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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Bigger is in fact better (in the right hands)

Jason Snell | Sept. 18, 2014
When Apple released the first iPhone, its 3.5-inch touchscreen seemed huge compared to the displays of other phones. Nonetheless, competitors responded with even larger screens, trying to find areas where they could provide clear alternatives to Apple hardware. Consumers responded positively, so the competition started making even bigger phones.

When Apple released the first iPhone, its 3.5-inch touchscreen seemed huge compared to the displays of other phones. Nonetheless, competitors responded with even larger screens, trying to find areas where they could provide clear alternatives to Apple hardware. Consumers responded positively, so the competition started making even bigger phones.

Whatever good reasons Apple had for sticking with its 3.5-inch (and later 4-inch) screensand there are good reasons, including the fact that its hard to hold and control larger phonesit also meant it was ceding the large end of the market to the likes of Samsung.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are Apples reply to the success of large Android phones. The iPhone 6 measures 4.7 inches, while the iPhone 6 Plus comes in at 5.5 inches. Both models will help Apple reach an audience that just wasnt being served by the 4-inch iPhone 5s and 5cthough the company also risks alienating people who actually preferred the smaller screens.

Twin wonders

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are essentially the same device, with differently sized displays and only a few minor internal variations. The phones' release marks the first time Apple has launched two entirely new iPhones simultaneously, as last years iPhone 5c was really just an iPhone 5 with a different body.

Hold an iPhone 6 in your hand for the first time, and you can tell its a very different device from the iPhones of the past four years. Gone is the more industrial feel of the iPhone 4 and 5, with their straight sides and chamfered edges. The new phones have rounded edges, more akin to the iPod touch, iPad, and even the very first iPhone.

If the iPhone 6 used the same design as the iPhone 5, but were larger, it would feel immense. But even though the iPhone 6 is slightly heavier than the iPhone 5, its curved edges (not just the metal, but the edges of the glass front are curved) and thinness save it from feeling like an oversized monstrosity. After a few days, I found I had unconsciously changed the default position of my fingers when holding the phone, and using it felt entirely natural.

Then theres the iPhone 6 Plus. While I wouldnt call it an oversized monstrosity, its definitely huge. As with the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Pluss thinness and curved edges do offset the extra size somewhat. However, you will never mistake the iPhone 6 Plus for the iPhone 6. Its three-quarters of an inch (or roughly 14 percent) wider. In my average-size male hands, I found I could hold the iPhone 6 Plus, and manage to get my thumb to reach across the screen, at the very bottom, if I concentrated. But beyond looking at the huge screen and doing some simple gestures, this seems to be a device thats made for two-handed operation.

 

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