And it’s official.
Apple just announced its two new iPhones: the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus.
As the announcement is ongoing at Cupertino, here’s what we know about the new devices so far. [Editor’s Note: The event is now over.]
Two Different Sizes
This was the one that everyone knew was coming and came as expected- the iPhone 6, and it comes in two sizes. The iPhone 6 is smaller with a 4.7-inch display and 1334 x 750 pixel resolution, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a larger 5.5-inch panel and a more pixel-dense 1920 x 1080 resolution. This makes the iPhone 6 Plus the biggest iPhone ever released.
This is a great step up from the questionable iPhone 5C release of last year, and shows that Apple is still committed to create beautiful and expensive-looking products.
The biggest disappointment was that it doesn’t have a Sapphire Crystal Screen, as rumoured. However, the screen is ion-strengthened to be scratch-proof.
Despite the large size, the iPhone 6 focuses on retaining the one-handed use that everyone prefers. Apple has made the iPhone 6 the thinnest iPhone ever created at 6.9mm and 7.1mm for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus respectively, making even the large iPhone 6 Plus thinner than the iPhone 5S.
However, it doesn’t come with the flimsiness that you would expect from an iPhone this thin. Its stainless steel frame and rounded edges makes it feel and look sturdier.
It also has a ‘reachability’ feature that moves the top of the screen down to your thumb. With just two taps of the home button, it makes sure that you are still able to either change the URL in Safari, or change the photo album you’re looking at with just one hand.
iPhone 6 Plus can also be used in landscape alignment – as you tilt it sideways, the homescreen will tilt as well, accomodating people who would prefer to hold the 5.5 inch screen firmly with both hands.
Clearer, Faster, and Better
The image quality is even better than the iPhone 5, featuring “Retina HD” displays with over 1 million pixels for the iPhone 6 and 2 million pixels for the iPhone 6 plus. The images and texts are so crisp and clear that they almost looks printed onto the screen.
With the new Apple A8 processor – CPU perfomance is 25 percent faster, and features 2 billion transistors, while graphics performance is also 50 percent faster. As a whole, that would mean that the iPhone 6 will work better, faster, and you wouldn’t have to worry about slow and laggy phone activity. Their motion coprocessor M8 also improves the iPhones ability to record motion data, to better suit iOS 8’s new iHealth, with the accelerometer, altitude-tracker, and pace-tracker working to give a holistic view of your health quality.
The battery that Apple has been lacking over its rivals is now also improved, with 10-12 hours of 3G browsing, 50-80 hours of Audio, and 11-14 hours of video watching. This was one of the most requested upgrades for the iPhone 6, and while it is a step up, the iPhone 6 only seems a small step up from the iPhone 5S. With all the new capabilities of the iPhone 6, the old question of whether the better battery will be just enough to serve those new features or actually prolong phone usability is not quite answered yet. Only after its release will we see really see if this upgrade will let us use a full charge (and all iPhone functions) for a full day.
Both handsets have 802.11ac WiFi support, a relatively new WiFi tech that carries a theoretical max. It sports a transfer speed of ~1 Gbps, making wifi surfing faster than ever.
The iphone 6 also comes with a new feature – WiFi calling. Taking the same principal as popular wifi-calling services Skype and Nanu, Apple takes it a step further and makes it so that when you leave a wifi zone while on a call, the call doesn’t drop but instead transfers you to your cellular service. Starhub is one of the service provider partners for this feature in Singapore, though the details of this partnership has not been announced.
Camera and Video Functions
The new iPhone 6 camera includes brand new software that supports focus pixels and uses phase detection to allow for autofocus that is truly auto. While taking a video, the video function will shift the focus seamlessly according to where you are pointing it, giving it an almost cinematic feel. The camera also works better under low lighting, so you can take photos wherever and whenever you want. Their slow-mo function is also improved to take 120fps or 240fps, giving it a boosted dramatic feel.
iPhone 6 Plus has all these features, but with an image stabilization feature. Working exactly like the Hyperlapse app released by Instagram a while ago, the image stabilisation makes you look like you’re gliding through the air while taking a video in motion. Perhaps Instagram should have waiting for this release before launching the Hyperlapse app, because from what we saw at the event, it would work pretty much the same way, except you don’t need a separate app for it.
New Payments Platform – Apple Pay
The rumours had called it. Apple announced their new “payment process” – Apple Pay. It uses NFC and Touch ID to verify payments, and comes with a ‘passbook’ where you can store all your virtual credit cards, simply by taking a photo of the credit card to store information and verifying it with your bank.
Apple doesn’t store your credit card details themselves – instead, they create a one-time device-only number that works solely through Apple. You’ll never need to share it anymore when you shop online, and if your phone gets stolen, you can just cancel payments without having to risk your security.
Apple Pay will launch first with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, and can already be used with 220,000 merchant locations, including Apple Stores, Whole Foods, Macy’s, Disney, and McDonald’s. It is still uncertain if this will include McDonald’s Singapore or any other Singapore/Malaysia based businesses.
Apple Pay launches October 2014. It is also available on the Apple Watch.
Prices and Availability
The iPhone 6 goes at a starting price of US$199 for 16GB, and goes up US$299 for 64GB, and 128GB for just US$399. iPhone 6 Plus goes at starting price of US$299 for 16GB, US$399 for 64GB, and 128GB for US$499. Even prices of the iPhone 5 range is slashed, with the iPhone 5C going for free.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be released in Singapore on the 19th of September, and pre-orders begin on the 12th.
Here are the other photos we took from the main event :