Apple went big with its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduction — with the launch event and screen size. Both models are bigger than any iPhone Apple has made before, and very noticeably so. That size, however, does come with some benefits like faster processors, better cameras, and even support for a NFC-based mobile payment system called Apple Pay.
Apple's iPhone 6 is bigger, but still fits for most one-handed use
Big screens aren't new to the smartphone world—in some ways Apple is playing catch up. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it's a tactic the company has used successfully before: watch what competitors are doing, see what they're getting wrong, improve, redesign, and then move into the market.
The new models look more like a cross between the original iPhone and the iPad Air, so they're familiar, yet different. You can still choose between silver, gold, and space gray, but there's been a change up in storage capacities.
Apple still offers a 16 GB model, but dropped the 32 GB version to make the previous highest capacity 64 GB version the middle of the road version. The top of the line storage option is now 128 GB, which is great, but keeping 16 GB of storage instead of making the base model 32 GB was a mistake.
Compared to the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, the new models really are a lot bigger, and for some people, the extra features may not be worth the size increase. Read on to see if the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are worth the price for you.
iPhone 6: Bigger is Sometimes Better
The new iPhone is available in two screen sizes: the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. In comparison, the original iPhone shipped with a 3.5-inch display, and the jump to 4-inches with the iPhone 5 seemed like a huge increase at the time.
Both models sport redesigned bodies with rounded instead of flat edges.—those rounded edges are more comfortable in your hand. Both are thinner than the iPhone 5s, too. The iPhone 6 is 6.9mm thick, and the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm. The iPhone 5s is 7.9mm thick.
Those rounded edges and thinner body make the iPhone 6 about as easy to manage one-handed as the iPhone 5s despite its bigger screen, and if you have big hands the 6 Plus may be manageable. I was surprised at just how big the 6 Plus is. It didn't feel like a phone in my hand, it was an iPad mini Junior. It's big, big, big.
I found the iPhone 6 Plus to be unwieldy and unbalanced. There wasn't any way it was going to work as a one-handed smartphone; instead, the 6 Plus was a small tablet that also made phone calls. It fit in my pocket without any problem, which was nice, but losing out on one-handed use killed any chance of me using the 6 Plus.
The iPhone 5s (top) and iPhone 6 (bottom) have the same ports on their tail end
The 4.7-inch iPhone 6, however, is still a one-handed device for me. Like the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s, it's barely manageable one-handed, but it works. Thanks to its thinner body and rounded edges, and iOS 8's Reachability feature, I can work my way around many of the things I use my iPhone for ever day one-handed and without shifting the phone around too much to reach icons and buttons.
The killer part of Reachability for me was bringing buttons that previously sat at the top of my screen down into thumb reach. I'm actually jockeying my iPhone 6 around in my hand less than the iPhone 5s thanks to Reachability. That's a bonus I wasn't expecting, especially since I'm using a much larger screen now.
The iPhone 6 (bottom) is thinner and longer than the iPhone 5s (top)
Knowing whether or not the new models will fit in your pocket, bag, or whatever you use to carry your smartphone is important especially because we are talking about much bigger phones. Some pockets or bags designed to fit earlier models may not have enough space for the iPhone 6, and especially the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 measures 5.44-inches (138.1mm) tall, 2.64-inches (67mm) wide, and .27-inches (6.9mm) thick. The iPhone 6 Plus is 6.22-inches (158.1mm) tall, 3.06-inches (77.8mm) wide, and .28-inches (7.1mm) thick.
Google's Nexus 5 (left) has a bigger screen than iPhone 6 (right), but is thicker
Apple added a little weight back in with the new models, too. Where the iPhone 5s weighed 3.95 ounces (112 grams), the iPhone 6 weighs 4.55 ounces (129 grams), and the iPhone 6 Plus weighs 6.07 ounces (172 grams). Considering the increased size, that small of an increase in weight an outstanding accomplishment.
My mind tricked me into thinking the iPhone 6 weighed less than the iPhone 5s because of the way the weight is distributed. It really does weigh more, but it was a pleasant surprise because I was afraid the 6 would feel noticeably heavier. The iPhone 6 Plus, however, does feel heavier, and it felt like the weight was off balance so I was always worried it would fly out of my hand at any moment.
I know several people who say the iPhone 6 Plus fits their hand nicely and balances well, so if you can try both before buying, you should. Choosing a new iPhone is like buying shoes: You need to see what fits best before spending your hard earned money.
Next: iPhone 6 Display: Bigger, Brighter, Beautiful