by Jim Lynch

Is the iPhone 6 Plus too big?

May 14, 201514 mins
iOSiPhoneOperating Systems

Phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus might not be for everybody

There’s no doubt about the fact that many people love the iPhone 6 Plus. Since it’s release it’s become one of Apple’s hottest products ever. But as popular as the iPhone 6 Plus is, it might not be the right smartphone for everybody. Some users just can’t adjust to a phablet when coming from smaller phones.

A recent thread on Reddit underscored just how hard it can be for some users to get used to the 5.5-inch size screen of the iPhone 6 Plus. One redditor even stuck with the iPhone 6 Plus for six weeks, and ended up very unhappy.

I have an iPhone 6 Plus, and I’ll share my thoughts about using it below. But first check out the thread on Reddit to see just why the iPhone 6 Plus might be too big for some users.

TeslaModelE shared his difficulty adjusting to the iPhone 6 Plus:

After 6 weeks with the iPhone 6 Plus, I can say I’ve made a terrible mistake……I Should have gotten the 6!

As much as I love this phone it’s always awkward to hold. No way to use one handed. I got it because I thought it would be great to watch movies and TV Shows on but I found out I hate watching video on this “tiny” screen. I prefer the full sized iPad.

I’m 6’0 tall and have HUGE hands and I miss being able to comfortably type in landscape. I’ll be getting a 6 probably whenever I can afford to buy both the phone and the full sized iPad. I’ll withhold judgement on an iPad Pro until I see and use such a device.

More at Reddit

His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts about the size of the iPhone 6 Plus:

StinkyFeetPatrol: “I’ve had mine since October. Since I’m 6’2″ and have enormous hands the 6+ was a godsend for me, I easily can use it one handed and don’t feel cramped on a small screen anymore. It’s a fantastic phone but it really isn’t for everyone.”

GWmyc2: “I’m enjoying…my 6 Plus. The size takes a bit of getting used to but the battery life and camera more than make up for the size inconveniences. Plus it’s awesome as a GPS because of the larger screen.

But those initial first weeks were difficult in terms of comfortably using the phone. I still can’t use the damn thing in landscape mode for typing because of how unwieldy it is.”

Lonefrontranger: “I’m female and have tiny hands and my 6+ is my favorite smartphone yet. video is the best and the Paper app makes Facebook integration not-awful. I never used phones one-handed to start with maybe is the difference? I found a perfect little wallet case that hangs around my shoulders because women’s clothing doesn’t have functional pockets to begin with.

I have the Watch to deal with all the momentary glance-and-dismiss stuff.”

StalinWasAJerk: “I have tiny hands and I love my 6+. Speech to text is your friend for one handed situations.”

Relatedartists: “Agreed. It’s too big as a true mobile device and awkward to use. But I’m keeping mine and likely getting the next plus. The reason comes down to battery, really. And watching videos on it is nicer because it’s bigger. But when it comes down to using it, it’s definitely too big for true mobile use. I’ve gotten used to it mostly but just because you get used to it it doesn’t mean it’s optimal.”

More at Reddit

As you can tell from the thread, user experiences with the iPhone 6 Plus vary considerably. And it’s not always the big guys with the huge hands that are happy with the iPhone 6 Plus (as the redditor who started the thread demonstrated). Some very petite women and smaller guys love their iPhone 6 Plus devices, and would never part with them. While others with much bigger hands and fingers detest the iPhone 6 Plus and very much prefer the iPhone 6 or even smaller phones.

The iPhone 6 Plus gets high star ratings and praise from Amazon customers

Folks on Reddit weren’t the only ones talking about the iPhone 6 Plus. It has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, and Amazon’s customers seem to like it for the most part:

Dust Storm: ”The first thing I must admit is everything about this phone is amazing. There are no 90* angles, no rough edges, no flaw on the phone. Everything is smooth and looks gorgeous. The screen is crystal clear, it is extremely light, and it just feels great. The size of the screen is massive – it honestly is bigger than you can imagine without actually holding it in your hand. The increase in size over the older models and even the 6 is excellent for watching movies, reading books, surfing the web, using Facebook, and much more. Having the extra screen size allows you to use your email and text app in landscape mode, which is helpful. Everything was great for me, at first. I found the more I used it, especially for longer durations in the day, it becomes quite uncomfortable to hold in your hand all day, especially if you text or email a lot. Unless you have a massive hand, one handed iPhone use is most certainly a think of the past.”

Rob: ”One month with the phone and loving it even more. Phone may seem awkward and intimidating at first because of its huge size but you get accustomed to it after a couple of weeks. It is the perfect phone. ”

Mav: ”…I never thought I would buy an iPhone after being away for so long. However, Android is getting stale to me. It definitely has some redeeming qualities to it but iOS is so smooth and optimized. I still can’t get over what a dual core can do when you have the right OS. I’m happy Apple made the Plus. If I wasn’t able to buy a bigger iPhone I would still use my G3 because it’s the best phone for Android once rooted and modded. I know how Android and iOS users have their own little wars going on between them. It’s almost as bad as politics. However, you cannot go wrong with this phone. It takes a little while to get used to, coming from Android, however what iOS is offering now trumps Android. I wish it didn’t take me this long to realize it because I would have bought the 6 plus when it first came out. This phone is the best phone out there right now. Get the 6 or 6 plus and you won’t be disappointed. I would suggest the 6 plus because the battery life is amazing, especially when you turn off location services when it’s not needed. Thanks for reading.”

Roger Buffington: ”After a month of use, I can truly say that this size of iPhone seems “normal” to me. Sure, you can’t text with one hand, but then again I couldn’t do that before anyway! I bought the 128GB version because I store very large amounts of music and videos on my iPhone for boat trips and vacations. So the storage is a big advantage for me as well.”

Zamot: ”After years of being an hardcore Android user (changing ROMs, kernels, etc), I decided to give iPhone a try. I always hated the phone, like most Android fanboys do (even without using it lol)…the screen is a beauty, it’s perfect. I love it every single inch of the screen. I have big fingers, so this screen size is perfect for me. But the colors, the brightness, everything is perfect about the screen.”

Fcat: ”The screen is bright and text on it is easy to read especially for nearsighted persons reading books in The Kindle app. This device is absolutely wonderful for viewing YouTube videos and online meetings/webinars. The 128GB storage will hold plenty of audiobooks and podcasts. The large bright screen and expanded storage were the biggest pluses for me. This device does not have a stylus and it does not have 4K resolution. However it works great with other Apple devices and the Apple App Store and iTunes.”

Laura Moir: ”I was a diehard Android phone user. Had the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but it started having software problems and also I could not stop the apps from sucking down the battery. So I thought I would try the IPhone 6 Plus a try. I did not go with IPhones before because the size was too small. This phone is the PERFECT size for me and the functionality is awesome! I am able to stop the apps from sucking my battery and it really has paid off. The Note 3 I was charging everyday. I only have to charge this IPhone once every 2 days!! The iOS 8 system allows the user to have more control than Android. I was even able to get most of my apps back that I used on Android. I am so happy that I am switching to the IPad and MAC laptop. Eventually I will also switch my desktop to a MAC. I am very happy! Well worth the switch!! If you do switch one thing that is AWESOME is the fact that you can move your information, apps, calendar, pics, and contacts from device to device with no trouble at all.”

Judge Tabor: ”My daughter just got this phone. It is awesome. She’s a real estate agent, a lead pastor at our church and the busy mother of four young girls. This phone is like her little secretary and makes her life so much easier. Yes, she’s had an iPhone for a few years, but this Plus size fits her lifestyle even better than her previous phones.”

DL Pease: ”I recently upgraded from the iPhone 5 to the 6 plus and I am so glad I did. The screen is much bigger and easier to read. The camera in this phone is superb! I also bought the otter box commuter and it fits very well. I am so glad I went with the plus rather then the 6. I put a finger strap on the back so using this device is much easier for it gives you something to hold on to so dropping won’t be an issue. In a word, it is worth every penny!”

CJG: ”… the introduction of the iPhone 6 plus is the biggest improvement in the entire iPhone history in my opinion. I have always wanted a larger iPhone but the size increase from the 4 to the 5 was minimal in my opinion. However, the 6 plus is a HUGE step up and is the perfect size in my opinion. The phone is fast, reliable, features a beautiful large screen, and the camera is amazing. Overall, I am still as excited about this phone nearly a year after purchasing as I was the day I received it brand new.”

More at Amazon

Phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus require a different mentality

One of the biggest problem for some users is that they approach phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus with the same mentality and usage habits that they had with their smaller phone. And it just doesn’t work most of the time because phablets require certain adjustments by the user for successful use.

For example, take one-handed use. You can actually hold an iPhone 6 Plus with one hand and use it for certain things. I do it all the time while reading in Alien Blue or the Kindle app. But most people cannot do all the things with one hand that they did with their smaller phones, it just doesn’t work with a screen as large as 5.5 inches.

I suspect that some of the folks who dumped the iPhone 6 Plus just couldn’t adjust to using it in a way that is different from smaller phones. That’s very unfortunate since the iPhone 6 Plus has some real advantages over smaller phones.

So if you’re considering getting an iPhone 6 Plus, or any other phablet, make sure that you understand in advance that you will have to change how you do things on a smartphone. If you can make the adjustment, you might be very happy with your new phablet.

My own experience with the iPhone 6 Plus

I got the iPhone 6 Plus shortly after it was released. The first day I had it I immediately realized I was not going to be able to use it the same way I used my iPhone 5. My hands aren’t all that big, and even if they had been larger, I still had to adjust how I held the phone and how I used various applications.

It took me about four or five days to fully adjust to the iPhone 6 Plus. If I’d given up before then I probably would have returned it and gotten the iPhone 6 instead. But I’m glad I stuck it out and stayed with the 6 Plus.

Games, for example, are an absolute delight on the iPhone 6 Plus screen. If you’ve ever played games like Sonic Racing Transformed, Marvel Pinball or Marvel’s Contest of Champions then you know what I mean. Games look amazing on the iPhone 6 Plus screen, and it’s hard to envision playing them on the screen of a smaller phone.

Netflix videos also look superb on the iPhone 6 Plus. I can comfortably view a series like Supernatural on my iPhone 6 Plus, and it looks and sounds terrific. The viewing experience is significantly better than on my old iPhone 5, and I wouldn’t want to go back to that size phone again.

Reading ebooks is also a much more pleasant experience on the iPhone 6 Plus screen than on any of the smaller iPhones. You get more text on each page, and it’s quite comfortable to hold the iPhone 6 Plus with one hand while turning a page.

I also do some journaling and other writing on my iPhone 6 Plus. The bigger screen makes it easier to see what I’m writing. The only problem I’ve noticed with writing on the iPhone 6 Plus is the lack of a split-screen keyboard and that’s Apple’s fault. The company should have already provided a split-screen keyboard for landscape mode on the iPhone 6 Plus, but for some reason it still hasn’t done so.

Overall, my experience with the iPhone 6 Plus has been terrific. I don’t even use a case for it any more, I prefer toting it around without one (and no it has never been bent or otherwise damaged). It has literally become my little mobile computer, and I can do almost everything on it in a way that I couldn’t with a smaller phone. So I’m very glad I made the jump to the iPhone 6 Plus.

Is the iPhone 6 Plus really too big?

For me (and many others), the answer is clearly no. The iPhone 6 Plus is not too big. In fact, I’d actually argue that a 6.5-inch screen might be even better than the current 5.5-inch one on the iPhone 6 Plus. I know that that might freak some people out, but if you’re going to use a phablet, you might as well get the biggest screen possible on it and I would love a slightly bigger iPhone.

But I totally respect the feelings of those who have returned the iPhone 6 Plus, or who have opted out of buying it altogether. One size definitely does not fit all when it comes to smartphones. So the real answer to the question of whether or not the iPhone 6 Plus is too big is this: it very much depends on the user and what they want for a phone.

For some of us phablets like the iPhone 6 Plus add an enormous amount of value to our mobile computing experience. We need or want the bigger screen, and the bigger battery that goes along with it. And some of us cannot imagine going back to a smaller phone after using the iPhone 6 Plus.

For others, however, a smaller phone is a much better option. And that’s why Apple has wisely offered two different sizes in the iPhone 6. Nobody is forced to use the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s very much an opt-in kind of situation for those who want the iOS phablet experience.

And that’s as it should be for all users. Choice is a beautiful thing indeed!

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