Ever since I saw the iPhone 6 Plus, I knew it was the one for me. I have always wanted a 5.5 inch phone and this was my replacement for the Samsung Galaxy Note. I always thought that this screen size was the best compromise of portability and functionalability. And I was right, it is a beauty. When you first hold the new iPhone, you immediately realise how smooth the edges are. The glass meets the metal at the back perfectly and it feels like a single slab of material of which you can manipulate. When you pick it up, you realise how light it is, but not too light, just the right amount to make sure it still feels premium. Even my 5.5 inch model is lighter than the 5S which is really a feat. It really is a masterpiece and is nothing less than what I expected from Apple.
The display is gorgeous. I have seen the other 1080p displays on other phones and they are really nice. But even compared to an Amoled display, this one just looks better. It may be how close they have put the display to the cover glass or the contrast ratio or even the high PPI, but this one is just stunning. Colours look real and vivid and for some reason feel more easy on the eyes without being intrusive. Just a beauty to feast your eyes on. It looks massive when you first pick it up but soon you get used to the size of the phone and its all fine (apart from skinny jeans!)
Performance is good, as is with all new iPhone models. I haven’t experienced a major increase (then again I haven’t used anything that really uses all of the new processor so I suppose I won’t get a real experience til they are updated), but everything is as smooth and fast as the 5S, even with all of those extra pixels and the ‘desktop class rescaler’. The rescaler works perfectly, but everything looks massive, including the top bar which just looks weird, as if the phone is for old people with sight problems. Hopefully these will be updated soon because the keyboard is a different size and is really annoying when you are switching from unoptimised from optimised.
The camera is just amazing. Like really, it is the best I have seen on a smartphone and that is saying something compared to Sony’s 20MP sensor and Samsung’s camera technologies. It is the right compromise between Megapixels and quality with larger pixels. HTC is at one end with the ‘Ultrapixel’ sensors it uses and Sony and Samsung (and even Nokia with Pureview 41MP wtf??) are at the other end, however nobody really gets it right apart from Apple. Don’t get me wrong, you get really nice photos on nearly every smartphone nowadays but Apple has excelled even further than from the 5S and made a truly amazing camera. The only thing I don’t like that much is the protruding camera which makes the phone sit off the table when you put it down and makes me worried that the lens will scratch (luckily its sapphire, but maybe Im working with diamonds, then what?). It disappears as soon as you put a case on it because it protrudes only slightly, but the phone looks so much nicer and feels so much better without a case (which has been the same for any phone) but makes me wonder about the durability.
iOS 8 works well on the phone as it has been optimised but there are random crashed that I experience in 3rd party apps which have not been rescaled yet. I think (and hope) that this is only a temporary issue because it is really annoying when this happens. The larger screen makes everything seem easier to do and (apart from letting you see more) makes things easier to do. Like really. You can have tab tops on Safari which is really useful for navigation and apps like Mail and Messages let you use a split to show the person or message you are looking at and others while seeing the actual message which is quite useful. I however found it really hard to use the landscape keyboard because the phone is pretty tall. It is not impossible to use but quite hard and the extra keys are in the way on the side. Yes, they are useful but they do sometimes get in the way. Hopefully I’ll get used to it though. I don’t like the paste button though, like eww what is it? A glue bottle with glue suggests paste but in no way at all is it intuitive. I hope there is a new one for 8.0.1, like this is the biggest issue.
The barometer included in the M8 is useful for counting flights of stairs and I think it is a really interesting thing to put into the phone but I just hope that it doesn’t drain the battery life too much because battery life is pretty important. But let me tell you, this is no slouch on that front. The battery is good, not excellent (excellent would be 3 days without charge). It lasts me the day. But I use my phone a lot, like really, a lot. A breakdown during this weekend was: 3 hours Tumblr, 30 mins Facebook, 30 mins Twitter, 30 mins Instagram, listen to music on speaker for 2 hours, watch about 4 5-10 mins videos on Youtube, Godus for about 1.5 hours (what an amazing looking and feeling game!), Messaging for about 30 mins and a few more bits and bobs.. And still about 20% juice remaining which is amazing compared to my 5S which would have required 2-3 charges for all of this! Can’t wait to not lug around a charger to school which is so annoying.
The lock button is on the side. Yes, Apple has actually moved it. That is one of the first things people say to me when I show them the phone. First: “Wow its big!”, second “Oh, the button’s on the side” (followed by a confused face). “Yes”, I remark, “But try and reach the top on this phone and you understand”, (followed by an understanding face) and I agree with its placement totally. It is a bit higher than I expected but otherwise it would turn from a lock button into a lock button into a weird middley button. It is exactly mirrored from the volume up button with the same size and shape which really makes it look nice. In a case however this can be annoying. The case I have been using is a £3 transparent silicone case which takes a bit of effort to push the buttons. The other side of the phone is the volume up so when you lock the phone it turns up the volume (annoying when listening to music and suddenly its way too high and my eardrums are on the verge of exploding). But a small issue which I’m sure will get better when the silicone gets a bit more ‘tender’.
The true tone flash is round now which at first I thought I would not like because I really liked the shape of the 5S’s but it actually looks a lot nicer because everything on the back is now a circle, and design wise everything has been thought through perfectly with a great compromise of form and function. The antenna breaks on the back are a bit weird at first and seem like an error on Apple’s part but when you get used to them, they are reminiscent of the glass panels of the 5 and 5S, reminding you that this is an iPhone, not that you could forget. Space grey on this phone is the same as the iPad but seems radically different to the 5S because of the lack of the black glass. It really is grey now (although I don’t understand the name of ‘Space Grey’; Space is black….). The rounded edges are beautiful especially when using the ‘swipe back’ gesture from the side of the screen and as I may say for the second time, make it feel like a beautiful slab.
One thing I notice which seems weird is the vibration for notifications is very loud… Like really loud. I wonder whether I will get away with it at school or whether the Do Not Disturb function will be used extensively to mask this. Not good. Maybe this is because of the thinner body and the fact that the vibrator is closer to the shell therefore making it louder, I don’t know. All I know is that it is annoying.
Talking on the phone is something that I worry about. Will I look like an idiot using a massive phone that covers half of my face. Then I think, Apple has covered this. I will probably look like a twat, but everyone will know that I spent a lot of money on my massive iPhone. Brand power eh? Especially with that new metal Apple logo, not printed but an actual piece of metal which looks so premium.
Before I end this, I would like to mention the location of the SIM tray. It is kinda weirdly placed, not central as with other iPhones but slightly higher than that, closer to the lock button. It annoys me but I suppose I will have to get used to it *sigh*. Also on the back there is a massive ‘0682’ which is an EU requirement, however the first time I saw it I was hoping it was a production number to say that my iPhone was the 682nd out of the factory but no, not so… This would have been so cool…
Ok then, I think that’s about it. I love this phone, it is definitely my favourite of all my phones (which has been mainly iPhones) and taunts me away from Android for a few more years. I am defiantly looking forward to the NFC payment option however it would have been really good if they had made this 3rd party accessible so that we could use tags and stuff but its not that big of a deal. Split screen multitasking would have been amazing on this phone. Accessibility shows you how this could have worked with half of the screen taken up however I would seriously question the idea of text input in this mode.
The phone is beautifully made and feels exquisite and has really good features and software, making it almost feel like an iPhone 7; a more substantial upgrade than the normal 6. I am definitely keeping this phone after my 14 days are up. I only would have asked that the storage would have been 32GB, 64Gb and 128GB rather than 16GB, 64GB and 128GB because then I would have gone base.. But then I wouldn’t have 32GB of free storage still available after I have loaded all of my apps, music and videos.. Who needs cloud storage when you have an iPhone 6 Plus and an iPod Classic? Not me!