Entries tagged as Reachability

Summary of iPhone 6 Plus reviews

For nearly a month, I've been using my iPhone 6 Plus every day. As one of the first users of such device in Korea, I decided to take an in-depth look at its improvements and functions whenever I can, to show what the Korean users are going to get soon. Now all the hard work is done, and I present to you the summary of all the reviews I wrote about it.

iPhone 6 series will finally launch in Korea officially on October 31, 2014, according to Apple's official announcement, and carriers are preparing to accept pre-orders about a week before that. I hope these reviews will help you decide if iPhone 6 Plus is right for you.

Preview Summary
0. One of the first iPhone 6 Plus in Korea (2014-09-19)
Wesley gets his iPhone 6 Plus on the first launch day in Japan and brings it to Korea.
1. iPhone 6 Plus - Unboxing & First Look (2014-09-22)
The box containing the iPhone 6 Plus is opened up, and the phone is taken an all-around look. The bump caused by the camera lens is also examined.
2. Protecting my iPhone 6 Plus (2014-09-23)
Front and back side protection films are applied to the iPhone 6 Plus. Then, it is put inside a belt case intended for Galaxy Note series. Apple's own leather case is also tried out.
3. Sizing up the shape & size of iPhone 6 Plus (2014-09-23)
The size, thickness, and shape of the iPhone 6 Plus gets compared to other devices. It is first compared to other iPhones and iPads, then to a comparatively-sized Android smartphone.
4. iPhone 6 Plus - LTE Compatibility & Speed (2014-09-24)
Unlocked iPhone 6 Plus bought overseas is found to have LTE working on Korea's SKT & KT networks automatically. Also, real life LTE speed comparison is made between the 6 Plus and the 5S.
5. iPhone 6 Plus - VoLTE Compatibility (2014-09-25)
Initially, all calls were made in 3G mode despite changing the settings to allow VoLTE. To have the VoLTE actually working, a visit to an SKT branch office and a device registration process was needed.
6. Testing iPhone 6 Plus battery w/o bending (2014-09-29)
Real-life battery discharging and charging tests are performed simultaneously on iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5S to see the difference. Belt cases made sure the phones didn't bend.
7. iPhone 6 Plus - General Performance (2014-10-01)
Performance comparison across multiple apps are made between iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5S. This included 3DMark, Geekbench, and various JavaScript tests.
8. iPhone 6 Plus - Camera's Quality (2014-10-01)
Compared to iPhone 5S, the camera on the iPhone 6 Plus has improved dynamic range and enhanced night time photography performance. Image stabilization works well, too.
9. iPhone 6 Plus - Camera's Speed (2014-10-04)
The focusing performance of the iPhone 6 Plus is noticeably more advanced than iPhone 5S. Burst mode shooting and slow-motion video recording also saw improvements.
10. iPhone 6 Plus - M8 Motion Co-processor (2014-10-08)
The M8 motion co-processor and its new barometer are tested out by walking up the stairs and seeing how many floors are registered. Other uses are also taken a look at.
11. How far does iPhone 6+ & SKT's VoLTE go? (2014-10-13)
How the SK Telecom's network treats the attempts to make a VoLTE call from iPhone 6 Plus varies by how the person at the other end is connecting. All the possibilities are tested.
12. Thoughts on a month of iPhone 6 Plus use (2014-10-14)
Using the iPhone 6 Plus one-handed is not as convenient as Apple would hope. However, the big screen that caused this also offers many benefits that maybe considered as worthy trade-offs.

Thoughts on a month of iPhone 6 Plus use

How far my thumbs go - iPhone 6 Plus (left) & iPhone 5S (right)

In my iPhone 6 Plus reviews, I've been focusing on the functions. But before wrapping this series up, I'd like to touch on the usability part. There will be a lot of existing iPhone users who's going to contemplate whether the huge screen is worth the risk. While iPhone 6 feels like a slightly enlarged iPhone 5S, 6 Plus is halfway to an iPad, a device that generally needs two hands to properly use.

Unlike an iPad, you can hold an iPhone 6 Plus with one hand just fine. This is due to its thinness and relative lightness. Using it in that manner is another matter, though. As you can see in the photo, the stretched screen of iPhone 5S (compared to 4S and earlier) already put some strain on the user's thumb when reaching the top corners. With iPhone 6 Plus, the thumb can realistically reach only about half of the screen area.

Using Reachability on iPhone 6 Plus to access top corners

So what did Apple do about it? It added a feature called "Reachability" to iPhone 6 series. When you tap (not click) the home button twice quickly, the whole screen slides down half way for a while. This is supposed to let you be able to touch the unreachable area, enabling you to touch anywhere with one hand.

In practice, though, still doesn't fully solve my problem of reaching the opposite top corner with my thumb, where navigation buttons usually reside. This is because the phone became wider as it has become tall. I could temporarily adjust the grip, but that increases the risk of dropping the phone.

Some apps get around this problem by providing the edge dragging gesture for navigating backward and forward. Thanks to this, Apple's default apps like Safari can be used with one hand more or less okay. But there are still a lot of apps that don't support this. So in essence, the Reachability is more of a temporary fix for when you have no choice but to hold the iPhone 6 Plus with one hand. If you can, don't hesitate to hold the phone with two hands. It's much better that way.
Continue reading "Thoughts on a month of iPhone 6 Plus use"

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