After much speculation and leakage of photos, Apple have finally announced three new products. The iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the much anticipated Apple Watch (not iWatch as speculated!).
The biggest difference to previous releases of new iPhones is that Apple have finally given in and gone for a big screen. The iPhone 6 has a slightly bigger screen than the 5S (4.7 inches compared to 4) but the 6 Plus has a much bigger screen than other Apple phones at 5.5 inches. This allows it to finally compete with the likes of Sony, HTC, Samsung and Nokia on screen size.
New Phones, Slightly Different Look
As with all releases of new iPhones, there are many minor cosmetic differences, but nothing ground breakingly different in the design. The new phones have curved edges, and are both thinner than the iPhone 5S, despite both being larger. The volume buttons on the sides are different and the lock button has moved to the side, but other than that, the phones look very similar.
Aside from the dimensions (iPhone 6 boasts a 4.7 inch screen, 6 Plus a 5.5, compared to the 5S 4 inch screen) the biggest differences are under the bonnet.
Apple is including a new chip in both phones called the A8 Chip, which Apple says is 25% faster than the A7, and 50% more efficient. This should improve performance, as well as battery life. Apple says that battery life is “the same, or better” – so this suggests that the size of the battery may have been reduced to result in a slimmer phone, but the efficiency of the phone has been improved to achieve an equal battery life.
The motion processor has been improved, so that it can now take things like stairs or hills into account when calculating distance. This should improve the accuracy of a lot of fitness/run-tracking apps, as they will now know if you are climbing or descending an incline.
There’s even now a barometer inside the iPhone that collects atmospheric data. This will probably result in some quite interesting and more accurate weather apps.
The new iPhones support NFC (Near Field Communication). It’s the same technology that allows contactless payments and your Oyster card to work. To take advantage of this, Apple is launching “Apple Pay” to enable people to pay for their goods and services with their phones.
The LTE modem has been upgraded, so now the phone will support voice calls over a 4G network. The in-built WiFi has also received an upgrade, making it three times faster than the previous generation, though you are of course limited to the speed of your network. You can now make calls over Wi-Fi too – which the phone will do by default – giving you much better clarity in your house. If you walk too far away from the access point, the call will automatically be handed over to the cellular network, without being dropped.
The camera has been improved too. It’s 8MP, with the ability to take 43MP panoramic shots – and it has improved autofocus and digital image stabilisation. The 6 plus also includes optical image stabilisation, as it has a lens capable of moving up and down, and side to side. The camera on both models can film 1080p video, and slow motion video at 240 fps.
Strangely, Apple have dropped the 32GB storage options for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The phones are available as 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. 32GB is likely the option many would have gone for – as you’re not too limited on space, but have no need for 64GB.
Both models are due to be available to the public on September 19th.