So I got some hands on time with the 6 series today and here are my impressions.
Styling and feel
Not impressed. The plastic inserts really ruin the look of the phone and make it look like a cheap pre-release mock-up. The gold model is incredibly tacky. The silver one just looks cheap. The dark one is the only one that looks decent, but even it doesn't look as stylish as it's predecessor.
Holding them added to the impression that you're looking at one of the dummy phones that you see at mobile counters as opposed to a real, polished product.
The camera bulge just added to the overall low quality feel as it seemed like an afterthought that was tacked on with no consideration for the lines of the phone. Or the fact that you might actually want to set it down on a flat surface on it's back.
Taken as a whole, the design, styling, plastic inserts and camera bulge all came together to remind me of one of the Chinese knockoff phones that we normally see a few months after an new phone's release.
While the larger screen size is a welcome addition the relatively low pixel resolution definitely felt behind the curve. After using a full HD display for a while now, going back to 720p (ish) felt chunky. While I've found past iPhone displays to have decent colour rendering, they've always felt very washed out and overly white. As if the backlight was set too high. The new displays do improve that somewhat and finally feel as if they have decent colour saturation and the backlight is no longer hyperactive.
One thing I did find was that both the 6 and the 6 Plus have horrible flicker problems, especially when scrolling on a screen with a white background. I feel bad for iFans with epilepsy. Granted this was under the fluorescent lighting of the Apple store, but given that this is a pretty common lighting scenario, there's really no excuse.
I'd genuinely like to hear from someone that has a different, non Apple, LCD display who can do a side by side comparison under similar lighting conditions. Perhaps a Sony or LG owner?
How do you even tell? Sure you can run benchmarks but we all know those don't mean a whole lot. The fact is that iOS doesn't really do anything. It's very static with minimal animations and motion on screen. Of course everyone says there's no lag. There's nothing TO lag. First you're on one static screen, then you're on the next. Wow.
Android and Window Phone both have such interactive, UI's with lots of motion to indicate what's going on that iOS seems lifeless in comparison. This lifelessness is made worse by this new flat UI nonsense that has invaded every UI lately. As much as I hate it on Android, at least there it is brought to life more because of the beautiful little bits of motion spread throughout . iOS is again, like looking at a dummy display model device.
All that said, doing the few things you can do, like swiping the icon pages back and forth is fluid enough, but the screen flicker problem makes it seem like it's got a motion jutter problem. Which makes sense as jutter tends to be a problem on LCD TV's too. On TV's they reduce that problem somewhat by upping the refresh rate to 120 or 240hz. AFAIK, they're still using 60hz refresh on the iOS devices so the jutter problem seems to make sense. That's why I want to hear from an LCD phone owner with something other than iOS on it so I can find out if this is an Apple problem or an LCD problem.
These phones are probably the worst design and styling in the history of the iPhone family. The overall styling and curves look dated and cheap. The plastic inserts really hurt the look and almost make it look like a prop from a cheap 70's sci-fi movie.
Both devices don't feel good in your hand which is something I heard several people in the store say to each other while checking out the phones. All were current iPhone owners BTW.
While having your camera lens sticking out of your phone isn't the end of the world, on these phones it again seems like a poorly executed afterthought, adding to the impression that this is an early engineering prototype rather than a polished, shipping Apple product.
The new screens definitely are an improvement, but only over the old ones. They're nothing compared to even most basic Android devices like the Nexus 5, and the Galaxy S5's display absolutely kills both the 6 and the Plus for contrast, sharpness, colour quality and resolution. Plus not a hint of flicker on the SAMOLED displays.
iOS 8 is again probably an improvement for iOS users, but still feels dated and limiting compared to Android.
Android fans are right to gloat. The new iPhone series' styling is not just embarrassing compared to Apple's previous efforts, but pales in comparison to devices like the HTC M8 as far as styling, beauty, and fit and finish. Even the metal exteriors feel cheap compared to the M8 and Sony Z series and of course the iPhone 5. In fact the Note 3 and 4 even seem more premium.
iOS is sorely dated in look, design, and UX and has been largely stagnant for a while now. Meanwhile Android's once disjointed UI and UX improve with each point release such that it presently is a beautiful, fluid, easy to navigate experience with good feedback and animated user interaction.
Sorry Apple fans, the post Jobs era is not a good time to be an Apple fan.
#iPhone #Apple #iOS #iPhone6 #iOS8
- Imperial College LondonMSc Advanced Computing, 2010 - 2011
- University of Rome La SapienzaBSc Computer Engineering, 2007 - 2010
- Software Engineer, 2011 - present
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