IPhone 6 Plus

The iPhone goes su­per-sized, but can you have too much of a good thing?

Mac Format - - RATED - From £619 SIM-free, from free on con­tract Ca­pac­ity 16GB, 64GB, 128GB Di­men­sions 158.1x77.8x7.1mm Weight 172g Man­u­fac­turer Ap­ple, ap­ple.com/uk

5.5 inches is a lot of inches. Go­ing from 4.7 inches in the iPhone 6 to 5.5 might not seem like that big a jump, but it gives you an in­crease in dis­play area over the 6 of more than third – and nearly twice the space of the iPhone 5s. And given what we’ve said in our iPhone 6 re­view about the size of that de­vice need­ing a few days be­fore you get used to it, you can imag­ine that the 6 Plus is an even more dra­matic tran­si­tion. Again, it’s a change that hap­pens fairly nat­u­rally.

The sug­ges­tion is that (as with the 6 Plus) one-handed use is just about out the win­dow, that you’ll just have to use two hands to re­ally use it. This isn’t to­tally true (par­tic­u­larly for those with larger hands), but it’s not an un­rea­son­able guide. The sense that you might drop the 6 Plus when try­ing to use it one-handed is strong – it feels top-heavy in the hand, and with a screen this size, you’ll have to fre­quently move your hand po­si­tion to reach ev­ery­thing, mean­ing your grip is less sure. Us­ing the iPhone 6 while walk­ing along is a mat­ter of tweak­ing your one-handed use to bet­ter grip it, but when us­ing the 6 Plus while walk­ing, we found our­selves sub­con­sciously pulling a sec­ond hand up and grip­ping it by the bot­tom cor­ner, free­ing the other hand to support the back of the phone while also mov­ing loosely. This was our adjustment to the iPhone 6 Plus, and yes, it did in­volve a sec­ond hand – there’s no get­ting away from that.

At home on the sofa, the iPhone 6 Plus is more in its el­e­ment. Prop it up, hold it in two hands, hold it in one and jab with the other, hold it land­scape to watch a video – when you’re us­ing it how­ever you want in an easy en­vi­ron­ment, most of its er­gonomic con­cerns shrink in the face of the util­ity of the larger screen, and we don't mean that just for peo­ple over 6 feet tall. We gave the 6 Plus to a 5 foot tall tester for a few days. At first, like many, she found try­ing to grip it in such a way that it was us­able in one hand (us­ing it as she would her iPhone 5s) was dif­fi­cult and un­com­fort­able. Be­fore long, though, she stopped try­ing to use it the way her mus­cle mem­ory was telling her to, and in­stead just us­ing it in what­ever way suited it best for do­ing the same tasks – and the com­plaints were almost com­pletely re­tracted. Smaller hands def­i­nitely make its one-handed use even less prac­ti­cal (as with the iPhone 6, Reach­a­bil­ity is of­ten only mildly use­ful), but the big screen of­fers its own re­wards. Play­ing games, watch­ing movies, brows­ing sites – they’re all that lit­tle bit bet­ter on the 6 Plus, and since in many cases they don’t re­quire you to be press­ing but­tons all over the screen all the time, they don’t suf­fer from the changed er­gonomics. A game might have but­tons near the edge: the 6 Plus means you can press th­ese with­out ob­scur­ing the ac­tion in the mid­dle. In Sa­fari, you’ll mostly be scrolling, and you can do that any­where on-screen (and you won’t have to do as much, since the 6 Plus gives you more space to view sites).

When you play with a phone in a shop – test­ing its size in one hand and typ­ing – it’s easy to for­get that this is of­ten the most dif­fi­cult use­case sce­nario for our phones – the most fran­tic reach­ing and press­ing. The 6 Plus has er­gonomic is­sues

Even the huge box the 5 Plus comes in is a re­minder that this is a big, big phone.

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