by Gareth Beavis and John McCann | via TechRadar |
Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6 – the eighth generation of iPhone – at a special event in Cupertino.
If you want to get a feel for the handset, head on over to ouriPhone 6 review, and keep an eye out for our iPhone 6 Plus and Watch reviews..
Apple needs to pull something very special out of the bag to keep itself relevant, so what does the iPhone 6 bring?
We’ve got all the latest details on Apple’s new iPhone right here, just for you.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including an entirely new design
- When is it out? It’s out now! The iPhone 6 was released on September 19
- What will it cost? From $649, £539, AU$869 SIM-free
iPhone 6 price
In the US, on a two year contract the iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the 16GB model, then it’s $299 for 64GB and $399 up front for 128GB of internal storage.
If you’re looking for a SIM-free iPhone 6 you’ll need to have a lot of money at the ready. The 16GB iPhone 6 will set you back $649, £539, AU$869, the 64GB model is $749, £619, AU$999, while the 128GB version is a whopping $849, £699, AU$1129 SIM-free.
The iPhone 6 is out now, but demand has been predictably high and Apple warns that even if you pre-ordered you might not get your iPhone 6 until October.
iPhone 6 design
This is the first of two major revisions for the new iPhone flagship – Apple has overhauled the squared off design which has been with us since the iPhone 4, with the iPhone 6 sporting a more rounded, slimmer body.
In fact it’s just 6.9mm thin, making it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market, and rumors about a protruding rear camera lens are also true.
It’s slightly heavier than the 5S at 129g, while the body measures 138.1mm x 67mm.
The power/lock key has been moved from the top of the handset to the right hand side, making it easier to hit during one handed use. On the left hand side you get the separated volume keys below a mute toggle switch.
The shell is metal and and the screen subtly curves into it, to create a sense of unity with minimal visible gaps in the construction.
iPhone 6 display
The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch LED back-lit display with a 1334 x 750 resolution – it’s Apple’s new “Retina HD” offering. That means you get a pixel density of 326ppi – the same as the iPhone 5S.
It also pales in comparison to the iPhone 6 Plus, with a full HD 1920 x 1080 5.5-inch screen with a 401ppi display.
But while the pixel density might not have changed the iPhone 6 delivers higher contrast and wider viewing angles than the iPhone 5S and it even features an improved polariser, so that colours look more natural when you use it while wearing sunglasses.
It’s not quite a match for the iPhone 6 Plus in this area, but based on the results of DisplayMate’s testing it’s still seemingly one of the best LCD displays around.
iPhone 6 power
The iPhone 6 packs in an A8, 64-bit second generation processor and a next-generation M8 motion coprocessor too. We’re also hearing that the iPhone 6 sticks with 1GB of RAM and has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, compared to the 1.3GHz dual-core iPhone 5S.
That might not sound like much of an upgrade, but Apple promises that the iPhone 6’s CPU and graphical performance are faster than last year’s handset even while powering a larger display.
The A8 chip is also up to 50 percent more energy efficient than the A7 and Apple has included a new technology called ‘Metal’, which is designed to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to deliver enhanced effects and more detailed graphics than past iPhone’s have been capable of, so we’re likely to see even more impressive games hit the App Store in future.
Moving on to the M8 motion coprocessor, this is a lot like the M7 version found in the iPhone 5S, except that it can now track steps, distance travelled and elevation changes, so it’s better than ever at monitoring your activity. In combination with the new Health app this should be appealing for fitness fans.
iPhone 6 camera
Apple has stuck with the 8MP rear camera on the iPhone 6, but it’s not the same as the one you’ll find on the iPhone 5S.
A new wide angle iSight lens, true tone flash, f/2.2 aperture, greater noise reduction, digital image stabilisation and a 2 x faster autofocus provide even better images.
There’s also a new Apple-design image signal processor built into the A8 chip to improve the way the iPhone 6 handles images.
That rear camera can shoot 1080p video (sorry 4K fans), and the Slo-mo video mode has been boosted to give you the option to record in either 120 fps or 240 fps. Videos also benefit from continuous autofocus, plus Apple has added a new time-lapse mode to the mix.
The front facing FaceTime camera has also been given some love. It’s actually a FaceTime HD camera now, with a f/2.2 aperture, and a new sensor which allows in up to 81% more light. There’s also HDR FaceTime video support, ensuring you’re perfectly lit.
Selfies get a boost too, as there’s now a Burst Mode which can capture ten shots per second. That along with Timer Mode and improved face detection should make it a breeze to take the perfect mug shot.
iPhone 6 battery
With a 50% more efficient processor along with a bigger 1810 mAh batterywe’ve unsurprisingly found that the battery life of the iPhone 6 is more than adequate and an improvement on the juice pack in the iPhone 5S.
Apple for its part claims that the iPhone 6 can keep going for up to 250 hours on standby, 12 hours of talk time, 11 hours of internet use or 50 hours of audio playback, which is a modest upgrade over the iPhone 5S.
iPhone 6 connectivity
The iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) sports CAT 4 LTE, offering data speeds of up to 150Mbps and it supports LTE coverage for 20 bands, covering over 200 networks worldwide. The most bands covered by any iPhone.
The iPhone 6 also supports 802.11ac, allowing for Wi-Fi speeds that are up to three times faster than is possible on 802.11n.
iPhone 6 operating system
There are no prizes for guessing the software that’s running on the iPhone 6.
Apple’s latest platform offering, iOS 8, was announced at its WWDC developers conference earlier this year and it’s on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
This isn’t a total overhaul, but it does add some useful new features and improvements. For example it includes third-party keyboard support, improved OS X integration, more interactive notifications, a new Health app and the ability for third-party apps to use Touch ID.
iPhone 6 Apple Pay
The iPhone 6 largely seems focused on changing and improving what’s already there, but Apple Pay is a genuinely new feature. Essentially it uses the iPhone 6’s new NFC chip to allow you to make contactless payments.
This isn’t a new idea but now that Apple’s getting into the game it might finally start to take off, especially as the company has already partnered with Visa, MasterCard and American Express.