Since the original iPhone came out, they’ve all been about the same width. That is till now; the lineup has bifurcated into 2 new iPhones; the 4.7” iPhone 6 and the 5.5” iPhone Plus which are both significantly larger than their predecessor the 5s. While over the past few years, Android OEM’s have been gradually increasing the size of their phones, Apple just took a huge jump increasing the screen size a not insignificant 0.7” on the iPhone 6 and a massive 1.5” on the iPhone Plus.
So let’s take a look at the Plus model first.
Should I keep my iPhone 5s?
The most obvious difference is the size; the 5s has a tiny 4” screen while the 6 Plus’ 5.5” screen is almost double the size.
The extra size completely changes how you use and carry the Plus around with you. There’s a reason why Apple also offers the 6 which has a medium sized 4.7” screen.
Other than the size, the Plus is a slightly improved version of the 5s. It’s a little bit faster, the camera is a little bit better, the speakers are a little louder, that sort of thing. However, there’s only one feature which is a big improvement. I’m talking about the battery which is almost double the size of the 5s. And in case you’re wondering, the double sized screen is more than mitigated by the double sized battery.
You also get NFC but it isn’t that useful here in Canada yet since Apple Pay isn't available here yet. The other big difference is that the Plus is available with up to 128GB of storage which is nice if you take a lot of pictures or download a lot of movies.
What about the iPhone 6?
If you’re thinking of getting the 6 Plus, then you’re probably considering the 6 also. The 6 has less battery life than the Plus but more than the 5s.
The 6’s screen is also less sharp at 326ppi vs 401ppi but to be honest, I don’t think many users will notice this unless they look really closely.
You also lose optical image stabilization which is a shame.
Other than those points, the 6, with it’s 4.7” screen is a much more pocket friendly phone.
It also doesn’t hurt that the 6 is $100 cheaper than the Plus.
What size do I need?
The Plus is available in 16, 64 and 128GB sizes. The difference between each is $100 - so the cost per gigabyte drops dramatically if you choose to jump up a size. Then again, the 6 Plus starts off at $859 CAD unlocked so you’re already spending a lot to start.
To me, the 64GB unit is the sweet spot. 16GB only gives you about 14.7GB to play with. The problem, is that when Apple releases new versions of iOS, sometimes it requires a lot of free space. For example, on my 5s, the upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8 required over 5GB of free space on my device. So, in order to install it I needed to delete a bunch of apps.
If you opt for the 128GB version I don’t doubt that you’ll fill it up eventually but chances are, all you have to do is exercise a tiny bit of discipline when it comes to managing your content to be satisfied with 64GB.
If I may segue for a moment; the $249 iPod Classic with it’s 160GB hard drive is no longer available. I guess it’s been replaced with the 128GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which have almost the same capacity. Of course, now instead of spending $249 you have to spend an arm and 2 legs.
What about an Android phone?
If you’re hooked on iOS and locked into the Apple eco-system then sorry my friend, you’re stuck. Still, if you’re willing to try something new, you can get a brand new One Plus One with 64GB of storage for just under $500 Canadian including all taxes and shipping. And come October, you won’t need to beg them for an invite to purchase one.
Spec for spec, it’s similar to the Plus. 5.5” 1920x1080 display? Check. The Plus comes with a 8MP camera while the OPO’s has 13MP.
64GB of storage costs just under $500 with the OPO vs over $1000 for the 64GB Plus.
While the Plus’s screen is much better than the OPO, and the camera is no match for the Plus’ camera and you forgo the convenience of the fingerprint reader, is the Plus really worth paying more than double? It’s not that the OPO comes with bad hardware, it’s more a case of the OPO coming with better hardware while the Plus has the best.
Let’s not forget that the OPO doesn’t bend as easily as the Plus does.
Even if you love iPhones, the $600 gap really provides a lot of incentive to at least see if you like Android + having $600 to spend on other stuff enough to forgo the Plus.