Apple’s new iPhone 6 is here with a bigger screen and a complete new design. First thing you notice when you look at the new iPhone is that it is big and the screen is curved around the sides. Gone are the beautifully crafted chamfered edges, which we saw in the iPhone 5 and 5S. Now we have a unibody metal back with rounded sides, which continue till they meet the display.
Let’s take a closer look at the new iPhone 6 and what it has to offer.
As mentioned earlier the first thing that you observe about the new iPhone 6 is that it is big. It has a 4.7 inch screen which is 0.7 inch larger than that of iPhone 5 and 5S (4 inch). With 2K(QHD) displays making their way to some of the flagship smartphones, Apple still bets on a Retina HD display with 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. This new Retina HD screen has the same pixel density as of iPhone 5S but with higher resolution and bigger size. Apple has also added something called Dual-domain pixels which results in better viewing angles.
Images, text and videos look crisp and beautiful on the bigger Retina HD display. The guys at Displaymate call this to be the Best Mobile LCD Display.
Second thing that you will observe about the iPhone 6 is that it is very thin; at 6.9 mm it is the thinnest iPhone till date. At 129 grams, iPhone 6 is slightly heavy than the iPhone 5S, but due to its weight being spread over a larger area it actually feels lighter when you hold it in your hand. This phone is definitely bigger than the iPhone 5S but you can still use it comfortably with one hand.
Taking a look around the device, we no longer have the chamfered edges; instead there is a continuous flow from the curved glass to the metal unibody. On the left of the device we have new volume buttons that are elongated, above the volume buttons is the mute switch. Power button is moved from the top of the phone to the right side just above the SIM tray to make it easier to reach while using the phone with one hand. On the bottom we have the Lightning connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microphone, and the speaker grill.
The back of the device has an 8MP camera, a True Tone flash and another microphone. The back also has antenna bands. To be honest these bands are not very good-looking, especially on the Gold and Silver iPhones, on the Space Grey version they somewhat blend in with the design. The Apple logo is not itched on the aluminum back anymore but is a stainless steel piece that is lot more resistant to scratches. This logo is color matched to the phone and looks beautiful, especially on the space grey version.
The new iPhone 6 comes in 3 colors Silver, Space Grey and Gold. The Gold color this time is darker than the Gold color of the iPhone 5S (which was more like champagne color).
iPhone 6 is taller than other smartphones with same display size (4.7 inch), it is even bigger or equal in size to some smartphones with 5 inch displays. This is mainly because below the display we have home button with the Touch ID sensor, and bezel above the display is size matched to the chin of the phone.
The iPhone 6 is powered by Apple’s second-generation 64-bit A8 processor, which has 2 billion transistors. It’s a dual-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz. For the Graphics we have the quad-core PowerVR GPU. We still get only 1GB of RAM, however that does not seem to slow down the phone at all. According to Apple, the new chips give us upto 50x faster CPU performance and upto 84x faster GPU performance when compared to the original iPhone.
The M8 motion coprocessor adds barometer support, which means you can now measure changes in elevation.
Even with just a dual-core processor clocked at a lower frequency and just 1 GB of RAM, iPhone 6 benchmark scores are at par with high-end Android flagship smartphones out there.
Apple has also put an improved Touch ID sensor under the home button. I found the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 5S to be really great but once every 2-3 days it would not recognize my fingerprint; but that has not been the case with iPhone 6, so far it’s working flawlessly.
Unlike Samsung, Sony, LG and Microsoft (Nokia), Apple has never taken part in the megapixel war, instead the iPhone 6 comes with 8MP iSight camera similar to the iPhone 5S. While the pixel size and aperture remains same, Apple has added Focus Pixels (Phase Detection Autofocus) that help in faster and accurate autofocus. This feature really works as marketed and helps you take better images and videos. The phone comes with Digital Image Stabilization where the software compensates and negates the effect of the camera shake while taking images or videos.
The camera on the iPhone 6 protrudes a little, but I did not find it to be annoying. The lens is covered with sapphire glass so it should be well protected from any scuff and scratches. If you plan to use a case with your iPhone 6 then you will not even notice the protruding lens.
iPhone 5S had one of the best camera on any smartphone and iPhone 6 takes it a few steps further. With iOS 8, Apple introduced many new features for the native camera app like Time-lapse mode, timer mode, and the ability to adjust exposure right in the camera app. But something which is unique to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is Slow-Mo videos in 240FPS at 720p.
You can use the True Tone LED flash in low lights, it works the same as on the iPhone 5S – it checks the ambient light and then changes the color of the flash resulting in accurate skin tones. While the True Tone flash works to an extent, I would advice you that for better results take your images in well-lit environment.
The front facing camera is a 1.2MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, which lets in more light. Apple has also added auto HDR, timer and burst modes to the front facing camera.
iPhone 6 ships with iOS 8 pre-installed which was announced at the WWDC 2014. While iOS 8 did not bring a complete overhaul to Apple’s mobile operating system like iOS 7, it still brings many new features and tweaks to the platform. iOS 8 allows users to use third-party keyboards such as SwiftKey as the default keyboard for all apps. You now have a predictive keyboard that increases your typing speed (this can be turned off if not needed). You can finally have widgets on your iPhone, though only in the notification area but it is still a welcome feature in iOS 8.
The interactive notifications let you respond to messages, invites, tweets and more without even entering the apps, all you have to do is drag down the notifications when they appear. Now, you can track which apps are eating up your battery in the battery usage tab found in settings menu.
All these features are found in all iPhones and iPads that can run iOS 8, but a feature that is unique to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is Apple Pay.
There are many more features in iOS 8, which we will cover in a different post dedicated to iOS 8.
The new iPhones are equipped with NFC chip whose functionality is restricted to Apple Pay. Apple Pay is the ability to pay for products and services using contactless technology and Touch ID. This is incredibly useful for mobile payment transactions because the short distance and Touch ID verification makes it more secure than any other wireless connection. So now you don’t have to worry about a third-party getting unauthorized access to your sensitive information.
According to Apple- “With Apple Pay, your payments are private. Apple Pay doesn’t store the details of your transactions so they can’t be tied back to you. Since you don’t have to show your credit or debit card, you never reveal your name, card number, or security code to the cashier when you pay in a store”.
Apple Pay is only available in the U.S at the moment.
iPhone 6 comes with new storage options, which still starts at 16GB but the next available storage options are 64GB and 128GB. This is the first smartphone to ship with 128GB onboard storage option. As before, you cannot add more storage to an iPhone 6 via microSD card, but if you need extra storage then you can pay beforehand and get the one with 64GB or 128GB of internal memory. Adding 128GB internal storage option is a great step from Apple, but I would have liked if the basic storage option started at 32GB instead of 16GB.
iPhone 6 has a 1810mAh non-removable battery. Even though this battery has to power a larger 4.7-inch screen; it still lasts few hours longer than that of the iPhone 5S. While using the iPhone 5S, I used to charge it in the morning and by 8pm it had about 8-14% battery remaining, but with the iPhone 6 I have over 30% of battery remaining by the same time. This may vary from user to user depending on what you use your smartphone for. If you are a normal or average user then iPhone 6 battery will easily get you through the day and may be even more. However, if you are a heavy user and play lot of graphic based games or take a lot of pictures or videos with your phone then it may not last that long.
I still feel that instead of making a super thin phone, Apple could have added a 2100mAh battery and it would have made me (and a lot of users) happier.
The iPhone 6 starts at $649/Rs.53,500 for 16GB, $749/Rs.62,500 for 64GB and $849/Rs.71,500 for 128GB of internal storage. The 64GB version available at $749/Rs.62,500 offers better value when compared to last year’s iPhone 5S which at the launch was priced at $849/Rs.71,500.
With iPhone 6 Apple has given people what they wanted, A bigger iPhone. Even with bigger screen, it is comfortable enough to be used with one hand, and you will have no problems keeping it in your pocket (if you were worried about it). Once you hold this phone in your hand, you just cannot go back to smaller sized iPhone. The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners as well as for android users who want to switch to an iPhone. It is one of the best smartphone in the market that you can buy right now.
Let me know what you think of Apple’s iPhone 6 in the comments section below.
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