PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: IPHONE 6+

It probably makes me sound like a complete sad case to say that, while on my unplanned blogging hiatus, one of the most exciting things to happen to me was the purchase of a new phone, but I don’t care. It’s the truth. I upgraded from an iPhone 4S to the iPhone 6+, and it is a thing of wonder and beauty that I’m giving strong consideration to marrying.

iphone6

Here’s a brief overview of my thoughts on its various attributes:

Pricing: ◆◆◇◇◇
Operating System: ◆◆◆◆◆
Size: ◆◆◆◆
Build Quality: ◆◆◆◆◆

Screen: ◆◆◆◆
Speed: ◆◆◆◆
Keyboard: ◆◆◆◆
Battery Life: ◆◆◆◆
Camera: ◆◆◆◆
Fingerprint Reader: ◆◆◆◆
Chance Of Never Encountering Bugs: ◆◆◆◇◇
Apps: ◆◆◆◇◇
Speakers: ◆◆◆◆◆
Call quality: ◆◆◆◆

That works out at an average of 4⅓/5, but for me that’s not representative of my experience with the device, as I would weight some things (like screen and speed) more highly than others (like pricing and being 100% bug-free).

Overall, for me, I would give the iPhone 6+ 4¾ / 5. It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as I’ve found so far.

I would would definitely recommend it to anyone, but in case anyone would like a more complicated breakdown of my thoughts on the topic, I’m putting them under a cut.

The Standard “Android Isn’t Better (For Me, Anyway)” Disclaimer

I should preface this all by saying that I am a long-term Apple fan, and have been using Apple phones for about four years now. I’ve dabbled with Android phones, but found them frustrating; while there are some fantastic designs and superb specs out there (the Galaxy Note 4 and the HTC One M8 spring to mind) in terms of hardware, for me, the software is consistently a let down.

For pricing reasons, I always purchase my phones through my mobile operator, and Apple phones are about the only phones in my experience which don’t come bundled with offensive bloatware, most of which cannot be removed without rooting the device, and I would prefer not to have to go to the trouble of doing that immediately after unboxing just to remove apps I don’t want (such as Facebook). Furthermore, I have upwards of €100 worth of apps which would have to be repurchased if I were to make the switch to Android, adding a huge cost as well as huge hassle to the switch.

TL;DR: this won’t be an Android-bashing review, but equally it won’t be a comparison of the iPhone with similarly priced Android models simply because purchasing them was never on the cards for me.

My choice was never between an Apple phone or a phone from another manufacturer, it was between upgrading my iPhone 4S and not– and if I was upgrading, whether to go for the substantially cheaper 5S, or consider the two new models– and if I did consider the two new models, which one to choose?

 

Upgrading from the 4S: 5S, 6, or 6+?

I’m probably not known for being the most immediately decisive of people. I can stand for fifteen minutes in the sweets aisle at Tesco, debating the merits of fun-size Crunchies over Malteasers. When given two scarves to choose between at Hermes, I am often hopelessly torn. When it comes to technology, I dither there just as much as  anywhere else.

I’ve had my iPhone 4S since January of 2012, when an Unfortunate Incident occurred involving my beloved iPhone 4, the beach, and a pair of short shorts with pockets of similar stature. When the iPhone 5 came out, I was unwilling to make the jump. A new connector that rendered my carefully curated collection of 30-pin chargers and docks useless? A new form factor that meant I’d have to get a new case? A new aspect ratio that made no sense to me? No, I said. Not for me. This trend for new and larger phones is a nonsense, and I’m having none of it.

Then came the iPhone 5S, and it seemed the new, larger form factor was here to stay. I still wasn’t prepared to make the change, not even for a fingerprint reader which (given my previous experience with fingerprint readers) I was pretty sure wouldn’t even work for me. No, says I. You shall pry my 4S from my cold, dead fingers.

plus-v-four

But, over the course of 2014, my beloved 4S began to lose its shine a little, largely because the battery began to deteriorate. By around August, I had to charge it twice a day if I wanted to do anything power-intensive, like Tweet and Email, or use the GPS for navigation. The fact that I’d picked up an iPad Mini and an iPod Nano  also meant that I now had Lightning connectors to contend with, too, and while it seems a small thing, it increases the chance of losing or forgetting a cable and rendering your device useless when you travel. Remembering to pack both was a bit of an irritation.

So, by the time the iPhone 6 launch rolled around, I was at last ready to make the jump. I considered just picking up a 5S and saving myself all the hassle– it was cheaper, it was certainly going to be easier to come by, and it was the second generation of that form factor, so it was tried and tested in the way the 6 models were not. At the end of the day, though, I just couldn’t stomach buying last year’s model this year.

I’m no longer the crazed surfer of the bleeding edge that I was in my youth… But I apparently the girl whose desperation for a laptop computer caused her to carry around a photograph of one for a full five months in 1997 until her parents caved and bought her the damn thing just so they didn’t have to look at the picture every meal time hasn’t quite disappeared, because the morning of the Irish launch, I found myself sitting in a car outside the local Vodafone shop at 8am waiting for it to open. I’d decided on the 6, because having printed out the dimensions of the two phones, the 6+ just felt too large in my hand.

 

The Launch Experience

I have a long and storied history with exciting waits for new phones. Like most Irish people of a certain age, my first proper phone was a Nokia 3210, which I got as a Christmas present in 1999. I still have it. (It doesn’t still work.) Even before then, though, I regularly “borrowed” my father’s Motorola StarTAC for days and sometimes weeks at a time.

Getting a phone in those days wasn’t easy, though– back then, if you wanted the most recent model, you had buy SIM-free and pray for compatibility, or wait months or sometimes years for the phone to show up on an Irish network. Back in 2001, I was a regular visitor to the Nokia shop on Royal Hibernian Way. Every lunchtime from school, I’d check to see if the Nokia 8310 was in stock yet. It got to the point where I didn’t even have to go in– they knew what I wanted, and all I had to do was pass by the shop, and the guy would just shake his head sadly at me. I did eventually pick one up in London, much to my delight, and decided from then on I’d just buy things in the UK instead of waiting.

That didn’t always work out so well.

Fast-forward to 2008, and still a bit batty for the bleeding edge, I bought the original Sony Xperia X1 in Belfast, SIM-free, expecting no probolems… Only to bring it across the border and find that it immediately stopped working. That experience was one I didn’t appreciate, and as a consequence, these days I buy my phones directly from the carrier to ensure compatibility issues are worked out by someone with greater technical expertise than me and who hasn’t just shelled out £500 for what had suddenly become the world’s most modern alarm clock.

And so I sat, impatiently waiting for the shop to open. My mother had kindly agreed to join me, despite thinking it was all mad nonsense, especially by the time 8.30 came and there was nobody else there. Shortly after that, though, a small queue began to form. Another lady, who sat and talked with us for a bit. A man. Another man. A girl. Two young guys. By the time the doors of my small, regional Dublin Vodafone store opened, there were about twelve people waiting.

First in the queue was myself, and as I scampered to the counter, both the 6 and the 6 Plus were sitting on the counter. I’d been intending to get the 6, but as soon as I tried to use the keyboard, I knew it was the wrong phone for me. The keyboard felt no better than the one on my 4S and overall it just wasn’t… Different enough to merit both the cost and fact of hanging around outside a shop for an hour like a plank. So I reached for the 6+, and from the minute I touched it, I knew it was meant to be.

The shop didn’t have all combinations of all models– did any shop, on lunch day? There were no 16GB 6+ models, so I ended up getting the 64GB 6+ in Space Grey. While I prefer the look of the White/Silver combo, I have too many memories of once-beautiful, ultra-sleek white electronic gadgets quickly becoming manky looking (my old Nintendo DS being the best example), so I opted for the more sensible solution. Cases were also sadly limited, and though I got a beautiful white one, it didn’t have a magnetic closure, and consequently I never felt the phone was fully secure in my bag as the flap would open and expose the screen at random intervals. It’s now secured in a less pretty, more practical, black magnetized case that I picked up in Monaghan for about half the price I paid for the white one in Dublin. I know a lot of people don’t like to obstruct the beauty of their iPhones with cases, but when I pay this much for something, the thought of letting it go unprotected just isn’t palatable to me.

 

Pricing
◆◆◇◇◇

Speaking of price… Price, I’ve noticed, is the most-cited drawback people mention when giving their objections to the iPhone. It’s a fair point; the unsubsidised, direct-from-Apple cost of the phone I bought is a whopping €900. I mean, seriously: ouch. You can get a very nice high-end laptop for that price these days. However, if you’re a bill pay customer and you buy from your carrier, you can get it a lot cheaper.

Here’s the thing: I hate pre-pay phone plans. I hate them so much. The prospect of being away from home and needing to make a call, send a text, or use the internet and not being able to do so fills me with cold, icy dread. My early days of phone usage were fraught with terror of not having access to a top-up when I needed it, to the point that I usually carried one around with me in my wallet “just in case”. You get a better deal as a bill pay customer, and it’s easier to budget your monthly spend if you have a pretty good idea of what your phone bill is going to be (calls to damnable 1890 numbers excluded, but that’s another story). So, for me? It’s bill-pay, all the way.

After my €55 monthly contract on the 4S expired, Vodafone called me to let me know that I could get a better deal for my usage at a much lower price of €35, which I grabbed with both hands. When I upgraded, I was able to keep this price, and my iPhone only cost me €350. Versus €900. Sure, you might say, but you have to give Vodafone €35 a month to get that deal, but the thing is, I was going to do that anyway. I’m not going to change providers when my family are all on the same network and we all get free texts and calls to one another. If you’re a bill pay customer, you’re essentially getting a €550 break, making this phone suddenly a lot more attractive.

The iPhone is not cheap. It will never be cheap. But bought the right way, what it does represent is excellent value for money.

 

Operating System
◆◆◆◆

A big part of the reason I consider this good value for money is because of the Apple ecosystem. If you have other Apple devices that you use a lot, an iPhone feels like an no-brainer. The seamless integration is a huge plus for me.

I admit my bias here; I’ve been using Apple for years, and I have a big collection of apps that I can instantly port over when I change my phone. It’s easy, fast, and free of charge. For me, that’s a huge draw. Being able to use Airdrop to shift photos from my iPhone to my iPad is pretty sweet, too. I haven’t upgraded my Mac to Yosemite yet, but I’m looking forward to being able to use the same system on that, too.

The newest version of the iOS software is 8.0 (8.1 was pushed out quickly afterwards; I haven’t yet upgraded as I haven’t personally experienced any of the bugs others have reported with 8.0), and it’s pretty great. The menus seem simplified and clear, and finding options (especially privacy-related options) seems easier than ever before. Apple Pay isn’t available in Ireland yet, and that’s just fine with me; I’ll be hesitant to adopt that one, as I feel the potential for scams and security slips is just too high. Still, I’ll be interested to see where the tech goes in future if it can be made more secure.

The full list of updates and upgrades is available here, though I can’t say I’ve personally tried all of those yet. My personal picks are the voice-in-message feature and the improved keyboard/predictive text combo. This is the first phone I’ve ever owned (going right back to that 3210 almost fifteen years ago) where I’ve permitted the predictive text to operate. It’s dramatically improved over iOS 5 (which I used on the 4S), and even iOS 7 (on the iPad which I still haven’t upgraded yet). If you’re into that sort of thing, you can now install custom keyboards like Swype, too, opening up the floor to a broader range of options to suit all tastes.

Overall, I can’t say I have any complaints about the new version of the OS; I’ve been able to do everything I wanted with no problems. While it was a little jarring to go from the old-style interface to the new, flatter design, that really happened with the jump to iOS 7, so it shoudn’t be too much of a stretch for most people.

 

Size
◆◆◆◆

One thing that might be a bit of a stretch is the size, and I do mean that literally. It’s a big phone. There’s no getting away from that. It’s a big lump of metal and glass in your hand, and it’s really awkward in some cases.

I’ve always said that I didn’t like big phones; the size difference between the iPhone 4S and 5 seemed unnecessary to me, and I laughed at people bringing their big Note bricks up to their faces to make calls like something out of a comedy skit. However, the inescapable fact is that phones aren’t just phones anymore, and I of all people should be happy to accept that.

I’m pretty sure if you were to break down my iPhone usage by task, it would look something like this:

internet-usage

Phonecalls are way down on the list for me– way below trying not to get lost while driving, taking OOTD selfies and snapping pretty landscapes, trying to improve my Peak scores, texting my mother opinions about X-Factor contestants, and squealing about fanfic with my friends over social media. For doing nearly all of those things, the size is a big… Well, a big plus, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Ever since the demise of my original iPhone 4, I’ve never put a phone in a trouser pocket, so that’s not a concern to me, and to my surprised delight, the 6+ fits in all of my coat/jacket pockets, all of my bags, and also down the side of my Ugg boot (which is where I stash it when I don’t have bags or pockets).

There’s been some talk about the Plus becoming a Mini replacement, which doesn’t really fly for me. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I use my Mini in conjunction with a keyboard case as an ultraportable laptop replacement. A keyboard the size of the Mini is just barely useable for speed typing; one the size of a Plus would be insufferable. To me, the size difference is quite noticeable, especially for holding the device– the Mini weighs nearly twice what the Plus does, and if you’re smaller (like me), you really feel it, especially if you’re using the device as an eBook reader and holding it only with one hand.

In general, I’ve never been much of a one-hand user of phones, simply because I’m a dropper. You know that montage in Friends where they show Chandler dropping a series of items in increasingly implausible circumstances? Like that. Except worse. And with more falling over. So, in-bed reading of books and papers aside, I tend to keep my phone in a bit of a death grip, which means I don’t care about being able to text or play games one-handed.

I do, however, sometimes need to take pictures of things that require you to have a hand in the photo. Like if you’re showing a nailpolish colour or design, or a ring you’ve bought, or to hold two things together. That, for me, is where the size of this phone becomes a problem. The double-tap “Reachability” feature is basically no use in these scenarios, as it only reduces the height of the screen in a virtual sense, and does nothing to reduce the physical girth of the device, which is usually the culprit here. If you’re a habitual one-hander who texts while drinking or likes to game while holding onto the rail on the bus, you might find the size a bit of a challenge.

Build Quality
◆◆◆◆◆

By now I’m sure we’ve all seen the videos and read the newspaper articles about phones bending. When these stories came out first, I wasn’t much concerned, and considering that they all seem to have stopped by now, I think that was probably the right line to take. Not to put too fine a point on it, but… Don’t put your bum on it.

Phones are not cushion substitutes. They’re not designed to be wedged into the back pocket of your painted-on jeans next to your warm backside and sat on for ten hours. They’re also not designed as a grip strengthener. If you sit on them, they will break. If you try to break them, they will break. If you reverse your car over them, they will break. There will be some phones which are an exception to this rule, but is “being able to use it for a football” what you want out of a phone?

I have found zero problems with the build quality of the phone. I keep it in a case to protect it, because there’s a reasonable chance I’ll drop it at some point. I dropped my 4S in a marble-floored lift a few months ago; the case bounced off and I was sure the phone would be in pieces. Both case and phone were fine, the action of the case jumping off having done what I was supposed to, I suppose, and transmitted the energy of the impact away from the phone’s sensitive glass and metal components.

The one thing I can see being an irritant –the protrusion of the camera lens– is instantly removed by the addition of a case, so I’m grateful for the thinner form factor as it means even with a case the phone is a lot less bulky than my previous phone. My Iphone 6+ is beautifully made with no gaps or glitches that I can find, and while I accept that there are undoubtedly problems with the occasional unit regards screen clicking, etc., this is by no means applicable to every unit. I have no complaints about the build quality of what I find to be a beautiful item that’s easy to hold as well as to look at.

 

Screen
◆◆◆◆

The screen on this phone is gorgeous. There’s no other way to put it. If you’re coming from the 4S like me, the jump is immediately visible, and extraordinary.

Images and text are incredibly crisp and sharp thanks to upgraded technology in the new generation. You can read about scaling, contrast ratios and dual domain pixels if you’re so inclined, but if you’re not that invested in understanding the tech, suffice to say that Apple have put a lot into making sure the images on your screen are well-rendered and detailed as possible.

The 6+ has a slightly better screen than the 6 overall (except in terms of colour ratios), and has the same resolution (1920×1080) as your HDTV, so if you’re into watching video, it’s a super choice. I never bothered with video on my old phone, but since getting the 6+, I’ve caught myself sneaking the occasional YouTube video on it when I’m trying to motivate myself out of bed in the morning.

The thing that surprised me most of all was the upgrade to the feel of the screen. The glass itself seems smoother, more finely-milled. Touching the screen itself is a pleasure, but more importantly, scrolling feels easier because of this and also because of those rounded edges. Obviously, an upgrade to sapphire crystal would have been nice, but I suspect that would have increased both the weight and cost of the phone, so I’m quite happy to “make do” with what we’ve got (though if they can compensate for those thing, I won’t turn my nose up at the offer in a future generation).

 

Speed
◆◆◆◆

This phone is blazing fast. I had a problem with my Maps recently (my own fault; I’d hobbled location services because I’m a privacy nut) and in my efforts to trouble-shoot, I happened to glance at how many apps I had open.

It was a lot.

In fact, it was more or less all of them. I had over twenty apps open, and the phone never missed a beat. This for me is where you really see the benefit of having the hardware and software married the way they are with Apple devices– the whole is somehow greater than the sum of its parts and performs at a level that seems to surpass what you’d expect from the tech specs. Every single app opens quickly, and for the more memory-intensive apps, about 2x as fast as on my 4S.

 

Keyboard
◆◆◆◆◆

The larger keyboard is one of my favourite things about this phone. I acclimated more quickly than I could ever have imagined, and when I picked up my 4S for the first time in a while to take shots for this post, I couldn’t get over how tiny and difficult it was to enter text with it. How did I use that for two years?! I can’t imagine. Here’s a comparison:

plus-v-four2
As you can see, the keyboard takes up more than half the screen on the 4S, but only about a third of it on the 6+, and that makes all the difference. If you type on your phone a lot (and I do), you’ll find this a god-send. It’s so much easier to see what I’ve already typed: with the 6+, you get a good paragraph or two above the input area, as opposed to just a line or two on the smaller screen. What’s better, even though it takes up a far smaller percentage of the screen, you still have larger letters, so accurate typing is even easier than ever before.

iOS 8 also allows for the installation of custom keyboards, but I personally hate the notion of Swype and its various copycats. I’m a pretty proficient and speedy touch-typer; it’s second nature to me by now, so having to drag my finger all over the place seems like way too much effort for me. So, I can’t speak as to the usefulness of those, but I can recommend the pre-installed Apple keyboard pretty heartily.

I do have one big complaint about the 6+ when it comes to keyboards, though, and that’s the issue of upscaling. Plenty of apps that require text-input haven’t updated yet, and trying to use the keyboard on those is painful. As with the 4S above, the keyboard takes up most of the screen, except it’s even more frustrating as it’s unnecessary and there’s loads of spaces between the letters.

This isn’t going to last forever, I hope; several apps have been updated since I’ve had my phone, and I’m hoping the rest will follow suit soon, which will remove my one and only bugbear about the keyboard.

 

Battery Life
◆◆◆◆

Battery life is a huge concern for me. As with the whole fear of running out of call credit, running out of battery is something I live in dread of. My old phone required a charge every night and a top-up during the day if I wanted to use the camera for more than one or two shots, or WiFi or GPS at all.

Not so the 6+. Although I keep location services disabled until I need to use the maps, WiFi is enabled most of the time, I have push email set up and notifications for Twitter coming in regularly, and I use the device quite heavily most days for games and texting, too. I rarely have to charge every night, and if I haven’t used any maps or played a lot of games, I can even get three or four days out of the phone before it runs right down flat.

In short? The battery life is phenomenal.

 

Camera
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The camera on the 6+ is pretty great. I’m no photography buff, so to be perfectly honest, a lot of the technical jargon goes over my head. That said, the 6+ has optical image stabilization (which means blur is reduced) and has a lower f-number than the 4S (which means improved depth of field shots). I’m only about 10% sure that I understand what either of these things mean in technical terms, but what I do understand is that in practical terms, they mean the camera takes a better photograph.

The bigger screen makes a difference, too; framing pictures is easier than ever– as is spotting details you’d like to focus on or filter out. The low-light performance is surprisingly improved, and while it you’ll never get a super low-light image from a point-and-shoot lens on a phone, you should at least be able to make out enough of what you shot to remember what you were taking photos of last night.

There are some down sides. God help you if you want to do any of the above one-handed. Especially if you use a case. It’s hard to take a a photo one-handed with this phone without dropping it, and the additional front-flap of a case (which can’t be folded back to cover the camera, or forward to block the screen view) makes life infinitely more difficult than it needs to be.

The other issue (which doesn’t bother me, but may be an irritant for some) is that the front-facing “selfie” camera is still god-awful, with heinous distortion that will make you look like there’s something horribly wrong with your face. That said, I think we all just need to accept that’s going to be the case with every front-facing phone camera, with the exception of dedicated selfie phones. Use a mirror and the excellent rear camera, and just move on with your life. The “main” camera is superb, and so long as you can use both hands to hold the phone, I doubt you’ll have cause for complaint.

 

Fingerprint Reader
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Is it a plane, is it a bird, is it a gimmick? Well, before I actually got the phone, I was pretty sure it was definitely a gimmick. I’ve had truly awful experiences with fingerprint readers before, including once getting locked out of my 2007 HP laptop for nearly a week because the reader couldn’t read my stupid bloody print and I had forgotten my password. I was of the opinion that I would just use a passcode the same as I had on my old phone, and nothing would change.

How wrong I was. The setup for the reader took about two minutes, which I found pleasing– much like the reassuring heft of a weighty tome, this made me feel like there was something credible and labour-intensive at work here. I wasn’t disappointed; the print reader accurately identified my print the very first time I tried it. And again. And again. In fact, I actively had to try to render the print unreadable in order to get it to refuse me.

Since then, I’ve added three more fingers to the register, and I can’t remember the last time I unlocked my phone with the passcode. I’ve been refused access a few times, but never twice in a row, and always when I’ve had my finger half-on and half-off the sensor at an angle.

Quite simply, this system is faultless. I can’t recommend it highly enough. In fact, I made a bit of a tit of myself when I picked up my 4S today because I’d forgotten that I had to enter a code to unlock it, and just left my finger sitting on the home button for a few minutes, blankly wondering why it hadn’t unlocked or rejected my print.

Sci-fi horror stories of amputation for biometric access aside (I’m thinking of that scene with Loki and the eyeball from Avengers, just so you know), I really do feel that this is the way security will move forward in the future. Apple have made great strides here, so if I would recommend using this even for those who have had terrible experiences with biometrics in the past.

 

Chance Of Never Encountering Bugs
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When you’re part of the first wave of users of a new device, you have to accept that there’ll be lumps and bumps along the way. To my surprise, I haven’t encountered too many. The occasional app wouldn’t load, a few haven’t been updated, but in my experience, that’s all there is.

I have heard horror stories, though, from reliable sources, of bluetooth and WiFi dropping out, devices freezing, hanging, etc. Because of this, I’m holding out on upgrading to 8.1, since 8.0 seems pretty stable to me and I’m not willing to risk it.

Despite not having encountered any terrible problems, feeling hesitant to update my device is a pretty bad sign, so I have to dock a few points for that.

 

Apps
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Although not strictly Apple’s domain, not being able to get updated versions of apps you love when you switch to a new device is a pain. This is especially noticeable when you have a device like the 6+, where the upscaling of most apps doesn’t look great.

When I bought the phone, most of my apps weren’t updated, and it really bugged me. Since then, most “essential” apps have updated (Twitter, iCab, Gmail), and as a result, the overall phone experience is dramatically improved.

Unfortunately, some of my favourite apps haven’t updated. It’s mostly games, so they’re not really apps I “need” as such, but some things like 2048 and Sudoku don’t look great, and some, like Bejeweled, look downright ugly. I know this problem will resolve itself further down the line, but for the moment, it is a bit irritating.

plus-v-mini

The biggest annoyance for me, though, is that the Plus can’t run iPad apps, and that one I don’t expect to be resolved in the near future. It would, after all, mean the Plus would start to dramatically eat into the market for the Mini, so I don’t imagine Apple will be in any mad rush to go there. Alas, there are a few iPad apps I would just love to have on my phone (Pocket Frogs Memory is a favourite of mine). I guess I’ll just have to suck it up, but it definitely means I’m docking a few points.

 

Speakers
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I rarely have occasion to use the speakers on my phone; if I want to use it to play music, I just connect it to my dock. However, I did test out the speakers on this one because I’d heard they were super… And they are.

They’re loud and proud with a rich quality and depth– far better than any other phone speakers I’ve had the occasion to use. Speaker quality is a minor thing, really –unless you’re one of those people who like to annoy folks on the bus– but it still has to get top marks.

 

Call quality
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It might be strange to put “call quality” on the bottom of the list in terms of importance for a phone review, but if you remember my usage graphic, this is way down on my list. That said, this is a phone, so that does need to get a mention, especially considering it’s so good.

Call quality is excellent when using the phone normally, but it is beyond superb if you use the supplied mic/earbuds. I could not get over how rich the sound was; it was like being in the same room as the person I was speaking to.

 

Overall Impression
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I love this phone. I love it to bits. No, it’s not perfect: it’s big and sometimes unwieldy, some apps might never get properly updated, and whatever way you purchase it, it’s going to cost a significant chunk of change.

For my money, however? It’s worth every penny.

Are you an iPhone fan? Have you upgraded to the 6+? Do you have any questions or comments? Drop me a line and let me know!
-A-

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