Adapting to change: a review of Apple's larger 4.7-inch iPhone 6 vs. the smaller 4-inch iPhone 5s



  • Reply 61 of 282
    I actually like the screen size increase on the iPhone 6, the 6 plus just seems comically big. Ive been back and forth with apple since the 4S came out with stints with each new phone but then back on to an android phone, all because of the screen size. I like a 4.7" screen which is why I really think The iPhone 6 is one of the best iPhones ever.
  • Reply 62 of 282
    jccjcc Posts: 301member
    Just gies to show that without Steve, Apple is completely lost. The correct size screen is actually between this new 4.7" and the previous 4". Steve would have figured that out early enough that they would have made the change directly to that correct size from 3.5" rather than the 4". So now it's impossible for them to release one that actually has the correct size as that would fragment the models too much.

    The correct screen size is probably around 4.4" - 4.5" where you can still have a good grip using one hand but a large enough screen size to please the large screen people.
  • Reply 63 of 282

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

    Yeah. Apple released the iPhone 6.


    Yes... Apple did do that... but does that mean that all of those 5S phones sold in August are now outdated?


    Besides... the original poster corrected his statement to make his original meaning more clear.

  • Reply 64 of 282

    I really liked my iPhone 5's size when it came to one handed usage. My eyes, on the other hand, have aged in two years. Well, aged even more and now my eyes are enjoying the larger screen of the 6. So my hands are complaining that they have to make adjustments and occasionally I use the reachability feature, more so with my right hand than left. For those who are learning how to cradle the new phone I'd suggest using it over carpet for a while and locking it down with your thumb on the bezel when not hitting buttons and such. 


    Because I'm a clumsy old 4uck I bought a case. The case negates the 'camera sticks out issue' even though I totally agree it is annoying. The advances in the camera also out weigh the metal ring IMO.


    Ultimately I think we all will adjust. Someone said it first and summed it up perfectly- we want a small phone in our pockets and a large screen when we're looking at it. Most of the 4" proponents here have been civil and humble, but others not so much. To call the iPhone 6 and 6+ a mistake is insane. Apple have sold 10 million + mistakes this time around. For those who think 4" is the perfect size for everyone, you're wrong. Do you realize that comes across as 'I know better what is good for you?' For those that poke with the 'copying samsung' stick- um, why not say they're copying LG? Or HTC? Or any other large screen phone? Someone else summed it up very smartly by saying Apple was giving people what they want instead of creating and leading people to their creation. To me that's a cart/horse argument that I'm not too worried about and I can spin what Apple did by saying 'they made a larger screen phone on their own terms, when they had it ready.' If you think Apple jumped on the bandwagon that is 'everyone else is doing it' then feel free to discuss clock speeds, cores, RAM, camera sensel counts, pixel density beyond retina, those little memory cards, removable batteries and all that other stuff that was not copied.


    I see brilliance here, Apple improved the screen quality, increased performance without sacrificing battery life, did finger print reading right (bought it when they saw it was a good thing). Now that features are plateauing and performance is 'only' up 25% from the last model they put out bigger (and BETTER) screens. That's all they had to do really, larger screens. That was brilliant. I haven't seen many complaints about how the performance increase/battery increase/new features aren't a big deal. A ton of people were ready for big screens, and not only big but BIG+. I wouldn't be surprised if the final split between the iPhone 6 and 6+ is around 60/40. 


    So I hear you, the 4" phone lovers. I was one of you. Heck, I still am but my eyes are betraying me. I hope Apple does a smaller phone with all the latest features for you next year. I decided this year to go 3 years with my 6 so that I'm on the 's' release schedule. That will get me off the pattern of getting the bleeding edge every 2 years with Verizon. I bet a 4.2" screen in an iPhone 6 style enclosure would be perfect for those that prefer the smaller form factor. My only fear is that Apple will treat the smaller form factor as the eco model and not give it the options / tech of the bigger ones. Then again, there's a retina iPad Mini... 


    I guess my point is- if you prefer 4", fine. Make your voice heard. Have some humility though. If you can try the larger phone for 2 weeks without risk than consider doing that. Don't be so hell bent on being RIGHT that you close your mind. Unless you are thinking of jumping ship to an Android phone. :)


    Oh, and as for women preferring smaller phones- here in Arizona I see the opposite. Women, particularly the socially active ones do carry large screen phones. Hell, even the 5/5s sticks out of some of their pockets. On top of that, I see a lot of purses with big phones in them. I suspect the assumption might be incorrect. 

  • Reply 65 of 282
    I have no problem using the 6 one handed. I have decent sized hands but not huge. I cradle the phone placing my pinky on the underside DNS my ring and middle fingers grip the edge. I use reachability for the upper corner of the screen but everything else I can reach without. This is actually the same way I gripped my iPhone 5. The "death grip" hold never felt comfortable. I looked at my 5 the other day and the screen felt so small I don't think I could ever go back down in size.
  • Reply 66 of 282
    I totally agree with the article. Thank God I followed my 8 year old sons lead when he told me to [B]not[/B] order him a 6 Plus on the night the phones became available for pre-order. "It is too big for my little hand and it won't fit into my pants pockets" he said. After unsuccessfully trying to convince him to get the Plus, I got to thinking and at 11:50 PM decided to drop my long held plan to get the Plus as an upgrade to my 5S. After using the 6 for a week I am so glad I didn't get an even bigger phone!
    My observations:
    There is a big difference between looking at a friend's big screen phone and using it when it is your own phone. Again, my 8 year old nailed it when he said "it's never going to look better than your iPad Mini, Dad." I take my Mini with me and plan to continue to do so.
    Didn't Steve Jobs say the iPhone should not be so large as to make one handed use impossible? Or am I dreaming?
    Last but certainly not least -

    Isn't there a way to shrink the screen to fit into the lower right hand corner (leaving a "letterbox" L shape) in the upper left hand corner? This could be activated by double tapping the Home button. I am not a programmer so maybe I'm missing something here. I'd really appreciate feedback from you more knowledgeable folks.
  • Reply 67 of 282
    Originally Posted by JCC View Post

    Just gies to show that without Steve, Apple is completely lost. The correct size screen is actually between this new 4.7" and the previous 4". Steve would have figured that out early enough that they would have made the change directly to that correct size from 3.5" rather than the 4". So now it's impossible for them to release one that actually has the correct size as that would fragment the models too much.

    The correct screen size is probably around 4.4" - 4.5" where you can still have a good grip using one hand but a large enough screen size to please the large screen people.



  • Reply 68 of 282
    ibeamibeam Posts: 322member

    I haven't heard much about the new screen sizes from the developer point of view. Is it scaling, are there new export compile features in Xcode? What are the icon, button sizes, etc. I have yet to get my hands on either new phone, but I'm interested how the developers are managing.

  • Reply 69 of 282
    I agree with this review to the letter... okay, most of it. I am still uncomfortable with the size change. I switch a more aggressive case with noticeable ridges for security.

    The other revelation is the size of characters and readability. Between the screen size increase and the iOS 8 changes, it is much more readable and faster to read. Much less squinting (so I am visually challenged... but I like not wearing my glasses).

    I'm sold and I am getting to obsessive love.
  • Reply 70 of 282
    I am thinking next year maybe Apple decides to switch to the following convention, or something like it, now that they have 3 screen sizes:

    iPhone mini: 4" screen at $99 on contract (aka iPhone 5s2 with current iPhone 6 hardware)
    iPhone Air: 4.7" screen at $199 on contract (aka iPhone 6s)
    iPhone Pro: 5.5" screen at $299 on contract (aka iPhone 6s Plus)

    They might also continue to sell the current year 5s model to get to $0 on contract (maybe iPhone 5s hardware in 5c shell).

    Or, maybe they introduce an iPhone shuffle model that has no screen and every time you turn it on, it's a surprise whether you get a text spoken to you or an actual call! ;)
  • Reply 71 of 282
    As I've said before, I see people on the bus pull out one of these huge phones and hold it to their head, and everybody rolls their eyes and smirks at them behind their backs, including me. So I never thought I'd be tempted by a huge phone like these two.

    Since they came out, though, I've been considering how often I actually make calls, and all I can come up with is if I have car trouble (which I haven't for a few years, and honestly I'd have other things to worry about than how silly I look) and to call home when I'm shopping to say "They don't have yada-yada, will blah, blah do?" So...two calls a month, tops?

    The thing that might get me to change my mind is the fact that the 6+ apparently has approximately the best display you can buy, regardless of size or price, and it's 1920 x 1080. Native-resolution HD video must look awesome on this thing.

    Yes, I know they downconvert the UI and apps and browser windows and whatnot from those oddball numbers that Gruber pulled out of his ass, but I don't for a moment believe, like some people here claim, that video would be scaled twice—that's just idiotic. Hold a 5.5" iPhone 12" from your face, that's the same as a 55" TV 12' away, but enormously better quality. That's the feature that might just get me to buy one of these ridiculous phablets. Hoodathunkit?
  • Reply 72 of 282

    Mac-sochist- Consider getting a BT earphone/mic. I bought the Plantronics (?SP) which works with Siri and the phone displays the battery level on it. For the few times I am on my phone as a phone this works fine. Its lasted me since my iPhone 4, allows me to drive & talk (where state laws allow) and allows me to look up notes and emails on the phone while talking. There's a neckless that has a mini usb connector for storing the device when not in use. I did lose one as it got knocked off and I didn't notice it. When my phone rings I can retrieve the device, turn it on, have it connect to the phone and answer the call before the call goes to voicemail. When not in use I take it out of my ear and put it back on the holder.


    We can have it both ways (to a point)- why not have a keyboard the size of the iPhone 5's keyboard tucked into a lower corner of the screen? Make it so that we don't have to reach everywhere we see. If you want the keyboard shifted to the lower left, tilt your phone to the left. If you are using your right hand, tilt it the other way. Move the address bar in safari to the bottom of the screen where your thumb is. Let the notifications come and go at the top where we can see them but swipe up from the bottom twice and get the notification center that you normally get from the top. Hmm, I just gave away my ideas to any app/keyboard devs here. Actually, I'm SURE someone is already doing this on a large phone somewhere. Place the most used buttons and such within a thumb's radius from a lower corner, the screen could scale up to what's carry-able in one hand.


    I'm sure Apple (or someone else) could do this AND make it look good. 


    Sorry, I think I got off point a bit. Kind of.

  • Reply 73 of 282
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    Originally Posted by jhart376 View Post

    It even occurred to me that Apple should consider something radical like a spring update of the 5/5S just adding NFC and perhaps the same camera as the 6.

    I fully expect  Apple to release a 6 mini next year when they bump the 5s down to the plastic case (which I think is also likely after spending so much money to develop the 5c)


    Originally Posted by dm3 View Post

    I wish apple had updated the 5s with nfc to support apple pay. I would have bought that phone for sure. I don't need the big size. I have an iPad and MacBook. I want something for portability. 

    Also in full agreement. However, the author is wrong the 5C & 5S BOTH SUPPORT APPLE PAY -- with the Apple Watch. I suspect this is a marketing move by Apple to encourage 5 series users to buy an Apple Watch, as the huge size of the 6 series will compel users to buy an Apple Watch so they can leave their phones in their pockets and bags. 


    If I'm right, after the Apple Watch has record sales, and Apple sees just how many iPhablets and 5S devices users opt for, we'll see the 6 mini (same as 6 in smaller form factor), updated 6S, and feature bumped 6 Plus next Fall, filling the $100, $200 & 300 price range respectively with the 5CS rounding out the free phone at the bottom. Then in 2016 the 6 mini becomes the free phone, while they introduce a 7 mini, which is identical to the 7 except for screen size (and possibly processor since it won't need to push as many pixels, as well as reduced battery life to smaller battery). So you'll be paying an extra $100 for screen size and latest processor in the 6S, possibly greater battery life, but otherwise the feature set will be the same, unless they can add something in the extra space of the 6S that won't physically fit in the 6 mini. 


    That's what I'm hoping for anyway since I do NOT want to switch to a larger phone. 

  • Reply 74 of 282

    Originally Posted by ibeam View Post


    I haven't heard much about the new screen sizes from the developer point of view. Is it scaling, are there new export compile features in Xcode? What are the icon, button sizes, etc. I have yet to get my hands on either new phone, but I'm interested how the developers are managing.

    Nothing special if you have your constraints set properly. In xcode6 they refined the processes dealing with layouts on a more abstract layers so it's even less device specific what resolution the device has.


    You only work in abstract units of width and height that relate to landscape/portrait of various device sizes. And you define your constraints like "from here to the width of the device" to fill up the rest of the screen to fill up stuff. Any developer that actually used hardcoded resolutions for devices did a piss poor job. 


    So it does not matter at all for a developer. Apple even ported the Master-Detail View (like mail on the iPad) to run on the 6 Plus automatically if it is present in an app.


    Regarding  the iPhone 6 plus Apple uses downsampling to keep compatibility with existing apps that make assumptions about the screen size ratio to place elements.


    Up to xcode 6 this was very common among developers even though not recommended by Apple. To deal with this Apple had to do something (they keep stats about what apps do from their app store process. So they have metrics about what apps use).


    On the 6 plus, the screen is internally rendered with 2208x1242 pixels and then downsampled to 1920x1080. This is because the frameworks work with a 1:1,77 ratio for current and last generation iPhones. You cannot notice this effect as it takes so little time to render the UI.


    Note this does not apply to video, Metal, openGL etc, which use the actual screen size to render anyway as given by the device (or the view size)



    With newer IOS release Apple will probably remove it at some point and let there frameworks render with the native resolution. Adjusting all frameworks for a new aspect ratio takes time. And as IOS 8 was rushed to release some compromises had to be made.


    Apple has done similar things in the past with their frameworks to keep compatibility with already existing apps. This time they opted for downsampling as a smooth solution to provide 16:9 aspect ratio with arbitrary screen sizes and documented it as well for developers.



    The developer usually does not need to worry about when Apple introduced new resolution. Apple does take care of it with their frameworks to keep existing apps working as intended.


    TL;DR: Apple's IOS frameworks take care of it. As long as a developer used proper contraints for their UI, nothing additional needs to be done.

  • Reply 75 of 282
    I'm not getting all the "it's too slippery, it's too hard to hold, it's too scary , I might drop it posts". I went straight for the 6 plus and am starting my second week of use. I ordered a case the day I ordered the phone, but am starting to question why I let everyone else's paranoia of phone dropping get to me. I have zero trouble carrying it in my pockets, zero trouble using the phone, and the VERY few times I need to bring the screen to half, it's worked flawlessly. As an older techie, with trifocals already, I will be forever grateful to apple for saving my eyesight for a few more years. The fact you can all still get brand new 5s' shows apple cared about the nostalgic crowd as they moved forward with the rest of phone tech. I do think it would be a great innovation at 6s or 7 time to keep the 5.5 screen, but shrink the bezels...but not at the expense of battery life or storage capacity.
  • Reply 76 of 282
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Considering my 2-year-old iPhone 5 still feels fast, the 5S remains a great option for many people.

    I'm going big (6 ) just to try it out, but I doubt we've seen the last 4" iPhone from Apple. They'll observe what people want, and if they still want 4", they'll get it. This year didn't see a whole new one (no need yet) but I believe entirely new 4" iPhones will keep appearing in future years.

    I will miss one-handed use. But you can still do a lot one-handed. Even on the 6 , one-handed use will remain common. Just not possible all the time.
  • Reply 77 of 282
    mac_128 wrote: »
    ...I fully expect  Apple to release a 6 mini next year when they bump the 5s down to the plastic case (which I think is also likely after spending so much money to develop the 5c)....

    Speaking of the 5C—I wonder how it would stack up in one of these ham-handed bend tests against plastic phones from...harumph!...other vendors? What with its molded-in steel reinforcement and all.

    No, I don't really want to see one destroyed—because to ask the question is to answer it.
  • Reply 78 of 282
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    Originally Posted by mistertrick View Post

    or perhaps have the 4" size range brought up to modern spec with NFC, the latest chips and the rest

    Once all merchants update to NFC compatible POSTs by the end of 2015 as mandated by VISA/MC/AMEX, I have a feeling Apple will not want to sell any phones that do not support the latest security features and NFC. I also don't think they will want to retire their investment in the 5C which has only been around 2 years and not 3 like their previous models, especially since they never sold it as a premium model to recover their R&D costs. So they transplant the 5s into the 5c case, with or without adding an NFC antenna (which is much easier to do now that the antennas are hidden inside the case), since it also means a slight redesign and arguably the lowest end iPhone users are probably not the biggest market for NFC (like teenagers) anyway. Nevertheless, the 4" screen makes a nice way to differentiate, and justify the price points, regardless of what other feature sets the models may share. I will be really disappointed in Apple if they completely abandon their previously, and emphatically stated design philosophy (whether marketing or not), in favor of serving only the latest trend in over-sized phones. 

  • Reply 79 of 282
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member

    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    I've always said it's the OS and, to some degree, the ecosystem. To believe otherwise is to deny Apple's overall success with 4" phones in a sea of phablets. It's almost like Tim Cook lost confidence in his OS and went chasing after something that wasn't really necessary. (I'm talking about the 6+... I really really like the choice of the 6/4.7).

    I'm thrilled Apple is offering the choice. I'm glad they are making a 5.5" phone, and a 4.7" and I mourn the loss of the 3.5". But I can live with the 4" compromise.


    The hypocrisy I see here is that an LTE equipped iPad mini is now no more a ridiculous phone option that the 6 Plus. SO why not enable the software to allow it function as a phone. iPad users have been clamoring for that since it came out, especially mini users. 


    So why not? Perhaps Cook is worried about cannibalism of marketshare after all. That explains the 6 plus when Apple was doing just fine with the 5s. Either way, I don't know what the exact percentage of users who would want that, and someone ridiculed my opinion by saying Apple is not interested in "1% of the customers who might want that. But lets say it is only 1%.  The iPad has sold over 210 million units as of the beginning of this year. So really, Apple is NOT interested in over 2.1 million customers, when all they have to do is enable some code that is already there? RIDICULOUS!

  • Reply 80 of 282
    Originally Posted by CaliSpecGT View Post

    I’m not getting all the “it’s too slippery… …posts”.


    I am. Moving directly from a first-gen to the iPhone 6 they feel incredibly similar. The first-gen’s often like a bar of soap. Though it’s thinner, the 6 manages to lessen that feeling, but it’s still slipperier than the 4-5S line of case designs. 


    I can see how users who never had anything older than a 4 would feel that way.

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