Five things to love about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Love iphone

First in a series. Now that the initial excitement surrounding the launch of the new iPhones has calmed down, most of us new iPhone owners have had a chance to play around with our new devices a bit.

So what’s there to love about the iPhone 6 lineup? What do we hate? In this first article we’ll take a look at the positives. No doubt, ten million phones sold over the weekend indicate that most consider this a significant step forward for the iPhone itself, so I think it’s only fair to you and Apple to wax poetic about the good things first. Note this is not a review, but more just musings on the device itself. Every tech publication known to man has already written how "game-changing" and  "revolutionary" it is, so here we’re going to give equal time to both the fanboys and naysayers. Both camps have valid points.

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1. The design

This by far is the best feature of the iPhone 6 series. I was not a fan of the iPhone 4/5 design at all. It was a step back to me for a company that prides itself on cutting-edge design aesthetics. What we got was a device that more resembled an outdated candybar design which every other manufacturer had moved away from years before.

Curves are back in style with the iPhone 6. What I find most visually appealing is how Apple rounds off the glass face which seamlessly blends into the body. The design also makes the phone itself fit in the hand better. A candybar design with a larger overall phone just isn’t comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

The reduction of bulk has a lot to do with the impression that the device weighs less. Compared to an iPhone 5, the iPhone 6 actually weighs about a half ounce more (4.55 oz). You don’t notice it.

2. Screen size choice

Apple admits with the iPhone 6 series that the size constraints it placed on the iPhone 4 and 5 do not work in today’s smartphone market. The iPhone 6 at 4.7 inches erases the criticisms that its display is too small -- it’s now square within the average size of most modern smartphones. For those who desire a larger size, iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5-inch screen is about as big as you can get before one handed usability issues become significant.

I personally prefer the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 -- and it seems a lot of others do too. It still feels right in the hand, and doesn’t require two hands to use most of the time. I have held the iPhone 6 Plus too, but it’s not for me. At sizes like that, I’d rather have more screen space in a small tablet form (iPad mini), but to each their own.

3. The display

Apple’s Retina HD display truly is stunning. Colors are crisp and accurate, and fonts are much clearer. Pictures and video look great on the device, and the display has significantly better visibility at indirect angles. I did notice even in sunny outdoor conditions that it was much easier to see things on the screen. That’s been a complaint for a long time and Apple has fixed it as best they could in the iPhone 6.

What may be the difference is better contrast here: 1,300:1 in the iPhone 6 Plus and 1,400:1 in the iPhone 6, up from an 800:1 contrast ratio in the iPhone 5 series.

4. The camera

Finally! While it’s still an 8-megapixel camera there are noticeable differences. Autofocus is significantly faster, and in the iPhone 6 Plus you gain optical image stabilization, which makes for much clearer photos as hand shake is compensated for. But where the new iSight camera shines is in low light.

Critics (especially those from the Nokia crowd) pointed to Apple’s generally poor performance across the line when it comes to low light photography as a big negative for the iPhone in general. I have to say that the difference is literally night and day from personal use, pardon the pun. Pictures are still grainy, but significantly less so.

It is clear that Apple spent quite a bit of time on the camera to address these criticisms, and it is much welcomed by those of us that have stuck with the company since the original iPhone.

5. NFC

Yes, Apple is late to the party. But can anyone point to a NFC solution that has managed to see widespread adoption yet? I doubt it. Soft Card (formerly Isis) still seems mired in corporate disputes and has yet to find widespread adoption -- it’s only available in about 200,000 retail locations nationwide.

Google Wallet seems to be a little more successful, however Google itself doesn’t seem very interested in pushing the technology on a consistent basis.

Apple is taking a slightly different route, making NFC only a part of Apple Pay. It also showed during the September 9 keynote that it plans to push it as a method for in-app payment. This difference in how it is marketed to the consumer may be the answer to general apathy from the public at large when it comes to NFC.

If you program the consumer to use something and commit to it, it’s much more likely they’ll use it consistently. NFC on the iPhone 6 is not only a means to join the ever growing number of smart devices adopting the technology, but to also change how customers use their devices overall.

We can only hope that this lifts the entire wireless payment industry up, and brings a technology to the mainstream that has sat in the shadows for quite a long time.

22 Responses to Five things to love about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

  1. Yogurth says:

    6. Bendability.

  2. June Joseph says:

    thats pleasant to see that apple has catch up with the rest of the world

  3. WP7Mango says:

    Wow, basically everything is catch-up, and even then it doesn't quite catch-up fully...

    1. Nokia Lumia had these ages ago - yes it's a nice feature.
    2. Basically, all other handset manufacturers had this ages ago.
    3. Many other flagship handsets had this ages ago.
    4. Nokia had OIS on their Lumia phones ages ago - something you still don't get on the smaller iPhone 6.
    5. NFC - again, loads of Android and WP handsets have had this for a while. More importantly, they can use NFC for lots of stuff whereas Apple restricts it for payment usage only.

    • pluizebol says:

      You're right ........ BUT :
      I bought 2 Lumia 925 phones because I saw the excellent photo quality of my friend's Lumia 920 (running the Portico firmware at that time).
      My 2 Lumia 925 phones came with the firmware Amber, and the photos did not have the same quality as my friend's 920.
      - a lot less sharp
      - a yellowish tint
      - kind of flat and washed out
      Then my friend's 920 was updated to Amber as well, and guess what : the same degraded photo quality as my 2 Lumia 925 phones.
      This degradation has never been repaired in the Black nor in Cyan firmwares.
      A lot of people suffer from this problem.
      And this is the reason why I would never buy a Lumia phone (and buy consequence a Windows Phone) anymore.

      • WP7Mango says:

        That's not my experience, but fair enough.

        That said, the 1020 and 930 can shoot in RAW (DNG) format, which is something else the iPhone can't do. This allows you to make corrections / enhancements to photos which would not be possible with standard JPG images.

      • pluizebol says:

        I don't want all these possibilities that allow me to make corrections.
        All I want is that the superb Nokia camera jpg-quality from the 920 with Portico comes back.

        If not, then my 2 L925 will be replaced with another brand (and another OS too). I lost confidence in MS/Nokia/Lumia.

      • mshulman says:

        Yeah, I haven't had any issues with my 1020. It takes great pictures.

      • dono1216 says:

        Man, I really wanted to buy a new Lumia 925 (on sale around here for ~ $300 off contract), but then I read in a WP-focused blog about how in even v8.1 you need to do workarounds just to attach documents to an email (MS really wants you to use One Drive). Or how people save attachments then can't figure out where the documents went. Jeez, not for me, then.

        My next phone is an LG G3 -- I'd wait a year until I can get it on sale.

  4. truthbetold says:

    6 Things.....
    It bends permanently in tight pockets. LOL

    • J0E_BL0W says:

      Seems like nobody want to discuss that one. Lets put our head in the sand and hope the issue go away.

      • Adam Smith says:

        Agreed JoeBlow. Its pretty hard to defend the iPhone with a structural defect. I note apologists dont want to discuss the flaw

    • Patrick Gallagher says:

      always though that people who put their phones in pant pockets were being idiots. even with the sturdier devices, it's a great way to scratch and damage the body and the screen.

      • J0E_BL0W says:

        Yea, that's right, blame the user.

      • mshulman says:

        Obviously you have something against apple - I think this stands for any phone. Larger phones aren't really meant to be in pockets and damage from that isn't surprising. Not saying there might not be a design issue as well, but these are expensive devices that should be taken care of properly.

      • Patrick Gallagher says:

        I'm not blaming anyone, just saying that pant pockets are a dumb place to put a phone.

    • Bob Bradley says:

      What are you talking about. You must have missed Apple's "but wait there's more" The iPhone 6 has the first curved screen.

  5. Tom Byrne says:

    Nokia 520 unbendable @$50

    AS to the IP6 whats up with the ugly poly-carbonate bands on back?

  6. mshulman says:

    "1. The design

    This by far is the best feature of the iPhone 6 series."

    That's pretty sad. The best feature is the design. It's a phone. The best feature should be related to how it works or something you actually make use of.

    The rest of the items are rather poor as well. The camera isn't that much better than last years - certainly not a reason to love it or even upgrade. NFC same here - it will be the future, but we're still not there yet. By end of next year things will be different, but its not because of Apple.

    You might be right on the display, but I worked with a 6 yesterday and really aside from being astonished at how big it was (I thought it was a 6+) the screen really didn't amaze me. It looked really good, but mine looks great too.

    Frankly, iPhone 6 is just catching up and if I still used an iPhone, I'd wait for the 7. What they really need is more choice - they should have still had an option for something a bit smaller.

  7. Patrician_1 says:

    First in a series? Time to rethink that one.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Price and battery life are the two most important criteria in a phone purchase.
      I notice battery life is poorer with the iPhone6 than the previous iPhone5. Hope this subject is discussed in any future iPhone articles, so as not to hide the facts

  8. Eddy says:

    The iPhone 6 delivers a bigger screen while remaining easy to handle, with plenty of features to satisfy everyone -- and the promise of Apple Pay on the horizon to potentially sweeten the deal even further.

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