When the time came time to upgrade my old iPhone 4, I had a choice to make: the iPhone 6 (a bit larger than the 4 and 5) or the iPhone 6 plus (much larger than the 4 and 5). Going with the simple philosophy of “bigger is better,” I opted for the 6 Plus.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that this philosophy isn’t always true for phones.
First, the good:
The screen is really big. After the 6 Plus, old iPhones will start to look like tiny, little toys. Within a few days I started asking my wife and son how they could see anything on their baby iPhones. This was not smart. I made them dissatisfied with something they had been perfectly happy with and now they wanted me to pay for new phones. And no, I’m not a hypocrite (at least on this). My phone is provided through work (my non-writing job), so I didn’t have to worry about the cost.
Videos are a joy to watch on the high resolution screen. The home screen can fit 4 columns and 7 rows of icons, with enough spacing so that a full screen of icons doesn’t feel cluttered.
I like to work on my writing when out and about, making use of spare time like sitting in a waiting room, or in the bleachers at a gymnastics meet (in a 3 hour meet, the amount of time your kid is actually doing anything is maybe 10 minutes). Before, I always had to lug a laptop around. With smaller phones, the idea of using the phone for serious writing seemed absurd. But with the new phone I gave it a shot and downloaded the Microsoft Word app. It’s free, so there was no risk.
Amazingly, the phone writing experience was okay. I wouldn’t want to write a novel this way, but for editing, I found it quite productive. The big screen allowed me to see an entire page width. I was happy working on a draft of a novel, making small revisions or corrections.
And once this was possible, it meant I could conveniently write anywhere and anytime. I always have my phone with me. Now I could steal back the hundreds of wasted minutes that pile up in a week.
But now the bad:
The screen is really big. It’s hard to hold. I have normal size hands, and as you can see from the picture above, I can barely grip it. My thumb simply cannot reach every part of the screen. I often have to use two hands to get things done.
For writing, where I turn the phone on its side and type with two thumbs, this is fine. But for the many other quick tasks, checking texts and emails, scrolling through Facebook or news sites, it’s very unwieldy. Apple added a “feature” where you can double tap the home button and it will slide the screen down to be accessible, but this is awkward and I never use it.
The 6 Plus is too big to put anywhere. When driving, I used to put my iPhone 4 in the door handle. The 6 Plus doesn’t fit and always falls out. I haven’t found any spot that it fits in the car. Why don’t I just keep it in my pocket while I’m driving? Because the huge thing is uncomfortable to have in my pockets when I’m sitting down.
I’ve use the iPhone 6 Plus for more than 3 months now. For a while I debated whether I would recommend the 6 Plus. I tried to come up with a logical analysis of its pros and cons. Then, a few weeks ago, I held my wife’s iPhone 5s and I felt a strange feeling.
Sometimes logical analysis doesn’t say as much as an emotional response. I missed having a phone that I could easily and comfortably hold. My next phone (years from now) will be whatever they call the non-plus size.
Bigger isn’t always better.