Today Apple unveiled their new iPhones, ending months of rumours and speculation. As expected, two models debuted, both far larger than their predecessors. One model measures 4.7 inches, while the other spans a phablet-sized 5.5 inches. The new iPhones include a faster processor, contactless NFC payments, an improved camera and many other upgrades. Let’s take a closer look at what was announced.
The most notable difference between the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 6 is undoubtedly that of size. The display of the iPhone 5S measured just four inches across the diagonal, but the iPhone 6 is available with a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen. That’s a massive jump for Apple, who just two years ago were shipping a flagship phone with a 3.5-inch screen.
Apple are including a one-handed mode to alleviate some of the ergonomic downsides of these larger displays. The larger height and width of the iPhone has also allowed Apple to shrink the thickness of the iPhone. It’s now 6.9mm for the iPhone 6 and 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 Plus, while maintaining the same weight. The larger size is cleverly considered by Apple, who have added a ‘reachability’ gesture which moves the screen down so you can reach the top buttons.
Size isn’t the only difference between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5. The new phones also include a noticeably thicker border between the caps on top and bottom and the main rear panel. These are intended to improve reception, giving signals a place to escape the metal body. Other details include a lock button on the right hand side instead of the top, a circular flash and a camera lens that protrudes from the chassis.
One of the biggest new features of the iPhone 6 is contactless payments through a scheme called ApplePay. Like some bank cards in the UK, the NFC chip built into the phone allow you to pay for purchase in stores with a tap onto a point-of-sale terminal. The feature is safeguarded through the TouchID fingerprint sensor and a Secure Element. Apple have partnered with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for contactless payments, which appears in a upgraded Passbook iOS app.
The iPhone 6 will include a higher resolution 1334 x 750 pixel IPS display, which as mentioned earlier measures 4.7 inches. The iPhone 6 Plus, on the other hand, has a 1920 x 1080p screen at 5.5 inches. Inside either phone, you’ll find a new Apple A8 64-bit processor, 1 GB of RAM and at least 16GB of internal storage (up to 128GB). The whole thing is powered with a 1810mAh battery – small by Android standards, but enough for Apple to claim the same battery life as ever.
There’s an upgraded 8-megapixel camera on the rear, and a 2-megapixel camera up front for all your selfie needs. The iPhone 6 Plus also boasts optical image stabilisation, which allow the camera to operate at slower shutter speeds without being affected by shaking.
One of the biggest new features of the iPhone 6 is its contactless payments system, called Apple Pay. Like some bank cards in the UK, the NFC chip built into the phone allow you to pay for purchase in stores with a tap onto a point-of-sale terminal. The feature is safeguarded through the TouchID fingerprint sensor. Apple have partnered with Visa, MasterCard and American Express for contactless payments, which appears in a upgraded Passbook iOS app.
The iPhone 6 launches with iOS 8, with includes a lot of new features that bridge the feature gap between iOS and Android. Messages now includes multimedia content, third-party keyboards are now possible, and Apple have built a fitness app called Health which interfaces with iPhone sensors and the iWatch. More Android-like features include improved notifications (which can now be actioned directly from their dropdown menu or the lock screen) and widgets (in the notification center).
The iPhone has always enjoyed a wide range of third-party accessories, and the iPhone 6 is no different. We’ve already begun to add both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus accessories to our virtual shelves, and we’ll add dozens if not hundreds of additional accessories over the next few weeks. These range from cases and covers to chargers, in-car accessories like car chargers and car holders, battery packs, desk stands and screen protectors.
Most people will pick up at least one iPhone 6 cover for their new phone, and we’ll be well covered here. The iPhone 6 cases section of our shop already includes nearly 100 items, and will only grow from there. There are slightly fewer iPhone 6 Plus cases available, but these too will grow in number. Expect cases from all the biggest names, including OtterBox, LifeProof, Spigen, Moshi, Zenus, Belkin and many more.
UK price and release date
The iPhone 6 will go on pre-order from Friday, and the full launch will be on September 19th. The iPhone remains a premium handset, and as such will command a full price point when purchased sim-free. The 4.7-inch model comes in at £539, while the 5.5-inch model is slightly more expensive at £619. Of course, the iPhone 6 will also been available on contract.
So – the iPhone 6 has finally been announced! I’m excited to see the public and critical reception to the new phone, so please leave me your comments and impressions below. You can also reach us on Twitter @mobilefun or on Facebook at Love Your Mobile.