Two days plus with the iPhone 6 - not a Review
Reviews… reviews, reviews...
There is no shortage of iPhone 6 reviews. The user experience forced into cookie cutter templates with neat out of 5 ratings (or: out of 10 or 4 …or 100%); or rambling narrations from the pro and con camps.
I could do that. I can do that. It’s easy. But people use their gadgets differently. Deduct a point for an absent feature that “I” don’t want, and that the maker obviously didn’t include on purpose? What’s the point?
Sure, make clear that device X misses a feature. Lacks a ‘can do’.
But that should be about it. What if you deduct points for, say, missing Mass Storage Mode because the ‘opposition’ has it. But then, 6 months or 12 months later the ‘opposition’ kills that feature, too. It happened.
Nah… just tell me what it’s like to use the thing - as you use your things. I can make of it what I need to make of it. We all can. By slapping convenient x out of y stars seals on your article, you dull people’s critical senses.
So, there… I have been using an iPhone 6 for two days, and I will continue to use it for 5 or 6 days longer.
It’s a ‘silver’ 64GB model. And these are my initial thoughts. I will update this thread as I go along - obviously, after 2 days, e.g., I cannot tell you much about the device’s battery performance beyond a vague “this or that competitor is worse or better when you consider a, b and c…”.
I start by saying this: it’s beautifully crafted, and in my opinion it’s p*ss ugly. This white/silver version looks like an SGS3 Mini - Samsungesquely budget. It feels like quality - well balanced, sturdy even, and totally seamless inspite of the many seams. But lookswise, imho, it is the ugliest Apple product in a long time. I can’t help it. If you like the looks, good for you. Taste is personal. The other models are a bit pretties. This: nope.
The huge bezel covered in white emphasises how big the device is in relation to its 4.7in screen. The Nokia Lumia 930 and the Htc One M8
that I used recently both have bigger screens and are insignifcantly bigger overall. In fact: both of those bigger devices are more pleasing to hold and use. The iPhone 6 is the most slippery smartphone I have used, and I have used many. The M8 comes close, but side by side the M8 feels like a JCB builders phone. The iPhone 6 is a device that needs a case. Because you will drop it. It thin, relatively wide, has a very slippery finish, and, for my hands at least, the new hardware button placements make it a real must-drop thing. The power button, e.g., is no longer at the top.
It now sits on the right side - obviously to keep the phone useable with one hand. Unfortunately, for my relatively average sized hands, there is just no way to hold the iPhone 6 correctly with either the left or right hand. I cannot reach the power button without hitting a volume button as well.
And when I try to adjust the grip, the whole thing just slips. Without a case it’s an incredibly awkward design. The Sony Z line comes to mind.
Oddly, the ginormous Nokia Lumia 1520 with its 6in display is less uncomfortable to use imho.
I believe the iPhone 6 would have profited from some extra bulk. A curved back for better grip - equals more space for a bigger battery and, possibly, that OIS module that Apple couldn’t squeeze into this thin slab without creating a bump like that on the Nokia Pureview 808.
Upon setting up the iPhone 6 I actually put it back in the box for a few hours - although I was eager to try out the camera. I was afraid I’d drop it, and there was no carpet in sight.
I have since used it. And yes, the camera is good. It is very good actually.
Better results can be achieved with the Lumia 930, 1020 and 1520 - and some other devices, no doubt. But not with the speed and ease. Apple nailed it. And I wonder how much better the iPhone 6 Plus with its OIS can be.
The iOS gallery app, however, is a mess, and I’m glad that, apparently, iOS 8.1 will deal with the issues. It’s a known that Apple have intended to kill iPhoto on Mac OS for some time. And they now killed iPhoto for iOS 8.
Instead, they added some iPhoto features to the native gallery app. And it sucks, imho. Camera Role? Poof… Deleting photos is now easier, but, strangely, some photos synced to the iPhone can be deleted, others cannot. Gimme a break. There are limits to what I’m willing to ‘appreciate’ from a nanny OS.
Storage is neither unlimited, nor free. So let me free up space on MY phone in any way I want.
While on the subject: syncing the iPhone 6 with 2 Macbooks and iPhoto proved impossible. More than one event or album, and it just didn’t happen.
Updating to iOS 8.0.2 didn’t help. Rebuilding the iPhoto libraries on the Macs didn’t help, either. So, I had to sync from folders, which required that I first export the images from the iPhoto library. Great. Convenient? Not.
Plus: the result is a complete mess in the new iOS gallery. I have no idea where what is and why.
Maybe iOS 8.1 will fix it. Maybe not.
To see how the new keyboard API pans out I installed Swype. It works well. And since the update to iOS 8.0.2 it stays enabled. Groundbreaking? Not imho - I always enjoyed typing on the simple no-fuss iOS keyboards.
I’m not an auto-correct, word suggestions kinda typist. I used dozens of Android 3rd party keyboard apps over the years, and I usually revert to stock or settle on something that is similar to the ‘old’ iOS or WP keyboard.
For no particular reason now a few words about the display. It’s fantastic.
Great in a I-don’t-care-how-they-did-it way. Pixel density? All that tech stuff is irrelevant to me when something looks that ‘real’ and is that responsive.
Outdoor in bright sunlight visibility is excellent, too - almost as good as Nokia’s ClearBlack screens. I did notice though that the screen on the iPhone 6 seems to be a bit more of a fingerprint magnet than previous models. Has Apple changed its formula for the oleophobic film, or am I more sweaty in fear I might drop the phone? Who knows. No biggie.
Another random thing I noticed is: volume. The iPhone 6 seems to be a bit louder when listening to music with earphones. I tried a friend’s iPhone 5S with the same earphones and the same tracks, and my impression was the 6 delivers more wroom. Good. I always found iPhones lacked punch.
And while I’m at it: call quality is excellent, as is reception. Though: the M8 I used managed to stick to weak 3G signals where the iPhone 6 gives up (in fairness, the Lumias I used, and most other phones did too in those areas. The M8 really rocks in that regard.). Having said that: the iPhone 6 picks up WiFi in no time, and the switch from WiFi to 3G and back and to another WiFi connection happens without any noticeable interruption.
I could now talk about some other new features of iOS 8 - such as the Notification bar widgets. But: I don’t care tbh… I can live without widgets.
Today’s smartphones are so fast and have more than enough power to quickly start a proper app to check on whatever. Why clutter up screen estate with something I do not need all the time.
You may disagree. And in that case Android or, even WP 8.1 is your thing.
As is, the widgets are limited. But there are new ones released almost by the minute, and who knows: I may eventually come to appreciate this ’new’ feature.
This is it for now. More soon.
Oh… would I buy an iPhone 6? No. Would I take one for free? Probably.
I like the screen, and I love the camera.
But after 2 days all I can say is that I would have preferred an upgraded 4in model and ONE bigger device less intent on thin and different. But that is me, and I have not yet used the device in my ‘normal' way. These 2 days were merely the setup phase, and: I played mostly with the camera and was busy not dropping it tbh.
However: if you’re used to the ‘old’ ’small’ iPhones I would urge you to try and use a loaner before you pay a lot of money for the iPhone 6. It is quite a change. And although I prefer 4-4.5inchers, I have frequently used bigger phones in the last 4 years. If you haven’t used “Bigger Than Bigger” phones, the size and design of the iPhone 6 may come as a negative surprise.