This past weekend my wife and I paid off our phones on T-Mobile and I thought, “Hey, maybe I’ll upgrade.” I was already planning on picking up a 6s+, but figured I’d do it around Christmas time as I normally do. With the phones paid off, however, I figured it would be fun to see if there were any of the model I wanted available. Fully expecting to be smiled at politely and told to come back later, I trumped out to see what could be found.
As it turns out, however, a local Apple Store actually did have the model I was looking for. Last night I spent time restoring an iPhone 6s+ from a backup and getting it ready to use. I’ve now had the device in hand for a full day and wanted to share some thoughts.
As my near vision has grown worse, the idea of a large-screen device has become more and more appealing. This is why I chose the 6s+ over the 6s, Simply put, I thought I’d be able to actually see it.
Even playing with the device in store, however, doesn’t prepare you for how huge it really is. When I pulled it out of its box my first thought was, “This thing is huge.” At this point I was a bit skeptical about the device, but I went through the setup process anyway, just so I could give it a fair shake.
My skeptical impressions continued as I used it as I went my sermon Sunday morning. As I used the 6s+ as my Keynote controller I found it extremely difficult to find a comfortable grip. The phone is so thin I found myself worrying that I’d drop it on the ground before I even really got a chance to use it! By the time I was getting ready to head over to worship I was all but certain I’d be exchanging it for the smaller model at some point this week. The device was just too big to be really useful.
And then, I began using it.
The first time I used the 6s+ to view an image someone had shared with me I remember thinking, “Whoa.” The screen was not only huge, it was stunning. I began to think, “Hmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t be too hasty about taking this back.” That single image gave my hands the space to figure out how to hold the device and, by the end of Worship, it was feeling more and more comfortable in my hand 1.
When I got home from worship I got caught up in a chat with some of my friends from the Theotek podcast and noticed something strange.
I left my iPad in my computer bag.
When I’m at home, my iPad has been my “go to” device, and has been ever since I first purchased an iPad 2. It’s what I use to chat, text, email, even do some serious writing and editing. The keyboard on the 6s+ was so easy to type with, however, I never felt the impulse to pull out my iPad to continue my chat.
Unlike my experiences with previous iPhones, I didn’t find myself searching for a bigger screen. The 6s+ was “just right.” By the evening, I was hooked. I’m loving the larger screen and, yes, I can see it a whole lot better than my 5s.
Feature thoughts – 3d touch
One of the features I didn’t think I’d care about all that much was 3d touch. It looked cool, but I couldn’t see what it would really add to the experience of a multi-touch device. In fact, my initial thought was to migrate to a 6+ and skip the “s” generation altogether. Having used 3d touch for a day, I can now say it is truly a transformation in a “phone’s 2” touch interface. Deep pressing an icon on the springboard can bring up a host of useful options for enable apps, but even better is deep pressing the keyboard, which transforms the input area into an extremely accurate trackpad. One of the things which I have not appreciated with multitouch interfaces is trying to tap to set a cursor position. I’ve found it frustrating at best. Imagine my surprise, then, when I deep-pressed the keyboard “just to see what happens 3.” When it morphed to a trackpad I almost cheered. The 6s is the beginning of 3d touch on the iPhone, I cannot wait to see where they take it from here!
Feature thoughts – battery
One of the aspects I found disappointing in my 5s was battery life. Perhaps I was spoiled by the all day battery life of my iPad, but I never felt as though I could really use my phone. On the iPad I can do some writing, respond to emails, hold several conversations, watch a couple of episodes of M*A*S*H, and do some exploration in Minecraft before I pay the slightest attention to my battery life. On my 5s, however every time I turned around it seemed as though I might have to begin conserving battery life.
After using the 6s+ all day, almost exclusively, I still had 26% on my battery around 10:30 PM 4. I had plugged in during a 20 minute drive earlier in the day, but as even without that I probably would have still had around 15% by that point. For the first time on my phone I feel as though I really have “all day” battery life.
First day conclusion
When I purchased my first iPhone, a 3gs, I was amazed by it. It was the slickest, and most powerful handheld I’d ever owned. While I enjoyed the 4s and, to a lesser extent, the 5s they never had that “wow” factor for me, personally. The 6s+ brings that sense back. This is a well-executed product!
- Well “hands.” It is a two-hand device for many communications tasks, especially typing. ↩
- Really, why do we still call these “phones?” ↩
- Sadly, I didn’t see the entire Apple event, this may have been demonstrated and I missed it. ↩
- Or, “about the time the clouds ruined my chance to photograph the eclipse.” ↩