The release of the iPhone SE sparked a “back to small” mentality in me, and I took my venerable iPhone 6 Plus to the local Apple Store. I traded it in for an iPhone 6s, and then tried using the 6s as my daily driver phone for about a week and a half.
It didn’t work.
In fact, my experiment with moving back to a smaller iPhone was more or less a total failure. And it was a good lesson for me in trying to avoid getting caught up in the hype of a new Apple product.
The iPhone 6s: More pocketable, but less immersive
What drove me to replace my iPhone 6 Plus [ Find it on Amazon – *What’s this?* ] was the feeling that perhaps it wasn’t worth carrying around. With all the hype about the iPhone SE, it seemed like going with a smaller phone might be a good idea. So I went for it.
Now you might be wondering why I didn’t just jump to the iPhone SE [ find it on Amazon ] instead of the 6s. I’ll have more to say about the iPhone SE below, but suffice to say right now that it was a bridge too far. Way, way too far!
As far as the 6s goes, it did indeed feel much more pocketable than the iPhone 6 Plus. It was lighter and somewhat easier to use one-handed. And yet it also felt odd, like it was some sort of “tweener” phone that tried to bridge the gap between the 4-inch iPhone and the 5.5-inch iPhone, but wasn’t particularly good at being a small phone or a large phone.
I liked the 6s, I really did. If I had never had a plus sized phone, I probably would have loved the iPhone 6s [ find it on Amazon ]. But as I used it I kept missing the eye comfort of the larger screen, and I particularly missed landscape mode in certain apps such as Mail, Narwhal (for Reddit), and a few others.
I also noticed that games and comics were less immersive in the iPhone 6s than they had been on a plus sized screen. Don't get me wrong, they were still viewable and playable, but the experience was not optimal to say the least.
So as I drew close to the end of my 14 day return period, I decided to bring the iPhone 6s back to the Apple Store.
But wait, what about the iPhone SE?
While I was at the Apple Store to return my iPhone 6s, I had a chance to pick up and use an iPhone SE. It was on the same table as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus [ find it on Amazon ]. I must admit that it had been a while since I’d used a phone with the design of the iPhone SE, and it brought back a lot of memories.
Unfortunately, they weren’t good memories. I realized after holding the iPhone SE for a couple of minutes that I could never go back to using a phone like that again. The design of the SE feels blocky to me, and I didn’t like the sharp edges of the phone either. It's thicker than the iPhone 6s, and felt like a bit of a brick to me despite actually weighing less than the iPhone 6s.
And, of course, the tiny 4-inch screen was shockingly small compared to the 6s and 6s Plus. Frankly, I was surprised at how much I disliked the size of the iPhone SE’s screen. I simply couldn’t imagine using it as my phone on a day to day basis.
I felt it would be incredibly limiting, even after using it for just a few minutes. I opened an ebook in iBooks, tried to browse the web, and opened a few apps. Nothing was comfortable for me to view, and I found myself shaking my head at the very idea of going back to a 4-inch phone.
The iPhone 6s Plus: Perfect!
After using the iPhone SE, I picked up an iPhone 6s Plus and started using it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that a plus sized phone was exactly what I needed, and that I’d been very wrong to try to go small.
The screen was gorgeous, and I could see so much more than the iPhone 6s or especially the iPhone SE. The 6s Plus didn’t feel particularly heavy or clunky to me, it felt just right once I started using some apps on it. Ditto with ebooks and the web, everything looked the way it should on the 6s Plus.
At that point I knew I had to have the 6s Plus. It was everything that my 6 Plus was, but even better. 3D Touch, more RAM and a faster processor made it a no-brainer for me to buy. So I happily left the Apple Store with my new iPhone 6s Plus and I've been loving it ever since.
Once you go big, you can’t go back
I guess the moral of the story (if there is one) is to beware the hype when Apple releases a new product. The iPhone SE is a good phone for the folks who want smaller screens, but the price to pay for that was far too much for me. And even the 6s was just too darned small for me to tolerate.
While there are exceptions to every rule, I think it’s fair to say that once you go big, you really can’t go back. Or at least I couldn’t go back to a smaller screen phone. Your mileage may vary, of course, and more power to you if it does.
As for me, I don’t think I will ever own another phone that has a screen smaller than 5.5-inches. But I have heard a rumor that the iPhone 8 might have a 5.8-inch screen, and I sure hope it’s true.
The bigger, the better when it comes to iPhones!
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