iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus

September 08, 2015

TL;DR: 6 Plus

First things first, I love the iPhone 6 Plus. I love it more than you do. I adore it. I’ve had it since the first day it was available and have used it 10+ hours every day since then. I work from it. A lot. It’s my favorite.

All of that said, a few months ago I was really itching to give the non-Plus 6 a shot, despite its inferior rear camera. Its size appealed to me for a number of reasons, and I just thought it looked and felt nice. So, I went out and bought one, used it for a few days and then…switched back to the 6 Plus. But, after a couple of days I went back to the 6. There definitely were moments when I had convinced myself that I’d keep the non-Plus and sell the Plus, but ultimately I decided that, on balance, the Plus is a better fit for me.

I realize some of you are looking for me to tell you which way to go, full stop, but I just can’t. They’re both great devices and at the end of the day you just have to figure out which fits your use-cases the best.

For me, battery is a huge deal, because I literally use the device all day long. I’ve been able to go 10 straight hours with the Plus, just reading RSS, responding to email, Twitter, Pocket, messaging, etc.—“normal” use. The non-Plus can’t get anywhere near that number; while its battery isn’t bad, I’ve just been spoiled by the 6 Plus. It’s hard to explain the peace of mind I get from the Plus’ battery; I just know it’ll be available when I need it. I do the vast majority of my job these days from my iPhone, and so a bigger battery really is useful to me.

I also prefer how the hit targets of the keyboard on the 6 Plus are quite a bit larger due to the keys themselves being, well, larger. Because of this I can type much faster and with fewer errors on the 6 Plus. Again, for someone who uses this device as much as I do (and for a lot of mission-critical stuff), all of these efficiency gains really do start to add up.

Another potential differentiator is the PPI of the devices. While the added PPI of the 6 Plus is noticeable (the contrast ratio is also higher on the 6 Plus), it’s just not a game-changing feature for me anymore given that once you get above 300PPI at these short distances the distinction starts to fall away. That said, the better screen of the 6 Plus definitely jumps out at you after you’ve been looking at only a 6 for a couple of days.

Obviously, the biggest selling point of the 6 vis-a-vis the 6 Plus is its smaller size. I found the dimensions and weight of the 6 to be nearly perfect for prolonged sessions (though those sessions are a bit shorter than those with the 6 Plus). It just feels great in hand—solid, sleek, modern. The 6 Plus can wear out my “cradling” pinky after holding it for just a little while; I often find myself changing my holding position because my hand is starting to ache or cramp. (To that end I bought a PopSocket, which I can’t believe I like, but I do. Yes, it’s ugly. Yes, it makes me self-conscious in public. Yes, I hate what it does to this svelte beauty. BUT, it works, and works really, really well.)

One final plus for the Plus is that it made me comfortable not owning an iPad. I got rid of my iPad the day I bought the 6 Plus; I just couldn’t justify having both, and well, I’m kind of militant about consolidating when I can. With the 6 though I often found myself thinking about the iPad and even ended up researching them a bit.

At the end of the day, the better battery on the 6 Plus is what really kept it in my hands. Even though I generally preferred the size of the 6, especially for prolonged use, there was just no getting around the fact that the 6 Plus is a workhorse.

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