The first reviews of Apple’s new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, were published Tuesday night.
They’re all very positive. Many reviewers are calling the iPhone 6 the best phone in the world. It seems like the only problem reviewers had is which model is better, the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch screen. (In case you forgot, both models are bigger than the iPhone 5S, which has a 4-inch screen.)
Here’s a quick roundup of some of the reviews:
Walt Mossberg of Re/code says the iPhone 6 is the best smartphone you can buy:
The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.
Molly Wood of The New York Times praised the battery life:
Call quality on the new phones is excellent and I found battery life on the smaller iPhone 6 to be impressive. I went almost two full days without a charge. Battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus is more like a day of constant use and not much more, but that’s not terrible on a phone that size.
Joshua Topolsky of Businessweek liked the design, but had a few minor complaints:
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are significantly redesigned compared with last year’s iPhone 5S and 5C. Both devices utilise an ultrathin unibody aluminium enclosure, one that bares a startling resemblance to the original iPhone from 2007, and the devices can be bought in “space” grey, silver, or gold. The iPhone 6 is just 6.9mm in thickness (in comparison the 5S seems flabby with its 7.6mm profile), while the 6 Plus is only 7.1mm. Both feel svelte and lean in your hand — solid, with good weight, but incredibly skinny. Though I must say, while the iPhone 5S stood out in a crowd of Android smartphones with its chamfered edges and Leica-esque controls, you might not know the iPhone 6 next to the latest Galaxy S5 or the HTC One. And while the design is still impressive, some details feel a bit off. The bold antenna lines that run around the back of the devices and the protruding camera lens make the phones seem slightly less disciplined compared with the company’s previous work.
Tim Stevens of CNET prefers the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but admits it might be too large for some:
The iPhone 6 Plus is a great phone, but it isn’t for everybody. I hate the word “phablet” (literally, “phone” plus “tablet”), but you can’t deny that’s exactly what the 6 Plus is. Its 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS LCD deftly straddles the chasm that existed between the former 4-inch iPhone 5s and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. While the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 fits in the same gap, the 6 Plus sits right in the sweet spot for those who’d like a little tablet with their smartphone.
Geoffrey Fowler of The Wall Street Journal says the iPhone 6’s slightly larger screen comes with a lot of benefits:
That 0.7-inch bump in screen size from the 5S to the 6 buys you a lot. You get an extra row of apps on the home screen and can see an extra email in your inbox. Long-form reading is easier: When using the Kindle app, setting fonts to roughly the same size, I got about 30 more words on each iPhone 6 screen than on an iPhone 5S. (That means a third less time turning virtual pages.) And anyone with poor vision will appreciate a new “zoomed” mode that’s like reading glasses for your iPhone.
Lance Ulanoff of Mashable praised the camera, especially the video recording:
The iPhone 6’s video capabilities are mind-bogglingly good. While the default setting for video is 1080p, 30 frames per second (fps), you can go into settings and change it to 60 fps. The resulting video has an almost hyper-real look; essentially people and objects look like you could reach out and touch them.
Nilay Patel of The Verge says the larger screen on the iPhone 6 Plus makes some apps look worse:
The app scaling also affects various apps differently, and most of them definitely need to be updated to look better. Twitter looks fine, with sharp text and only moderately soft icons. (It’s hilarious that you can only see four tweets at a time, though.) Instagram photos look terrific, but the text is a little soft. Facebook and Gmail are pretty fuzzy all around. Text in the Kindle app is headache-inducing soft; it definitely needs an update to be readable. FIFA 14 looks solid, but Madden Mobile glitches out with a totally misaligned screen on load. Whoops.
Many reviewers, including David Pierce of The Verge, said you should buy a case for the iPhone 6. It sounds like this thing is slippery:
In a weird way, slim and gorgeous as it is, this iPhone begs to have a case on it. (Apple makes some, including a really nice line of leather cases, and the third-party ecosystem is going to get even bigger.) It helps obscure the unsightly plastic strips, it make the otherwise slick phone a little easier to grip, and it compensates for the awkwardly protruding camera lens on the back, which prevents the phone from sitting flat on a table. I’m worried I’m going to scratch the lens, and I’m annoyed that the phone wobbles. A case solves both problems.
Several reviewers also liked the curved, seamless design. Here’s what Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch said:
The rounded edges all along the display help contribute to the near-seamless look that Apple was going for, but they also serve an ergonomic purpose. Using Apple’s swipe-back and swipe-forward gestures, which it began to use to replace back and forward button navigations in iOS 7, is much easier and more natural with the iPhone’s new front glass design, and when the device’s screen is darkened, these catch and bend light in a way that’s sure to appeal to a design fan’s eye.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop said both models are good. You just have to decide if you prefer the extra-large screen of the Plus:
I found nothing significant in my week of use with either iPhone 6 model that would lead me to any other conclusion than to recommend both. Choose the one that fits your lifestyle the best and be happy.
David Pogue of Yahoo Tech said the screens aren’t just bigger, they’re also better looking:
The screens are terrific. The smaller iPhone 6’s screen has 1334 × 750 pixels (326 dots per inch), and the Plus’s screen is 1920 × 1080 pixels (401 dpi), which is full high definition. Other phones have more dots or smaller ones, but at this point, everybody is just chasing unicorns; these screens have long since exceeded the ability of our eyes to distinguish pixels.
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