my iPhone 4.

It’s lighter.  When I picked it up for the first time it immediately felt lighter than my iPhone 4.  I didn’t expect that given how much bigger it appears.  But when I compared specs on the two, it’s only lighter by a half ounce.  I’m surprised I was able to feel that.

The display is amazing.  iPhone 6 easily has the clearest display I’ve ever used, on any device.  The bigger screen also improves reading and viewing experiences.

The Bad

Syncing data was a pain.  It took 2 attempts.  I don’t have a Mac or iTunes, so it took 25 minutes or so to boot my Windows laptop, install iTunes, reboot for some (Windows) reason, sync my iPhone 4 data to iTunes, then sync that to my iPhone 6.  My first sync attempt crashed due to an obscure .dll error.  After another reboot my second sync attempt succeeded.

There really needs to be a way to sync data from iPhone to iPhone without having to go through iTunes, especially for those without a Mac.  Because even in 2014, using Windows is still something I dread doing; my sync experience supplements why.

The bigger screen is harder to use.  While the bigger screen is nice when reading and viewing content, it also makes one-hand use hard a lot of the time, if not prohibitive.  This is disappointing, and hopefully temporary.

For example, when holding the phone in my right hand, I can no longer reach the Messages icon with my thumb to send a text message.  That requires 2 hands now, or repositioning the phone in my hand, both of which make the phone feel clumsy.  I get the same experience when managing contacts.

And this is with the standard 6, not the 6 Plus.  I debated the decision, but now know had I ordered the 6 Plus I wouldn’t have liked it; its size would have been overboard.  In fact, after 30 minutes of using my 6, I questioned how usable the 6 Plus will be, at least during one-hand use.  And sure enough, reviews are starting to pop up stating as much, like this one and this one.

Conclusion

Overall I love my iPhone 6.  It’s an amazing phone, in just about every way.  Aesthetics, feel, performance – it’s an incredible device.  Apple proves, yet again, why they’re known as one of the best product companies in the world, if not the best.

But it’s not without flaws.  The bigger screen is lovely to look at, but not as easy to use.  I find myself fumbling with the phone more in cases when I didn’t have to with my iPhone 4.  Combined with a slightly slippier backing than previous models, and the phone just doesn’t feel as sure in the hand as my iPhone 4.  Even after nearly a week of use it still feels clumsy at times.

So if you’re thinking about upgrading to an iPhone 6, do it and don’t look back.  However, due to the size vs. usability trade off, I only recommend the standard iPhone 6.  Avoid the 6 Plus.

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