I tested out my co-worker's iPhone 6 last week and read a bunch of reviews on it and the iPhone 6 Plus. In spite of the bending and the hating, these phones unanimously review well.
- CNET: The iPhone Grows Up (Rating: 4.5/5)
- Engadget: Bigger and better, but with stiffer competition (Rating: 90/100)
- The Verge: Giving the people what they want (Rating: 9.0/10)
- Computerworld: A major new step in design and performance (no rating)
iPhone 6 Plus:
- CNET: The Most Serious Apple Smartphone Yet (Rating 4.5/5)
- Engadget: Bigger and better, but with stiffer competition (Rating: 87/100)
- The Verge: Big things have enormous beginnings (Rating: 8.7/10)
- Business Insider: I've Had The iPhone 6 Plus For A Week, And Everyone Who Thinks It's Too Big Is Crazy (no rating)
I had to look up whether Engadget and The Verge were owned by the same company. How else could you explain identical ratings on both devices? (They aren't. They are owned by AOL and Vox Media, respectively.)
We also took a bunch of photos of my co-worker's iPhone 6, so the phones you'll see in this post are of the iPhone 6 only (with an iPhone 5 in a couple of them, for scale and design comparisons). Unfortunately, we couldn't get our hands on an iPhone 6 Plus in time for publication.
I subsequently played around with my buddy's iPhone 6 Plus the other day, however, and I can tell you it's huge. It warrants the title of "phablet," much like the Samsung Galaxy Note devices.
My current phone is an iPhone 5s and I still love it. Upon testing out the iPhone 6, however, I was immediately struck by the size of its screen.
- Obviously, viewing photos and videos is better.
- Typing is also easier on the bigger screen. (Note: I exclusively type in portrait mode, never in landscape mode.)
- Twitter was a little more interesting as embedded photos appeared larger while scrolling through tweets.
- Facebook didn't seem all that different. Neither did email.
As for other major improvements, battery life is a big one. PhoneArena reported on the specifics (Sept. 9), and anecdotally, my co-worker told me she gets about a day-and-a-half worth of juice out of a full charge. My iPhone 5s gets me an 8 to 5 workday at best.
A number of minor improvements related to iOS 8 are also worth noting:
- Recent contacts appear atop the screen when you're multitasking or opening/closing apps, which is handy.
- SMS/iMessage is accessible atop the screen as well. It allows you to reply to a message without leaving the app you're in.
- The keyboard is also improved, and features suggestive typing (a feature stolen from Android), which is helpful. (Note: On smaller iPhone models, however, the keyboard interface is squished and in landscape mode, the typing area reduces to only two lines, making it difficult to read what you're typing as a whole.)