It’s here, the day that iPhone fans, Apple fans, and even Apple’s detractors have been waiting for. After all whether you love or hate Apple, it’s a safe bet to say that many are definitely curious as to what Apple might have in store for us. Well the good news is that the wait is finally over as Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6!
While Apple might have been thought of as one of the more secretive tech companies around, let’s face it, they didn’t exactly do a good job keeping a lid on those iPhone leaks because weeks and months ahead of its official announcement, schematics, components, renderings, and etc. of the iPhone 6 have made its way around the internet more than once over.
Design & Display
However we guess that does save us some time as we can happily confirm that the iPhone 6 will be launched in two different sizes – the 4.7-inch more and the 5.5-inch model, which will be known as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus respectively. As expected from the rumors, both models will feature different resolutions and pixel densities. The 4.7-inch model will have a resolution of 1334×750, as predicted, although the 5.5-inch model will sport a 1920×1080 display which is slightly lower than what was initially predicted. The displays are protected by what Apple calls Ion-Strenghtened Glass, which is simply a typical high-strength anti-scratch glass similar, if not identical, to Gorilla Glass.
Perhaps to the untrained eye, the difference in pixel density might not be readily noticeable, but we guess if you’re really particular and if you have an eye for detail, then perhaps the 5.5-inch model might be a better pick, but other than that we guess it’s really up to you as to how big you are willing to go and how much you are willing to spend.
If you’re worried about apps not fitting the larger screens, you can rest assured because unlike the move to the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5, Apple has had plans for larger screens for a while now and apps will just scale accordingly, although ultimately it would be preferable if developers were to optimize their apps for the different sizes and resolutions.
Also in case it wasn’t already obvious, Apple has come up with a completely new design for the iPhone 6, and as expected they are thinner than ever. The iPhone 6 will measure 6.9mm thin while the Plus will measure 7.1mm, both of which are thinner than the iPhone 5s which measure 7.6mm. They are pretty much what the earlier photos and leaks have shown us, albeit slightly more cleaned up for marketing purposes.
In some ways the new iPhone 6 has borrowed the design of the iPad Air and the iPad mini. However at the same time, we can’t help but feel that Apple could also be revisiting its older designs as it does remind us of the first-generation iPhone, although it does look a lot thinner and sleeker. The buttons have been redesigned and the power button has also been relocated, thus making it easier to access with one hand.
Whether or not this is a good thing will largely depend on your aesthetic preferences, but if you’re not a fan, then we guess you’ll just have to wait until 2016 which is when Apple will most likely reveal their next design.
Under The Hood
Both iPhone models will also be powered by Apple’s A8 processor which is a 64-bit processor and the successor to last year’s iPhone 5s’ A7 processor. As expected Apple is lauding the performance of its A8 chipset and according to them, it is 20% faster than the A7 and its GPU is said to be 50% faster than its predecessor, but whether or not you will actually feel the difference remains to be seen.
Apple has also introduced the new M8 co-processor, the successor to the M7 from last year. It will be slightly more refined and one of the differences is that it can distinguish between activities like running and cycling. This is done through the introduction of a barometer which was hinted at in an earlier rumor.
According to Apple, they claim that the iPhone 6 will have a battery life of 14 hours for 3G talk, while the iPhone 6 Plus will have a battery life of 24 hours for 3G talk, which is pretty impressive. While these numbers sound promising, we should note that this will really boil down to what you do with your phone. Playing games, watching videos, and surfing the net would undoubtedly drain your battery really fast, but listening to music, making calls or sending messages might last you a little bit longer.
Moving on to the camera, it looks like the rumors were true about Apple keeping the same megapixels which is at 8MP. They have also kept the aperture to f/2.2 and have introduced phase detection autofocus which should allow photographers to autofocus twice as fast as before.
We have pointed this out before and we will point it out again – megapixels don’t necessarily guarantee good images. This will depend on your image processing engine, your lens, the right composition, and so on. However if you’re the type that likes to zoom in and crop, then we guess perhaps a higher megapixel count would have been ideal. Other than that if you’re just going to upload photos onto Instagram or Facebook, it should be more than capable of getting the job done.
Apple has also finally brought optical image stabilization to the iPhone, sort of. The iPhone 6 will get digital image stabilization while the iPhone 6 Plus will get optical image stabilization. While many iPhone owners have probably gotten by without the technology, it is still a very welcome feature and we guess one less thing for Apple’s competitors to make fun of.
As for the front-facing camera, Apple claims to have added a larger sensor, a wider aperture at f/2.2 which will let 81% more light in, which will be great for those selfies and video calls.
Pricing & Availability
In terms of pricing, we guess it’s hardly a surprise to learn that the iPhone 6 will cost less than the iPhone 6 Plus. The former will be priced starting at $199 for the 16GB model with a two-year contract and will increase in price depending on how big a storage you want, while the latter is priced starting at $299 for the 16GB model, also on a two-year contract with a carrier, and will see an increase in price depending on the storage size you choose.
Both models will go up for pre-order on the 12th of September, this Friday, and will be available for purchase on the 19th of September in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. As for global availability, Apple expects that they will arrive in 115 countries by the end of the year.