Switching To A Smaller Phone

Yes, a smaller phone. And no, it’s not 2004.

I recently transitioned from my iPhone 6 Plus, to a new, smaller, iPhone 6s. When I got the 6 Plus I thought it would be fantastic. I’m a big guy, I like a big screen, seemed like the obvious choice. Looking back it seems so obvious that it was the wrong choice.

In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson was often known for trying to fix everything with a hammer, regardless of the job at hand. Needless to say he wasn’t very proficient at mending almost anything.

This is what the iPhone 6 Plus is: a hammer. It tries to do everything. It wants to be an iPad and an iPhone at once. It has OIS, and a super-high resolution screen, and that screen is gigantic. This is all impressive functionality, but it completely subverts one of Apple’s core principles: technology works best when you don’t notice you’re using it.

I noticed the iPhone 6 Plus. It was too big to put into and take out of my pockets easily, it was awkward to use, I constantly felt it was going to fall out of my hands. All of these are dealbreakers for me, no matter how impressive it is otherwise. To me, it’s just a pandering to the masses who demanded it. But in the words of Steve Jobs: It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.

The new iPhone 6s is a huge step up. I can use it with one hand, and 3d touch only amplifies what you can do quickly with one hand. The speed is great. There are a few trade-offs, but I am very happy with my decision. The lesson here is that sometimes, it’s best not to reach for the technology that is best of all, but specifically best for you.

The iPhone 6 Plus seems silly to me now. The screen isn’t big, it’s 5.5 inches. A 70 inch plasma TV is a big screen. The 6 Plus’s screen is just big for a phone. And OIS has been around in cameras, so it’s not that impressive, it’s just impressive that it’s in a phone. But if all these new additions keep my phone from being quick and easy to use what’s the point? I don’t really want my phone to meet in the middle of iPhone and everything else if it’s going to spread itself too thin. It’s an impressive feat of technological prowess, but it’s not tenable as an every day device.

Maybe someday we will have technology that can be all things to all men. Until that day, I’m going to look for OIS in my cameras, not my phones. For a huge high density screen, I’ll get an iPad if I really need it. As far as phones: I’ll stick to those that can fit in my pocket.