Its been over two years since the launch of the then “holy grail” of iPhones: The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Since then Apple has launched a few more models. Somehow, I can't seem to give up my iPhone 6 (it's been so good to me). In an Android dominated third world country, the pressure was on to stick with an Android smartphone. After all, it is much easier to find Androids in a wide variety of price ranges and brands as opposed to Apple's price controlled devices. I was a Samsung user myself, in fact, I was using a Galaxy S4 at the time but I'll save my experience with that for another review. What I will say though, is my experience with that device made me start to consider different OS options. That's how I ended up on Apple's website. I've shopped with Apple before, and I will admit that the integrity of the devices I already owned gave me an additional push in the iPhone's direction. After browsing, I selected the iPhone 6 with 64 GB of memory in Gold as opposed to its bigger brother the iPhone 6 Plus (hey I have small hands). Now all I had to do was wait for it to arrive. I love unwrapping. Peeling off new plastic, powering on the device for the first time and watching it light up in all its brand new glory brings me joy. The 4.7 inch screen was sufficient enough size for me, and also a major selling point. I think I tended to stay away from iPhones in the past because I felt that the screen and overall size of the phone was too small, almost child-like. iOS 8 was preloaded obviously and after I did the necessary set up, the first thing I did was take the mandatory selfie. You know, strictly for testing purposes. The 8MP rear camera took pretty clean pictures and the front 1.2MP; well with sufficient lighting looked pretty decent also. Somehow the Snapchat front facing camera makes selfies look 10x better.
Social media junkies can probably relate when I say we check our phone at least once every 5-7 minutes. I'm gonna let you know straight off the bad that this, as well as all those background apps updating can take a serious toll on your battery life and, in short order, have your charger looking limp and broken as if its on death's door. The network your carrier is operating on can also affect your experience. For example, where I'm from, at the time of getting the iPhone the highest network I could use my smartphone on was 3G. Within the last year or so I've been using LTE and the battery performance has changed drastically. I counter that by doing a few things:
- Disabling some apps from using cellular data
- Enabling “Low Power” Mode when my battery is lower than 20%
- Using Wi-Fi as much as possible as opposed to cellular data, especially LTE
- Using the Auto Brightness feature
- Only charging when the battery is dead
Performance and Design
One thing I really appreciated and continue to love is the fact that I don't get the “Unfortunately (name of application) has stopped working” error, then having to choose between the lesser of two evils: Force close or wait. It's safe to say that I have had no major software issues in the two years I have been using this device. Since 2014 when the iPhone 6 was first launched, there have been two major iOS updates: 9 & 10. Both were fairly easy to migrate to and use, more so iOS 9 than 10. I love how, as the Operating Systems progressed, the transparency got integrated more and more. It continues to allow for a cleaner more fluid feel and look while using the device. As we are now two generations away from the iPhone 6, some new features are now not available for this generation of iPhone. It's merely an inconvenience but not big enough to make me trade my device for a new one. The design was a major step up on Apple's part from the what I found to be clunky predecessors.
The fact that there is no expandable storage was always a deal breaker for me. I survived on a memory card when my phone had only 16GB of storage. Had the 32GB option been available, that would probably have been the one I would have selected. However, with 64GB being the next step up from 16GB and at the price of what a 32GB device would have been, I decided to go with that option. It's safe to say I have no regrets. So far I've used 50GB of my internal storage so I have a few GBs left. That's pretty good for 2 years worth of usage. Helpful tip: If you're like me and have over 10k photos in your gallery, make iCloud
Strength & Durability
When I unboxed, I applied a tempered glass screen protector. The tempered glass gives an added layer of strength to the already Ion-Strengthened glass screen. These are pretty inexpensive and you can find them on Ebay or Amazon. The link below is a good example: https://www.amazon.com/iPhone-Tempered-Glass-Screen-Protector/dp/B00NGHM76O
I have always kept a case on my device. Especially if I want to resell later so it can be in top condition. I'm proud to say that my screen has never been cracked or shattered throughout the entire time I have had the device and I've dropped it on several occasions. I have heard a few shattered glass stories so maybe I'm just lucky, but repairing a shattered glass is pretty simple and not at all costly, especially if you DIY. The falls my smartphone has taken, has in not way impacted the performance. That's a big plus in my book. I live on an island so I go to the beach regularly. That being said, my iPhone has taken its fair share of spraying from salt water. But to be fair, I tend to notice very quickly and do damage control right there and then.
The camera continues to be one of the strongest features on the device. It allows you to adjust the HDR when taking pictures. It also has time-lapse and slo-mo integrated in the camera thus eliminating the need for third party apps to do the job. Night Shift, a recent addition, automatically changes the colour of the devices display to allow for easier reading when it's dark. The home button has so many great features like finger print recognition. Another really neat trick is to double tap the button (not press) and the screen collapses to allow people with smaller hands to reach the top of the screen while holding the phone with one hand. Apple Music is Nirvana. I don't need to say anything more on that.
I started out not liking the fact that I could not expand the internal storage, but I worked around that by using iCloud storage. I really still love my phone so I am finding it really difficult to come up with a list of worst feature.
All being said, after having less than stellar long term relationships with other smartphones, I'm happy to say I'm still content with my iPhone 6. I've come to the realization that soon, the time will come when I have to retire it as iOS updates will stop coming for the 6. I guess then I'll grudgingly or maybe not so grudgingly give it up for the next power-player Apple decides to grace us with.
The iPhone 6 gets a solid 8.5/10 from me two years later