When Apple rolled out the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in September, I bought the iPhone 6. I don't regret it. But since then I've been able to spend some time with the iPhone 6 Plus, and I have to admit, I just don't get it. It's just too damn big.
I admit that when I bought my iPhone 6, my hand was forced. I didn't preorder a phone, because at the time the pre-orders started I wasn't sure which one I'd rather have. So on September 19th I found myself standing in line at my local Apple Store with dozens of other diehard fans (and a bunch of Chinese folks sending them back east to make some quick money on the black market).
The manager of the Apple Store I went to walked up and down the line about an hour before the store opened to let us know that they didn't have any more iPhone 6 Plus units for sale; the very limited quantity they'd received had been spoken for by pre-orders and the first few people in line.
My mind had mostly been made up by then to get the 6 anyway: I didn't want to spend the extra money on the Plus, and I thought it might be a bit too big for me.
As it turns out, I was right. Since then, I've been able to spend quality time with the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple provided me with a review unit for a while, and it's been my daily driver.
I'll readily admit there are a few things I like about the bigger iPhone. The iPhone 6 Plus has incredible battery life. I regularly go two days — sometimes longer — between charges. I can't remember ever being able to do that on another iPhone. The battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus is nothing short of stupendous because Apple was able to cram a lot more battery capacity into the larger design. And the iPhone 6 Plus camera, with its optical image stabilization, is spectacular.
I love the dual-pane mode that pops up in some applications when you rotate the phone to a landscape mode. It makes it a lot easier to navigate through e-mail, calendars and other content on the phone, and it just makes sense. I look forward to third-party developers supporting the feature in the future, as well.
During my time with the Plus, I've taken a couple of straw polls from Plus-wielding friends and colleagues, and all of them tell me the same thing: Since they got their larger iPhone, they use their iPad and iPad minis a lot less than they used to.
I can totally understand why: The iPhone 6 Plus really fills the gap there, providing a lot of the functionality of the iPad in an even smaller package than the iPad mini. If you're looking to get rid of another pound of weight in your bag and stop carrying around an extra sync cable or USB charger, the iPhone 6 Plus might be the right device.
But here's what I don't like about the iPhone 6 Plus: The size. It's just too big to fit in my pocket comfortably without feeling it pushing up against the fabric and my leg. I admit that my previous description of the iPhone 6 Plus as "having a skateboard down your trousers" was hyperbole, but there's no question that you're more aware of what's in your pocket than you are when you're carrying an iPhone 6 or previous models.
The iPhone 6 Plus's weight is significantly heavier than an iPhone 6, too. I can't stick it in a jacket pocket without feeling it — it's just a heftier device. To be fair, Apple has done a marvelous job with the iPhone 6 Plus weight distribution: It feels better than a lot of other large-format smartphones on the market, better balanced and more evenly distributed. But it still has that extra heft to it.
But the real dealbreaker for me? I can't work one-handedly with the same sort of dexterity and swiftness as I can on the iPhone 6. Sure, Apple incorporated "Reachability" as a core feature in iOS 8 on the new iPhone models: Double-tapping the Touch ID sensor brings the top row of the screen to within easy reach of your thumb. But with the added weight and size of the iPhone 6 Plus, I can't easily hold it and thumb-type as I'm accustomed to doing on the iPhone 6 along with all the other iPhone models I've had before.
I don't pretend to think my use case is the same as everyone else's. If you have an iPhone 6 Plus and love it, or if you're planning to buy one, good on you. I know Rene loves his. But having had the opportunity to use both, I'm looking forward to returning to my iPhone 6. It'll be less bulk and less weight in my pocket and easier to manage with one hand, and those are the most solid reasons I can think of to want the smaller iPhone.
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