Archive | September, 2014

iPhone 6 – does size matter?

19 Sep

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Just over a week ago, Apple announced the next instalments of it’s flagship product – the iPhone. Today they followed up those announcements by releasing two new devices, and giving consumers a choice this time round, an option of two screen sizes.

A bigger screen is something that iPhone users have wanted for a long time, and it’s caused a lot of users to move to Android alternatives in search of more pixels, but is it too late for Apple to win back the customers who have taken the leap? It seems not. Reports have indicated a influx of trade ins for Samsung phones prior to the iPhone 6 release.

Today my new iPhone 6 arrived. I opted for the iPhone 6 over the iPhone 6 Plus because I have small hands and I think that 5.5″ is too big for standard day to day use of a phone. Going for the smaller of the two comes at a cost, we lose out on higher pixel density, battery life, image stabilisation and landscape mode.

Design

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Overall, I like the design of the phone, the curved edges take the phone back to its roots of the original phone through 3GS and gives the phone a smooth feel as it sits in your hand. One downside to this is that it feels loose in your hand, and without a case I can imagine it won’t be long until the phone will slip out of your grips.

The on/off button being on the side of the phone is strange, I still haven’t got used to it. I don’t feel that the move is justified on the iPhone 6, I can still reach the old position of the wake button just as easily as I did with my iPhone 5. As with older iPhones the buttons feel robust and responsive. This is my first iPhone with Touch ID and so far it has worked every time without fail. It’s going to take a while to get used to using it instead of my passcode though.

The protruding camera was an odd move for Apple, and although it will grow on me in time (especially as it’s hidden by my case) I don’t think it was a smart move. I can’t imagine it was a design choice, it was more likely because they couldn’t fit the sensor in the thinner design, I think i’d have been happy with a slightly thicker device to hold the full sensor, that would mean it would hold a bigger battery too.

I was expecting them to release some removable lenses (macro, wide angle) that could clip onto the extra rim of the camera. I doubt it will be long before someone else takes advantage of the idea.

Display

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The display on the larger screen looks great, it’s crisper and brighter than the previous versions. You can also see the improvements they’ve made with viewing angles. But you can tell the pixel density hasn’t increased, which is one of the biggest let downs for me. I cannot understand why they haven’t upped the PPI in this phone like they have done with the 6 plus. Possibly to leave room for improvement next year? Maybe.

So far i’ve had no issues with reachability, my hands are quite small but i’ve not had to adjust my normal tasks to accommodate for the bigger display. The new reachability mode as seen in the image above works well to prevent any pulled muscles in your fingers.

iOS 8

My first impressions of iOS 8 haven’t been great. It’s a buggy release. I downloaded iOS 8 on my iPhone 5 last week which instantly broke my nike running app, and I haven’t been able to get it working since. The phone has crashed a few times and i’ve noticed lag between tasks. I’ve also noticed the phone running hotter than usual across both devices. It’s dampened my opinion on iOS 8, and to me it’s the most disappointing iOS release to date.

The upside is that these are all software issues, so hopefully they will be fixed in an update soon.

Case

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I opted to go with the brown leather version of the case, as I have been impressed with my Apple Leather case for my iPhone 5 (See: The case that gives you a new phone). It is a nice case again, although I don’t prefer it over the iPhone 5 version. I don’t particularly like the lack of protection across the bottom and I preferred the tan colour to the brown. But overall it’s a nice, slim and stylish case that gives some friction to a somewhat slippy phone.

Battery

I’ve not had the phone long enough to conduct a proper battery test, but early indications seem to show a better battery life than my iPhone 5. It isn’t draining anywhere near as quickly as my iPhone 5 has been recently. I’ve read in some reviews that the iPhone 6 has been coming out with better battery life than the iPhone 6 Plus, but i’m not sure how true this is.

So, is bigger better?

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When the phone was announced last week I was unsure between going for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. Today I went down into the Apple Store to try out a iPhone 6 Plus and it made me realise I made the right choice. It is just too big for a phone. I can see that it would appeal to some people, but it’s defiantly not for me. The iPhone 6’s 4.7″ is a needed increase from the iPhone 5S, but I cannot see myself wanting a screen any bigger than that.

The upgrade was worthwhile from my two year old iPhone 5, but if I was an iPhone 5S owner and wasn’t bothered about the 0.7″ screen difference then I’d probably consider waiting out until next year. Touch ID is a good feature for me but is already on the 5S, and Apple Pay won’t be widely used for a few years. The camera quality is better, especially with the improvements in autofocus, but there is only so much they can do without upping the megapixel count.

To those sitting on the fence (Android users / previous iPhone users) you won’t be disappointed with the upgrade, especially if you want more real estate on your display.