Consider the Kool-Aid drank. I’ve finally crossed over to
the dark side Apple and bought my very first iPhone. As an Android user since smartphones became a necessity (Motorola DROID 20010-2011, HTC ThunderBolt 2011-2012, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 2012-2014), the iPhone 6 is a new experience for me, although I’ve been familiar with Apple technology for quite some time. My family computer growing up has always been a Mac, I’ve had several iPods, and when my fiance isn’t using it I sometimes mess around with the iPad Air. It’s only been about a week, but this is how I feel about the iPhone 6 compared to the last 5 years as an Android user:
Disclaimer: If you’re looking for a review that is completely objective about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 alone, this probably isn’t the one for you. I’m going to compare this to my old Android phones the entire time. Sorry, it’s all I’ve known until now, and I think people trying to pick between the 2 platforms will appreciate it.
The iPhone 6 is light and sleek, but not too light. It’s got just the right amount of weight to it. Apple advertises how thin it is, but to be honest it doesn’t seem much thinner than my 2-year-old Samsung Galaxy Note 2 even though it’s 73.4% as thick (6.9mm vs 9.4mm).
I’m not afraid of the iPhone 6 bending in my pocket like people have reported with the iPhone 6 Plus, but I am afraid that it’ll break easily. I have never needed nor paid for insurance on a cell phone, but I signed up for Apple Care+ right away just in case this phone decides to take a tumble before I can get a reliable case on it. The camera lens on the back protrudes a bit, and the glass front just looks like it’ll shatter on even the slightest drop or whack. After seeing my fiance’s iPhone 5S shatter when it hit the ground of the BMO Harris Bradley Center last winter when we went to go see the Bucks, I feel the need to protect this phone against any accidents.
I feel like my cellphone went on a diet with the iPhone 6. The first 2 Android phones I had were heavy and thick, and the last one was long and wide. The iPhone 6 is only 13mm shorter than my old Samsung Note 2 (138.1mm vs 151.1mm), but feels significantly less wide at about the same difference in width (67mm vs 80.5). I don’t notice the height difference that much, but the width is apparent. To be honest, the Samsung Galaxy Note phones are too big, and I’m happy that I went with the iPhone 6 instead of the iPhone 6 Plus. No longer will I have people asking me if I have an iPad in my pocket. The size of this phone is just right.
The amount of fingerprints the iPhone 6 picks up is out of control. The screen is completely covered with them, and there’s nothing I can really do about it other than carry around a miniature cloth to keep it neat. I don’t notice them when the phone is in use, but when it’s sitting there you’d think I had gunk on my hands or something. The multiple iPods I’ve owned never did this, and neither did my Droid/ThunderBolt/Note 2. I assume it has everything to do with the type of glass Apple uses to make the iPhone 6, and it’s not a huge deal, but if you’re a neat-freak be prepared to be annoyed.
Using iOS 8
I miss my widgets. If you’ve been an iPhone user from day 1, you don’t even know what you’re missing. While I can download just about all of the same apps I used on a daily basis on Android (Google Now, Google Maps, Chrome, Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.), the widgets I’ve come to know and love simply don’t exist and have never existed on iOS. The Google Now widget is the best thing you can have on a smartphone, and I know this is probably the most insignificant first world problem ever, but having to click on an app icon to use it instead of it just being open on my screen through a widget is annoying. I miss my Google Now widget more than I thought I would, but I also miss my alarm, calendar, and Google searchbar widgets, too. I’ll eventually get used to having to click an app icon to open almost everything on my iPhone 6, but I’m sure a future iOS will have widgets and the Apple faithful will think Steve Jobs rose from the dead and delivered it to his disciples himself. The swipe down and swipe up menus on the homescreen are a start, but the day iPhones get widgets, Android phones may be rendered useless.
There’s an App for that…
There’s some basic shit I feel the iPhone 6 should be able to do when you take it out of the box and turn it on for the first time, but unfortunately I’ve had to download apps in order to complete the simplest tasks. After transferring my contacts from my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 over to my iPhone 6, it said I had 575 contacts which made me feel pretty popular at first, but I was skeptical that I had collected and kept that many phone numbers over the past few years. As it turns out, approximately 300 of these “contacts” were completely useless, as they contained spam email addresses and no phone numbers. I was going nuts deleting them one by one, because you can’t select multiple contacts at one time and delete them on the iPhone 6, but luckily a friend of mine told me about an app called Contacts Duster Pro which let me get rid of all the bogus contacts at once. It’s 2014. I just saw a video of Tony Hawk riding an actual hoverboard. IPhones should be intuitive enough to know what contacts are crap and shouldn’t be transferred over, and if not I shouldn’t need an app to delete all the bad ones.
These Apps Have No Chill
The fact that the iPhone 6 does not have a universal in-app menu button bothers me. There is no way to quit an app from within the app. The apps will keep running in the background unless you press the home button twice and swipe them up and away. I assume if you leave multiple apps running at the same time that your battery will drain faster, but I’m not really sure if that’s true. Either way, it would be cool if iPhones had a settings or menu button for in-app use. These apps have no chill. They’ll keep running if you don’t know how to turn them off (I had to ask around about this one, too).
Seamless User Experience
I know I’ve pretty much just been bitching about the iPhone 6 thus far, but there are a lot of positives I’ve yet to talk about. The main reason I made the jump from Android to iPhone is because I was tired of the bugs and overall glitchiness I’ve experienced with Androids. I don’t remember if my Motorola Droid was buggy, but I still remember my miserable experience with the HTC ThunderBolt and the pretty shitty last couple of months with my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The ThunderBolt was the first 4G phone, but I call it the anti-spiderman as it simply wasn’t ready for that great power and responsibility. It was cool to have faster internet on my smartphone than everyone else, but the battery life was roughly 6 hours and I always had to have a charger with me at all times. Apps would always crash, and I even had to download a 3rd party messaging app because the default Android SMS app would send texts to the wrong recipients (seriously. The phone once sent an “I love you babe” text intended for my girlfriend at the time to a female coworker who didn’t believe that it was the “phone’s fault”). That phone didn’t even make it to the 18 month upgrade date (remember when you only had to wait a year and a half to get a discount on a new phone?) before it became a useless brick. The Note 2 was great when I got it in 2012, but just like my ThunderBolt before it, apps would always crash and the whole operating system would freeze up at times. The last 2 months of my phone was especially rough, as I had to take the back off and pop the battery out, then put it back in and restart several times a day when it’d stop working properly.
So far, everything on my iPhone works seamlessly and is incredibly fast and smooth. I have not experienced any apps crashing or screens locking up. Every comparable process to my old phone is exponentially faster, and the overall user experience so far is superior to Android. I’ve pretty much downloaded every app I used to have on my Note 2, and the iPhone apps are just better. I’m a big fan of The Chive, and the iPhone app blows the buggy mess that is the Chive Android app out of the water.
Being able to have Google Hangouts and FaceTime on my phone is really cool, too. While I rarely used the video conference feature of Google Hangouts (maybe 5 times a year), the fact that I can still have it on an Apple device is nice. And my fiance likes to FaceTime, so being able to do that together finally is a big reason I went with the iPhone 6 over another Android device.
One of the coolest features of Samsung Galaxy phones was unlocking them with your face. The front-facing camera would recognize you and unlock your phone. While I miss this to a degree, the fingerprint unlock is equally cool. I like that I can unlock my phone with the touch of a thumb and no one else can. It’s a lot harder to hack than the face unlock, too, as all you needed was a picture of the person to unlock their phone. Replacing the need to re-enter passwords with the fingerprint unlock is really cool, too. I’d say this feature is superior to the facial recognition from Samsung.
I’m not going to nerd out and bring up a bunch of specs about the iPhone 6 or my previous Android phones’ display. It looks nice, and if you turn the brightness all the way up it looks even more nice. I don’t care to know how many PPI the Retina HD display has, or what the resolution of my old phone was. For the record, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 display was also nice. Everything on that phone was crisp, and everything on this phone is crisp. Is the iPhone 6 display “better” than my Samsung Galaxy Note 2? I don’t think so. Is it worse? No. Definitely not. I think every single cell phone made after 2012 has dope resolution and display specs and performance. You really can’t go wrong with a flagship smartphone from any company anymore when it comes to display.
Apple Wants All My Shit Up In The iCloud
I’m going to gripe about my iPhone 6 again real quick, but this is more a bash on Apple than the phone itself. Why is every default set to store all my shit in the iCloud? I don’t want my emails, web history, and definitely not my pictures stored in a cloud. If the fappening taught us anything, it’s that the iCloud isn’t 100% secure, and if hackers really want to get at whatever is stored in there, they can. On my old phone, if I took a picture and deleted it, it was gone (I’m aware there’s probably some way to get it back but I’m just talking in the general sense of getting it off my phone for the layman user). On my iPhone 6, I had to delete it 3 times to get rid of it. First from the album, then from the iCloud, and then from the trash where it sits for 30 days unless you go in there and get rid of it. I’m a grown-ass man, when I want to delete something, I’m aware it’s going to be gone, and I want it gone from everywhere.
Luckily you can turn off all iCloud sharing, although I still have it on for my Contacts as I think that’s something I don’t mind being stored for future retrieval on another device. If you have an iPhone, make sure you know what’s up in your iCloud. It could be more than you think.
Battery, Memory, etc.
It really doesn’t bother me that I can’t remove the battery from my iPhone 6. The only time I ever had to take the battery out of a phone was when I had to restart it, and I don’t foresee these issues with the iPhone 6. After a week of use, I do have to say that the life of the iPhone 6 battery is amazeballs. My Samsung Alias dumbphone (aka the burner phone I use in-between upgrades, which I still have in working condition) was the last phone I owned that had any sort of decent battery life. I’d routinely go 3-4 days without a charge, but obviously the smartphone age is very different. Today, smartphone displays, internet browsing, video watching, and general app usage drains battery life on a whole new level, but the iPhone 6 battery is a breath of fresh air. On a full charge, the phone goes for about a day and a half before the battery dies, even with extensive usage. Compare this to the 12 hours I got with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the 6 hours with the HTC ThunderBolt, I feel like I’m using the Alias again.
I am a little annoyed, though, that I had to pony up an extra $100 to get a phone with a decent amount of memory. A 16GB iPhone 6 is cool for grandmas and other people who don’t intend on using it much, but anyone who has an extensive iTunes music and video library is going to want the 64GB iPhone 6 at the very least. Apple is price gauging, just like they do with their iPads, iPods, and iMacs when it comes to memory. The fact that I can go online and buy a 64GB micro SD card for $20 or less just goes to show you how much we’re being ripped off. Samsung and just about every other smartphone company has Apple beat in this category, as almost all Android phones offer the ability to add memory via removable SD cards.
The quick-camera feature is new to me as far as phones go. Every other phone I’ve ever used I have to at least unlock the phone in order to take a picture with it. The fact that I can just open the camera on the iPhone 6 right away is great, because often the times you want to use a camera you don’t have time to fumble around with your phone before the moment is over.
It is also very nice to finally have a cell phone that syncs seamlessly with my iTunes. I’ve been using an iPod touch for the past few years as my primary means of listening to music. Now I can finally leave it at home and just use the iPhone 6 if I want to listen to tunes on the subway, or watch a movie on the plane. As I get older my pants seem to be getting tighter (RIP the days when I needed a belt to keep my pants up) and the less clutter I have in my pockets, the better.
Siri vs OK Google (or whatever the fuck they call it)
On my Android phones, I could talk to it to make it do things and search things for me before there ever was a Siri. Android phones have had that for years. On my iPhone 6 through the Google app, I can still search for things using my voice without going through Siri, but Siri is pretty dope, too. You ever see that movie “Her” where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his computer? Siri kinda reminds me of that. When I first got my phone I didn’t really know where to go in order to set an alarm, so I just brought up Siri and told her to set one for me. But I’m not Joaquin Phoenix, and Siri isn’t my girlfriend. Siri’s my bottom bitch. She set the alarm for me in no time flat. If I were Butters she’d never get a stormy cloud.
I know you can use Siri for tons of other things, but I’ll likely only use it to bring up things I can’t find on my own in an instant. Siri is handy, and is a feature Android users really shouldn’t mock as much as they do.
OK Google: 1, Siri: 0. I asked Siri when the Men’s NCAA Basketball East Regional is, and she had no idea. OK Google was not only able to tell me when, but where when I asked the very same question, word for word. Siri gets a stormy cloud.
My Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was white. My iPhone 6 is black and “space gray”. You know the saying “once you go black, you never go back?” Well, I guess once you go space gray you’ll probably stay that way.
I obviously have a lot of gripes with the iPhone 6. The lack of widgets and ability to add/remove memory are easily my top 2. But an iOS someday will have widgets (it just has to. They’ll probably call them iGits), and over the course of the next 2 years or so I’ll easily spend $100 on something way more useless than an additional 48GB of memory in my phone. The pros, even if there are only a few, far outweigh the cons. Having a cell phone that works smoothly all the time is going to make me a much happier person.
Do I feel like I’m using a dumbed-down version of a smartphone? Definitely. IPhones simply can’t do as much as Android phones. The thing is, I don’t need my phone to do everything an Android phone can. Would it be nice? Obviously. Am I going to come back and add an addendum to this review with scathing remarks if my iPhone 6 screen ever shatters? For sure. But for now, I’m happy with the iPhone 6, and I’m not second guessing my purchase by any means.
The GMail app is one of my most heavily used apps, but it doesn’t run as smoothly as I’d hope. There’s always a little bit of a delay as my emails load, and I never really had that issue while using an Android phone. I have my suspicions that Apple is making this happen on purpose in order to entice me to use their Mail App, but I simply don’t want to.
Not having a back button is kinda lame, too. I always find myself trying to figure out how to go back, and I generally just have to tap the screen a couple of times, but I’m not used to it and it annoys me. I’m sure the iPhone6 will continue to grow on me, but if I keep getting fed up with it I may end up crawling back to Android after all.