Sunday, November 1, 2015

iPhone 6s Plus


Words cannot describe how good this phone is. Spare me the Android versus iOS rivalry and advocacy for just a moment, this is a great phone by the standard of "incredible pieces of technology."

I tried the base model iPhone 6 (non-wide), but I felt the screen was too narrow - especially for e-books. That was my benchmark for the phone I chose, opening up an e-reader like iBooks or the Google one, and then just sitting there and reading. If I cam going to pass the time in line or a waiting room somewhere reading books on my phone, I want the absolute best experience while reading. Surfing the web was also a benchmark, and the wider and larger screen did wonders here.

This is one of those things where you don't really know until you walk in the store and start doing the things you would normally do with a phone. You have to play, pretend this is your phone, and then start experiencing those "pain points" while you go through tasks you do every day. I hit a couple pain points on the normal iPhone 6 with that narrow screen that made me rethink going smaller. It surprised me because I walked into the store wanting the smaller iPhone, and it just didn't fit what I wanted in a phone.

To be fair, I gave the other Android models a fair shake too, because when you spend money you don't go all stupid-spendy on a fad or an advertisement. The newer Samsung models were nice and looked slick, but I was moving away from a Samsung ever since my Note 10.1 broke and the repair bill for a 4-year old tablet would have cost me $300.

I could buy a new tablet for that.

And speaking about Samsung, while in the store I fell in love with the larger Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 - even compared to the iPad Mini 4 and Air 2.Call me a glutton for punishment and "I won't touch without a 5 year warranty" but the screen on the new Samsung tablets were to absolutely die for (versus the iPad), and the incredible large area made reading and browsing on this really fun.

Two people could read and browse on this at the same time, which is really cool and I like the concept of cuddle time on a couch with a large tablet between two people. This is really unique, and I could see myself using one of these - which scares me because I have enough gadgets in my life.

Another thing I love about the new iPhone is how well-connected everything feels. There is one way of doing things for notifications and every other system, and yes, that limits your freedom, like no desktop widgets, live tiles, or other gadgets. But the way everything works together is done so well I don't notice. It does everything one way and it does it very well, built around the iOS model of how a person interacts with a device. You give up options and freedom, but you gain efficiency and an ease-of-use that is refreshing in this age of too many options and customized interfaces.

The walled garden here is also open enough that I can get my Prime video (with off wi-fi downloads, nice), my Nook books, my Kindle Unlimited books, and everything else I need. I need to do some research on Smashwords book imports as well to be fair, but I am sure there is a way.

The battery life on the iPhone is excellent, and I am practicing the 10% rule to extend the life of the phone's battery. You can't keep plugging them in and keeping them topped off, batteries like being drained fully and then recharged to extend their life. This means paying attention to the battery, and it is one of those things you do nowadays with electronics (it also limits how many things you want to own because keeping track of them all sucks).

So the new iPhone 6s Plus is a winner, strong recommend, and I have fallen in love with mine. I am slightly conflicted about the tablet side of things though, but I will keep soldiering on with my "it's really a notebook" Surface 3 for a while longer. The Samsung ones, for all my negative experiences with my last one, still appeal to me, and I need to check out the larger 12" iPad Pro when that comes out (but the iPad Pro's price is total sticker shock for me, the Samsung Pro is about half the cost). The OLED screens on the Samsung tablets blow me away still, and they are nice pieces of tech as well.