Thursday, 6 November 2014

My Extensive iPhone 6 Review

I've been using iPhones for 6 years now, if the math is correct, as I seem to be snapping up the "whole" numbered ones, like not the S's! I've had the 4, the 5 and now the 6. I have had this phone for a few weeks now and wanna do an honest review on the phone....

If you don't have time to read my War and Peace recital, just scroll down to the conclusion.


Apple post Steve Jobs

Apple has done a pretty poor job of innovating and staying ahead of the tech market since Steve Jobs died. Since he passed there hasn't really been that many new products that has wow'd everyone like the iPod or iPad, or taking Macbook Air out of an envelope. They have released new models of course, but pretty much everything is lighter, faster, and smaller... but that shouldn't be the main feature of these products, they are the standard.



Unfortunately the iPhone 6 falls into this category of "uninnovative".  Nothing really stands out about this phone in comparison to the 5. It is faster, lighter, flatter and has a bigger screen. But the design is the same, and there are only 3 colours. It has surprised me that they haven't even tried to release different designs or the rumoured more "affordable" design option.

The Look
  • Bigger Size, Taller and Thinner - I'm not a huge fan of the bigger size actually, it doesn't seem as pocket friendly, but on the flipside it is great for watching YouTube or playing games. I personally like the size of from the original iPhone 4, but its understandable that Apple has decided to go this direction with the sizing being similar as HTC and Samsung phones.
  • Lighter - The weight of the 6 is very good. It seemed that they compromised with the metalic material of the iPhone 4/5 and went with a more plasticy aluminum(?). It does still feel metallic, just a different type of the 5.
  • Lock Button Moved to the Side - This seems to be the biggest change of the 6 to the 5! It is a good move though, so that everything can be done with one hand. The problem with the lock button on the top was that as these phones got bigger, it made it harder for people's fingers to reach it. However, its gonna take some getting used to, I've tried to press the lock at the top of the phone on multiple occasions.
  • Bigger Volume Buttons - Volume buttons are bigger, and a rounded rectangular shape now. This move I don't really understand. The main problem with the shape of the new volume buttons is that they actually feel very similar to the lock button now. In fact after looking closely I actually think they are the same button! I've accidently pressed them a few times thinking that its the lock button. I think they should have left the 5's round buttons, I thought they were quite slick, and was sad to see them go.
  • Camera Sticking Out a Bit - Some people might have issue with the fact that the camera at the back is sticking out slightly, meaning that when you put the phone down on a table it doesn't sit flush to it when facing upwards. I don't think this is a big thing for me though, as I would put it in my pocket a lot of the time, and I don't really see how that would effect anything really. The camera has more improvements so its understandable that the lens is bigger.
  • Rounded Edges - One of the biggest gripes of the 6's design is the fact that they have gone back to the rounded edges which reminds everyone of the original iPhone 1 and 2! I do agree that the flatter edges of the 4 and 5 do look much better, however I don't think its a big thing for me. My theory is that Apple decided that the flatter edges were a lot more easily damaged and chipped, so it was better to go with the rounded ones? Or it could also have something to do with the technology working better with the rounded edges possibly, as I remember they had problems with it when they first released the 4. Who knows? 
The Software
  • Touch ID -  Is it me or is this something that was added to the 5S that didn't really seem to be advertised as much? Anyways, Touch ID is where Apple has made the home button a fingerprint scanner (kinda). Basically uses your fingerprint as an way to ID you and unlocks the phone. When I first heard about this idea I thought that it was a pretty useless idea, trying to gimmick its way into adding another perk to the phone. However, after using it for a few months I'm genuinely impressed, and I have changed my mind about this and think its a useful feature. Swiping to unlock isn't practical sometimes and it isn't secure, but your thumb naturally is on the home button when you get the phone out, so unlocking the phone much better then before. On top of that, using it to buy apps instead of putting in the password every time is great. I actually cant wait to use ApplePay when that comes out in UK (most likely next year), as using your phone to pay for things using Touch ID sounds like a great idea. The question is whether there will be enough stores to have this implemented for this to actually be useful.

  • Reachability - Apple has spent some time in thinking about how the phone acts ergonomically and one of the main complaints is the fact that its ever increasing size is leading it towards it not being a one handed gadget anymore. They have tried to solve this problem by adding the Reachability feature, which is where you double tap the home button, and it moves the screen downwards so that you can reach the buttons at the top. It does seem pretty cool at how much extra tech they've added to the home button, but this feature seems kind of redundant. Firstly, it seems to have no mention of it in any of its websites, so when this happened I was totally confused as to what was going on with my screen. Next, it takes a lot of getting used to and remembering that it is actually there, I think most people (including myself) just use the other hand to reach. I've always thought that the iPhone 4 was the perfect size, and with folders never really understood why Apple kept making the phone longer and longer.
  • 4G - I finally gave up on Vodafone after 2 phones and decided to go with EE. In fact, Vodafone called me up near the end of my contract to try to convince me to stay, but that call cut off due to the lack of signal... in my home! I've gone with EE and so far things are pretty good. 4G is literally everything you wanted mobile phone internet to be. Websites load fast, YouTube works great, even watching on iPlayer... on a train was seamless! Word to the wise though, be careful with watching streams on HD, it eats up your data usage quick! Oh, and 2 for 1 Orange Wednesdays and Pizza Express deal with EE is really nice!
  • Memory - So as expected, everything is jacked up. The chip is faster and I haven't had any problems. iOS8 works great on the phone (not so great on older iPads though), and I have a whopping 16 GB storage. Actually that isn't a lot. However, with streaming movies, and not really having all my music on the phone, I really don't need that much memory so its ok for me. But the decision that they would only have 16 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB storage models baffles me. Skipping the 32 GB which seems like the perfect size (had it for my 5) seems like a mistake to me. 16 GB is fine for me, but way to small for others most likely, considering that iOS8 takes up 5GB. 64/128 GB seems way too much unless your planning on uploading all seasons of Friends onto your phone (I think I did House MD). It does seem that Apple has really lost the mark by not selling a 32 GB model and/or not including some possible add on for expanding memory.
  • Battery Life - When travelling with my iPhone, I am using it almost all the time. I'll be listening to music, playing games, taking pictures/movies, checking Facebook, watching movies and looking at the map. With this much demand on it didn't surprise me that the iPhone 5 would run out of battery on a full day's work. So I'd carry my charger wire and MU plug with me which is fine.The battery life has improve significantly with the 6. Its quite impressive. I've watched like 2 hours worth of shows, plus playing Fruit Ninja, Tiny Tower Vegas, and Big 2 for another 2 hours, whilst listening to music and it still had plenty to spare!
The MU Plug which can fit in your coat pocket!

***Skip to here if don't have time to read all that up there!***




Conclusions

The Good
  1. Its lighter, faster, bigger screen, better resolution, Apple still has the most responsive touch screen in my opinion.
  2. Touch ID is a good useful feature, can see it working with Apply Pay when that comes out.
  3. Lock button is moved to the side.
  4. Higher pixel camera.
  5. iOS8 works seamlessly and I still think the Apple interface is the simplest to use.
  6. Longer battery life!
The Bad
  1. Not a big fan of making the phones taller and taller, not that pocket friendly.
  2. Volume buttons and Lock button are literally the same, leads to some confusion when feeling for the buttons.
  3. Not a big fan of the rounded edges or the plastic metallic material, I think the 4/5 models look cooler.
  4. No implementation of expanding memory still.
Its really disappointing that Apple hasn't implemented a super cheap model of the iPhone, or even release more different models. It kind of feels like that they're satisfied with just going for one model and making it as good as they can. I upgraded my iPhone from the 5 to the 6, because I could, but in reality I wasn't super hyped about it that much, and continuing to use the 5 would have been fine.

The best advice I can give comes from NXIS a tech channel I follow who did a review for it. If you like iPhone, then get it, if you don't, then don't get it. Because this iPhone isn't gonna change your mind if you like Samsung or HTC. I like iPhones so I'm happy with this model. Battery life and Touch ID are the biggest things for me. Anyways, hope that helps if your deciding!



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