Apple's iPhone 6 Plus: A Perfectly-Sized Portable Device

When Apple announced new iPhones last month I immediately figured the iPhone 6 would be the right size for me, and I was right. It is absolutely the right size phone for me.

When I went to the demo room after the announcement event and handled the iPhone 6 Plus, though, I thought it might also be a good device for me. "It's not THAT big," I told myself (and all of you). It fit in my pocket, but there would be no way I would use it with a case. At least that's what I thought, and also told you.

With all that in mind I made my decision to get an iPhone 6 Plus. But I also got an iPhone 6, just to make sure. It's a job perk, but in this case was also a liability because it meant I could delay my final decision. That's where we all find ourselves, too: no longer is Apple making the iPhone size decision for us; we have to make it for ourselves.

I chose a strict method for my decision-making process. I used each iPhone for one week, rarely picking up the other during its off week, and truly lived with each phone separately.

During my week with the iPhone 6 Plus I learned that I didn't use my Retina iPad mini at all (save for on stage where the app I need is ONLY available on iPad, at least for the moment!), I like having a case on it (much to my surprise), and I found I could do a ton from the road (like editing articles and managing advertising campaigns in web interfaces I previously wouldn't have considered using on an iPhone). I also loved the extra battery life afforded by the size of the 6 Plus. In fact, the only time I didn't like the iPhone 6 Plus was using it one-handed with either no case or the wrong case.

You see, the 6 Plus is a new beast, and requires a new way of thinking. Our old, "I must wrap my fingertips around the far side of my iPhone in order to steady the device while I type one-handed with my thumb" mentality doesn't really work with the iPhone 6 Plus. I have very large hands and even I can't accomplish that full-hand wrap-around. My thumb doesn't make it to the home button OR the top of the screen, and it doesn't really work.

With the proper case on it, however, I can put my fingers about halfway across the back of the iPhone 6 Plus and still hold the phone securely. This buys me a HUGE amount of freedom with my thumb. If someone makes a case that allows me to steady the phone with my fingers at the close edge it will make this work even better. But right now a bill-fold style case really works well on this for one-handed operation because it gives me something in the middle of the back of the phone to securely grip.

The iPhone 6 Plus in a billfold-style folio case

After my week with the 6 Plus I figured this would be my phone, but I still needed to honor my process and spend a week with the iPhone 6. This meant I would simply be looking to the iPhone 6 to completely impress me that it was the right device regardless, and it almost did.

When I switched to the iPhone 6 I was surprised by the fact that its screen did not feel small at all as compared to the 6 Plus. It is smaller, of course, but it's perfectly usable and didn't feel cramped. In fact, it was a seamless transition... except for the fact that my iPad mini started coming out again as I sat on the couch to read or browse the web each evening. But I figure I'm not going to give up having an iPad any time soon, so either way that's fine.

I really like the iPhone 6. It's a wonderful device, and I almost chose it just because jumping straight to the 6 Plus means I miss out on a year of enjoying the size of the iPhone 6. It really is a perfect size for a phone.

The iPhone 6 Plus, though, is a perfect size for a portable device. It fits in my pocket yet has a screen that encourages me to do all the things I normally reserve for my iPad time: reading, watching movies and other videos and truly browsing and reading the web (as opposed to just looking up something quick as I do on the phone). That means I can do those things all the time, no matter where I am. That is why I ultimately chose the iPhone 6 Plus.

I'm glad to have had the time with the iPhone 6, though, and will keep it around for a bit longer because I truly want to understand this device as best I can (accepting that not using it in my pocket daily will naturally limit my experience).

As usual, I'll keep you posted!