Crash Test: 72 Hours with the iPhone 6

iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and what I assume will be the iPhone 7
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and what I assume will be the iPhone 7

Chances are, if you are one of the 10 million+ people — you know, roughly the population of the Dominican Republic — who purchased an iPhone 6 this weekend, you already know what to expect from your phone. The other 7.115 billion people on earth, though, may have some questions about the next generation of Apple’s cash cow.

Rather than give you a lengthy narrative or clickbait slideshow, we’ll make this simple and give you the bullet points version.

  • Obviously, it’s bigger, which means your thumbs will get a lot more exercise.
  • There is a swiping “Reachability” motion you can make on the home button  to push the screen down, making it easier to reach items at the top of the screen. The home button rarely recognizes the motion, though.
  • The Retina HD display is just gorgeous, which is both a positive and a negative. Apps designed for iOS 8 look terrific. Using some older apps look like watching  a 1950s sitcom on a 4k TV.
  • The 6 feels much lighter than previous generations of the iPhone. It is so light that the phone vibrates along with the the rhythm section of a song.
  • It also resembles the Samsung Galaxy and, like the Galaxy, the 6 slips out of your hand easily.
  • The battery is no better than the iPhone 5, which means you will be tethered to a lightning cable or have a dead phone.
  • The speaker is louder and the sound is crisper. The camera is also really nice.
  • The phone is supposedly faster than all previous iPhones but I did not find speed to be an issue with the previous generation of the phone.
  • The success of the iPhone 6 will be more about iOS 8 than it will be about the specs of the phone. All of the “kits” that Apple opened up to developers, as well as Touch ID, make it a device worth considering.
  • The thin bezel on the sides make it difficult to reach the keys on the edges. This is particularly frustrating when you are trying to type in hidden passwords.
  • I am not as frustrated with the increased size as I thought I would be. It is still a little on the big size but, at 4.7″ it is not overbearing like the 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note likely are.
  • The bump from 32GB to 64GB is pretty nice.

On the whole, I would have to give the iPhone 6 a B+. It is not leaps and bounds above previous iterations of the phone and, if you took away the change in screen size, the differences would seem negligible from the 5S to the 6. The biggest area where the iPhone needed improvement was with the battery and the 6 — not including the monolithic battery in the 6 Plus — does little to address this issue.

At the risk of repeating myself, the hardware is good but it is the software that has the biggest potential for changing the smartphone landscape now. Of course, plenty of health apps loom on the horizon but there are so many other avenues to be tapped into as well. Look for apps designed to use NFC (Near Field Communication) and Bluetooth to continue to automate your life by (un)locking doors, toggling the power on security systems and much more in the near future.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. hittingforavg says:

    At first I thought “Reachability” was a gimmick, but when one arm/hand is occupied by a 2 month old baby, it’s totally boss.

    Like

    1. Marcello says:

      It seems like a terrific idea, for sure.

      Like

  2. I find my battery on the 6 is way, way better than my 5 so far.

    Like

    1. Marcello says:

      That’s awesome. Do you know if you had a bad battery on your 5 (i.e. was it eligible for the battery replacement program)? My wife has the iPhone 5 and her battery life was significantly worse than my iPhone 5 battery.

      Like

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