How to chose the right iPhone (spoiler: I have no idea)

When the iPhone 6 went on sale, I tweeted that anyone thinking of buying one had to go into a shop and try the two new sizes before committing; there was no other way to, aha, grasp the physicality of these devices. Now, I think even that doesn’t go far enough.

I’ve been using the iPhone 6 as my main phone for a long time (Matt is reviewing the 6 Plus, and we’re constantly comparing notes and switching devices) and I’ve vacillated so much about whether it’s good compared to its predecessors I ought to be hooked up to a generator.

I forced myself to go back to the iPhone 5s for 24 hours to see if that helped crystallise my thinking, and it did. It did indeed feel pokey after the bigger expanse of glass on the 6 (I’m using it in Standard, not Zoomed mode), but for me at least it was much more comfortable to hold. I had to shuffle the phone around in my hand less, it felt more secure, and it was easier to use one-handed. (I’m cautiously confident I don’t just think this because I’m more familiar with the 5s.)

The rub, though, is that I think the bigger screen has wooed me. Basically, physics doesn’t let Apple have its cake and eat it; if you want a bigger screen, you sacrifice some of the ergonomic benefits (for those of us who don’t have big hands) of the 3½″ and 4″ models. If I’d just walked into an Apple store and hefted the iPhone 6, I’d have dismissed it. Weirdly thin. Slippery. More difficult to use one-handed. And I’d have been perfectly happy with the screen size of my 5s. Now, though, I think I’d choose that set of compromises that gives me that bigger screen. I’ve only begun to think that thanks to many days of intensive, in-anger use, however. I’m in a privileged position to be able to do this; how anyone else will make the right decision for themselves is beyond me.