The release of the 4-inch iPhone SE has many people comparing it to the iPhone 6s. And one-handed use is one of the biggest comparison metrics being used by writers and commenters all over the web.
A writer at AppleInsider has written a post about the differences between one-handed use of the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6s. He actually went so far as to remark that the iPhone 6s is torture on his pinky:
…I developed my own, carpal-tunnel-inducing method of using the 4.7-inch display: My pinky would naturally rest under the phone to help hold it in place.
My hand just isn’t big enough to securely squeeze the iPhone 6s and also reach all four corners of it with my thumb. The only way I could possibly reach the upper left corner with my right hand and still securely hold the phone was to have my pinky act as the safety net, ensuring my iPhone remained securely in my grasp.
Though millions of years of human evolution have generally served me pretty well, my pinky was most definitely not designed to do this specific task.
I didn’t notice it at first, but over time this habit took its toll on my right pinky. While I never really formed a full-fledged callus on my finger, the weight of the iPhone 6s and the friction of using it (especially with the sharp edges of the speaker grille and Lightning port) took their toll.
Pinky fatigue became a real thing.
The writer goes on to say that the iPhone SE worked better for him, and didn’t torture his pinky the way that the iPhone 6s did. He'll apparently be using the iPhone SE until the release of the iPhone 7, whereupon his pinky torture will begin all over again.
My pinky loves my iPhone 6s
After reading the post on AppleInsider, I decided to subject my iPhone 6s to the pinky torture test. I do not use a case on my iPhone 6s, instead I opted for a leather sleeve to protect it when it’s in my pocket. When I use the phone, it’s totally nude.
I spent some time holding my iPhone 6s with my pinky as the base of support. But try as I might, I did not notice my pinky screaming in agony at the unbearable weight of the iPhone 6s. The phone just sort of sat there, and my pinky just held it with no noticeable complaints.
Frankly though, I found that using my pinky to support the iPhone 6s to be a very weird way to hold it. It’s not something I would normally do since I favor having the phone lay flat in my hand when I use it for ebooks, web browsing, apps, etc. I don’t generally hold it up in the vertical position unless I'm using it for an actual phone call.
Your mileage may vary in all of this, of course. Some folks probably do favor holding it upright and at eye level. And in that case your pinky can work well as a base of support.
Turn your old pair of gloves into an iPhone 6s pinky protection condom
If you find your pinky groaning under the weight of the iPhone 6s, just go and grab an old pair of gloves out of your closet. Cut off the pinky finger from the glove and then wear that to protect your pinky.
Think of it as an iPhone 6s pinky protection condom and your pinky torture will be over. Your pinky will be protected by the finger from the glove, and you can then hold your iPhone 6s with your pinky for as long as you like with no discomfort.
Hmm. Come to think of it, maybe I should send Tim Cook an email about this? Apple could make billions by selling pinky protection condoms in the company's retail stores and on its web site. I wonder if Tim would give me a percentage of the profits for coming up with the idea? Woohoo!
AppleInsider readers didn’t have much sympathy for the writer's claims about pinky pain
My own comments aside, I’ll leave you with a selection of thoughts from the discussion thread spawned by the iPhone 6s pinky fatigue article. Apple Insider readers didn’t have much sympathy for the writer, as you might imagine:
Sog35: “Your holding it wrong. Buy bigger hands.Oh well. I don’t mind using 2 hands. I mean what’s the big deal with using two hands anyway?”
Paxman: “I have a 5s and my pinkies function as ‘phone shelves’ even for this ‘one handed’ phone. I think they probably did back in the 4 days as well. I don’t have particularly small hands but one handed use for me is an error strewn affair. Pretty much the only thing I do one handed with a high degree of success is answer calls. ”
Razormaid: “That is a bizarre way to hold it. Maybe he thinks it’s going to slip out of his grip?? Hold it like a man and grip that puppy! ”
Rauls4: “Trump sized hand problems. 6S+ Works like a charm for me.”
SAm123: “Dumb article. The guy has a callus and thumb fatigue, so he makes the switch back to the 4-inch model. But just until the iPhone 7 is released later this year. Which I assume his fingers will be abused again. Apple most love people like this that switch to 3 different phones in one years time.”
Rufwork: “I haven’t seen a better archetypal example of “First World Problems” since I complained about early iPod touches’ volume buttons’ inaccessibility for left-handed users.”
Pmz: “This is just the latest in a string of bloggers that have been unable to resist the Apple-released-something-new-I-must-have-it-even-though-I-dont-really-need-or-even-want-it.
A made up excuse to try the SE for a few months.
I just picked up one of the 4“ iPhones on my desk and realized that I hold that with one with the ”pinky shelf" too. It is not just the larger phones.
You really can’t do much with any iPhone one-handed. ”
Sdw2001: “I have had an iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. I’ve never had a problem with any of them. The 6s is perfect for one hand use, and I don’t have huge hands. They are not small per se, but not massive either. The 6s+ is another matter…”
Apple Head: “HAND-GATE.”
Razormaid: “Maybe you guys should check out these 3rd party keyboards. You can place it on the left or right side of the device. (They’re for iPhone only obviously.)
Thumbly ( my favorite of the two)
Handy (aka “One Handy Keyboard” in iTunes Store)
They both work great and can be easily accessed one handed.”
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