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IPhone 6 Plus is now my main mobile device

| Updated Sep 25, 2014

That's my old iPhone 5 on the left. The new gigantic iPhone 6 Plus on the right.

For as 10 million other people have done over the past two weeks, I've upgraded to the new and very large iPhone 6 Plus.

It's massive 5.5 inch size was a big reason.

I spend a lot of time online. Too much, in fact. And my eyes and my thumbs appreciate the extra real estate the new iPhone provides.

The first thing I did after transferring all my apps and settings over to the new phone from iCloud (a process that took about 45 minutes on my home Wi-Fi network) was head out to the RV and see if the new phone fits in the Wilson Sleek cell phone booster I use for connectivity while boondocking in areas with weak cellular service. It does. The Sleek has adjustable arms that grip the 6 Plus just fine.

The only time I use the Sleek with a cell phone is when I need to make a call in a marginal area. The rest of the time, my Verizon Mi-Fi data card provides the Internet connection for my various devices. But it's nice to know that the new iPhone 6 Plus will fit.

Besides the larger screen size, there are eight main reasons why I chose the iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone 6 Plus i the Wilson Sleek cell phone booster cradle
The iPhone 6 Plus i the Wilson Sleek cell phone booster cradle

But before I list them…please… be nice. Like religion and politics, conversations about computers, mobile devices and brand loyalties can get real nasty. So if you don't want or need these features, or if you use another platform or operating system, then good for you. This post is not aimed at you. This is for the many who do use the iPhone and are wondering what the new big one is like.

Here are the eight things I like most about this new phone, compared to the iPhone 5 I had been using:

  1. The new camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is the best Ive seen on any smartphone, especially with the new features on the iOS 8 operating system like slow motion and time lapse photography. I'll do some demos for you later this week.
  2. Image stabilization is now available for the videos I shoot on the iPhone 6 Plus when my professional video camera is unavailable or I want to post a quick video on social media.
  3. The 6 Plus is faster and reputedly has a longer battery life. Since I just got it, I haven't been able to put that to the test. But I will.
  4. The new Swype keyboard option (that's the one thing I liked the most during my brief fling with the Android OS and Samsung some months back) lets me really input text fast, with fewer fat finger mistakes.
  5. The soon-to-be available Apple Pay, the  new short-range wireless payments system for the 6 and 6 Plus, which integrates with Touch ID. It will soon be released as a software update. This is going to be huge.
  6. Lots of memory. For those like who take a lot of photos and videos, like to watch movies and load up on music, the new 128GB storage limit on the 6 is almost enough of a reason to upgrade.
  7. The iPhone 6 Plus has full HD, 1920 x 1080 display. That's not yet available on other iPhone models, including the 6.
  8. The iPhone 6 offers absolutely fantastic health and fitness functionality. Well… maybe not just yet. They're still working a couple of unexpected last minute glitches out of a couple apps. But those apps – I've seen a preview of them – are coming soon.

As I am getting used to the iPhone 6 Plus, I was surprised that I have not been challenged in using it as a phone. It is big and I've seen others say it just feels weird held up to your ear.As I write this,  I just finished a half hour radio interview using my new iPhone 6 Plus and it was very comfortable.

Ironically, that interview (with Mitch Album on WJR Radio) was about two problems that have cropped up with Apple's new phones.

The first is, if you put in in your pocket and then sit on it without a case… it will bend. That doesn't seem unusual to me. It is thin and super light. So thin it would have to bend when someone sat on it, especially without a protective case. I bought the leather case Apple sells with the iPhone. It does fit in my front pockets. It is too big for a breast pocket on some of my shirts. Not all, but some. But I would never think about sitting on it. So I don't think this will be a issue for me.

The second problem was on an update that Apple pushed through for the iOS 8 operating system. It was out just one hour when the company was swamped by reports that after updating the OS, iPhone 6 users lost cellular and data connectivity. Apple quickly pulled the update to see what the problem is.recent

If you want to see some three of my favorite things the new iOS 8 system does, here's one of my NBC-TV PC Mike segments:

So, overall, my first impressions of the iPhone 6 Plus are very favorable. I have a large iPad that I seldom use, except to read books or watch movies. Sometimes, I just leave it at home rather than tote it along on an RV trip, only to wish I had brought it when we're stuck inside because or rain. I think this new 5.5 inch iPhone will replace the tablet for books.  I will try some movies and get back to you on that. But with 128 GB of storage, I'll be able to download them to the device, besides streaming them on Netflix or Amazon.

Lastly,  another contributing factor to my decision to upgrade is the fact that I use my smartphone for so much more than just making or receiving telephone calls. I really use it more as a miniature computer than a phone. So this iPhone 6 Plus will come in very handy, I suspect.

I'll let you know more after a week or so.

If you think you'd like to upgrade but wonder what you can do with your old phone, check out the video below. It's another NBC-TV segment I did on places that offer trade-ins for old phones and other gadgets and gizmos.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2014-09-25

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

14 Responses to “IPhone 6 Plus is now my main mobile device”

September 29, 2014at7:58 pm, Davydd said:

I made up mock ups I cut from a cedar shingle that is dead on in size to match both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. I’ve been carrying around the 6 Plus mock up as that is what I ordered. I think I am used to it already but it is a dumb phone. 😉

Cargo pants just got more valuable. The 6 Plus does fit in most front pockets. Many, but not all, of my “Mark Trail” type guide shirts can hold the 6 Plus. ScotteVest is going to have to redesign most of their hidden pocket vests and jackets that were optimized for older iPhones.

I would appreciate a follow up review on what you think about reading books on it. Even though I first read books on a Palm PDA more than a decade ago I never took to reading them on iPhones, just iPads. The 6 Plus might change that. Also, if you use the Flipboard or Zite apps I’d be interested in your impressions.

With the camera I am thinking I might finally turn the corner on the feeling I still need to carry around my Canon S90 point and shoot camera for general photography. That camera was a work horse but is getting dated and I don’t care to invest in another point and shoot. I still need the DSLR camera for wildlife photography.

I’m wondering how much a 6 Plus would cut into iPad use. I hope my next iPad is a 12″ plus model to make a difference. That is still nothing but rumor.

September 29, 2014at7:45 am, Jack said:

Mike, thanks for both the article and the promise to keep us posted as your use expands. One aspect you skipped (which Bob did allude to) is that, for most of us, picking a phone/OS isn’t a decision made in a product vacuum. As one example, my wife prefers the Apple OS over a MS OS on her MBPro…so of course she chose an iPhone. So my phone choice is automatically influenced – and in a positive way – as e.g. we now keep a ‘family calendar’ that’s constantly updated and lives in my pocket, her purse and both our computers. Another example is that one aviation app – Foreflight Mobile – is by far the widest deployed cockpit navigation and flight planning software…and it only runs on iOS. There are lots of other choices for us pilots but I liked that the FAA approved Foreflight for commercial cockpits and I liked the marketplace certainty of an app most heavily adopted, so for me a tablet choice is an iPad choice. I’ll bet something similar applies to you and Jen, and to many of your blog readers as well. Most users of all platforms understand this reality, so it’s strange how often pro-con discussions of phones and tablets is simplistically argued on the merits of a single product alone. Keep the observations coming, Mike!

September 26, 2014at11:43 pm, Bob Swihart said:

Thank you for the review. I am not an Apple fan. Never wanted to be stuck in the Apple eco system, but some of our kids are Apple only and I like to see what Apply is offering. I have only owned Google Nexus devices and have been very happy with them. But, I really enjoy keeping up in the lattest technology releases. Although I was not your target audience for this article, I enjoyed it and it helps me with discussions about Apple products when they come up.

Thank you again.


September 25, 2014at6:16 pm, joann said:

I went back and forth before deciding on whether to go forward with an iPhone 6 or stay with my perfectly functional iPhone 5, but like you I decided the 6 plus was the way to go. I wanted the same features you mentioned the improved screen resolution and better camera with optical stabilization. I considered the Samsung galaxy. It is a fine phone and everyone I know that is using it likes it, but switching over to a droid and moving all my music movies and apps was not appealing. I was happy to read you like your new iPhone 6 plus and look forward to getting mine in another 6 weeks.

September 25, 2014at2:55 pm, Cheryl said:

Thanks Mike! I ordered mine 2 weeks ago. I will get it in Nov….I’m moving from a 3g!

September 25, 2014at2:33 pm, LE Kaiser said:

I’ll be curious to see if you still like the size over time, or if you find situations where you wish you had the smaller iPhone 6. I just activated my new 6 today – in the smaller size. I may have the same wondering…. if I should have gone bigger. But compared to my 4, it’s huge! 🙂 I will look forward to your reviews on time lapse, slo mo, and the like! I enjoy all your posts, and this one is no exception. Thanks for the info (from the owner of a 1994 new-to-me RoadTrek 190).

September 25, 2014at2:19 pm, Sandy said:

Mike, I appreciate your taking the time to share this information with us. I have a Samsung and when I’m eligible for an upgrade with Verizon (in December) it will be to Apple. I like the same features you like. I’ve have my Samsung replaced 3x already and I’ve had it for almost 2yrs..yikes. Anyway.looking forward to hearing more about it from you.

September 25, 2014at11:42 am, Garnet Simms said:

Mike, thank you for your reporting on all the devices you use very much appreciated. Your reports on and your trips in the Roadtrek are very entertaining, we have a truck camper but you have opened my eyes to the possibility or a Roadtrek in the future. Like you we have switched back to Apple products and are very happy. Again thanks, Garnet

September 25, 2014at10:34 am, Larry and Kara said:

It is stunning to me how nasty some of these people are. Your post even asks people to be nice and says this is not for them. But they just have to spew their anger. I think there are some really disturbed people out there who are just mean and have to bash. What a terrible, terrible way to live.
I really appreciated this posting, Mike. We have been considering an upgrade. The 6 looks good for me and Larry will probably go with the 6 plus. Please show some videos and photos from the iPhone 6 Plus when you can.
And you should just delete those rude comments from the bashers who totally disregarded your paragraph about being nice. They are clearly not RVers and their negativity just doesn’t fit here.

September 25, 2014at10:24 am, Thomas said:

I dunno. I just can’t really get behind a guy who put on his best track suit to make a video in his home office about new technology.


September 25, 2014at9:16 am, Mike Wendland said:

Dillon… What part of “be nice” and the following in the post do you not understand? “…if you don’t want or need these features, or if you use another platform or operating system, then good for you. This post is not aimed at you. This is for the many who do use the iPhone and are wondering what the new big one is like”
Please… save your snide remarks.
I’ve used every Samsung device they have released. I am back to the iPhone.
I am glad you are happy with Samsung.
Let me know the next time Samsung sells 10 million phones in about 10 days and we’ll talk….

September 25, 2014at9:27 am, Dillon said:

Apple sells 10 million in a week because of uneducated consumers…like you.

Btw, Samsung still makes more money than Apple globally every year.

September 25, 2014at10:27 am, Thomas said:

Um, Samsung sell toasters, stoves and refrigerators. You bought your phone from an appliance store Dillon!

September 25, 2014at9:10 am, Dillon said:

Mike, I thought a tech-wise person like yourself would realize that Apple has had its day…
Android powered Samsung devices are the real phones nowadays.

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