I did a quick review of the iPhone 6 after using it for a weekend back in September. The review was largely positive. The iPhone 6 is fast, has an amazing screen, a camera that is unmatched, it’s thin, and it has cool features, like TouchID and ApplePay. That was the rundown of my review (in far fewer words) three and a half months ago. Would I change anything with that review? Besides a few typos, no, but there are a few things I’d like to add, and it’s not all positive.
First of all, my biggest complaint about this phone remains the fact that it’s hard to grip. Often, I find that when my hands are cold and dry, I can’t type on it in portrait mode, because it slips out of my grip, and we know how awful Apple’s landscape keyboard is. I’ve dropped this phone a number of times. Fortunately, it’s been mostly indoors, on carpeting, but I’ve had a few close calls in my kitchen, which has a hard, linoleum-lined floor. The phone hasn’t suffered any damage, beyond a few nicks, and still looks fantastic. This was something I complained about, but I thought I’d grow accustomed to it. I didn’t.
The protruding camera was something I complained about in my original review, but I didn’t think it would be a huge annoyance. Then, I started using my phone on my desk more. My rocking iPhone became a growing problem. I ordered a magnetic plate for my Photojojo lenses for the iPhone 6, so I’m hoping that will fix my problem. But I have other complaints about protruding hardware. The silent switch on the iPhone 6 has a weird habit of getting caught on my jeans. Whether I’m putting my phone in my pocket or pulling it out, I often find my phone gets snagged and the switch gets pulled one way or the other. The switch is a rough edge on an otherwise smooth (perhaps too smooth) phone. Due to the curvature, it feels as though it protrudes further from the edge of the phone than it did on previous models. If Apple reuses the design of the iPhone 6 for the next iPhone, this is one feature they should ditch.
My original review didn’t mention ApplePay much, because I wasn’t able to use it. ApplePay is growing, and more and more banks, credit cards, and businesses are getting on board, but it hasn’t expanded to my wallet yet. It’s a feature of iOS 8 I was really looking forward to, but hasn’t expanded to any of the cards I use. Hopefuly this’ll be different by the time iOS 9 is released.
The iPhone 6 is the fastest iPhone yet, and it crushes even the closest Android competition. I love the fact that it’s so much faster than the iPhone 5, even the 5s, but I have felt the sting of Apple’s greatest flaw when it comes to performance: memory. The iPhone 6, like the iPhone 5s, and like the iPhone 5, only has 1GB of ram. That’s two years without increasing the memory of the device. Let me tell you something, Apple, your iOS devices need at least 2GB of ram. Apps sometimes take longer to launch than they should, or switching apps takes longer when the memory gets full. Safari tabs need to be reloaded frequently. It’s annoying. Wake up and smell the RAM, Apple, your iOS devices aren’t being slowed down by your processors, but by your memory restrictions. Apple took a small step forward by putting 2GB of RAM in the iPad Air 2, and while I haven’t gotten a chance to play with that yet, I still think Apple should be going with at least 2GB of RAM, and by the time iOS 10 comes out, Apple users may wish they had as uch as 4GB of RAM. Why isn’t Apple future-proofing their devices? The answer should be obvious. Still, you’d expect them to at least give them the hardware to deal with today’s software, right?
I have a few conflicted comments to say about the screen. I love the larger size, it’s great for games, movies, and (if the keyboard wasn’t tragically flawed) it would be great for typing. I have found though, that 4.7 inches is occasionally too much for even my freakishly long fingers. I’ve used Apple’s Reachability feature, and not always by choice. It works well, but it is a little frustrating when you’re reaching for the top of your phone, only to realize you can’t reach it, and then have to double tap the TouchID button and try again. Would I take a smaller phone? Personally, no, but Apple might want to think about keeping a phone in the 4-4.5 inch range, perhaps an iPhone 6c this year?
Ok, so you’re probably reading this and thinking I have some buyers remorse. Maybe I would have been happier with an HTC One, right? No, that’s not the case at all. The iPhone 6 is still the best iPhone I’ve ever used, and I really do love it. It just doesn’t have the same polish the iPhones that came before it. I feel like it was almost over-engineered, and could have used a bit more of the designer’s touch. Instead of trying to get everything in the thinnest iPhone frame ever, maybe Apple should have given more space for the camera and a larger battery? Who knows? The iPhone 6 is still the best iPhone Apple’s made (and the iPhone 6 Plus, for those who like the bigger phones). Personally, thanks to the speed, camera, most of the design, TouchID, and the App Store and the plethora of fantastic apps in it, I think the iPhone is still the best smartphone on the market. I just found a few flaws with it after nearly 4 months of testing. Nothing’s perfect, right? I still recommend the iPhone 6 to potential smartphone buyers. But, if you have to wait until close to the fall, you might want to wait for the iPhone 6s.
I had actually forgotten to add something I really liked in this article, and it’s related to battery life and charging. The iPhone 6 still has decent battery life (athough I still would rather Apple boost battery life a bit, rather than making every model impossibly thin), much better than my iPhone 5 had after two years. I do hope Apple does something to make the batteries in these phones last longer, but for what’s on the market right now, it’s tolerable. Charging the iPhone is interesting though. For the first time, iPhones can take full advantage of the extra juice iPad chargers pump out, so you can actually charge your iPhone faster by using an iPad charger. No word on what this can do to long term battery life, but if you need a quick boost, using an iPad charger will fill it up quickly! I frequently take advantage of this when I’m going out and I notice by battery life is a bit low. Watching my friends struggle with the battery life on their phones makes me appreciate the consistent battery life I’ve been getting on the iPhone 6, and every iPhone before it as well.