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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, two weeks on

I gave the iPhone 6 Plus a good try, I really did. But I hated it.

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There’s nothing wrong with how it runs. It was just far too big. I am a user who has his phone in his pocket most of the time and uses his phone with one hand. These things are both nigh on impossible with the 6 Plus.

Unwieldy is how I would describe the 6 Plus. While being well-constructed, the smooth backing is hard to grip and operate with a single hand. If you’re OK with holding the phone in one hand and controlling it with the other hand then you’ll be fine. I hated it.

Moreover, if you don’t use a case then typing while the phone is sitting flat on a table will result in annoying wobbles. This is caused by the camera lens sticking out a little way from the rest of the phone’s body. It’s the same with the regular iPhone 6, but is more annoying on the 6 Plus due to the size of the thing.

Sitting down with the phone in my pocket was very uncomfortable, including when sitting in a car when you don’t really want to have to take your phone out. And if I did leave it in my pocket there would be no way of getting it out again without standing up.

Apple has made a number of changes to how iOS8 works on 6 Plus. Turning the bigger phone sideways rotates a number of apps. This means you’ll see the body of an email on the left and the list of your emails on the right. It’s useful but it doesn’t make the phone any more usable with one hand.

The regular iPhone 6 is still bigger than the previous iPhone 5S and 5C, but not annoyingly so. But this is because I’m a guy with decent handspan. My partner finds the iPhone 6 too large and the 6 Plus unusable. She also points out that while she could carry it in her handbag, when she goes out she’ll often only take a clutch purse that doesn’t fit either of the new iPhones.

Dropped reception

In using both phones I came across an issue of dropped signal from my mobile carrier. This would happen at random times and occasionally while in the middle of using the phone. While it never caused a call to be dropped, it did occur while I was using mobile data. This occurred in multiple places and at random times. I haven’t heard of others with this problem, so there’s a chance it is not affecting every phone, but it is incredibly annoying when it happens.

Camera

I’ve had a lot more time to use the camera and I’m pretty impressed. The video functions have been vastly improved, with 240 fps (frames per second) slow motion, image stabilisation and a lot more built-in editing tools. They also claim that you couldn’t scratch the lens even if you “went at it with sandpaper for a day”.

As with any camera, knowing a few of the tips and tricks of using it is a good thing. For example, press and hold on the screen for focus lock in both video and still, or using the exposure value that shows up as a sun icon after you tap to focus.

As with previous iPhone models, you can use the volume control as a shutter button. However with the size of the 6 Plus you may use this function more often as it is quite difficult to take photos with one hand otherwise.

Should you buy either of these phones?

Our test results for the phones will be out soon, but if you are just after my opinion, then I would say to wait on this iteration of the iPhone. Next year’s inevitable 6S or 6S Plus will be refined, so probably wait for them. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a look at some of the Android options out there.

However, if you are the owner of an iPhone 4 that is slowly becoming a brick and no other phone will sway you, then the iPhone 6 is an upgrade, but you will want to try it out in your hands before making that decision.

This is part 2 of Hadyn’s review. You can see part 1 here.

About the author:

Hadyn Green is a geek. He loves shiny new tech and the chance to try to break it. Because it's the kind of thing people ask, here is the tech Hadyn currently uses. Phone: Sony Z2 Tablet: iPad mini retina. Music player: Spotify. Headphones: Sony MDR-G55 (for walking because I hate earbuds) and Beats Studio noise-cancelling (for sitting at my desk and tuning out the world). E-Reader: Kindle Touch. Gaming: PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Internet Service Provider: Snap.

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