I’ve used and reviewed the best phones the Android market has to offer this year. Devices like the Moto X, DROID Turbo, Nexus 6. All great phones that I’d wholeheartedly recommend to friends and family. And with Android 5.0 Lollipop now available, Google’s army is stronger than ever before (though distribution still leaves a lot to be desired). Even with all these great devices at my disposal, however, I’ve stuck by the iPhone 6 (not the Plus—that was too big).
Listen: the iPhone 6 isn’t perfect—there are a lot of areas it can improve, and many of the top Android phones best it in a lot of keys areas. But the device works well for my needs, which is why it’s still in my pocket. As I’ve repeatedly said in my reviews, I’m not what you’d consider a power user. In fact, I do my best to avoid smartphone use. For how much time I spend in front of the computer each day, the last thing I need is to stare down at a tiny screen.
Which is to say, I could care less about specs. QHD screens, quad-core processors—I’m done with it. The spec race is exhausting. I’m all for pushing technology forward, and I’m not implying that I think the Android phones mentioned above are bad; I happen to think they’re among the best money can buy. But there’s something to be said about Apple’s dedication to hardware/software optimization. And, unlike most people, I have little issue with how the iPhone 6 looks.
Sure, maaaaaaybbe a removable battery would be nice, and maaaaayyybe expandable storage would be useful. But because I’m such a light user—mostly to use Snapchat and Instagram—my battery holds up just fine. As for storage, I rarely keep music on my device; it’s mostly filled up with pictures. I realize the iPhone 6’s battery doesn’t hold up for a lot of people. For users like Jon, It’s absolutely atrocious. In instances like this, the device’s thin design really does harm the experience; I’d rather have a thicker phone with a larger battery, similar to the DROID Turbo.
By and large, however, I haven’t run into glaring issues that have made me stop and think, “Hmm, maybe I should re-evaluate my decision.” The phone is plenty fast, the camera (for Instagram and Snapchat) is great, and the battery is decent; I’ll charge whenever is convenient for me, but there have only been one or two occasions where I’ve had to limit my usage just to conserve battery.
There are two things in particular I love about the iPhone in addition to the software/hardware optimization. One: iMessage. It’s not the best platform in the world—it actually has a lot of problems—but I love it, and Apple has introduced a lot of improvements over the years. Most of the people I care about own iPhones, and it’s just so easy and convenient to communicate with them over Apple’s platform. That brings me to my next point: Continuity.
I love being able to take calls on my Mac, and it’s really convenient getting all my texts and iMessages right on my computer. It keeps things fluid, synced, and up-to-date. I don’t really write emails on my phone and pick them up on my computer—I don’t do that for Pages, or any other important documents. For me, what it boils down to is being able to stay in touch as conveniently as possible. With the iPhone 6, I can do that.
I’ve also found the improved Touch ID to be great, though I haven’t really put Apple Pay to use. Since it went live, I think I’ve only used it once at Walgreens, and that’s it. I find it more useful when signing into apps, such as 1Password, and unlocking my phone. There are times when it just refuses to read my fingerprint, but I’d peg the success rate right around 90-percent, which is more than good enough.
Looking through my apps, I have zero games installed, and never once have I wished the iPhone 6 had Multi-Window support or anything like that. I also don’t mind the 4.7-inch 720p screen, which is significantly smaller than a large majority of the phones currently on the market. Even coming from devices like the Nexus 6, I have no issue with screen resolution or size. I don’t need a small tablet on me at all times.
Widgets would be nice, the ability to install a launcher would be nice. But those aren’t reasons enough for me to switch away from the iPhone 6 full-time. I still think Android 5.0 Lollipop is the more powerful and eye-pleasing OS, but Apple’s device is still my go-to. You may not agree, and that’s fine. I’ve used enough Android phone this year to admit that there are many better options out there.
That’s the thing: there are options out there you might find better, and I’m completely ok with that. This is simply my experience two months later. To be honest, I still contend that the OnePlus One is the best phone I’ve used all year. For Jon’s take on the iPhone 6, check out the video above.