I've been an iPhone user for six years and I hate phablets. Which is why my colleagues thought it'd make complete sense for me to use the first ever phablet from Apple, and see what I thought of it after a week.
Not that what I say matters. If there's one thing I've learned this past week from showing the iPhone 6 Plus (review) around, there are two types of people in the world: those who like big phones, and those who don't like big phones. And these camps don't defect.
For every point that I brought up about the 6 Plus, someone else had a differing opinion. I found it hard to type in landscape mode, someone else found it easier. I found that the curves were comfortable, someone else said they felt too sharp. I found the size too big for my big hands, someone else said it was just right for their small hands.
So for what it's worth, here's my short review: I had moments of glee with the supersized iPhone 6 Plus over the week, but I still hate phablets.
Like carrying a big gold bar
I never got used to how big the 6 Plus is. It made its bigness felt everywhere, in my pockets, in my bag, in my hands, on my face, on my table, and it never found its space in my life. The bigger size makes it harder to carry, hold, and even made me self-conscious using it in public.
(My embarrassment at whipping out such a big phone was doubled by the fact that it was the gold iPhone 6 Plus. Whenever I took it out, I felt like I was shouting to the world "Hey! Look at me! I have a giant iPhone! And it's gold! Gold gold gold!")
Which isn't to say 6 Plus and I didn't have our moments. Reading is a revelation, words are bigger, and more are shown on a single page. The display is rich and full of detail, making photos shine. Gaming is more fun; I could never get into Bastion on my iPhone 5's small screen, but I could finally play it on the 6 Plus. Watching YouTube is a blast, and the speaker is so loud now I have to turn it down instead of turn it up.
But those were short bursts of glory interspersed between long stretches of inconvenience - I'm not reading, browsing, playing and watching my iPhone 6 Plus in every moment, but I am carrying it around all the time. If I had to choose between minor moments of excellence or mostly moments of convenience, I'd pick mostly moments of convenience.
And then, of course, there's #Bendgate. After reading about that, I had to be super careful not to sit on my 6 Plus, even when it was in my front pocket (to be fair, Consumer Reports' test finds that #Bendgate may have been blown out of proportion, but I'm not taking chances on a $1,000+ phone).
Makes the iPhone 5 look like your baby's first iPhone
These are all reasons why my next phone will be the iPhone 6, not the 6 Plus. After using the 6 Plus for a while, my old iPhone 5 feels like your baby's first iPhone. I appreciate how this cute candy bar iPhone 5 fits completely into my hand, but the screen now feels cramped, and I wonder how I ever lived this way (first world problems, I know). The iPhone 6's 4.7" screen is more of a reach, but it feels like the perfect compromise between excellence and convenience.
I won't miss its size, but I will miss one thing about the 6 Plus: its battery life. The 6 Plus is both the biggest and longest-lasting iPhone ever, I could use it greedily and not have to worry about plugging it in. But it still doesn't make me love the 6 Plus enough for us to be together.
P.S. If you're looking for buying advice, here's my take. None of the three major differences between the two - optical image stabilisation for the camera, higher pixel density and longer battery life on the 6 Plus - are deal breakers.
You're either in the big phone camp or not. If you don't like a big phone, it's unlikely that you'll grow to like it. Try the different sizes in the store, and go with your gut feeling on whichever you prefer.
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