I Agonized Over Which iPhone to Buy. Here’s How I Decided.

The new iPhone 6 is available for pre-order today and because I’m a gadget idiot–I need a 12-step program for this issue–I’m determined to get me one. But which size? The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus?

First, I downloaded this handy comparative template and then grabbed last night’s pizza box.  I figured two layers of cardboard approximated the thickness of the new devices.

phone 1

Here’s what I ended up with:

phone 2

Then I tested them. First, the hand-and-head test with the 5S.

phone 3 (5s head-hand test)

Then the 6…

Phone 4 (6 head-hand test)

…and the 6 Plus.

Phone 5 (6 Plus head-hand test)

Now the pocket test, beginning with the 5S…

iPhone 5S pocket test

…followed by the 6…

iPhone 6 pocket test

..and the 6 Plus.

iPhone 6 Plus pocket test


6 or 6 plus

I think I gotta go with the 6. Outside of the camera (the 6 Plus has some crazy image stabilization functions), it’s the same device. It fits in my hand just fine–the 6 Plus feels awfully big, even for a 6′ 1″ guy–and I know it’s going to fit in my jeans.  When I tried the 6 Plus in my pants, it honestly felt like my thigh was splinted, especially when I moved to sit down.  Then my wife said “Is that a 6 Plus in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” This would NOT work in any snug-fitting trousers.

Meanwhile, the 6 felt fine in my hand and the screen seems to be big enough. My prototype renderings point to 4.7 inches being some kind of sweet spot.

So the 6 it is.  I hope I don’t regret this…


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

9 thoughts on “I Agonized Over Which iPhone to Buy. Here’s How I Decided.

  • September 12, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post, even as an Android fan. Hope you like your new device.

  • September 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    pretty intense facial expressions!….

  • September 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Alan you got the 5s and you’re already upgrading!?

    • September 13, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Yeah, I know. But being up-to-date on gadgets is part of my job.

      • September 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

        Autograph the 5s and sell it on the Geeks and Beats store 😉

        • September 13, 2014 at 6:14 pm

          Not a bad idea–but I promised it to my wife. She has a 4S that has nowhere to go…

  • September 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    So.. if you have a 5S, why did you need to create a cardboard sample of the 5S?

    Anyhow, easiest test – hold phone with one hand, move your thumb to all corners and sides of the screen. Can you comfortably reach all parts of the screen without having to reposition your hand or resort to using fingers on the other hand? If you answer yes, this is the phone for you. If you had to reposition your hand or use the other hand, your phone may be too big to function as a “phone” and you likely have a “phablet”.

    • September 14, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Just being thorough. When experimenting, it’s important that all the components be equal, you know?

    • September 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Android keyboards resize on larger devices. You can reach their entire distance without repositioning your hand, or using your other hand.


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