Review: Apple iPhone 6
November 12, 2014 — by Per Christensson
It's only been about two months since Apple released the iPhone 6, so I'm pretty sure I am the first one to write a review. OK, this might be the 15,367th review of the iPhone 6, but hopefully I can provide some helpful insight based on my personal experience with the phone over the past six weeks.
As I mentioned in a previous article, I chose the regular iPhone 6 instead of the Plus since it just felt like the right size. Maybe one day we'll all be using oversized phones, but for now, the standard 6 feels perfect. After using the phone for the past several weeks, I am confident I made the right decision. The screen is large enough that it's noticeably bigger than the iPhone 5, but I don't need two hands or an external handle to hold it like the 6 Plus.
While I'm not a fan of watching TV shows or movies on portable devices, the iPhone 6 screen is big enough that you can actually watch videos without straining your eyes. I especially enjoy watching StarCraft 2 replays on my new iPhone since it's easier to see individual units in the game. My favorite part of the larger screen, however, is that it is easier to type! Since the keyboard is larger on the iPhone 6, I find myself making less typing errors, which increases my productivity and lessens my frustration. It's a win-win.
The iPhone 6 is nice to hold and the curved edges are a welcome improvement from the rigid iPhone 5. However, after after six weeks of using the 6, I wish the body had more of a curve. It's so flat, it doesn't feel natural to hold. A friend of mine recently commented it felt like a fake phone. Perhaps that's a compliment since the phone is so light and thin, but it does feel extremely flat. While we may have to wait a few years for curved screens, I think curving the back of the phone could help. Of course, a curved back means the phone would be more likely to slip off a table or the console in a car. Therefore, I can't be too hard on Apple for the symmetrical flat design.
So how does the phone perform? Well, it's fast. Many apps load almost instantaneously and there is minimal lag when switching between them. The camera app takes pictures way faster than any iPhone I've owned in the past. I got the 128GB model (of which I'm already using about 100GB) and the flash memory access is noticeably quicker than my iPhone 5. My only gripe is that every once in awhile the phone stalls when loading something simple, like text messages or my contact list. I'm not sure if this is an iOS issue or if it is related to the flash memory (which is a rumor floating around), but it seems to happen at least once a day.
Every time Apple announces a new iPhone, they talk about the camera and how much better it is than the old model. Based on this logic, you would think the iPhone camera would have surpassed SLR quality by now. Far from it. The camera in the 6 is better than the 5, but only incrementally. The colors are consistent and clear in daylight, but the lowlight shots are still pretty off-color and grainy. The good news is that my photos with the iPhone 6 are much less blurred than the photos I took with my iPhone 5. Even though the 6 doesn't have optical image stabilization like the 6 Plus, the digital image stabilization does a surprisingly good job.
Finally, the speaker in the iPhone is noticeably more powerful than the iPhone 5's speaker, which is nice. However, it is pretty heavy in the mid-range, which makes the sound a bit boxy for my taste. The speaker is also much more directional, so the sound quality is sensitive to nearby objects. For example, slightly changing the position of the phone can significantly affect the timber of the sound. It may seem like a small issue, but I play music with the built-in speaker on a daily basis, so it's pretty noticeable to me.
It's hard to say much more about the iPhone 6, since ultimately it's just a new version of the same iPhone many of us have come to know and love. The most important thing about the 6 is that Apple didn't mess it up. Each iPhone has improved on its predecessor and the iPhone 6 is no exception. It's the best iPhone yet.
- larger size makes it easier to type
- super thin
- curved edges
- feels unnaturally flat when held
- occasional memory access issues