I just reviewed the iPhone 6 Plus, now itís time to check out its smaller brother the iPhone 6. Iím assuming youíve already read my 6 Plus review. If you havenít already, please check it out now because Iíll be referring to it throughout the review. While most of this review is new, the 6 and 6 Plus are very similar phones so a few passages have been lifted from the Plus review.
Should I keep my iPhone 5s?
If youíre coming from a 5s, then you might be intimidated by the jump up to the Plus. After all, going from 4 to 5.5Ē is a big difference. While the difference between a 4Ē and the 6ís 4.7Ē is also quite large, 4.7Ē is a happy medium.
Like the 5s, the 6 can be used with one hand though itís a bit trickier.
If we look beyond size, the 6 brings some other improvements like a slightly better camera, a better screen, a tiny bit more performance which you probably wonít notice, the availability of a 128GB variant that costs roughly what the 64GB 5s did last year, support for LTE Band 7 (up to 150Mbps) and slightly better battery life.
What about the iPhone 6 Plus?
The 6 Plus has 4 points which make it better than the 6. First and foremost is the larger display. Thereís a big jump when you go from 4.7Ē to 5.5Ē.
Remember; gaming, surfing the web, looking at pictures, reading email are all better on a bigger screen.
The 6 Plus display is also sharper but most people wonít notice this.
You also get an optically stabilized lens with the 6 Plus and in case youíre wondering; yes it does make a difference.
Battery life on the 6 Plus is also superior, or at least it should be. My 6 Plus has some problems so I havenít been able to get a real handle on this.
So, while you get a bigger, sharper display, better camera and more battery life on the Plus, you have to sacrifice some portability.
The Plus is a massive phone. In the quest to make it as thin as a Kate Moss, Apple has given the 6 Plus the footprint of a Sumo Wrestler.
Now youíre probably wondering about the 6 Plus and whatís been dubbed ďBendgateĒ. Some people have stuffed the 6 Plus in the pant pockets and after sitting down for a few hours, have found that it has been bent out of shape.
Hereís my take. Did the 6 Plus bend because itís poorly made with the strength of a wet noodle? No.
The problem with the 6 Plus, is that itís too long. Itís so long that when people put it in their pant pockets itís subject to greater twisting and bending forces than other, shorter phones.
Think about it, imagine you put a toothpick in your pocket - chances are that it will be fine even if you spend the whole day sitting because itís short. Now take a thicker, stronger toothpick that is twice as long and put it in your pant pocket. Itís going to get bent out of shape because the length causes it to be subjected to more forces.
Anyways, the 6 is a much shorter phone. Even if itís actually weaker (I have no idea one way or the other), it wonít be subject to the same level of forces that the 6 Plus will be. This makes it a much more pocket-friendly phone.
What size do I need?
Like the Plus, the 6 is available in 16, 64 and 128GB sizes. If youíre a casual user who plans on snapping a few pictures, download the Facebook app and making some calls, then 16GB is enough.
However, power users should avoid the 16GB version at all costs - youíll be constantly running out of storage. When iOS 7 came out, I couldnít install it because I needed more than 5GB of free space.
Out of the box, the 16GB iPhone 6 has around 14.7GB of usable space. If Apple releases a new version of iOS, how much free space will it need? It will drive you nuts because youíll be constantly performing memory management to free up space.
Instead, consider the 64GB version. The jump from 16GB to 64GB is so big that I think most people donít really need to consider the 128GB version.
What about an Android Phone?
One of the phones I carry around is a Samsung Galaxy S5. Its 5.1Ē screen makes it a direct competitor to the iPhone 6ís 4.7Ē.
First off, if you have $100ís worth of iPhone apps and movies, own an Apple TV, iPad and other Apple products then thereís a big financial incentive to stay. If thatís the case then you should stay put.
However, if youíre like me, and just like iPhones but nothing else that Apple offers then check out Android.
Spec-for-spec, theyíre quite close. I guess you could say that the Samsung Galaxy S5ís 5.1Ē 1920x1080 display has a lot more resolution than the 6ís 1344x750 but to be honest, in everyday usage, the difference is minimal.
Camera-wise theyíre also close. Iíd say the 6 is better in this regard but the S5 camera is also outstanding.
The S5 pulls ahead with a louder earpiece and speakerphone. As far as LTE bands go the 6 has more but again, the difference to most users is minimal.
You do get more storage options with the 6 but then again, you can add memory cards to the S5. Memory cards are a much cheaper way to add storage. I will say though that the flash memory used in memory cards is usually much lower quality than what youíll find inside a phone. Memory cards are usually slower and less durable so while itís cheaper, in a way youíre getting less.
Hardware-wise, theyíre so close it really boils down to an iOS vs Android thing. Android is now a really mature ecosystem and you just might like it.
Android also offers more freedom. You can root your phone and install apps that Google doesnít want you to install. Itís also easier to get media onto an Android phone.
One other thing to think about is that there are many lower cost options on Android. Be it a Nexus 5 with a 5Ē screen for ~$350 (screen isnít as nice, camera is terrible), or a $420 OnePlus (much bigger, hardware isnít as nice but itís close enough), or a used Android Flagship (used HTC One M8 for $425 anyone?).
Is paying that much more for an iPhone 6 worth it?