Does size matter? Absolutely!

It’s been about two years since the Senior Lawyers Technology Committee wrote about an iPhone in this newsletter (the new iPhone 5 at the time). Last fall, Apple announced some new products which were a big change: the iWatch (coming out this Spring) and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. This article is intended to get you to check out the new iPhones, with a biased debate as to which is better suited for the Senior Lawyer.

iPhone 6 —John Phipps

For me, the choice between small and large was a no-brainer because I carry my iPhone with me all the time. The iPhone 6+ was definitely too big for my belt clip and would not work well carrying it in my pocket. I know some people who carry them both ways but with a larger phone for me it’s awkward. And, the people I know who carry larger phones seem to have problems carrying the phone either way.

I also have an iPad Air2 which I generally have with me. As a result, the size advantage for the 6+ really doesn’t make much difference to me. I go to my iPad when I need a larger display. The size of the display on the new iPhone 6 is significantly larger than the iPhone 5s which I thought was too small. I find that the larger display for the iPhone 6 is more than sufficient for my needs. The print sizes are readable for reading documents and e-mails and the smaller size allows me to read them much faster than the larger type.

The camera is unbelievable and I have some great action shots of my grandkids as well as some excellent videos. Christmas pictures were special and much improved over the 5s in terms of display and autofocus. As Frank indicates, the smaller iPhone 6 does not have optical image stabilization but the iPhone 6 focuses much faster and better than the 5s so I don’t see a need for the image stabilization for my use of the camera . It would be a nice feature but it is not one that I miss.

Because of how thin the glass is, I have a glass protector on my phone. It sometimes interferes with the fingerprint identity sensor but I dropped my phone and it hit a sharp object which cracked the glass protector. The protector worked. I simply peeled it off and no damage was done to my display screen. I obtained a replacement screen protector. I’ve never had these before but I am glad I had it this time. I highly recommend getting one for the iPhone 6 to protect the display glass.

Siri is much improved over the prior models. I use Siri extensively for obtaining information by asking questions. As for e-mails and memos, I use the microphone on the keyboard rather than Siri. The keyboard mike is very good and, as a result, I rarely type any message or e-mail anymore.

The battery life is improved and, except in those cases where I’m talking on the phone driving from Champaign to Chicago, I find that the battery life is more than adequate for my needs. Even the constant use during the trip doesn’t take all the battery. Even if it did, I simply use the charger in my car to keep it charged.

I use my iPhone 6 to watch sports on ESPN and the Big Ten network as well as some of the network TV sports. Though the screen is not large, I find that the pictures are clear and I can read the scores. If I want to see more, I go to my iPad. The iPhone 6 has an enhanced HD Retina display that is exceptionally clear. The smaller size allows me to watch games in places where larger screens might be intrusive. I also use the phone to watch a second game while I’m watching another one on the big screen so I can keep track of both games at the same time.

I love my iPhone 6. It is exactly what meets my needs but I agree with Frank’s enthusiasm for the 6+. There is no right answer between the two versions; both are excellent. It is simply a matter of personal choice. For me, the choice is smaller because it meets my needs and the way I use it would not adapt well to the larger size of the iPhone 6+. For me the iPhone 6 feels just right!

Both phones are truly smart phones and the capabilities they have are unbelievable. I have been able to use the iPhone 6 to complete significant legal work while traveling using the Verizon 4g network and the new capabilities the iPhone 6 provides. The productivity with the speed of the new phone is a significant improvement over the prior iPhones. The old iPhones worked well, but the faster speed and clarity of display provided by the iPhone 6 more than justifies the cost of upgrading. I am amazed at how quickly I can get things done with the iPhone 6. If you need the larger display, then I’m sure the larger display will also more than offset the cost of upgrading to the larger iPhone 6+.

iPhone 6+ —Frank Ariano

When I first heard that Apple was going the way of Samsung and other producers of the “Phablet” (phone and tablet combined), I was not happy. I have always been one who thought that the really cool technology had to be as small as could be produced. I always bought the smallest computer that Sony made, the smallest digital recorder, the smallest GPS device, the smallest phone I could find, and preferred the iPad Mini to the full size. Despite that prejudice, I had to have the latest iPhone, even if it meant looking like a nerd! Well, was I wrong!

I decided that the iPhone 6+ made more sense for me and ordered the wifi and cellular gold color 128GB version, using AT&T. Although I knew the dimensions of the 6+ before it was released, it was still a shock when the box arrived. Having lived with the 4.87” x 2.31” iPhone 5s and its similar size predecessors, the 6.22” x 3.06” iPhone 6+ seemed huge. The entire iPhone 5s with its 4” screen is smaller than the screen of the 6+ (5.5”), but the 6+ is thinner (although it weighs about 2 ounces more). As you will hopefully see, it turns out those size differences are in no way negatives--even if that was initially hard for me to imagine.

First, the 1 & 1/2” larger display is so much easier to read and use. On the home screen, there are seven rows of 4 icons when held vertically, 4 rows of 7 icons when held horizontally. The 1920 x 1080 pixel display with wider pixels makes it very easy to read e-mails, documents and web pages, without having to expand (zoom) the text. The large display allows you to read a book without much difference from the iPad Mini and, when used horizontally, you can easily “type” with two thumbs when composing an e-mail or creating/modifying a document. One handed use when held vertically is difficult, but considering “senior” hands, especially mine, one handed “typing” with a smaller phone did not work well either.

The new iSight (8 megapixel with 1080p HD video) and FaceTime (1.2 megapixel 720p HD video) cameras are truly amazing. The autofocus feature with focus pixels, face detection, true tone flash, burst mode, panorama, timer mode, slo-mo video and optical image stabilization (the stabilization is not available on the iPhone 6) provide more camera than you will ever need. The FaceTime with grandkids is even better, and can be done in either wi-fi or cellular.

The fingerprint identity sensor provides excellent security, especially when using Apple Pay. The TV and Video are sharper than watching your home HD TV and the larger display allows you to watch a movie without squinting. Use of Siri and the voice recognition lets you “type” e-mails or documents/notes/messages/ reminders with amazing accuracy, and hands free.

Probably the best feature of the larger size of the iPhone 6+, other than the easier to see/read display and the video stabilization, is the battery. The larger battery gives significantly more talk and standby time, much longer internet use and hours more of video and audio playback. If you use your phone with apps that use GPS and other “power grabbers,” you will really appreciate the increased battery life. You can easily go all day without needing a charge with most typical, even heavy, usage.

While I could go on and on about the advantages of the iPhone 6+ over previous iPhones, as well as the iPhone 6, you should go to your closest Apple store and see it for yourself (looking at the website or the TV ads will not give you the full effect).

Even though you may still not think so, I predict you will almost immediately get used to and prefer the larger size, and will actually look at the smaller phones as less useful and less functional devices. With the increased screen size, I find that I am not using my iPad Mini very often. I use a belt clip to carry mine (so there is no worry of sitting on it or bending it) which also has a stand built in to allow for better movie viewing and FaceTime calling with those grandkids.

 

Conclusion

After reading the comments above, it should be clear that the selection between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ really comes down to a matter of personal preference. They have many of the same features and the new operating system is awesome. We both love the phones we bought and it should be clear the phone we selected works well for our different individual needs. Hopefully, this article will give you some useful information about the differences between the two phones and the pros and cons for selecting one or the other. They are awesome phones and easy to learn, so senior lawyers should not be afraid of moving to such powerful smart phones. ■

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February 2015Volume 6Number 2PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)