Dis­cover the best apps and kit

We didn’t love the 6 at first, but now you can’t prise it from our grip

Mac Format - - FRONT PAGE - From £539 SIM-free, from free on con­tract Ca­pac­ity 16GB, 64GB, 128GB Di­men­sions 138.1x67x6.9mm Weight 129g Man­u­fac­turer Ap­ple, ap­ple.com/uk

Read our ver­dict on the lat­est hard­ware and soft­ware for Ap­ple de­vices, in­clud­ing games and iOS apps

It’s quite hard to love the iPhone 6, ini­tially. In­deed, if you’ve been us­ing ei­ther the 4-inch de­sign that Ap­ple in­tro­duced with the iPhone 5 or the 3.5-inch de­sign that pre­ceded it, when you first pick up an iPhone 6 you might not like it at all. It feels oddly weighted. Pe­cu­liarly light. Wor­ry­ingly slip­pery. Too thin to grasp well. And un­less you have big hands, you’ll strug­gle to reach even across the width of the phone with your thumb, never mind stretch it all the way to the top. It feels, in short, like a mis­take, like Ap­ple has lost its way and in­stead of giv­ing the pub­lic what it needs, it’s giv­ing the pub­lic what it wants.

Try go­ing back

It’s only when you’ve been us­ing it for a week or two that it starts to make sense. Partly, this is be­cause you’ve be­come used to the er­gonomics; you’ve ad­justed your grip and have learned how to hold it. But partly too it’s that you’ve fallen un­der its spell. After about a week you’ll have re­alised that the com­pro­mises that have been made by Ap­ple – and that you’ll have to make your­self in us­ing the iPhone 6 – are worth it. Un­like with the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6 isn’t func­tion­ally a dra­matic change from the iPhone we know and love; the rich, deep screen just gives the con­tent a bit more room to breathe. That might not sound hugely ex­cit­ing or even par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant, but the acid test is sim­ple: after a cou­ple of weeks of us­ing the iPhone 6, we forced our­selves to go back full-time to an iPhone 5s, and while it felt bet­ter in the hand, the screen just felt pokey. A screen­ful of tweets felt cramped, movies didn’t feel as lux­u­ri­ous, and while we’d be­come used to view­ing some nonop­ti­mised web­sites in por­trait with some de­gree of com­fort, we felt we had to flip the 5s into land­scape more of­ten.

It’s nev­er­the­less true that those first few days with an iPhone 6 are tricky. The back and sides re­ally do feel slip­pery, and the rounded edges – which make it feel even slim­mer than its al­ready svelte 6.9mm – com­bine to fool the brain into con­stantly think­ing you’re go­ing to fum­ble it. If you’re go­ing from an iPhone 4 or 4s it will take you a long time to ac­cli­ma­tise to the tall screen – you’ll spend days wor­ry­ing it’s go­ing to tum­ble for­ward out of your hand – but it’s un­fa­mil­iar even if you’ve been us­ing a 5-se­ries. Hap­pily, as you’ll know if you al­ready made the switch from a 4-se­ries to a 5 (where you prob­a­bly ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing sim­i­lar), you do get used to it, and a few weeks in you may well start to for­get how you ever found it a prob­lem to be­gin with.


There’s still a con­cern about op­er­at­ing it one handed, though. Ap­ple has in­tro­duced ‘Reach­a­bil­ity’: dou­ble-tap the Home but­ton to slide the screen down to­wards your thumb to bring stuff at the top into reach. It’s tough to cri­tique it; on one hand it feels like a ter­ri­ble kludge, the kind of thing we’d lam­bast an An­droid de­vice for hav­ing to do, but on the other, well, what else was Ap­ple go­ing to do? Broadly, it works; the only ma­jor prob­lem is that most ‘back’ func­tions for apps are at the

The new rounded-edge de­sign feels like an homage to the orig­i­nal iPhone.

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