Apple has announced two new phones today, The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. iPhone 6 has a 4.7in display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in display.
The 4.7in screen, up from 4.3in on the iPhone 5S, has 38% more pixels than its predecessor with a resolution of 1,334×750.
The camera remains at 8-megapixels, it seems that Apple isn’t convinced of the benefits of a higher-resolution sensor and we largely agree in principle. The big 1.5 micron pixels from the iPhone 5S make a return, so low-light photography should be good. The big addition is phase-detect autofocus, which should allow for far faster focus times.
Inside is a new Apple A8 processor which has 2bn transistors, that’s twice as many as the old A7. Apple is claiming the new 20nm chip has 50% more graphics power than its predecessor, great news for gamers, plus it’s also 25% faster as a CPU, so the new iOS8 operating system should run very smoothly indeed. Amazingly, it’s also 50% more energy efficient – which should bode well for both battery life. Apple is claiming 10 hours of 3G or 4G browsing from the device, which sounds excellent.
The A8 includes a new image processor too, with hardware for faster face detection, better smile and blink detection when choosing the best shot from a burst. Video is also improved, with 1080p support at 60fps now and slow-motion video at up to 240fps.
New features include a barometer sensor, so the new iPhone knows your elevation and can make better fitness tracking calculations. An improved front-facing Facetime camera as well, with a new sensor and bigger aperture, for 81% more light than the previous model.
The new iPhone eschews the sharper edges of recent models and returns to a curved, metal outer shell, which is somewhat reminiscent of the HTC One line of handsets – especially with the inset strips at the top and bottom of the handset, which are needed so that the internal antennas can work properly. Again, the handset is available in the same three colours as the iPhone 5S: Gold, Silver or Space Grey.
The iPhone 6 is almost 1mm slimmer than its predecessor, at 6.9mm to 7.6mm. That makes it a seriously slender handset, slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S5 at 8.1mm. It looks fantastic we think, and this slender appearance is down to Apple not boosting the battery size, but instead making the handset more efficient.
The LCD panel will have a resolution of 1,920×1,080, which is 185 per cent more pixels than the iPhone 5s. This gives the iPhone 6 Plus a pixel density of 400 PPI (pixels-per-inch). That’s a little lower than the current crop of Android flagship phones, as the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a PPI of 432, while the HTC One M8 and LG G3 have PPIs of 441 and 534 respectively.
Measuring just 7.1mm thick, the iPhone 6 Plus is 0.5 mm thinner than the 5s, which is pretty impressive for such a large handset. By comparison, the Galaxy S5 (which is currently the thinnest Android flagship phone available) measures 8.1mm thick. The power button has also been relocated to the side of the phone for easy access.
iPhone 6 Plus will run iOS 8, Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, but it will also have a different UI compared to the smaller iPhone 6. On the iPhone 6 Plus, faces will be visible in the Messaging app, and you’ll also be able to get a dual-pane display by turning the phone horizontal. It’s a similar idea to how the iPad Mini’s Messaging app currently works. The home screen will also work horizontally and the keyboard has a new set of buttons for working in landscape, including cut, copy and paste buttons.
The iPhone 6 Plus will be powered by a 64-bit Apple A8 chip, which has a 20 per cent faster CPU and 50 per cent faster graphics than the current A7 chip. It’s also 13 per cent smaller. This should lead to better sustained performance so the phone can run at full power without getting unbearably hot. iOS gaming fans will also be pleased to hear the iPhone 6 Plus will come with Metal, Apple’s 3D app and game engine that was introduced last year.
The iPhone 6 Plus will also come with a brand new motion co-processor called the M8. This is designed for fitness apps and will be able to tell the difference between cycling and running, as well as calculate distance and elevation. This is done through a barometer, which measures relative elevation.
The iPhone 6 Plus will support 802.11ac Wi-Fi and you’ll be able to make calls over Wi-Fi as well using the Wi-Fi Calling app. So far, only EE in the UK has been announced to support the feature.
The camera is an 8-megapixel sensor with an f2.2 aperture and true-tone flash. Apple said the phone will use its next-generation iSight sensor which has a phase-detection autofocus, making it twice as fast as the iPhone 5s. Panorama shots can be up to 43-megapixels and face, smile and blink detection is now faster and better than ever.
The iPhone 6 Plus also comes with optical image stabilisation, which is a big bonus over the iPhone 6’s digital image stabilisation. This adjusts the lens to take account of hand shake and will be the first iPhone to have this feature. The camera will also be able to shoot Full HD video at either 60fps or 30fps and can do slow-mo video at either 120fps or 240fps. The front-facing FaceTime camera has also been updated. It also has a larger f2.2 aperture to allow up to 81 per cent more light in and has a burst selfie mode.