The Half-finished iPhone
|Neither attractive nor pleasant to hold, this needs a case.|
When the iPhone 6 was announced you could barely move across the internet for people eulogising its build quality and premium materials. They were wrong and the more I use one the more that becomes apparent.
First of all, let's be clear, the iPhone is a great handset that manages to fix the biggest single complaint that Apple have faced for the last three years: its screen size.
However, the iPhone 6 has a major failing: it feels like half a phone, the innards of a device awaiting the installation of the final shell. When you pop the back cover off a Nokia Lumia and are left holding the screen and innards that's what the iPhone 6 is. Apple has made it so thin and out of such a 'premium' material that it ends up feeling unpleasant to hold in the hand. Without a case I could not bring myself to use an iPhone 6 on a daily basis, it is a tactile dead zone.
Install Apple's leather cover for the iPhone - or any of a number of third party alternatives - and that sensation changes completely. The balance of the phone in the hand is improved, the grip and the feel at the contact points immeasurably better and it is aesthetically more pleasing.
As someone who really doesn't like putting phones in cases the iPhone 6 is a troubling device to use everyday. However the truth is that the iPhone isn't complete without a case and Apple's leather cover really does complete the design.
In many ways it reminds me of the classic coach builders of yore. Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alfa Romeo and Lancia would build a chassis and install the mechanical bits to create a functioning car, which would then be sent to the customer's coach builder of choice who would install a body matching that customer's preference.
So rather than complaining about the iPhone's lack of completeness, I should be applauding the ability to create a custom iPhone that isn't the same as everyone else's.