But what if I didn't want a bigger iPhone?

Now that the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been revealed, all that we're left to decide is which one we want, right? But there's more to it — what if I didn't want a bigger phone at all?

With the iPhone 6, you don't have a choice — you're either going to get the smaller 4.7-inch model or the big honkin' 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (a name I love, by the way, because as an old-school Apple enthusiast, it takes me back to the Apple II+ and the Mac Plus).

In his hands on look, Rene notes, "I have no doubt that, just as I look back at the original iPhone as an iPhone mini now, the iPhone 6 will feel absolutely normal in a week or so."

That may be true, but it's also going to occupy a lot more surface area in your pocket. It's thinner, the edges are rounded, and Apple's made some clever interface tweaks in iOS 8 to make it easier to use the bigger phones one-handed, but it's ultimately still a bigger iPhone. And Apple hasn't replaced the current four-inch models with something newer.

I guess it's go big or settle for what you already have. iPhone users who prefer a smaller, more compact device are going to be left out of innovations like Apple Pay, faster 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, and some of the features specific to the A8 and M8 coprocessor. At least they'll still get to use the Apple Watch, once it's released. This is the price of progress, not just for Apple but for just about any consumer technology - cars, microwave ovens, TV sets. New models replace old ones all the time.

Don't get me wrong — I'm ready for a bigger phone. I've found the current four-inch iPhone screen size to be limiting, both in terms of being able to see content clearly and being able to interact with it on the tiny screen. So I'm definitely looking to upsize. Without having held either of them in my hand yet, my gut tells me that the 4.7-inch model is going to be the one I'll prefer. Because at least I can still slip it in my jeans pocket without feeling like I've just shoved a skateboard down my pants.

Having said that, with all the focus on the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, it was easy to overlook a minor bullet point that really deserves more attention: The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c remain part of the product lineup, and they're the new $99 and free phone, respectively (on contract).

The iPhone 5s is an especially good deal. If NFC payments, the larger screen size and some of the other iPhone 6 improvements aren't must-haves for you, the iPhone 5s is an excellent phone with plenty of life left in it. Key innovations in iOS 8 like Metal, the graphics optimization technology that promises more console-quality games, will work just fine on the 5s. The 5s also sports Touch ID, which is getting a big boost in iOS 8 as well.

If I was ready for upgrading from an iPhone 4 or 4s, or even a 5, I'd give the iPhone 5s a long look, because it really is a tremendous value for the money. As it is, I'm already a 5s user, so I'm keenly looking forward to getting my hands on the 6.

It's interesting to note that Apple has shifted the memory configuration of the iPhones in this new iteration. 16 GB is still the baseline — a paltry amount that even casual users grow out of fairly quickly, as they load their phone up with apps, videos and photos. But the 32 GB tier is completely gone in the iPhone 6, and in its place is 64 GB for $100 more, or 128 GB for $100 more than that.

Apple's clearly trying to give iPhone buyers a strong incentive to pay for the increased storage capacity. The 64 GB model is certainly a better value, and I'm willing to bet that the increased screen size will result in some larger apps, too, so it's a good thing. But it's a shame that Apple has kept around the 16 GB capacity as the baseline. We were already feeling the pinch with the iPhone 5 and 5s.

What are your thoughts? Are you sticking with a smaller iPhone for now, or are you ready to upsize or supersize your iPhone? Spill your guts!

71 Comments
  • I have a 5s, which I love and am looking forward to updating to iOS 8 next week, if it is launching in the UK on the 17th the same as the US. As you say the phone is very good and I don't even find the battery life too bad! I am thinking the 6 may be a bit big for me but it does look rather cool! I can't upgrade for another 18 months so by that time we may have an iPhone 7 and I am not going to be tempted to pay this time as I have a few times in the past!
  • I am really surprised they didn't keep a 4" model in the new feature line-up. My guess is that, sometime in the next year, they'll do a bump on the 5s model adding ApplePay functionality. If I remember from the keynote, the 6 doesn't have all the functionality that the 6 Plus does. Namely, if you turn it sideways, the 6 acts like the 5, and the 6 Plus acts like an iPad. So, if I am going to upgrade (and let's be realistic... I am.) then I have to go to the 6 Plus, simply to get the max functionality.
  • The 6 Plus only acts like an iPad in landscape because it is that much bigger, they can make use of the extra space and it makes sense to do so. 2 column view in an app might be a little squashed on a 4.7" screen. My main gripe is that the 6 Plus has Optimised Imaged Stabilisation, where the smaller version doesn't. I can understand the screen resolutions being different (and these are the only other differences other than battery size) but I don't see why they couldn't put the OIS in the 4.7" version. It's probably to encourage more people to go to the larger option for the extra camera feature but I don't think I can bring myself to carry something that size around with me all day so I'll have to settle for the feebler camera, which doesn't bother me too much as I don't take too many photos but still, it'd be nice to have.
  • I'm in the same boat and very disappointed by this, but since the 6 Plus is so friggen big, I'm going to have to settle for no OIS with the iPhone 6. :-/ At least the actual sensors are the same in both phones.
  • I'm with you. It's a new iPhone. Both could have had the OIS. I too won't lose sleep over not getting that feature so 4.7" for me. The iPad Mini is already there if I want something that frikkin big to walk around with. Still 5.5 is better than really oversize screens that the competition goes for. Samsung had to find a way to 'beat' Apple so they went for size. Let's see how big they go now. Sent from the iMore App
  • With carriers rushing to give away 16gb iphone 6's, the 5S just isn't a great value. Plus it could already be had for cheaper than 99. Devs will be optimizing for the 6 and 6 plus.
  • "optimizing for the 6 and the 6 plus"
    Well you make it sound like there are a lot of differences between the 6 and the 5s.. Yes it is bigger slightly, but the apps will just scale to fit the size increase, there is no landscape mode or no more content as such on the screen, processor is still 64 bit,RAM is the same.. So any app optimised for the 5s or 6 will run almost similarly on both with the 6 being a bit better.. That's pretty much it, didn't really understand what you meant by that sentence
  • Scaled to fit doesn't mean optimized. Regardless why would you buy a 5s now when they're discounting the 6? Unless you're set on a 4" screen.
  • I agree the experience won't be the best,but saying it just isn't great value at that price is going a bit too far imo but of course you are free to disagree..
  • I have a Nexus 5 and was thinking about the 6 plus because I don't think I would want to go back down to a 4.7" device. I watch a lot of video so I might have to go bigger. Well, go bigger or stick with the Nexus 5. That phone with the 5" screen is a really nice size for me.
  • As an owner of a 160GB iPod Classic (for travel/commute) and a 16GB iPad Mini (entertainment/reading), I'm actually not feeling the 16GB pinch on my iPhone 5 quite as acutely as some (although I can certainly see how quickly it can become a problem). The new 64GB option certainly represents a tremendous value but with the battery life being the only thing I'm really struggling with on my 5 and having not experienced Touch ID at all (outside of occasional tinkering with my wife's 5S), the 5S appears to hit the sweet spot for me this upgrade cycle. I'm sure ApplePay won't necessarily explode into daily, mainstream use for this next 2 year upgrade cycle for me as well so I don't think I will step up to the 6 or 6+ at this point, regardless of new screen sizes. Sent from the iMore App
  • Is that a skateboard in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?
  • If i decide to hop the fence I am going for the 6 in 64gb. The 6plus is just awkwardly big and not worth it for the slight camera upgrade and battery bump IMO. I see a "shortage" of the 6plus model in the near future to add hype to the higher priced model.
  • "But what if I didn't want a bigger iPhone?" Good question. My question is: "But what if I wanted a bigger iPod touch?" Is the iPod touch going to get bigger? And if so, when?
  • I know. I really wanted the iPods refreshed this year with the iPhones. I feel like we will see it in October but in my opinion that's too far in for anyone deciding between an iPhone or iPod touch. Sent from the iMore App
  • Not ready to jump into the phablet realm just yet so I'll be getting the 4.7 inch iPhone 6 64gb Sent from the iMore App
  • I use holsters for all my phones. I do this for protection and quick access. I for one am going for the 6+ either 64gb or 128gb for extra memory.
  • I have no wish to switch to the larger screen size; I'm miffed this means I miss out on all the other hardware improvements as well as the benefits of Apple Pay. Still, it was going to be another year or two before I was looking to upgrade so I hope by then there will be a model that includes all the other new features but preserves the four inch screen. An iPhone 6 minus, perhaps? :)
  • I have a 5s and love the size but I will go with the 6 when I can but I'm on the next plan which I can't figure out cause the att app tells me I have almost two years before I can upgrade really confusing Sent from the iMore App
  • Maybe this will help explain the Next plan upgrade time period. I got this info from their FAQ . Can I upgrade my AT&T Next smartphone earlier than 12 or 18 months? Yes, you can. After you have been billed and made two monthly installment payments, as long as your account is in good standing, you are eligible to take advantage of our Pay to Upgrade option. To reach upgrade status, you will need to pay your remaining installments in one lump sum. For AT&T Next 12, pay a lump sum amount that equals 12 installment payments. For AT&T Next 18, pay a lump sum amount that equals 18 installment payments. When paid, you are eligible to trade in your AT&T Next smartphone. Please note that to trade in your smartphone, it must be in good physical condition and fully functional. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I would imagine the 5s will be around for a little while longer and move down to the Free with 2 yr contract status.
    If you want the smaller screen, buy a 5s now and it should last you several years.
  • Has there been any word as to whether the 5S will only be available in 16GB once current 32-64GB inventory expire? That would be a dealbreaker right there. Assuming iOS8 doesn't kill the iPhone 5 I could live with it easily enough one more year...but it really does suck as a tech enthusiast. :-( I just hope the 6 won't be as large for my (legitimately tiny) hands as I fear. Sent from the iMore App
  • You can buy the 32 gb 5s for only $150! This is a fantastic deal IMO.
  • Unfortunately I'd have to switch to a much more expensive monthly plan to upgrade, so would likely go full price. But I went to Apple and was told the 32GB 5s model stays, so it's good to know I can wait for now. Sent from the iMore App
  • They're gonna keep the 32gb and 16gb models of the 5s around. Sent from the iMore App
  • iOS8 is fine on my 16gb 5. Tempted as I am by the 6, I think I'll wait for the 6S next year.
  • Ya I've put the beta on my old iPhone 5 and I like it haven't tried WiFi calling though I hear it works well Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • It's not about how big it feels, or appears. For me, it's about being able to reach all the interface controls without stretching. The "reachability" shortcut for the iPhone 6 is good, but it just isn't the same. 4 inches was a sweet spot, and while I can get used to a bigger phone again, it isn't the same at all.
  • I am sticking to my iPhone 5 for now which is 18 mo old. Will upgrade to 6s next Sep/Oct. Thanks! Sent from the iMore App
  • But God...errrr....Steve Jobs said NOBODY needed a phone with a screen bigger than 3.5". He made fun of the 5.3" Galaxy Note when it was released along with all of the iFollowers. If you made fun of the Note, but buy an iPhone 6+, you are a hypocrite...Of course, that's nothing new for most of you...
  • If the Apple Watch has NFC and Apple Pay what would keep it from working with the 5s using the TouchID on the phone for verification?
  • Love the form of my 5S, will miss the Apple Pay. Decided to stick with my Gold 5S! Sent from the iMore App
  • I am really against going bigger. I have a 5, which is sometimes too big! So i upgraded today to the 5s, got a 64gb from best buy for $299. Sent from the iMore App
  • How is that too big? Lol! Sent from the iMore App
  • I miss my 4s, it was the best size for my hands.
  • I am no tech guy but yesterday, after watching the Keynote, I decided that I would definitely upgrade from my iPhone 5 to the iPhone 5s. The 32GB one went down to £499 in the UK, which is very nice for such a beautiful piece of engineering tech. Next year, if I decide to go for the Apple Watch, I'll be ok with an iPhone 5s. Apple Pay will take a while (a few years?) to catch up in my part of the world and the A8 and M8 coprocessors alone don't seduce me that much. And I definitely am not looking for a bigger phone! Next week we'll have iOS 8 coming and that'll be really sweet. Oh, I predict that Apple will launch next year a 4 inch iPhone...
  • In the week leading up to yesterday I had in the back of my mind always; If I don't like the iPhone 6 for some reason I will get the iPhone 5s for sure. Sure it's not the absolutely latest greatest but the 5s is still a great phone that will be in the game for a long time. Even my iPhone 5 seems perfectly fine, no slow down at all that I notice. At this point in their life cycle my iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 were getting hard to use and showing their age.
  • Is anyone anticipating that next year Apple will release a 4" model to match the new design language and feature set of the 6's?
  • Sadly, no. I think if they were going to do a 4" phone they'd have announced it alongside the 6 and 6 Plus. Despite Peter's post, going bigger isn't the 'price of progress' it's a business choice. I'll eventually end up with a 6S, but... meh. I have a Retina Mini for times when I want more screen size.
  • I think if they were going to do an updated 4" iPhone 6 then they would have already. There is one theory I have to to possibly why. For one it's much smaller and the new 6's have added hardware to them. The NFC tech and VoLTE might need some extra room to move. Perhaps Apple couldn't get all that Tech. in a phone the size of the 4" and get good enough battery life. Anyone else have ideas?
  • Sony Z 1 compact... Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I switched from Android in part due to the ridiculous size of the premium brands and I was tired of carrying a skateboard in my pocket....I guess I will use my 5s until it no longer functions. Hopefully by then Apple will have a product for those of us that prefer a smaller phone and to use a tablet when we need something bigger.
  • We are in the same boat.
  • Anyone know when the Apple stores will have demo models? I want to touch and feel the different sizes before making my decision. I guess that leaves me out of the preorder crowd.
  • They'll have them the day the iPhone 6 is available for sale — a week from Friday.
  • I am currently using 5. only thing which was keeping me away from android was phone size. I will stuck with my current phone. My next update may be NOTE 4 not 6 plus due to camera....To be honest now iphone camera is disappointing me..:(
  • Personally, I'm have an avid distaste of the larger screen phones. Not because it's big, but because i have relatively smaller Man-hands and I actually like being able to tap the top of the screen with my thumb in one hand. I subway...a lot...and I would rather not have to use two hands, or accidentally hit the Touch ID sensor with my palm for "reachability". When you're in a cramped space or just casually walking down the street. or waiting for a train/bus/plane and don't want to use 2 hands to casually play "Threes" or (insert your favorite casual app here). Don't get me wrong, I really like the design of the 6 series phones but i just can't get past the screen size. My iPhone 5s sticks out of my shirt pocket already. and is just big enough in my pants pockets that if I were to go larger, it would be uncomfortable. I'm very sad to see the 4" go. Honestly, I preferred the 3.5" for usability, but have grown to adjust my grip for the 4". It still don't like the 4" design but at this point, they ain't going back to the 3.5". So i've got a couple more years to think about it. I have considering writing a letter to TC about how displeased I am that they dropped the 4" from the "Starting Lineup" but i'm too ticked to formulate a constructive letter. The arguments FOR the 6+ could be the vary same ones to keep the 4" around. Just because the press and tech geeks out there are burning down Apple's doors for a phablet, doesn't mean EVERYONE wants/prefers a larger screen. People come in all sizes and prefer different things. TO drop the 4" is an insult to the people who really didn't give a hoot for larger screens. And the naming is nostalgic, yes...but I would have rather seen and iPhone lineup that's called" 6s, 6m, 6L. Of course i'm going to try them out when they are available to see in person. Of course i'll give it the benefit of the doubt. I did with the 5s when i upgraded my iPhone 4. I usually don't upgrade until the xS model anyway so I have a year to not care about Apple forcing my hand to a phablet (that includes the 4.7" in my definition).
  • I have a 5s now and absolutely hate big phones. I still miss my 4s and would like to go back to something that small. I still don't like typing on the 5s, holding it feels too tall and my typing slowed down. I will not be getting another iPhone when my 5s brakes, I will buy whatever small smartphone I can find.
  • I have a Moto X and I can reach all points on the screen just fine. This is an overblown issue.
  • Not if you have small hands like me.
  • But if you think the 4inch phone you have now is too big, you're in trouble. Probably the smallest android you can find is going to be AT LEAST 4.7 or larger.
  • I'm satisfied with my 5S, and I personally don't need/want a bigger phone. I would love to have all of the new features of the 6 in a phone the size of a 5. I want it to still fit in my pocket. If I want (or need) a bigger screen, I just reach for my iPad, which, unless I'm out and about, is always near me.
  • Good point but I think those people who don't want a bigger iPhone will still feel that the 4.7" iPhone 6 is just right. Just give them time. :)
  • All the small hands whiners just need to wait until next Friday and hold the real phone. I'm guessing it's not going to be as big as you think. Sent from the iMore App
  • Look I just want a small phone and I know it's hard for you to hear that. I want a phone that's 3.5" like the old iphone. That was the right size for me. I am sorry you can't handle that.
  • It's because, as you say, you would like a phone. Honestly, many people start to realize that they don't need a "phone" anymore, but a small computer in their pocket. For that 4.7 inch is a minimum. (I have and use phones with 4, 4.7, 5.9 inches...) Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • you're not alone here EP81. hhy2k, and the rest...why is it so hard for you all to believe we just want a small phone? I'm not going to get used to a phone that is (at minimum) 0.7" bigger in size than what I currently have? That's a whole'nother row of icons that i can't reach without some software hack.
    I don't need a portable computer. I need something like the iPhone. Not a fully computer experience but something i can quickly operate and glance at when on the go. When i'm at home, the iPhone goes on charge and never gets picked up. My iPad is the default house/couch potato device. When i'm working, i'm on my Mac. I am fortunate enough to have a device for every use case. I certainly understand people who don't and want a phablet because they think it will solve all their problems. That's their choice. But to be denied my choice, my preference is just plain insulting. Like we don't matter anymore because the popular crowd decided bigger is better.
  • iPhone 6 Plus all the way! Sent from the iMore App
  • The deal breaker for me is the stupid bumped out camera lens. Why Apple are you so obsessed with being thin!?
    You should have kept it the same thickness as the 5/5s. Had that happened I would have chosen the 4.7". Now if I set it down on a table to type, it will tilt when putting pressure on the opposite corner - plus it'll sit at an angle when watching a video.
  • You must be one of the few not having a case with their phone. About 90% does, so for them it is a none issue. (i am not saying that using a case is right, but that is how people are using their phone.) Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I'm getting a 6; just don't know which screen size yet (I've gotta test them out in my pocket and such). I DO know I will NOT be getting another 16 gig phone; it's not enough on my current 4, so why would I think it'll be enough on the 6? Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm one of those that like that iPhones were small, and could be used one handed. I'm sitting this generation out anyway, I'm happy with my 5. Next year will be upgrade year for me (hopefully next years devices will get 2GB RAM). The 6 is not too big to use one handed from initial reports, it's the same width and thinner than a WP8 "backup" phone that I have. The problem is, I use that one with no case (because it's all plastic and seems to handle drops in its stride, and it's cheap so not so bad if I have to replace it), but all my iPhones have been protected by Tech21 cases with their impact protection. iPhones are fragile. Once I put a Tech21 case on a 6, I'm sure it will then be too big to get my hand around properly.
  • The worst part about being an Apple apologist must be their dedication to a view that they don't really believe in. "We don't need USB3. Oh, cool. We got USB3!"
    "Smaller iPads wouldnt work. Hey, the iPad Mini is the perfect travel tablet!"
    "3.5" screens are perfect. Wait... 4.0" screens are perfect. Wait... um... 4.7? 5.5 is perfect?" Apple isn't necessarily "flip-flopping" on their views. They are doing their job and selling the product IN-HAND. So the problem comes when its "fans" make definitive statements about what will work and what shouldn't exist as if Jobs and Cook are writing the bible on stage. Technology changes and so should users perspectives. A larger screen may be different from what you're used to but the better user experience of a larger screen is definitely worth the imaginary and exaggerated "pocket bulge" that these "small screen defenders" are so worried about.
  • Small hand fools Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • I'm going to do the 6. It will be about the same size as a Moto X (give or take) and I love that phone, so it should be a good transition. The 6 Plus being similar to the Galaxy Note really throws me off. Just too big. Though that battery...damn. Why couldn't Apple sacrifice how thin the damn thing is to put in a bigger battery.
  • Why I just ordered an iPod Touch; I like everything about the iPhones except the phone. I really just need a small computer that fits in my pocket. I've been using the first generation Touch wishing I Could shoot images, record audio and just use it as I would my laptop..so it's the newest 64gb model for me. It's camera..a sound studio and a watch!
  • I can only hope that, by 2016, when I plan to buy a new phone, Apple would have released an iPhone mini.
  • I just enjoy seeing you iGuys eat crow. So many years and so many big phone jokes. The day has come, where the iPhone has been Androided, and not a single comment about it. Why is that? Is it the whole drop down menu, lock screen widgets, flat icons, voice assistant, finger print scanner, hold down home for task manager to swipe the apps closed, and now large screen where stupid, until Apple got those? I mean, where will all those jokes be, now that the joke is on iPeople?
  • 1. I wish tech bloggers/"journalists" would stop reporting the prices of phones-under-contract in their headlines and instead give the TRUE cost of the handset. We should move away from this nonsense contract model and instead be willing to pay the FULL price for our phones. 2. I agree with SmartphoneNerd: any Apple fanatic who made fun of people for getting huge-screened phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note and who is now salivating for the iPhone 6 Plus as if it's from the hands of the gods, is a bloody hypocrite and shame on them. 3. Speaking of pre-orders: I remember seeing those insane crowds queueing for days in front of the 5th Avenue Apple Store for the iPhone 4s even though they had stacks of them piled up in the Radio Shack three blocks away. That's just crazy :)
  • Thanks for this article. Yes, my thoughts were, what if I don't want a bigger phone? I have a 5s that I will stick with for now. And my carrier Sprint is crazy with the upgrade programs these days. I have to say, I am a little reticent about a larger phone, but the idea of a larger viewing area for photos and videos is growing on me. We will see. Perhaps after I can see it live and hold it, that might change my mind.
  • I got the 6 just because it was the only model available with more than 16Gig. I want a phone and a music player. I don't use a phone to plop on my butt and surf. I need a functional tool, not a toy that requires a purse to carry it.