This is the more raw I've ever written, so this is not a "I love" or "I hate" anything about the new iPhone. This is simply "I used the new iPhone quickly yesterday, and here's what I think about it, so far".
I had the chance of using the new iPhone 6 Plus yesterday, Apple's largest iPhone ever. With a 5.5-inch display, it features a relatively relaxed resolution of 1920x1080. After coming from the Sony Xperia Z2 as my daily driver since May, the 5.5-inch size didn't feel that big in my hands. For the past two years or so, I've used a slew of different mid-to-high-end Android-powered smartphones, using most of Samsung's smartphones including the Galaxy S3, S4, S5 and Note 2, Note 3 as well. I've also played with the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z2, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), LG G3, and many more.
This gives me a great radar for knowing the feel, weight, resolution, pixel density, features, and styles of most of the hottest smartphones on the market for the past few years. When it comes to the iPhone 6 Plus, it feels incredible in my hand, but it's also ridiculously slippery. It would have to be the first phone I'd make myself buy a case for. I usually go naked on my smartphones, without a cover.
The viewing angles, are second-to-none. Apple has done an incredible job with the display, even if it doesn't feature a pixel-packed panel. Apple has really relaxed itself from pushing Retina these days, as its competitors have caught up in terms of display quality, with many of them surpassing them: LG with its G3, and Samsung with its upcoming Galaxy Note 4.
One of the big hurdles I find with my relationship with Apple is that iOS is so stale, and even with the changes Apple introduced from iOS 6 and iOS 7, iOS 8 feels no different. After using Android 4.4 KitKat for the last couple of months, iOS 8 simply doesn't compare to Android. If you've been using Apple for years and haven't gotten deep into using Android or Google's various services, you won't notice. Some people will love it, and that's fine, but for me Google's services are second-to-none. Apple doesn't compare. Microsoft doesn't compare. Samsung, Yahoo, BlackBerry, and every other smartphone manufacturer has nothing even remotely close to the treasure trove of services that Google offers, most of which are free.
Apple has provided something that iPhone users have wanted for so long, but were constrained by the puny 4-inch panel on the previous iPhones: landscape support within iOS. The problem is, 3/4 of the apps do not scale to landscape, let alone work. Spotify doesn't work with landscape for example (again, I didn't have much time to play with it), and many of the other apps I tried didn't feel like they had to "Apple polish" that I'm used to with virtually every iOS-based app.
It's fast, if you're comparing it to any previous iPhone, but compared to the flagship Android smartphones available, even on a fresh out-of-the-box iPhone 6 Plus, it didn't feel uber fast. This is something I expected from Apple when they have 100% control from the silicon level (A8 processor, and surrounding hardware) right up to the operating system. I expected much, much more in the OS department.
Lastly, I had to play with the camera. Apple has always had praise for the cameras - but I'm sorry, after coming from the G3 and Z2, the 8-megapixel iSight camera, which has been heavily improved from the iPhone 5S, just doesn't cut it. It shoots incredibly fast, blowing my G3 and Z2 out of the water, but for pure image quality, it didn't impress me. Again, I only snapped a few photos, but the quality from those first photos didn't have me glued to playing with the camera. The improved interface for the camera is really swish, that is something that caught my eye, but it wasn't enough to keep me playing around with it.
In closing, most of you would've read my now famous blog (which received far more traction, re-tweets, Facebook likes, e-mails and more than all of our news for days in a row, and all of our Apple iPhone news, combined), where I said I was disappointed with the new iPhone. That feeling is still with me, but I did enjoy a few things about the new iPhone - the feel, materials used, is great. The mute button, is something I'll always cherish, and always miss on phones without it, the viewing angles on the display are simply mind-blowing, but that's it.
For iPhone users upgrading from any other iPhone, this is going to be a great leap. But the problem is, there's not enough 'new' to pull Android users away from flagship Android-powered devices, which is what Apple needed. The outright price of the new iPhone is just ridiculous, forcing you onto a two-year contract to justify the near-one-thousand-dollar price of the new iPhone.
All in all, my first hour or so with the new iPhone was good, but definitely not great. Where's my wireless charging? Where's my Retina HD display - iPhone 6 with the same pixel density as iPhone 5S, with a bigger display... what is that Apple? Nothing exciting, or new. For Apple to state a few years ago that the holes had been plugged and rumors would stop - all of the rumors were spot on this time around. Apple needs something truly exciting next, something that has the same effect on the market as their original iPhone did. When that happens, everyone will wake up, and I hope Apple still has that magic. Deep down I know they do, and I want to see them be bold again.