Smartphone Stories: iPhone 6 Plus First Impression & Review

I’ve had bad luck with Android phones. Granted, my 2013 HTC One M8 lasted until last year, when I lost it while riding on my scooter in an unfamiliar place while it was raining. It got run over a few times by cars. I reported it lost at the nearest police station, and after a few days I got it back. Surprisingly enough, it was still running, even though the screen looked completely messed up.

I switched over to a Sony Z1, and there were plenty of improvements, notwithstanding the keyboard and text recognition functions. It read through my emails, Facebook and Twitter posts, and suggested the words it thought I would use. It was miles ahead of HTC.

I had gotten it second hand, and it only took a few months before problems started to happen. I got myself the Sony Z2, second-hand again. Once again, some improvements, but mostly minor.

All of my Android handsets ended up with cracked screens. The HTC was the sturdiest, but the Sonys were not very rugged. It didn’t help that finding the right case for them was a Homeric Odyssey. This is due to the fact that there are way too many different sized Android handsets, and the case manufacturers just don’t offer cases for some phones. This was never a problem with the iPhone 4S I had.

I delayed as much as possible, and my choice was between a Samsung Galaxy S6 and an iPhone 6+. I was going to get a Samsung, but the price point was a bit steep. It was almost similarly-priced as an iPhone. Also, there were some problems with some S6 handsets. That kind of finalized my thoughts, so when I went to renew a contract with my carrier, I got an iPhone 6+ 128 GB.

My reasoning was that, yes, a new iPhone will be coming out quite soon. However, in Taiwan, it will take until late December, early January before it becomes widely available. There will be a frenzy in late October that won’t abate until then. That being said, I’ll have at least 5-6 months on this phone. Once the new iPhone is out, I’ll get it, sell this one, and upgrading will be pretty easy.

Also, my carrier informed me a few weeks ago that I had become a VIP customer. In Taiwan, this means that when you get a new contract and a new phone, you don’t have to prepay for around 10 months in advance. So the cost of getting a new contract dropped significantly, in essence by half.

The iPhone 6+ is only slightly bigger than my previous phone. It’s quite fast. I immediately got a tempered glass screen protector, and back case protector as well as a clear case that they had available. I’ll probably end up getting a rugged case for it. I’ve gotten a bit paranoid about drops, and you know that eventually, your phone will slip out of your hands, your pocket, or you’ll just drop it.

The one thing that had really started to annoy me on my Android was storage management. All right, I know that the onboard storage is only 16GB, but I added a 64 GB microSD card, so it shouldn’t complain. However, since I take a lot of photos, and tend to keep them on my device, the gallery thumbnails file got up to 6GB, which was ludicrous. So I was running apps to clear the RAM and the stored temporary files as much as possible, sometimes 2-5 times a day. It was annoying.

Naturally, this isn’t the case with the iPhone 6+. There is no integrated swipe keyboard, which is a bit annoying. Also text recognition and suggestion isn’t as good as on the Z2, but I think that with enough training, it will get there. The camera sensor is pretty good. I wasn’t expecting it to be that good.

Another thing that I don’t like is the management of the home screens. In Android, you can customize yours to your heart’s content. In iOS, this isn’t the case. You can group icons, put them on the same pages, but you can’t arrange icons in the order that you want. They auto arrange, which is annoying.

If you have big hands, then handling a bigger phone like the iPhone 6+ isn’t a problem. I’ve had no issues, except trying to find the right pocket to stash it in. Touch ID is really well implemented. I have stored at least 5 different fingerprints on it, and unlocking it with my hands is very quick. I dislike passcodes, so this is a benefit.

On Android, transferring files from your computer is a hit and miss. No matter how much you dislike iTunes, at least it works. You can back up your phone, transfer the files you want, and they appear on your phone. On Android, after trying a few different desktop software solutions, I was still using Airdroid to transfer over my files.

Battery life is where the iPhone 6 shines. I usually charge it up at night, before I go to sleep. Disconnect it and wake up to have it still at 100%. It lasts me for 22 to 24 hours. With the Android handsets, I had to charge them up at noon, back up to 90%+, and then they would last me until night. This was a significant change.

I read a lot of books on my iPad. It’s nice to have them sync up on my iPhone, whipping it out whenever I have free time, and continuing to read where I had left off.

Overall, I like the iPhone 6+. It’s an improvement over what I had before, even in screen resolution. I can’t compare it to an S6 or S6 Edge because I haven’t tested them out. Unless you’re looking at deals, I’d wait until the iPhone 6S was released before upgrading, or unless you get one as part of a new contract like I did.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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