One of the biggest events on the smartphone calendar has just ended with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook having given the world a new selection of Apple flavoured goodies to anticipate before they become available later in the year. The new iPhone 6 comes in two display sizes a regular 4.7 inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus which should hopefully sate the market’s desire for large smartphone displays.
Both phones are offered in 16GB, 64GB and for the first time ever 128GB storage variants with prices increasing accordingly as well as in three colour variations, white, black and gold.
Apple has also included an NFC chip and launched a new mobile payments solution which it is calling Apple Pay that works in conjunction with the TouchID fingerprint sensor exactly as the previously leaked information had stated that it would. Apple Pay already has MasterCard, VISA, American Express and six of the biggest banks in the US signed up to work with it and will not only handle payments in the real world, it will also take over in app payments as well. Apple Pay is rolling out in the US initially with Apple promising that it will roll it out in new countries shortly.
First up was a new flagship iPhone which continued the iPhone naming convention being called the iPhone 6. It has a 4.7 inch display with a resolution of 750×1 334 which equates to a pixel density of 326ppi which is identical to that of the iPhone 5s.
Design wise the new iPhone 6 bears a striking resemblance to the iPad Mini and the iPad Air with similar rounded corners instead of the squared off edges that iPhones have had since the introduction of the iPhone 4. Combined with a thinner body than its predeecessor the iPhone 6 should, in theory, feel a lot slimmer in hand than the phone actually is in much the same way that the new Sony Xperia Z3 feels drastically slimmer than the Z2 it replaced.
There’s a new 64-bit processor from Apple called the A8 with an upgraded version of the motion co-processor called the M8. According to Apple the A8 is around 25% fast and up to 50% more efficient than the outgoing Apple A7 processor. The M8 motion co-processor adds a barometer in to its repertoire which now allows it to estimate your elevation and work out when you’re climbing stairs or running up hill to better calculate calories being burned.
The camera remains at 8 megapixels but receives a few new features that should keep iPhone camera users happy. High dynamic range (HDR) photos are now taken with one picture as opposed to the two that it currently takes and panoramas can now be massive at 43 megapixels. Video can be recorded at normal speed at a buttery smooth 60 frames per second (fps) and slow motion video can be taken at either 120fps or even 240fps.
Software wise the new iPhone 6 runs on the latest version of Apple’s operating system iOS 8 which will be available to download from the 17th of September.
iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple’s first tast of the phablet market with its 5.5 inch display getting a standard full HD 1 080×1 920 display resolution amounting to a pixel density of 401ppi. It runs on the same Apple A8 and M8 processors that the vanilla iPhone 6 uses as well as using the same iOS 8 operating system that the smaller phone uses but with some interesting additions that the larger display allows it to do.
It’s the first iPhone to be given a horizontal display orientation for its home screen and gets additional panels in apps like Mail and Messages in much the same way an iPad would leading some to call the 6 Plus the mini iPad Mini. It also has a nice trick that allows you to double tap the home button (not press, but tap) which then pulls the app downwards allowing for easier one handed operation.
Like the smaller iPhone 6 the iPhone 6 Plus’ design bears a striking resemblance to the iPads and like the HTC One (M8) had a very tall profile with thin bezels on the side that – from the videos we have seen of the phone so far – given users of the phone the impression that it is in fact much slimmer than it really is.
Camera wise the iPhone 6 Plus is identical to the iPhone 6 in all but one very important area with the inclusion of physical optical image stabilisation as well as the digital image stabilisation found on its smaller sibling.