I haven't been a regular iPhone user for a long time, primarily because I like big phones for my two hour daily train commute. I couldn't believe Apple went as big as it did with the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, but after a month of daily usage it turns out that the hardware and iOS 8 are exactly what I have been looking for.
My initial rating for the iPhone 6 Plus was a 9, and after a full month of use I would likely bump that up to a 9.5. Everything has improved for me and I never had any issues with the two updates or random resets that some people are reporting. The iPhone 6 Plus has been a rock solid device that hasn't let me down yet.
Let's break it down into a couple of simple lists to share my experiences over the past month. Here is what I like about the Apple iPhone 6 Plus:
Big, beautiful display: The 5.5-inch display is perfect for me with my larger hands and fading eyesight. I sold my iPad mini 2 to buy the iPhone 6 Plus and do not miss it at all.
Metal and glass design: Apple makes high quality products and I absolutely love the way the glass curves out to the edges and into the metal body. It is a phone I want to hold all the time. While there are some reports of bent iPhones, given that nearly 40 million have been sold there would have to be thousands of such reports for the issue to be a serious problem.
Cameras: While Android smartphones offer a lot of cool camera functions, the iPhone is quick and easy. I am actually quite impressed with the available options and am having fun taking slow motion and time-lapse videos. The front-facing camera has allowed me to take some great photos of me and my daughters too.
Long battery life: I have never been able to use an iPhone for an entire long day of heavy usage without topping it off on a charger. That is no longer the case on the iPhone 6 Plus. I have it running from 4:30 am to 10:30 pm daily, including being connected to a fitness/activity tracker, and usually end up with 30 percent battery available after the iPhone 6 Plus wakes me up the next morning. It reminds me of my iPad usage, where I rarely worried about charging up. It is refreshing to go so long with a smartphone.
Touch ID: My iPhone 6 Plus is secured with Touch ID and it allows me to unlock my phone nearly 100 percent of the time without any issues. That is something that cannot be said of any Android phone and I love this functionality. I am also starting to use Apple Pay and look forward to having my bank get official support, along with more retailers.
Email management: I have all of my email accounts appearing in the Mail application and find triaging and responding to emails to be extremely efficient on the iPhone 6 Plus. The appearance of emails on the big screen is nearly the same as on a desktop and I do not feel limited at all when using my phone.
Apps: It is refreshing to have every single app I need on iOS. Apple and developers have been quickly updating apps to take advantage of the big iPhone 6 Plus display so apps get better daily. I love the landscape orientation support and enhanced Apple apps that take advantage of split screen experiences too.
There are also a few things I don't like about the new iPhone 6 Plus, including the following:
1GB of RAM: Apple made a mistake in limiting the amount of RAM on their flagship smartphone and should have had 2GB or 3GB included. I find that some apps, such as Pocket Casts, pause playback on me when I continue to open more apps. This should never happen on the iPhone 6 Plus.
Mono speaker at the bottom: Apple's mono speakers have decent volume, but when others have mono speakers with power and front facing speakers there is no reason Apple couldn't have improved the audio experience. I also prefer to have my headphone jack at the top of a phone, not on the bottom where I am trying to hold it and listen to audio while doing other things on my phone.
No one phone is perfect for everyone and I will continue to jump around with my BlackBerry Passport, Nokia Lumia 1520, and new Google Nexus 6 that I plan to order next week. That said, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus would be the one phone I would choose — if I happened to be a "normal" person who had to choose just one device.