The release of a new iPhone has almost become an Autumn holiday — especially for the hundreds of eager customers who camped out at West Farms mall for hours yesterday waiting for their chance to buy one. But is the new phone worth the upgrade? It depends.
The new phone is thinner, lighter, and larger than the iPhone 5s that came before it. There’s even a jumbo sized version called the 6 plus that has a 5.5 inch screen (compared to the 4.7 inch screen on the regular iPhone 6) But beyond the very different physical appearance, the user experience is only incrementally improved over the prior version of the phone. There are no compelling “must have” features in the 6 that are not already in the 5s with the exception of a mobile payment system that will allow the phone to be used as a credit card at select retailers.
The camera quality is slightly better, the network performance is slightly better, and the overall graphic performance is about 15-20 percent faster than the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6 is a much more significant upgrade when compared to the iPhone 4s and earlier phones, which are now struggling now to keep up with the improvements in the latest version of the iOS operating system.
Battery life on the iPhone 6 is about on par with prior generations of the phone. Apple now includes a utility to see which apps are consuming the most power on the device which might help users figure out which apps are draining the battery faster. The larger iPhone 6 Plus has room for a larger battery and offers greater longevity between charges.
Is it worth the upgrade? For users of the iPhone 5 or 5s, probably not unless the larger screen is a necessity. Users of prior generation iPhones who have been waiting for a significant update will certainly find a much better experience with the iPhone 6 than their current phones. But if the large screen is not a compelling feature, the now less expensive iPhone 5s is a good choice.