I was getting sick of my iPhone this time last year.
I test a lot of phones, and even though I prefer Apple’s ecosystem and hardware over Android and other alternatives, I found myself drooling over the big-screen devices from Samsung, Motorola, and HTC. I always said my dream phone would be one with a large screen running Apple’s software.
That’s what I got last fall when Apple finally caught up to the rest of the industry and released two new iPhones with larger screens.
I went as big as I could and bought the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a 5.5-inch screen. Even though it’s just a bigger iPhone that runs the same apps as before, I’ve been able to center my life around one gadget instead of several.
I use my MacBook Air for writing and a few other specialised tasks, but everything else from emailing to social networking to coordinating with my colleagues in Slack takes place on my iPhone.
I’ve had the iPhone 6 Plus for a little over six months, and it’s now my primary computer. I used to have a hodgepodge of other gadgets to get stuff done, but I’ve been able to meld everything into just one device.
Here’s how I got there.
First, I ditched my iPad.
Within a few weeks, I realised my iPhone 6 Plus had replaced my iPad Mini. This wasn’t intentional. It came about organically. I don’t think I touched my iPad the first week I had the 6 Plus. Eventually, it lost its charge sitting unused on my nightstand.
I originally bought the iPad Mini in 2013 because I was sick of my tiny iPhone 5. I wanted a bigger screen to get stuff done and consume content like Netflix and articles I saved to Pocket. But I also wanted to do all that through iOS, which I think is a much better ecosystem than Android. The iPad Mini was the best choice for me. It was small enough to carry easily to meetings and interviews, but still gave me plenty of room to consume content. In fact, I found myself using my iPad more than my iPhone many days.
But the downside to that setup meant I was lugging around three gadgets: An iPhone, MacBook, and iPad. That was hardly ideal.
The iPhone 6 Plus’ 5.5-inch screen is the perfect size for everything I want to do. It’s small enough to fit in my pocket, but I still have plenty of room to watch videos or get a some emailing and work done. It’s also a lot easier to type on than the tiny iPhone 5 or even the slightly larger iPhone 6. I’m a tall guy with hands to match, and typing two-handed on the iPhone in portrait mode is natural and much more comfortable for me. I can bang out lengthy emails or texts much easier now, which is a big reason why I use it more than my MacBook.
I sold my iPad Mini about a month after I got the 6 Plus. The perfect combination for me has turned out to be the iPhone 6 Plus and MacBook Air.
Battery life is great.
Next to having more space to do stuff, the other important advantage to larger phones is extended battery life. A bigger phone means a bigger battery, and the iPhone 6 Plus can usually last me a day and a half. More, if I really push it. I still charge my phone every night so I’m at 100% to start each day, but it’s been refreshing to know that I don’t have to panic about running out of juice in the evening if I want to go out after work. I haven’t had to ask a bartender or waiter to charge my phone in months.
But the large size has some drawbacks.
Even with my larger-than-average hands, it’s impossible for me to use the 6 Plus one handed. Apple added a new feature called Reachability that lets you double-tap the home button to move that top portion of the screen down so you can tap it with your thumb, but I find that extra step annoying. I almost always end up holding my iPhone 6 Plus with two hands.
The 6 Plus is also uncomfortable in my jeans pocket, especially when I’m sitting down and it jabs into my side. I’ve developed a habit of always taking my phone out and resting it on the table when I sit somewhere. That can get distracting when I’m in a meeting and everyone in the room can see notifications whir across my lock screen.
But those are the only two cases where I consistently find the iPhone 6 Plus to be too big. Neither are dealbreakers, and they’re small concessions to make for all the other advantages I get.
Get the iPhone 6 Plus, not the iPhone 6.
When I first reviewed the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, my gut told me to recommend the 6 over 6 Plus. Even though I enjoyed the Plus more, I figured it would be too large for most people.
But I’ve changed my mind.
I think the iPhone 6 Plus is the phone to buy. You get better battery life, a bigger screen, and the size won’t be too cumbersome for most people. It’s not just my phone of choice. It’s my computer of choice.