While I love the smooth, rounded edges of the iPhone 6 and the screen is great for looking at things, it is simply not a convenient phone to actually use. The bottom line for me is that the size of the phone makes interacting with it frustrating and it annoys me in various ways throughout the day.
The iPhone 6 is a huge phone1 and, it turns out, I’m not a huge fan. I tried to like it. I really did. At the same time, I had expected this would happen so I shouldn’t be surprised. I have been bemoaning the impracticality of a bigger phone since the rumors first surfaced. While it was an interesting novelty during the first few days, as time wears on, I dislike the iPhone 6 as my main phone for a variety of reasons.
Despite my misgivings about the phone’s size, it certainly has a better “feel” than the Samsung Galaxy S5 (which leaves you with the impression of it feeling like a cheap, plastic piece of crap). And while the iPhone 6’s size remains a major obstacle to my enjoyment and its utility, the inconvenience extends to the app interfaces themselves. Developers will need some time to come to grips with how to adjust their app designs to suit the larger form factor. What was surprising to me, however, is that apps like Mail still have critical controls along the device’s top edge. To reach any top edge interface elements requires two hands or two extra taps (for the ridiculous but sometimes necessary Reachability feature).
The placement of the Power button on the right side of the device is awful. With practice, I am getting better at not adjusting volume whenenver I turn off the display but it still happens far more times than I’d care to admit.
When the phone is lying on my desk and I want to turn off the display, I have to adopt a curious spidery grip in order to hold the phone firmly enough to depress the power button, yet not depress the area where the volume buttons are. Since these buttons are directly opposite each other, your natural instinct is to hold the phone on opposite sides and press. On the iPhone 6, this makes the volume go up and only delivers enough of the remaining pressure on the button to turn the screen off 50% of the time. Despite my complaints about the size, power button placement is the thing I hate most about the phone.
If ApplePay is really the panacea they are making it out to be, it may be enough of a reason to stick with the iPhone 6. However, if ApplePay ends up being another Healthkit (a whopper of a disappointment so far), I may end up going back to the iPhone 5S. I guess that makes me a contrarian. There are worse things to be.2
I will also hold out hope that next year Apple will introduce a new 5S-sized phone to compliment the 6 and 6+. I would love to have a 5S styled like the iPhone 6. I won’t hold my breath though since the trend is bigger and not smaller. I fear we all may be shopping for bigger pants by next year.