For the first time ever, Apple introduced two phones of different sizes at once. This is a huge deal for the company which kept the original phone screen size until the iPhone 5. The good news it is potentially easy to decide between the two devices – based upon what you do most.
What makes the decision a bit easier is the fact that Apple makes no iPad smaller than the mini which does not fit in suit or pants pockets. Interestingly a seven-inch tablet like the Google Nexus will fit in either. Point being, there are many people who will say, “I don’t need a large phone because I have a tablet.” While this is a logical point, the reality is, you don’t always have the tablet with you because it is another device to charge and of course carry. In other words, this post is most useful for the person who doesn’t have a tablet or other computer handy at all times.
Working: In my opinion the iPhone 6 is too small for serious work. It is fine for things like texting, quick emails, minimal web browsing, etc.
The 6 Plus is better device for accessing documents and spreadsheets because the screen real-estate is far greater and instead of Retina HD of 1334×750, you get Retina HD of 1920×1080 which is 1080P. You also get better battery-life which is important for power users who get lots of email. Winner: iPhone 6 Plus.
Gaming: If this is your thing, you likely want the biggest screen – that means the 6 Plus. Other than portability there is no benefit to the iPhone 6 for playing games of any kind. Winner iPhone 6 Plus.
Exercising: If you spend a lot of time in the gym or outdoors, the 6 Plus is a pain to deal with as it is 6.2 inches tall. How do you strap it to your body? Does it go around your arm? Clip to the curve of your waist? Possibly not as it is potentially too big. Will it attach to the lower back like an old Sony Walkman? Winner: iPhone 6.
Driving: If you spend a lot of time in the car, you want a phone which allows quick one-handed operation. The iPhone 6 Plus has a neat trick that allows you to bring the items at the top of the screen lower for easier one-handed operation. Actually both phones do this. This feature is great for driving as the other hand is hopefully steering but the 6 Plus is still awkward to hold without two hands. It is a bit too big. Winner: iPhone 6.
Video: If you live in FaceTime or Skype then the 6 Plus is your cup of tea because of the better screen and longer battery life. Winner: iPhone 6 Plus.
Poor eyesight: Obviously a larger screen with better resolution would theoretically mean a better viewing experience. For websites this makes perfect sense. However, the reality is that the iPhone 6 actually has larger and easier to read fonts when viewing email and even when browsing using the Reader mode. It seems counterintuitive but the iPhone 6 Plus is treated as a tablet when in landscape mode meaning much of the screen is taken up by your email list and not as much space is left for the body of the email. As crazy as it sounds, for people with poor eyesight it’s a draw – in many cases the iPhone 6 is actually better! Winner: neither.
Social Acceptance: Let’s face it, the iPhone 6 Plus is a large phone and taking pictures with it, holding it up to your ear and carrying it in tight-fitting clothes will all be socially awkward. At least for now. In a year or so, people may get used to it. You know, kind of like we are all used to wearing our clothes inside-out and backwards thanks to the bands of the nineties.
Conclusion: If you use your phone for video, web surfing, work where you may need to see graphics, designs, PDF files, etc., you need an iPhone 6 Plus. Moreover, you should be aware that you will likely always want to use the device with two hands. In other words you will lose some single-handed functionality but make up for it with increased productivity when using both hands.
If you are still unsure, another way of deciding is to determine how many hours you spend performing many of the various tasks above. If you spend most of your time working, the 6 Plus is for you. Are you all about exercise or spend hours in your car in stop-and-go-traffic? Then consider the 6. If battery-life is the most important issue, go with the 6 Plus.
Whichever phone you choose, be aware that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Note Edge have superior screens in resolution and quality compared to either iPhone 6 model. These two Samsung devices almost made me defect to Android for my primary device. You may want to look at all four of these devices together before making a final decision. See my post from yesterday to learn more.