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This article was published on January 9, 2015

iPhone 6 Plus, four months on: still the best, with a catch

iPhone 6 Plus, four months on: still the best, with a catch
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Four months ago, when I reviewed the new iPhones, I called the 6 Plus the perfect smartphone. Is that still true, even after four months of use?

I’ve had the 6 Plus since it launched in September. Using a review model for three weeks absolutely convinced me that the 6 Plus was the way to go, so I took the plunge and purchased my first giant phone with my own money and haven’t regretted it since.

In November, I discovered just how great it really is. I was traveling in San Francisco for a week and really got to put it through it’s paces; the 6 Plus absolutely shines for traveling.

With my old 5s, I’d carry around charging bricks and be slamming through them by midday, but with the 6 Plus I could use Uber, Google Maps and organize things with friends all day with no problem. This is a huge selling point for the 6 Plus, even if you don’t like the size so much; it basically lasts all day on the battery no matter what you do.

The size itself, in my opinion, is actually perfect once you’ve given it a real chance. When people get over that initial shock when using it, the 6 Plus can become the tool that you use for everything. Instead of using my iPad mini, I constantly use my 6 Plus to tackle basically everything from catching up on reading from Pocket to sending emails.

It’s incredible and feels like a phone from the future.


What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the ridiculing from friends, family and even strangers for having the 6 Plus. I’m used to the “hey, that guy has the giant iPhone” mutterings by now, but during the first few months it was almost constantly a topic of conversation around me.

That wasn’t the worst though; the bendgate hyperbole machine meant that everyone in the world wanted to tell me about the fact that my iPhone is going to bend. Day after day, people would make jokes about bending it, pretend to bend it or try convincing me that it was going to be ruined within weeks.

After four months with two separate 6 Plus’ being carried around in skinny jeans and in the back pocket, I can safely say it hasn’t bent despite what I’ve thrown at it.

The iPhone 6 Plus does have another problem though, maybe even more of an issue than bending: scratches. This thing attracts scratches like a magnet; my 6 Plus has accumulated tiny hairline scratches all over the screen almost from day one and I can’t figure out why.

I’ve been using the iPhone for years without a screen protector and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus seem particularly susceptible to scratching compared to previous models. It’s never been a problem for me before, but this time around my iPhone is slowly gathering hairline scratches all over the place.

The tiny scratches aren’t even visible for the most part, until you’re outside and you look at the screen while it’s powered off. Then they’re all revealed.

People have complained quite a bit about this online already, but this is a a problem that’s affected me a few times now; if it’s covered in scratches already, what will it look like in six months? Our Editor-In-Chief, Martin Bryant, hasn’t got any scratches on his, but among myself and friends without screen protectors, it seems to be a real issue.

It’s extremely hard to capture the scratches with a camera, but you can see a few here

Apple touted the new glass as being ion-strengthened, but I’m starting to think that it’s a step backward from the iPhone 5 for tiny scratches. Maybe it’s because there’s more surface area to be scratched? I’m not sure, but there’s a thread on Apple’s suport site with 81 pages of replies that shows it’s not just me.

If you’ve had the same hairline scratching problem, let us know in the comments. The scratches don’t affect how the device is used, it’s just more disappointing than anything that they happen so easily. I’m incredibly careful with phones (on account of using review devices regularly) so this is concerning for me.

Despite the scratching which is only superficial, I remain convinced that the 6 Plus is now the best phone on the market and couldn’t ever switch back to something smaller. I’ve used larger Android phones like the OnePlus One and they don’t really compare to how nice the 6 Plus is to hold at this size (granted, I haven’t used the Galaxy Note 4 yet so your mileage may vary).

Apple’s spent so many years telling everyone that the iPhone 5 was the perfect size that people still can’t accept there’s a larger one now. I understand that for some it’ll be too large to hold, but I’d encourage anyone to try it.

Reports have said that Apple has shaken up the Android high-end market by releasing the two larger sizes and it’s easy to see why: it couldn’t get much better. Apple’s got a home run with the 6 Plus, it’ll just take a while to convince people that big is better.

Don’t miss: Test drive the Apple Watch in your browser with this free site

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