After pouring over the first user reviews, I noticed a difference, in both tone and content, between reviews of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Apple’s iPhone 6 models. See if you can make it out.
There are a couple of reasons why the Apple iPhone 6 Plus might also be too big for me to purchase. But I have to admit it: I’m tempted. I really like this phone. And to people who actually prefer huge smartphones: You are going to like this phone, too.
That’s mostly because it’s not just a smartphone; it’s a statement phone. What Apple is doing isn’t even especially innovative — “Us, too!” the company is shouting, as it chases after that flatbed truck filled with phablets — and yet, they’ve made this big phone feel fresh and desirable.
Apple arch-rival Samsung includes a 16-megapixel camera in its Galaxy S5 phone. The main camera on the latest upgrades to the iPhone line still has just 8 megapixels. Yet the images from both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the best I’ve tested on a phone to date.
Andrew Cunningham (on iOS 8):
iOS 7 and iOS 8 feel like two halves of the same update, two equally necessary steps in the journey from Old iOS to Modern iOS. iOS 7 was a facelift, a new release that added some nice user- and developer- facing features but was overwhelmingly focused on changing the way existing parts of the system looked. iOS 8 freshens up the underpinnings of the operating system, opening an unprecedented number of things up to third parties without sacrificing the things that define iOS. iOS 7 was transformative on an aesthetic level; iOS 8 is transformative on a functional level.
There are countless things neither the iPhone 6 nor the 6 Plus don’t do: there’s no 4K video, there’s no higher pixel count than rival models and there’s no HD audio, to name but a few. But that’s to miss the point. What’s made the iPhone so successful is its combination of user-friendly simplicity with sufficiently advanced functions and a beautiful, pleasing design. The iPhone 6 builds on that, and set next to the iPhone 5s it instantly makes its predecessor’s design look out of date. The 6 Plus may be bigger, but if a larger screen is what you want, it’s peerless.
I’ve been testing iOS 8 for the past week on both of the new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which have the largest iPhone screens yet. Though it had a couple hiccups, like the Mail app crashing a few times, it’s a fast, solid and fresh version of iOS that users will like.
Apple has outdone itself with the iPhone 6’s design – despite gaining a significant amount of screen real estate, it doesn’t feel huge compared to its predecessor, and it’s still a very easy device to use one-handed. The new, thinner case means it weighs just over half an ounce more than the iPhone 5s, and the even weight distribution across a broader surface area means it isn’t noticeably heavier than the older phone. It manages to make the 5 and 5s feel downright chunky, in fact, which is incredible.
Are the bigger iPhones worth all this big time attention? The answer is a resounding yes, a point emphasized by consumers who’ve preordered the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in record numbers. These are the phones Apple devotees have been waiting for: iPhones that measure up to what’s fast becoming the new normal — the large, modern smartphone display. Count me among those glad they’re here.
I’ve been testing the more mainstream of the two models, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, for about a week now, and I think it’s a terrific phone. In my view, it’s the best smartphone on the market, when you combine its hardware, all-new operating system, and the Apple ecosystem whose doors it opens… The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.
After using both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for a week, I can report that Apple has successfully addressed its size deficiency, and much more. The $199 (with contract) iPhone 6 packs a 4.7-inch screen, big enough to get down to business, into the most comfortable smartphone I’ve ever held. And while the iPhone 6 Plus feels too big for my taste, for $100 more its 5.5-inch screen offers an option for road warriors who don’t want to carry a tablet. While the iPhone 6’s battery life proved mediocre with its screen at full brightness, it’s still the best smartphone you can buy.
I’ll wager that for most iPhone 5 users, the iPhone 6 will be a solid upgrade, and after a few days of adjustment, they’ll never miss their old iPhones. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s a device that will undoubtedly find its adherents. They might be people who use their iPhones constantly and also need as much battery power as possible, or people with large hands, or people for whom it will be the only computing device they’ll use every day. Samsung and other competitors have showed that there’s an audience for extra-large phones—and that’s now an audience that can buy an iPhone. That’s the whole point.
If there’s a certain flatness to this review, a lack of enthusiasm, it’s not intentional. Apple keeps repeating that the iPhones 6 are “better in every way”, and as far as I can tell that really is the case. Better fit and finish, better feel in hand, better display quality, faster CPU and GPU performance, better still photos, better video, better battery life, faster Wi-Fi and LTE networking speeds. I don’t know what more we could ask of Apple from a year-over-year improvement over the iPhone 5S, which remains an astounding device. And I’ve barely mentioned iOS 8, which I think is an improvement over iOS 7 in nearly every regard, with a strong focus on improved utility and no unnecessary gimmickry.
Where are the reviews of which contain a similar voice for Samsung’s Galaxy S5?