"The original iPhone set the bar for which the category would forever be defined. And for every iPhone that followed, we built upon the vision and pushed further and enlarged what the iPhone could be."
Tonight the iPhone was literally enlarged, as Apple lifted the lid on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and while there weren’t too many surprises (thanks for that, rumour mill), even the most ardent Apple naysayers would be hard pushed to dismiss the new phones as a minor update.
Apple describes the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as the “biggest advancement in iPhone”, and while the Californians were almost duty bound to throw around hyperbole in abundance, these things are light years away from last year’s iPhone 5s and 5c.
Starting with the display sizes, the iPhone 6 comes in – as rumoured – at 4.7in while the iPhone 6 Plus measures 5.5in diagonally. That’s an “ion-strengthened” display, not sapphire crystal, though IPS welcomes wider viewing angles.
In terms of resolution, we’re talking 1334 x 750 for the iPhone 6, so that’s 1 million pixels and a PPI (pixels per inch) score of 326. The iPhone 6 Plus goes Full HD, so that’s 1920 x 1080 = 2 million pixels, or 401PPI.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus design is described as “continuous, seamless”, that’s specifically as pertains to the display, which curves beautifully into the aluminium sides. Incidentally, the right hand side now plays host to the Power button, while the left hand side retains the Volume buttons.
As predicted, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are hella thin – or “dramatically thin” to use Apple’s words. Indeed, these are the thinnest iPhones ever. Specifically, the iPhone 6 measures 6.9mm, while the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly thicker at 7.1mm.
Interestingly, the iPhone 6 Plus supports landscape view on the homescreen, though – somewhat understandably - you won’t find said feature on the smaller iPhone 6.
Under the hood, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by the all-new Apple A8 processor. It has 64-bit support, just like last year’s A7 chip, with a whopping 2 billion transistors. On the whole, the Apple A8 is 13% smaller than the A7, with 25% faster performance, and the new iPhones are 50x faster than the original iPhone.
In other processor news, the new M8 Motion coprocessor is capable of measuring elevation changes, including stairs, while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus’ barometer measures relative elevation from surrounding air pressure.
In gaming, iOS Metal will bring developers closer to the juice (as described back at WWDC), and Epic, Ubisoft, Gameloft, EA, Disney and Super Evil MegaCorp are all officially on board. Expect fancy new lighting effects, and a silly amount of on-screen action at any one time.
Apple concedes that battery might be a concern, what with the thinner design and larger displays, but we’re promised 14 hours of 3G talk time for the iPhone 6, and 24 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus; 10 days standby time for the iPhone 6, and 16 days for the iPhone 6 Plus; and 11 hours of video playback for the iPhone 6, with 14 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Of course, a phone wouldn’t be a phone without cellular connectivity, and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus support no less than 20 LTE bands (the most ever on a phone, supposedly) encompassing 200 global carriers. There’s also VoLTE (voice over LTE) for clearer calls, while Wi-Fi steps in when your mobile signal becomes fatally low.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus camera is indeed 8MP, as rumoured, but as we’ve been saying, there’s lots more to the story - on any phone - than the megapixel count.
Apple boasts of a f/2.2 aperture, TrueTone flash, all-new sensor, something called Phase Detection Autofocus, advanced face detection, “best shot” mode, “next-generation local tone mapping” (if I had a penny for every time someone asked me about that), advanced noise reduction and Focus Pixels, the latter previously being the domain of DSLR cameras.
Optical image Stabilisation (OIS) is exclusive to the iPhone 6 Plus, though both models support 1080p video, and 240fps slow motion. On the front, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus welcome a FaceTime HD camera with 81% more light, improved face detection, and a burst mode for selfies.
As for the operating system side of things, there wasn’t a whole lot of new information. As such, if you’re looking to brush up on your iOS 8 features, we’ll point you in this direction.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus pre-orders open on Friday, September 12, while the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release date is pencilled in for the following Friday, September 19. iOS 8, meanwhile, will drop for existing devices on September 17th.
iPhone 6 price starts at £539 (16GB), while the iPhone 6 Plus comes in at £619 (16GB). Interestingly, there’s no 32GB option for either model, though they’ll both be available with 128GB storage.
Full iPhone 6 prices:
- 16GB - £539
- 64GB - £619
- 128GB - £699
Full iPhone 6 Plus prices:
- 16GB - £619
- 64GB - £699
- 128GB - £789
Right, so who’s buying one?