A funny thing happened at the Apple Store two weeks ago.
I waited approximately two and a half hours to get my iPhone 6S, and I spent that entire time standing in front of a display for the larger iPhone 6S Plus, a phone I had written off because of its seemingly-gargantuan size. I’ve always thought those giant “phablets” looked too goofy to own.
But after standing in front of that phone for so long, admiring its big beautiful display, I felt underwhelmed when I looked at my own iPhone 6. It suddenly felt… small.
It was a strange feeling that I thought would pass. And yet, as the Apple Store employee finally delivered my working iPhone 6S and I left the store, I felt a twinge of regret: Maybe I should have upgraded to a bigger phone this year.
This was a thought I never imagined having.
A perceptual 180
A few years ago, on a sunny evening in Ogunquit, Maine, I was getting dinner with my parents when I noticed a middle-aged man receive a phone call in the middle of the restaurant, holding up a Samsung Galaxy Note to his face.
The phablet lit up the entire side of the man’s face, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’ll never be one of those people!” I told myself.
Fast forward to last weekend, and here I was, sitting in my living room, staring at my iPhone 6S, wondering, “What gives? Why does this feel so small all of a sudden?” It was a strange feeling, that spending a couple of hours in front of a bigger phone could make me actually want that bigger phone.
It felt like an emotional impulse, but I gave in to the feeling. And last week, I returned my iPhone 6S within Apple’s 14-day window and upgraded to the larger iPhone 6S Plus. I visited an Apple Store last Friday and exchanged the two phones, paying the $US100 difference and going on my way.
Now I finally understand why people love big phones. It’s not about different phones for different hand sizes; it’s about accommodating people that use smartphones like pocket computers as opposed to just phones.
Sure, I’ll be taking plenty of phone calls and holding this massive slab of aluminium up to my face. It might even look funny when I do it. But I only use my phone to call people about 5% of the time; the rest of the time I’m texting, or surfing the web, or playing a game. And in all of those instances, it’s almost always better to have a bigger screen. So long as it still fits in my pockets and hands, bigger smartphones are the way to go.
I’m very happy with my purchase, and I’m glad that my minor concerns — the phone might be too big for one-handed use, and it might not fit in my pocket — ended up being completely inconsequential.
That said, I don’t think the iPhone 6S (regular or Plus-sized) is a necessary upgrade if you already own the iPhone 6. The new features are cool, but you won’t come into contact with them too often unless you’re a big picture-taker. If you own an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, I’d recommend waiting until next year to upgrade.
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