October 1, 2014
by Neil Turner
As I mentioned yesterday, this week I’m reviewing the new iPhone 6 on Three. If you’re like me and have just come to the end of a two year contract with the iPhone 5, then you may be interested to know what’s changed and whether it’s worth upgrading.
The biggest change with the new phone is the larger screen. It’s taller – enough for another row of icons on the home screen when compared with the 5/5S/5C, and two more rows when compared to earlier models like the 4S. But it’s also wider too. And you have the option of having more space on the screen, like I have done, or have everything increase in size to give a similar experience to earlier models but with bigger icons. Apps that have been designed for iOS 8 will work with no problems, but older apps may look a bit blurry as they scale up to the larger screen – a bit like how pre-iOS 4 apps looked on the iPhone 4’s then-new retina display.
The increased size does mean that it’s now much harder to use the phone with one hand, and even my relatively large hands were too small to access all of the screen single-handedly. You can double-tap – not double-press – the home button to move the screen down to be able to access the top in a feature called Reachability, but this feels a bit clunky in my experience.
Like the iPhone 5S this includes Touch ID, allowing you to unlock your phone by simply holding your finger over the home button. I was impressed at how well this worked, actually – it’s quick and simple.
The phone is about a millimetre slimmer, but its rounded edges mean that it feels even thinner than the iPhone 5. It also feels more comfortable to hold as there’s no longer a noticeable join where the glass screen meets the casing – it’s smooth now. I also want to say it’s lighter, but I’m not sure if it actually is – it certainly feels lighter but that might be because of the larger surface area. And no, it doesn’t appear to bend at all – my wife tried.
The lock button has moved. There is now nothing on the top edge of the phone; prior to the iPhone 5 the headphone port and lock button were here, and then the headphone port moved to the bottom edge in the iPhone 5. Now the lock button has gone too, and is now towards the top of the left edge. It takes some getting used to but it’s reachable with one hand now.
The camera has received a bit of an upgrade and can now do slow-motion video. It pokes out from the back of the phone, so unlike previous models it’s not flush with the casing. Unless you put a case on your phone, you’ll never be able to get your phone flat on a surface, and I am a little worried about the potential for the camera lens getting scratched.
I won’t have enough time to compare battery life reliably, but Apple claims that it will last longer than previous models offering around 2 more hours of internet browsing on 3G connections than the iPhone 5S.
Overall it’s a good upgrade, especially for those wanting a bigger screen. The phone feels like a quality product – solid and well-built, but with the design qualities that you’d expect from Apple.