Your decision to get a new phone isn’t a small one. You’re either committing yourself to a two-year contract to get a discounted price or you’re forking out a big wad of dough. Either way you want to consider carefully many factors before making your purchase decision. Or, you could just follow the lead of millions of people around the world and get the iPhone 6.
If you’re looking for bigger and better, then you should look at the iPhone 6. This is bigger, though not biggest, iPhone launched last month in response to many people’s desire for a larger phone that wasn’t quite a phablet. Those who want most ginormous screen offered by Apple will go for the iPhone 6 Plus. But for a good chunk of the population, the iPhone 6 will be the sweet spot that gives them the convenience of a bigger screen with the comfort of being able to hold it in their hand.
But the improvements in the iPhone 6 go beyond the larger screen. The phone has new, advanced features that make the iPhone 6 a major upgrade over previous iPhone models.
In spite of its larger screen, the iPhone 6 is light, weighing in at a svelte 4.55 ounces (129 grams). Apple has shaved off width too, with the iPhone 6 measuring 0.27 in (6.7 mm), making it the thinnest iPhone ever. Yes, bigger can be smaller, as Apple has shown us with this phone.
Unlike the 5 and 5s with their squared edges, the iPhone 6 has curved edges, giving it a sleeker look and feel. The finishes are seamless, with surfaces flowing together to envelope the phone. You won’t see or feel rough edges or gaps, but an elegant design that has translated into a high-quality build.
The phone’s smooth, rounded edges feels well-honed in the hand but the size is definitely larger than previous iPhones. Be sure to hold one compared to the iPhone 6 Plus to see which one fits better in your hand.
The iPhone 6 has an advanced A8 processor, which is both smaller and faster than previous processors, plus an M8 processor that registers the motion of the phone. The M8 processor uses sensors including a barometer that can detect both distance and elevation, which can be useful for navigation and activity tracking.
Speed is improved as well with advanced Wi-Fi and LTE antennas, which will be able to transmit phone calls over Wi-Fi and and transfer between Wi-Fi and your cellular signal. Carriers in the US don’t yet offer this capability, though T-Mobile will be the first one to start in 2015.
The Retina display, first introduced in the iPhone 4, has received another upgrade with the iPhone 6, making the images sharper and the colors brighter. This screen has Retina HD display and 1334-by-750-pixel resolution. Apple added a feature called Dual-domain pixels so you can view the screen at wider angles. The fonts are clearer and the contrast is greater, making reading on the iPhone 6 much easier than with previous models.
The advanced display and larger screen also work well together when you’re viewing photos and watching videos. Apple added polarization to the screen so you can view the display in the sun when you’re wearing sunglasses.
Larger Screen and Apps
App developers now have 6 screen sizes to accommodate:
3.5″ for iPhone 4S and earlier
4.0″ for iPhone 5, 5c and 5s
4.7″ for iPhone 6
5.5″ for iPhone 6 Plus
7.9″ for iPad Mini
9.7″ for iPad
Count on most but not all apps taking advantage of the larger screen size of the iPhone 6. If your favorite app hasn’t been updated for over a year, chances are that it may not be updated in the future to be optimized for the additional screen real estate of the iPhone 6. But if an app is frequently updated, then it’s probably only a matter of time before an update arrives that will make the most of the iPhone 6 screen.
The good news is that Apple software scales apps that aren’t written for the iPhone 6 to take advantage of the larger size. While not as ideal as customized apps, scaling means that you won’t see black borders around older apps as you did when the iPhone 5 was launched.
If you prefer to use your phone one-handed, Apple has you covered with the iPhone 6 Reachability feature. Double-tap the home button (that’s “tap” not “press”) and the display compresses to a size you can navigate with your thumb.
The volume buttons on the sides are longer so you can reach them more easily. The power button has been moved to the side from the top of the phone so you can reach it with one hand. This new location can take some getting used to for those who are accustomed to a top power button, but I was able to adapt to it very quickly.
Apple lets you make the most of your screen by either seeing more items or by enlarging what you see by using Display Zoom. Display Zoom expands the view of your screen, making the icons and images larger.
You can access Display Zoom by going to Settings => Display & Brightness => View => Zoomed.
The iPhone 6 has an updated camera with faster autofocus capabilities and improved face detection. You can take time-lapse videos and larger panorama photos. Improved slow motion video capabilities and auto HDR for video are other improvements to the camera.
Here is a gallery of photos I took with the iPhone 6:
You can see full, uncompressed photos in my iPhone 6 Sample Photos album on Flickr
You will be able to pay using your iPhone 6 and Apple Pay, after it’s launched later this month. Take out your phone, hold your finger on the Home button using Touch ID and point it in the direction of the payment reader. You’ll feel a vibration when the transaction is successful.
You can read more about Apple Pay at Apple’s website.
The advanced processors are more efficient, operating with greater speed while using less power, thus extending the battery life of the iPhone 6.
Battery life according to Apple:
Audio: Up to 50 hours
HD Video: Up to 11 hours
Wi-Fi Browsing: Up to 11 hours
LTE Browsing: Up to 10 hours
3G Browsing: Up to 10 hours
3G Talk: Up to 14 hours
Standby: Up to 10 days (250 hours)
The iPhone 6 is available in Space Gray, Silver and Gold with storage space of 16, 64 and 128 GB.
With 2-year contract:
- $199 16 GB
- $299 64 GB
- $399 128 GB
Without a contract:
- $649 16 GB
- $749 64 GB
- $849 128 GB
Are you thinking of getting a new phone? Are you considering getting the iPhone 6? Which new and/or improved features of the iPhone 6 matter to you? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below!