Apple has finally launched its 4.7-inch iPhone 6 smartphone, plus a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Here’s our full preview of the new features, including Apple Pay via NFC, those 8-megapixel cameras and the brand new Retina screens…
The Mighty Tim stepped onto a giant stage in Cupertino to finally present the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 to the world, plus the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Both rock a new, smooth, curved design, just like the leaks led us to believe, plus upgraded specs and a few long-awaited features such as NFC payments.
Here’s our full iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus round-up.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Design
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both pack a silver anodised aluminum body, although the Apple logo on the back is still stainless steel. Both are thinner than the iPhone 5s, with the smaller handset coming in at 6.9mm and the larger at 7.1mm. The iPhone 5s was 7.6mm thick.
We all expected a fresh new curved design, and that’s exactly what we got. Gone are the iconic flat edges, and now the iPhone 6 brings in a new rounded finish that should hopefully feel good considering the larger dimensions. That increased size means the power button is now on the side of the phone, to make it easier to access, just like on the majority of Android phones. The volume buttons are still housed on the left edge.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Screen
The standard 4.7-inch iPhone 6 screen packs a 1334×750 resolution, giving 326 pixels-per-inch (ppi), while the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a Full HD 5.5-inch display, giving 401ppi. Both are Retina screens.
We’re a little disappointed at the new screen specs if we’re perfectly honest. We were really hoping that Apple would give us Quad HD visuals, like Android rivals such as the LG G3. Still, images should be bold and bright, as usual for Retina displays.
Since the screen is bigger, Apple has implemented a few changes to the iPhone 6’s desktop. For a start, it can now be viewed in landscape mode. You can also double-tap the home button to ‘pull down’ the screen, giving you easy access to the top end of whatever you were looking at.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: Performance and battery life
Apple’s latest A8 processor is on board, which can apparently maintain 100% performance at all times without any kind of strain, even when you’re multitasking. To prove this, Apple showed off a cool new action game called Vain Glory, which has you capturing enormous monsters like the Kraken, shown below.
Battery life has also apparently been improved over the iPhone 5s for both new iPhone models. The standard-sized iPhone 6 will now allow you to play media and chat for significantly longer (50 hours of audio playback or 14 hours of 3G chatter per charge, compared with 40 hours and 10 hours respectively on the iPhone 5s). The iPhone 6 Plus is even better apparently, with double the music playback of the iPhone 5s and over double the talk time.
See the below photo for full estimates.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cameras
Both iPhone 6 models have 8-megapixel cameras built in, with an f/2.2 aperture. Faster autofocus, next-gen local tone mapping and advanced noise reduction are the three main benefits of the iPhone 6’s camera that were bigged up on-stage.
You also have optical image stabilisation for videos, and slo-mo videos can be recorded in a whopping 240 frames-per-second, twice as many as the iPhone 5s.
Check out our in-depth look at the iPhone 6 camera.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: NFC payments and other new features
Tim Cook took to the stage again to talk about mobile payments, in the form of Apple Pay. This is built into every iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. You can store all of your credit cards in Passbook now, and use NFC to pay with a single tap (the NFC antenna is built into the top), just like you can with Android devices.
Tim Cook was particularly thrilled with this innovation, even going so far as to show the video demo twice. Nobody tell him that Android devices have had this ability for a couple of years already, okay? He’s happy, let’s leave him be.
Don’t stress about security, as Apple has put a good bit of thought into keeping your data private. A new chip called Secure Element has been built into every iPhone 6, which stores your payment info in an encrypted fashion. Apple was also quick to point out that they won’t track what you buy or how much you’ve paid at any time, allegedly. And if you lose your phone, Touch ID will keep your data and virtual cards safely hidden away. You can also use Find My Phone to deactivate all of your payment info.
Lots of big American vendors are already on board, including the likes of Duane Reade, McDonalds, Subway and Whole Foods. Hopefully plenty of British retailers will jump on board too.
Read next: Our in-depth look at Apple Pay
As for sensors, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both have a built-in barometer which tracks your elevation, so you know exactly how many steps you’ve climbed up each day, a feature that’s used by Apple’s supported health apps.
There’s support for 20 LTE bands now, for speedy web browsing and media streaming. Wi-Fi calling is now supported too.
As for storage, Apple has done away with the 32GB iPhone model, so now you get 16GB, 64Gb and 128GB models. Still no micro SD memory card slot, of course.
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: One More Thing…
We’ll cover the iWatch in another news piece!
Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: UK price and other details
The iPhone 6 hits UK stores on September 19th and will cost you from £539 for the cheapest iPhone 6, and from £619 for the cheapest iPhone 6 Plus. Woooah! Time to get saving! Here’s our full table of pain:
|Apple iPhone 6||£539||£619||£699|
|Apple iPhone 6 Plus||£619||£699||£789|
In the US it’ll cost $199, $299 or $399 US on a two-year contract, while the iPhone 6 Plus will cost $299, $399 or $499, depending on which storage option you plump for.
Pre-orders start on September 12th.
iOS 8 will be available for free to download from iPhone 4s and over, from September 17th.