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How to decide which iPhone 6 is right for you

Michael deAgonia | Sept. 12, 2014

The smaller iPhone 6 is 5.4-in. long and 2.64-in. wide and weighs 4.55 ounces — heavier and larger than the iPhone 5/5S, but .03-in. thinner. (The iPhone Plus is only two millimeters thicker than the iPhone 6.) Since neither iPhone is available publicly in Apple Stores to check them out in person, the next best thing for the moment is to check out the various sites that offer actual-sized mockups. You can print them out and use them to detemrine how the new Plus model will fit in your hand, in your pocket, and against your face.

Silly as it may sound, it's better than guessing.

Accommodating a big screen

To help compensate for the larger screen sizes, Apple engineers implemented a feature called Reachability, activated by a double-touch on the Home button. This feature shrinks the user interface towards the bottom of the phone and closer to your thumb. Ideally, that makes it easier to tap objects near the top of the screen while using one hand. So Apple says. I'll believe one-handed use on the 5.5-in. model when I see it.

There are differences in the iPhone models besides the display that could affect your purchasing decision. The iPhone 6 Plus also features a camera with optical stabilization, which should help in taking pictures and video. While the iPhone 6 also offers an improved camera, the digital stabilization feature isn't as handy as the optical stabilization used in the Plus.

The Plus model also has a larger battery, with a talk time of up to 24 hours on 3G and a standby time of 16 days compared to the iPhone 6's 14 hours and 10-day standby. Video and audio playback as well as internet use is listed as 14, 80 and 12 hours on the Plus; 11, 50, and 10 hours on the 6.

If the iPhone is still being used primarily as a phone — some people do that, you know — the decision could simply be whether you're compfortable holding a large screen to your head. Phablet phobia thus makes the 4.7-in. model the easy call. Conversely, if you spend a lot of time using your phone to read, surf or check email and Facebook, the larger screen and longer battery life are a better option.

Specs and my decision

If you want the best iPhone in terms of hardware and tech specs, the 6 Plus is for you, especially if your phone is starting to feel like your primary computing device. Gamers, artists, and people with vision disabilities should feel at home here, too. Native support for HD movies and video will be enough to persuade some people, while others may want the larger screen for better visibility for use in their automobiles.


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