TESTING OUT THE IPHONE 6 AND 6 PLUS
The most drastic changes to the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the dimensions of the phones, which, according to Apple, are “Bigger than bigger.” With 4.7- and 5.5-inch displays on the 6 and 6 Plus, respectively, the phones live up to Apple’s promise. They are also the thinnest iPhones ever made, with the iPhone 6 coming in at 6.9 mm and the 6 Plus at 7.1 mm.
The phones sport a curvier design, making gestures easier and smoother across the screen. The sleep/ wake button is now located on the side, presumably so smaller fingers don’t have to strain to reach the top of the now-larger device. And while there aren’t any huge changes to the camera on either of the devices, both now come with optical image stabilization, which measures motion data to reduce shaking.
The release of two new iPhones and iOS 8 was overshadowed by customers who took to social media sites with complaints that the iPhone 6 Plus was easily bendable. I visited an Apple store in Houston to ask Apple employees if they thought people’s concerns were valid. “Everything bends,” one Apple employee told me. “If you apply enough pressure it is going to bend—no doubt about that.”
I expected the coy response, considering Apple’s official statement insisted that only a handful of devices were affected. And while the online world may have exaggerated the extent of Apple’s cover-up, using the term “Bendgate” in reference to the controversial issue on social media, the fact that the phone bends when enough pressure is applied to it isn’t necessarily a design flaw—it all depends on your definition.
Take the observations of Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy, for instance, who performed bend tests on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and a number of other aluminum- and plastic-cased smartphones. He found that while the 6 Plus bent significantly when he applied pressure with two hands, so did other aluminumbased phones, like the Galaxy Note 4, albeit to a lesser degree. If bending is a concern for you, it might be best to opt for the iPhone 6, which bends far less easily than the 6 Plus.
Inevitably, when Apple introduces new products, critics come out of the woodwork to wag their fingers at any small flaw they can find. Although the initial public reaction was tainted by complaints of iOS 8 glitches and bendable iPhones, stellar features—like Extensibility and Continuity for iOS 8 and a sleeker design and bigger screen for the iPhones—illustrate that the good far outweighs the bad in Apple’s latest offerings.