Unboxing the iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 Plus arrived couple of days ago now, so I took it out of the box on video to give you a better look at what comes in the box. It's a plain package, but it's not worth me putting much into words because we all know what it comes with: the iPhone 6 Plus itself, power cord and adapter, manuals, and some earbuds.
First Impressions - I Need a SIM Card to Activate It? What?!
After years of using Android smartphones with the micro SIM, I was unprepared for the nano SIM. I had to go out to my telco today and grab one for the review, which isn't a problem - that was something I should've prepared for, but forgot about.
What did irk me, however, is that I couldn't "activate" the iPhone 6 Plus without a SIM card. I have no idea why Apple still require "activation" of the handset, something that requires a SIM card and network connectivity to do. Every single Android smartphone and tablet I use, I just sign into my Google account and away I go. I can start using instantly, as I'm connected to my Wi-Fi network at home.
This isn't something that should stop you from buying it, but you don't read much, if anything at all about this in other reviews - so I thought it would be something I would bring up here.
The First Few Hours
Moving on from that, my first few hours with the iPhone have been... *gasp* ... not that bad at all! There are more positive things that I've got to talk about now, than there are negative - well, I think there are. Once I got past the activation, I signed into my Mac account and started downloading some of my most-used apps like Facebook, Hangouts, Drive, Gmail, Facebook Messenger and Spotify. That is all I have installed on the iPhone so far.
It feels great, Apple has done an amazing job at the craftsmanship of the iPhone, but I expected nothing less. It feels like it weighs exactly how much it should, and not too much considering the 5.5-inch display - which, looks absolutely incredible.
The display on the iPhone 6 Plus is the best one yet from Apple, and from my quick time with it so far, blows away the competition completely. My Z2 looks great, my G3 looks great, but the 1920x1080 5.5-inch Retina display on the iPhone 6 Plus just 'pops'. Colors are just so vivid, text is crisp and sharp and at the end of the day, it's just a joy to look at. Apple has smashed the display game completely.
The front of the iPhone 6 Plus features a slight curve at its edges, which feels great when your fingers pass over the sides. It almost feels soft to the touch, and now that the power button has been changed to the side, you can quickly get to the side and turn it on and off in a pinch.
The Touch ID functionality is something I haven't played with yet, as I'm not someone who usually loses their phone. The Home button has a nice 'press' to it, and it too has even had that Apple finish - the little ring looks great, but there's so much space wasted to the left and right of that Home button.
Why? Why Apple? If it were up to me, I'd have physical back and options buttons to the left and right of the Home button. This would make navigating apps and menus around 1.4 billion times easier - to my calculations, at least.
Speaking of iOS, this is the biggest downfall of the iPhone - its operating system. Coming from Android 4.4 KitKat powered smartphones, iOS feels like I'm going from Windows 7 or 8.1, all the way back to Windows XP, albeit, with a beautiful, gorgeous, glowing skin on it. iOS feels like I'm being restricted and turned away at virtually every single point.
There are things that iOS does well, but the list of things that Android does better is far higher. Just a few things:
- The Dock: Being limited to four icons? Why? Why can't I have more?
- No Camera Icon in Dock: I was surprised to see no Camera icon in the Dock.
- Can't Tap Into Apps From Lockscreen: Receiving an email and having to 'slide to view' it feels weird. It feels like I'm swiping to delete it. Why can't I just tap it to go into it? But, if I swipe the Notification Center down, I can then tap into my email.
- Settings is a Massive, Jumbled Mess: Android's settings are very easy to navigate through, but Apple present you with five billion choices to choose from. Quickly setting something up, or changing something becomes a big task, especially without a proper back button. Having to tap all the way at the top of the screen is really annoying, and much slower than what it should be.
- Crappy App Scaling Thanks to the Big New Screen: This is what happens when you have countless generations of iPhones with the same 3.5- and then 4-inch screen size. When you move up to 5.5-inch, everything goes into disarray. I can use a 4-inch Android smartphone, 4.95-inch, 5.5-inch or massively bigger than that, and every app just... works. Isn't that how Apple is meant to be?
iOS may be a big letdown, but iPhone users won't think so, they're used to it. So, iPhone users: you'll love the smaller changes that iOS 8 delivers over iOS 7. Android users, you've been warned - but you knew it would be a big change. You do need to ask yourself, if Apple, the iPhone, and iOS 8 is enough for you to change over from Android. Doing so is just as big as moving from Windows to OS X, but thanks to Google providing their services on iOS, the change won't be as bad as moving from Apple to Android.
The 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera is actually quite impressive, and most will know that the number of megapixels doesn't always equate to better quality images. Since I've only had the iPhone for a few hours so far, here are my first couple of photos.
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