Wednesday, September 24, 2014

iPhone 6+ Review from a non-journalist. (Is that even a word?)

Quick iPhone 6+ review: This is the est iPhone ever owned.  A step-function better than last year's model.  For a few years there, we saw only incremental, unexciting improvements.  I didn't even bother upgrading from 5 to 5S, I was so jaded with the lack of iPhone innovation.  This one is different.  Here's why:
  1. Battery life is fantastic!  I can easily get 12 hours of actual use and another 6-8 hours of standby before the battery wears out.  I have owned almost every iPhone since the original and this is the first iPhone that can actually get me through an entire day without running out of battery.
  2. Screen is perfect!  Just pops.  Insanely beautiful screen.  I use "Zoom mode" which works perfectly for my often-tired eyes that look at screens and read A LOT every day.
  3. New paradigm- since I rarely, if ever, make an actual phone call with my "iPhone," for me this is actually a "Device."  I hate the terms phablet, tablet, smartphone.  It's a magical device which I use for reading, social media, navigation, recording my bike rides, email, photos and more.  I don't use it to make phone calls.
  4. It's a small kindle, and perfect size for me to hold and read WSJ, NY times, kindle books, etc.  I can even read PDFs on it now, but that is still unwieldy.  I will still have to read magazines on my iPad- but reading them is a leisure activity anyway.
  5. Videos!  The screen is big enough that I can actually envision watching a full-length movie on this device on an airplane if I don't have my iPad with me.
  6. Thumb sensor- the biometric sensor works for me about 99% of the time.  It's silly, but this little method of unlocking my device saves me a lot of small frustration and time every day.  It sounds lazy, but isn't ease of use the reason we have computers in the first place?  Why should I have to conform to a computer?  Why don't we make them work FOR us?  This is deep in the Apple DNA- the idea that things should be "user friendly."
  7. Security of iOS8.  OK, I'm sure the NSA will crack it in time, but I really like the stance Tim Cook is taking on privacy by having the phone encrypted to the point that Apple cannot give your password to the so-called "authorities" who have no business knowing about my latex fetish.  Wait, what?
  8. Speed-  I have seen a marked increase in "Snappiness" in the newest OS with my 6+.  Screens pop open faster, apps work better, and wireless is faster.  It is VERY noticeable in Instagram, for some reason.
  9. HUGE storage.  I went with the 128Gb option (Which is only like 110Gb- I don't understand why this isn't false advertising- but this is always done in computer-land).  Sure, the cloud and all that, but what if you're in a subway?  Then it's nice to have your actual content on your device.  And anyway, I'll fill up the space for sure, I'm kind of a digital hoarder.
  10. Camera.  Insanely great.  Slow-mo, time lapse, amazing quality.  I won't use the gimmicky things myself, but I can't wait to start watching the YouTube videos the kids with time on their hands start posting using the 6+.
  11. Size matters.  The elephant in the room?  I find the size fine.  I can easily fit the device in the front pocket of my pants, and I can easily hold it and operate it with one hand.  (Nature has chosen to bless me physically with large feet, hands and, well, anyway, you'll have to try this device for yourself to see if it's too big for you.)
I find this iPhone to be nearly the perfect "device" and it has caused me to no longer lug my iPad around with me daily.  It will now be used for travel and conferences only.  At night, I'll probably still read on the amazing new Amazon Kindle, just because I read a lot and it's the perfect pure reading device.


However, the 6+  is the "one device to rule them all" for me and truly almost perfect. (And I won't put it in my back pocket like a dummy and sit on it.)

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