Well, it’s that time of year. New iPhones. Unlike last year, there is nothing obviously game changing or different about the new iPhones. Just a lot of solid improvements and reasons to upgrade. There is also a new color, Rose Pink, which I predict will be hugely popular. It looks sweet.
So, the question always comes down to, should you upgrade? Read on.
Some of you are still under the clutches of your carrier in an antiquated 2 year contract. Soon you shall be liberated. NEVER EVER sign another 2 year contract again. It’s going the way of the Dodo. Instead I recommend the following options in order if best to worst.
- Buy the whole phone outright. You have to put the most $ up front, but you have the most control about what you do with said phone after one or two years. You can hand it down to someone, sell it to one of the many internet companies that will happily give you 40% of the new value after one year, or keep it for two.
- Sign up for the new Apple Upgrade program. This is designed for people who want a new phone every year. Your payments are spread across two years and Apple Care is included. It works out to being cheaper than a similar carrier program because your Apple Care payments are spread out over two years. Oh, and you def want Apple Care. Also the phone is 100% unlocked. And the carrier is not involved. From their POV you have an unlocked off contract phone.
- AT&T Next or the equivalent Verizon / TMobile / Sprint program. Similar to #2 but you still interface with the carrier to upgrade and return your phone at the end of one year. Lets face it. Dealing with a carrier is about as fun as tracking a lost USPS package. To be avoided if possible.
- Two year contract. If you can get one. The carriers really don’t want you to have one any more so please purge the idea that you can get a new phone for a low 1 time price. It’s either full price or monthly now.
I went for Option 1.
Ok, so now that we have HOW TO BUY AN IPHONE out of the way, what’s the big deal?
Ok, so if you have an iPhone 5 or 5s (I won’t even entertain the idea that any of you are using a 4s) you should stop reading. Anything I talk about won’t matter because you are so back in the past on what’s new I can’t possibly describe what it’s like to go from one to the other. It won’t matter anyway because your iPhone 5 probably struggles to run iOS 8 and 9, and has lots of cracks and scratches in it. It’s secretly been crying to you for the past year to be upgraded.
If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus the decision is a bit more complicated. Especially if you recently purchased it. Let me describe why I think you should consider upgrading. But to be honest if you don’t hell won’t freeze over.
Reasons to upgrade to the 6s
- It is designed to run iOS 9. As we all know Apple makes a “best effort’ attempt to run the latest OS on last year’s hardware but it’s not always great. I can attest that iOS9 is a slow pig of an OS on my old iPhone 6 Plus. Maybe 9.1 will fix. Maybe not.
- Speed - The 6s is nearly 50% faster. This alone is the reason to upgrade in my book. Imagine everything you rely on your phone for being 50% faster. I know, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
- Ok, if that wasn’t enough.
- 3D Touch. You’ve probably heard about this. As if we didn’t have enough ways to press, drag, pinch and lick our phones, we now have “press real hard”. Turns out this is a cool feature and will evolve to support a lot of interesting things. I look at this a bit like the scroll wheel on the mouse. Once we had that there was no going back. Can’t read web pages without it. 3D touch is a really delightful feature. I appreciate things like navigating back from apps to apps using force touch as well as press and hold on the keyboard to invoke text cursor movement.
- Touch ID is fast - I love Touch ID. When I use an iPad that doesn’t have it I often find myself confused about why the device own’t unlock. Touch ID is nearly instant now and what a welcome improvement.
- Updated hardware - new camera, smoother glass screen, less slippery phone. Nice touches. Especially the more slippery glass screen. Easier to move fingers.
- Brand new fresh battery. I easly exhaust all the battery cycles in any phone in 1 year, so after 1 months I expect 20% of the battery capacity is spent. A new phone gets me back to manufacturer specs.
- New features like Live Photos and 4K video. I’m not sure I’ll ever use these. Live Photo reminds me of Hyperlapes. I’ll use it twice if i can remember. And 4K video will bust my storage system so I’m not sure how excited I am. Maybe if I were a documentary filmmaker. But I’m not. I take videos of my kids.
- New color - always moves some units and Rose Pink aka “Bros Gold” seems to popular with the men.
So, what’s wrong with the iPhone 6s? Well for one thing, I have noticed worse battery life. But I blame iOS 9 for this. I can almost get through 1 day with the 6s Plus where a year ago with the 6 Plus I could almost get 2. I have 256 apps though and many run in the background constantly, so probably not normal.
Anyway, there you have it. Another year, another iPhone.
I expect near year’s iPhone 7 will be a more substantial upgrade. If not, well, short some Apple Stock.