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I’ve now had my iPhone 6 four months and I’m ready to give a balanced review.

First, it should be noted that 4 months ago I upgraded from an iPhone 4s. My philosophy with Apple products in general has evolved from a “got to have the latest” mentality into a “I will upgrade when the improvements are significant” mentality. In the past 5-8 years, Apple has provoked me to upgrade it’s products on roughly a ever-other-generation schedule. And the trend seems to be towards an ever-widening gap between upgrades.

The Hardware

The jump from an iPhone 4s to the iPhone 6 was significant, and it felt that way in all respects. The sleek and refined hardware design was impressive in aesthetics and weight. The fingerprint authentication worked surprisingly well and after setting up authentication for both right and left thumbs and index fingers, I found it to be very efficient and natural.

One criticism I have of the iPhone, and indeed almost all smart phones, is that they are not really comfortable devices in our hands. There’s very little about a “slim-brick” design that fits well with our hands. The ergonomics are mostly wrong for the human hand. It’s no wonder that so many folks drop their phones while using them.

That said, the iPhone 6 is no worse than most. I found that Apple’s own slim leather iPhone cover offers a sleek and simple design that stays true to the iPhone design, providing a solid grip in the hand.

The Software

The transition from IOS6 to IOS7 (and then to IOS8) was significant. There were not only a number of interface shifts, but there were also some annoying bugs to be worked through. It has taken Apple longer than I expected to address these bugs. And, I am not convinced that all of these bugs (e.g., wifi, bluetooth, battery life, and others) are resolved yet. Once I became more comfortable with the new interface, I began to enjoy it. The speed increase was noticeable and appreciated.

I spent the extra money to get the 128GB model since I was impressed by the iPhone’s camera specs and results. It was a wise choice. The camera is impressive for both stills and video. Although I own a DSLR, I find myself using the iPhone more often as my primary camera when I’m out and about. The stock camera app is adequate for most folks. But, if you are a more serious photographer, there are a number a great apps that give you more control over shutter speed, aperture, and timing. (I’m planning a post devoted to iPhone apps for photography and video.)

With so much memory on my iPhone, I spent the first month downloading almost 9 pages of apps. Since then, the download frenzy has waned. I have settled on regularly using about a dozen apps which now live on the first page of apps.

iPhone As Business Tool

The most significant evolution for me since purchasing my iPhone 6 is one that I would not have predicted. I am now essentially running an arts & culture website entirely from my iPhone. This means I take and edit photos and video, write content, manage various social media, post and comment, all from my iPhone. I’m a one-man, mobile, content-generating, broadcast machine!

With my iPhone fully engaged in activity almost 16 hours a day, I am now looking into solar-powered battery chargers. Any recommendations out there?