With the release of the iPhone 6, iPhone users finally have a choice to make when purchasing their next device. Should you choose the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, or the 4-inch iPhone 5s. Here’s a guide to help you make the choice.
Choose the iPhone 6 if…
you want a mainstream device with all of the latest and greatest features that will have a lifetime of at least two years. At 4.7-inches, the device will be bigger than the existing iPhone 5, but not so much that you won’t be able to easily fit it into a pants or jacket pocket.
For the overwhelming majority, I would recommend the iPhone 6. The latest components and larger battery will give you longer battery life. The addition of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology will allow you to use Apple Pay and additional in development features. The updated M8 motion detector will let you enjoy new app features, particularly if you’re into fitness. Wi-fi calling will let you make and receive calls if your home, office or vacation location has poor carrier coverage. These alone are enough reasons to spend the extra money to get the latest model.
Choose the iPhone 6 Plus if…
you need the additional real estate that a 5.5-inch screen offers. Otherwise, there aren’t any significant benefits from choosing the iPhone 6 Plus over the iPhone 6. In fact, before rushing out to buy or pre-ordering an iPhone 6 Plus, I would highly recommend checking it out in person first to make sure you are OK with the increased heft of the device.
If you are considering a pre-order, I would recommend you check out a Galaxy Note in person first before making the leap. You can also use this handy chart provided by the folks at Apple Insider to get a hands-on comparison of the different phone sizes (here’s a direct link to the printable PDF if you want to skip the pics in the article)
Choose the iPhone 5s if…
you want a more compact iPhone, you don’t need the latest and great features (especially Apple Pay and Wi-fi calling), and you want to save $100 on your purchase. The iPhone 5s is still a viable and great device that will last you a two-year contract cycle. However, I would only recommend choosing it if you want the compact form factor. Even though the latest and greatest features may not be important now, they could be in the near future. Plus, I’d recommend spending the extra money on something you use everyday, and multiple times throughout the day at that.
Don’t choose the iPhone 5c
While it may be tempting to get a free iPhone 5c on contract, I would advise against it, highly. The iPhone 5c is the 2012 iPhone 5 repackaged in colored plastic. It’s way past its prime and may only make it through one more iOS upgrade cycle, meaning iOS 9. The only exception I’d make is for someone’s first smartphone, particularly for a teenage child. Most of the important new features, such as Apple Pay, won’t apply to them. Plus, given how hard they are on their phones, you won’t feel nearly as bad when they crack the screen, drop it in a toilet, or lose it, which, speaking from experience, seems to happen all too often with kids.
If you’re unsure about what to do, get the iPhone 6. You’ll enjoy the increased screen real estate and have access to all the latest features.
If having as much screen real estate as possible is important, get the iPhone 6 Plus.
If a compact form factor is important, get the iPhone 5s.
Don’t get the iPhone 5c.
(For a complete breakdown of the new features in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, see this article for our summary of the iPhone 6 launch)