Holiday Wish List Item – iPhone 6

Photo Credit: Tobi Oyinlola ’17

A few weeks into freshmen year, I wrote an opinion piece on why I hated Apple. A few days later, I realized that was a guaranteed way to alienate myself from virtually every student and teacher at this school, as if you walk into an active classroom and turn off the lights, you will see the soft glow of the apple logo on the back of every student’s laptop.

With the iPhone 6, I’ve been converted. This is a beautiful machine.

When I first opened my shiny silver iPhone 6 and powered it on, I noticed a few things: 1) this thing is damn light 2) this thing is damn thin 3) this display is gorgeous. At just 6.9mm thin and with a weight of 129 grams, the iPhone 6 is the most svelte phone I have ever handled. Initially, I thought that the phone’s small footprint would mean that it feels insubstantial; but, the iPhone 6’s unibody aluminum construction and high-quality glass display ensure that the phone feels high-end and sturdy.

Oh, back to that display. At just 1334×750, the iPhone 6’s display seems to be low-resolution when compared to its competition; for instance, the LG G3 (my former smartphone) has a resolution of 2560×1440. The iPhone 6 still has a pixel-per-inch ratio of 326:1, making it fulfill the retina display criteria of pixels being indiscernible to the naked eye. With display costs not going to resolution, Apple was able to focus on display quality, and their effort shows. The iPhone 6 has the most color-accurate display I have ever used. The display can get extremely bright (easily visible in sunlight) and equally dim; beautifully saturated and wonderfully color-accurate. The display is great. The size is also perfect; 4.7 inches is the perfect balance between size and portability. Also, that low(er) resolution means the graphics card does not have to work as hard to produce an equal result on a high-res display, meaning top-of-the-line specifications are not necessary for smooth performance. Battery life is also not a concern (it will get you through the day just fine).

Photo Credit: Tobi Oyinlola '17
Photo Credit: Tobi Oyinlola ’17

Speaking of performance, performance on the iPhone 6 is exactly as you would expect from an iPhone: smooth. While the dual-core A8 chip and measly 1 gigabyte of RAM would initially seem far behind the times, Apple once again proves that specifications are not everything. Apple’s operating system is so finely optimized to their hardware that you would assume that Apple put the fastest possible processor and a huge amount of RAM into their phones, but they did not. Performance is not a concern; in fact, it’s a perk of the iPhone 6.

The software is pretty much my only point of contention with the iPhone 6. Coming from a previous Android user, I am used to a completely open and customizable mobile operating system. This is the exact opposite of what Apple gives the user with iOS8. Despite efforts to open up the operating system by granting developers access to the keyboard, touch ID, and the notification center, the user cannot deviate from Apple’s strict vision without jailbreaking. This manifests itself in small (and nitpicky) places: for instance, the user cannot determine where they want to place the app icons on the homescreen, it all automatically snaps to the top-leftmost corner of the screen. Love it or hate it, iOS 8 is what it is and the user cannot change that. Personally, I think the look of iOS 7, 8, and OSX Yosemite is a step in the right direction, but it is exactly that: a step towards a destination. Apple has yet to reach that destination with this visual and functional overhaul, but they are getting there.

The camera on the iPhone 6 absolutely floored me when I first used it. Apple has fine-tuned their camera software to such a degree that their image processing is unrivaled in the smartphone landscape. Their autoexposure and focus are the fastest I have used, and the images produced just end up looking flat-out better than other smartphones. If you take pictures with your phones at all, you will be thrilled with the iPhone 6. If you are considering upgrading from a previous iPhone, including the iPhone 5S, you will notice a difference and be thrilled with the camera. It’s that great.

As far as protection goes, I highly recommend getting a skin in combination with a tempered glass screen protector over a case. Apple sacrificed so much in order to produce an absurdly thin and light phone, please don’t ruin that with a bulky Otterbox case. This combination should offer nearly equal protection while sacrificing far less thinness.

All in all, you next smartphone purchase depends on personal preference. Performance wise, Android has caught up to iOS. Android is more customizable, and with v5.0 Lollipop, has a more consistent design language. So why the hell did I buy an iPhone? Well, as any iPhone user will tell you, it just works. It works, it’s fast, it’s beautiful, and it’s a great smartphone. I guarantee that no matter who you are, if you purchase an iPhone 6, you will be satisfied.