The Hand and the Eye


I have decided to upgrade my old iPhone to the new iPhone 6 (once I’ve saved up a little money) and, yes, being the tech geek that I am, I have paid a visit to the local Apple Store to look at the merchandise and salivate at the prospect. I’ve visited twice, in fact.

This time around, Apple has produced two models of iPhone. There’s the regular iPhone 6, with a larger-than-an-iPhone-5 4.7 inch screen, and then there is the iPhone 6 Plus, with a 5.5 inch screen. I’ve tried out the iPhone 6 and am in love. I’ve also decided that the iPhone 6 Plus is not for me.

It could be that another investment I have to make is in a pair of bifocals. I’ve suddenly discovered that I have difficulty reading small text at arms length in front of me, especially in low light conditions, but with my old iPhone, I am increasingly taking my glasses off and putting the screen about two inches from my face, in order to read the text, or play Angry Birds. This cannot be a good thing.

The iPhone 6 has a larger screen size, and a higher resolution screen, so it was significantly easier to read at arms length than my old iPhone. Apple has taken a lot of guff from competing products, especially Samsung, who have made significantly larger devices (with the obnoxious name of “Phablet”) fashionable. Theoretically, the iPhone 6 Plus follows this trend. It should be even better for my eyesight as well, but then I tried to use it.

Man, that thing is big. I have big hands, but when I hold the 6 Plus in my palm, my thumb cannot reach the opposite top corner to click on the app icon there. It feels heavy in my hands, and I stumble over the virtual keyboard with my two thumbs.

I have to admit that one of the features I liked about the old iPhones is the ability to hold it in the palm of one hand, and be able to use it in that hand, leaving the other hand free to stick itself in the other pocket, or possibly ward off incoming telephone poles as I walk. The larger screen of the regular iPhone 6 pushes the limits of this, but the ability to use the device with one hand remains.

My eyes are increasingly demanding larger screens and larger type but, for now, my hands are strong enough to demand a compromise. I wonder how this compromise will fare in my future.

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