The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are here. And they are big. “Bigger than bigger” is the official tagline. Ever since the first Galaxy Note started the trend of big phones (phablets) the market has expanded to millions of devices.
Till now, the screen size was one of the biggest factors stopping an Android user from considering an iPhone. Are the feature sets in 6 and 6 Plus finally enough to convince an Android user to jump ship? Let’s find out.
1. Larger 4.7 and 5.5 Inch Screen
This is the biggie. I know a lot of people who liked the iPhone and wanted to own one but didn’t solely because of the small screen. Large screens are addictive. Once you try it you can’t go back. If you’re a Note or Galaxy user looking for a change, there has never been a better time to make the switch. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch 1334×750 screen while the larger 6 Plus gets a full 5.5 inch 1920×1080 HD resolution.
“But it’s still usable in one hand and comfortable enough that I never feel terribly awkward using it. I have found myself holding it slightly differently, though: I tend to rest it on my fingers rather than grip it in my palm, the better to reach the farthest corners of the screen.” – David Pierce for The Verge talking about iPhone 6.
Early reviewers say that the iPhone 6, while a lot larger than the 5S, is still manageable with one hand. But although the Reachability mode that brings down the entire UI so you can interact with the elements at the top of the screen is helpful, the 6 Plus screen felt too big to some reviewers to be practical. Unless, of course, you’re already used to phablets like the 5.7″ Note 3; in that case, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
2. Awesome Camera And Slo-Mo
While the camera is only 8 megapixels, it’s in a class of its own. This time Apple has integrated “Focus Pixels” technology, which makes focusing incredibly fast. And the 6 Plus gets Optical Image Stabilization that rectifies the blur caused by shaky hands.
The cherry on top is the slow motion mode. Up from 120 frames per second to 240 for iPhone 6. I’ve watched some footage that was taken in this mode and it is surreal.
3. Apple Pay
I know it doesn’t sound like a “killer feature”, but for US citizens, it can be. Apple Pay makes processing payments simple and secure. Using the NFC and Touch ID you’ll be able pay at select stores and outlets (more than 200,000 and growing) with just a tap of your phone.
Apple Pay uses a tokenized system so the merchant has none of your personal information like your card number or CVV. This can drastically reduce credit card fraud. And unlike Google Wallet, your credit card credentials are stored on your device and are not uploaded to the cloud at all. The only way to authenticate a transaction is by scanning your fingerprint using Touch ID. That means even if you lose your phone that’s filled with all your credit card details, no one could steal your information.
4. Widgets, Extensions And Openness With iOS 8
This has been the biggest argument between iOS and Android. Closed vs open control over your device. While Apple isn’t completely taking the open source route, it is opening up certain aspects of the OS, and it’s doing so securely. Apps will continue to run in a sandbox mode but now they’ll be able to communicate to one another in the sandboxed environment itself.
iOS 8 is also adding widgets to the Notification Center. These are interactive and have live updates, just like Android widgets. Only they’ll be accessible from anywhere, not just the home screen.
Extensions are going to bring apps closer and make it easy to share data from one app to another, something Android has been good at since day one.
5. Health And Fitness Tracking
While Android is catching up, iPhone is still at the forefront of fitness and health tracking. The M8 motion co-processor on the iPhone 6/6Plus is always running in the background, keeping track of how many steps you walked and more.
The new M8 chip has a built-in Barometer that will track elevation and the steps you climb. It can also distinguish between walking, jogging, and cycling all on its own.
6. Some Things Are Just Better On iPhone
I use both Android and iOS devices because my job requires me to. I have an iPhone 5 and the Moto G. I know it’s not fair to compare those phones but the overall experience on iPhone is simply better, more polished.
iPhone does not have the same problems as some Android devices, even the flagship ones. Galaxy S5 has amazing hardware but the software is just a mess. So much so that it sometimes lags. There’s no bloatware on the iPhone and the new 64-bit A8 processor just flies. Plus every compatible iPhone, even the 3+ year old iPhone 4S gets the update at the same time as the newer phones. You can’t say the same for Android.
But Android does hold a specific advantage over Apple; although the app gap between iOS and Android is decreasing day by day, it’s still there. There’s no substitute for awesome RSS readers like Reeder 2, Unread or to-do apps like Clear on Android.
1. It’s Expensive (Or is it?)
I can hear the Nexus 5 and OnePlus One owners go “no shit!”. The beauty of Android is that you can get a great Android smartphone for about $350. It’s not the same for iPhone. They start at $650 unlocked or $199 on contract.
Of course, top-end unlocked Android smartphones like the Galaxy S5, Note 4, HTC One (M8), or Xperia Z3 all cost around the same as the iPhone 6.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably ready to spare that kind of money. And now, thanks to the bigger display, you get more bang for your buck if you go with the iPhone.
2. NFC Is Not Open
Android enthusiasts love their NFC chips. Thanks to apps like Tasker, Android users can create simple or complex actions that happen when you tap an NFC tag beside your bed or the door. Sadly, none of that will happen with the iPhone 6/6 Plus because the NFC access is limited to Apple Pay and developers can’t lay their hands on it.
3. Android Is Pretty Awesome As Well (And You Like It)
Recently, especially after the KitKat update, Android has become pretty awesome. The app collection is robust, there’s minimal lag, and with the upcoming Android L and the new Material Design, things will only get better.
The iPhone 6/6 Plus, coupled with iOS 8 presents a viable alternative, one that has a lot of stuff an Android user is used to. But if you’re an Android enthusiast, you like to tinker around, flash custom ROMs, modify apps, and customize interface, the reasons why you wouldn’t opt for an iPhone in the past still stand true.
Is The iPhone For You?
For a casual user who just wants a phone to check email, peruse social media, play games, consume media, and do it all in a reliable, easy to use and even pleasurable manner, the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus is the way to go.
The same goes for a power user that is more interested in getting things done using the device instead of customizing the phone till no end. If you’re considering making the switch, there’s no better time to make it happen.
Editor’s Note: This is the first time in the last 2 years that I have been seriously tempted to ditch Android in favor of iOS. I have been happy with my Note 2, but even such high-end Android phones do not give you the same experience with, say the Camera, as it’s given by the iPhone. And the new iPhones have extraordinary cameras and video capture facilities. Will I switch? Well, the cost is a hurdle and I am quite used to Android’s flexibility. Right now, I am still making up my mind. But oh my God, that camera in iPhone 6 Plus!