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Review: First impressions of the new iPhone 6

Michael deAgonia | Sept. 22, 2014

Build quality and design

I better understand the intention, the attempt at symmetry, in the shape of the original iPhone in 2007, because the iPhone 6 does that design better. With the exception of the rectangular display, nearly every aspect of the latest design swoops into a curve, forgoing the hard angles that have been part of the iPhone look since 2010's iPhone 4.

Build quality is best-in-class, with the parts displaying precision craftsmanship and tight tolerances; if you're a hardware fan, you have got to appreciate Apple's designs.

While the iPhone 6 looks like an iPhone, it doesn't feel like recent models. The smooth shape and texture are a departure from the style of the iPhone 4 and 5 families, and not just because the iPhone case is larger to compensate for the screen. The overall shape, from its thin form (6.9mm) to the lack of hard angles, means it feels smoother in your hand than previous models. But the sleek feel comes with a caveat: The anodized aluminum casing is a little more slippery, so iPhone 6 owners should be a bit mindful when carrying this model.

The size increase for both models means the keyboard has a little more room to stretch, and because of that, the iPhone 6 feels much nicer to type on than previous models. Also, the new location on the power button — on the right side of the phone where the old volume controls were — is going to take some getting used to. (Moving it from the top to the side was an obvious decision to put the power button within easier reach when using the phone one-handed.) And, of course, the larger screen offers room for an additional row of home screen icons.

Final thoughts

There is much more to this iPhone — and how it integrates with Apple's new iOS 8 — I have yet to explore. I'll be putting it through its paces in the next week or so. But I don't need a lot of time to know that the iPhone 6 has all of the marks of being another hit product. It's fast, it's gorgeous, and it comes complete with an app and media ecosystem that is second to none. That's why people get up at 3 a.m. to pre-order or brave the urban outdoors for days — for this kind of technological excellence.

Apple has delivered again.


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