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What the early reviews are saying about the iPhone 6

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus won’t go on sale until Friday, but the first reviews are already coming in. Keep in mind that Apple hand-picks the reviewers who get early access to pre-release iPhones, so these early reviews may not contain the most cutting criticism.

Still, the early reviews paint a picture of a very important mobile device: The latest generation of iPhones is clearly the best so far, and the iPhone 6 Plus, while unusually large, has several tricks that makes its size more manageable.

Darrell Etherington at Techcrunch thinks the iPhone 6 is the “best smartphone for your money” but was surprised by how much he liked the iPhone 6 Plus:

I went into this review expecting to find it was a niche gadget, reserved for those seeking the absolute top-of-the-line, convenience be damned. Instead, I found myself getting strangely comfortable with a phone I still find difficult to use one-handed. In short, the 6 is my favorite current smartphone, but the 6 Plus is its closest competition.

Geoffrey Fowler writing for the Wall Street Journal generally liked the iPhone 6 but was disappointed in its battery life:

The iPhone 6’s biggest drawback is its battery. It isn’t a deal-breaker—I was able to make it through the day on a single charge. But when I stress-tested the handsets by cranking up screen brightness to 100% and streaming video, the iPhone 6 battery died just before my iPhone 5S’s did.

The Verge’s David Pierce wrote that the standout feature on the iPhone 6 was the improved camera:

There’s one feature that stands out, though, the one that most strongly makes the iPhone 6’s case as the best smartphone on the planet: the camera. It still shoots 8-megapixel images, but this time does so with a new sensor. It also uses what Apple calls “focus pixels” to achieve phase-detect autofocus, which is just astonishingly fast on the iPhone 6. I move the phone around and it never appears to be focusing, yet everything is always crisp and ready.

Nilay Patel, reviewing the iPhone 6 Plus for the Verge, writes the iPhone 6 Plus could end up being his main computer:

With the right software changes, I could basically use an iPhone 6 Plus all day long, for everything from sending messages to editing documents to watching videos. A do-everything phone like the 6 Plus would eventually allow Apple to push the iPad even further towards becoming the true laptop replacement it was always meant to be.

Joshua Topolsky, writing for Businessweek, found the iPhone 6 Plus too unwieldy:

While consumers are already clamoring for the larger of the two phones, I found the iPhone 6 Plus too large and unwieldy to use as my daily driver. It does offer better battery life and an improved camera stabilizer compared with the iPhone 6, but its size proved to be more than I wanted to grapple with on a regular basis. Think of it this way: The iPhone 6 Plus is only slightly smaller than an iPad Mini, which means one-handed use is messy even with Reachability, and holding it up to a normal-size head looks slightly absurd.

USA Today’s Edward Baig assures people who have preordered that they have not made a mistake:

People have preordered on faith, since they haven’t seen these super-sized iPhones up close or experienced what they feel like in pockets and handbags. I have and let me be reassuring — you won’t regret your decision, though going big may require a small adjustment, and my experience wasn’t totally trouble-free.

Molly Wood at the New York Times thinks the iPhone 6 is a little too small, and the iPhone 6 Plus is a little too big:

In its quest to deliver bigger phones to a market clamoring for them, Apple has made one phone that is actually a little too small and one that’s a little too big… The slim new iPhones aren’t a big-screen slam-dunk, but they work well, as we have come to expect from Apple.

9 Responses to “What the early reviews are saying about the iPhone 6”

  1. Never "band-wagoning"

    It seems obsurd to me, that the obvious hasn’t been stated here. Apple build a bigger phone because Samsung drove the market for “consumer appetite” for it. Nuf said!

  2. To make it the phone thinner, they will fit the components that are designed to fit in the small space that is however many millimetres, but they will be spread out instead, therefore increasing the length of the phone. That is why phones get bigger, the thinner they get.

  3. Seems pointless to make a large iPhone as those wanting a bigger screen will buy a
    Mini iPad.

    Mini iPad is a great piece of kit. I use it for all my business use, digital music, film: shooting and editing etc.

    All I need from my iPhone now is that it is a phone, nothing else.


    • I have a mini-iPad. It’s not the same thing. There are things I can’t do with it that I can do on my iPhone. Some of that will get improved with IOS 8, but still, there are things. Plus, it’s just barely uncomfortably large in my cargo-pants cargo-pockets. It doesn’t go well in my upper-front pockets at all.

      The iPhone 6+ is the size of checkbook. Having carried a checkbook in my pocket before, I know that size works. I know it will do everything I do (though I don’t know yet which apps will use an iPhone vs iPad UI, and if iPad-only apps will run on it).

      And there’s one last advantage it has: I don’t have to carry BOTH the iPad-mini and the iPhone. I have always hated the times where I’ve needed to carry two pocketable devices.

  4. hortronix

    Bigger captures more of the market, but I think there will always be a vocal minority that wants a smaller phone-device. Until the transition is a memory, the smaller-phone-is-better crowd will point back to this as the turning point where their ergonomic desires were ignored.

    On the same topic, I’love my Moto X (original) because of, among other things, its size (it could still be a little smaller tho). The question is why did Motorola decide to choose this size at the time that it did, when the benchmark for all other higher-end Android devices was bigger? I doubt it was because they wanted to go for the smaller-is-better market segment. Maybe they wanted to hit a certain price point and saw it’s size as a way there.

  5. ” since they haven’t seen these super-sized iPhones up close or experienced what they feel like in pockets and handbags. ”

    The 6plus is the size of a standard checkbook.