Crash Test: More Thoughts on the iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 could benefit from this power supply
The iPhone 6 could benefit from this power supply

After nearly a month of owning the iPhone 6, I’ve repeatedly been asked the same two questions: “Is it worth the upgrade?” and “What’s so special about it?”

“It’s kind of like a bigger 5s,” I’d respond. Those who asked were typically disappointed and underwhelmed.

There are plenty of positives about the 6. The screen, speaker and camera are all amazing. The phone is certainly faster as well. Even the size has turned out to be a benefit, even to someone who was as skeptical as me about the larger form factor. The iPhone 5 now feel so small and antiquated by comparison now.

The phone suffers from one fatal flaw, though, which will hopefully be addressed if and when the 6s is released: the battery flat out terrible.

Here’s an example from an average weekday: At 6:45, my alarm goes off and the battery has a full charge. I check Twitter, Facebook and email. I listen to an album from iTunes — not a streaming service — while I shower. I get in the car and the phone connects to bluetooth. I talk to my wife for about 10 minutes. When I arrive at my office, I pull the phone out of my pocket and put it on my desk. The battery indicator reads that there is roughly 35% juice left.

Sure, bluetooth can waste battery life but I have taken plenty of other steps to save battery life. Among other precautions, the screen battery is dimmed, wifi is shut off, I only charge the battery when necessary, location services are disabled and I keep only the essential apps open. It helps a little bit but simply should not come to this.

What is the point of having an advanced phone if I cannot use a majority of its features?

It’s incredibly limiting. If I ask Siri for an address or phone number, it hollers at me that I need to turn on location services. So, I go to Chrome, use its talking feature and get easy access to the information I need. Google does a better job at understanding my requests and providing information without the dependency of other services.

I like iOS, am heavily reliant upon AppleCare and deeply ingrained in Apple’s ecosystem. So, it’s hard for me to get out. Until Apple can workout its hardware and battery issues, many of its best capabilities can only be used sparingly and Google’s apps simply outperform the iOS comparables.

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