Always wondered how a phablet-sized iPhone is like? Well, Apple has just made that a reality, with the announcement of the new iPhone 6 Plus, featuring a 5.5-inch Full HD display and a new screen technology.
The new iPhone 6 Plus is a radical shift away from previous iPhones, featuring a significantly larger display – at 5.5 inches across, it is a giant compared to previous 4-inch iPhones. The display itself also features a new Retina HD display, featuring dual-domain pixels to give a wider field of view. Amazingly, these displays also have the full sRGB wide colour gamut, which prompted Apple to call these displays “the best in the industry”. The 5.5-inch display’s resolution has also been bumped to a Full HD one, with a pixel density of 401ppi.
At 7.1mm thick, the iPhone 6 Plus is still thinner than the iPhone 5s, which measured 7.6mm. Nevertheless, the body maintains the premium finish Apple is renowned for, featuring an anodised aluminium finish, stainless steel Apple log and a glass display that curves into the sides.
Interestingly, with the new iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is also introducing a “Landscape View”, which encompasses all core apps as well as the home screen. With Landscape View, Apple claims you will be able to see more content and extra functionality with the bigger keyboard, which in landscape mode features additional keys including cut, copy and paste.
Gestures now take more prominence in the iPhone 6 Plus. Being a larger display, it was probably natural that Apple went this way. The swipe to go back gesture is now applicable system-wide, while the new “Reachability” gesture – a double-touch of the home button – slides the entire display down to the bottom half of the screen, allowing you to reach for the top buttons a lot easier.
And of course, the new iPhone 6 is powered by Apple’s latest processor, the 64-bit A8. As is Apple’s wont, the A8 is “50 times faster” and “84 times faster”…compared to the original iPhone processor.
More importantly, the A8 is also significantly more efficient, which should translate to better battery life; Apple claims the iPhone 6 Plus has a 24-hour talk time on 3G. In addition, there’s a M8 coprocessor that measures and processes motion data captured from the device’s various sensors. There’s even space for a barometer, too, to help measure elevation – which allows the iPhone to track the stairs that you’ve climbed, or how high you’ve hiked.
Another iPhone hallmark, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will support the most LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world, including the TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE networks in China. Both models will also support Voice-over-LTE and Wi-Fi calling for better reception on voice calls when conventional cell networks aren’t great.
As for the imaging properties of the new iPhone 6, both models will feature a new 8MP iSight rear camera with a new sensor and ISP. The sensor also sports a new technology called Focus Pixels, which determines focus direction and how far to move the lens. And, here’s one benefit of the larger iPhone 6 Plus: the phablet will pack in optical image stabilisation, while the 4.7-inch variant will retain a software-based stabilisation. The new burst mode will detect smiles and blinks in a group picture, and will then recommend the best one of the lot. And for selfie lovers, there’s a new “burst selfie” mode that captures 10 selfies in a row, which you can then select the best one from.
As for video, you can now not only shoot 120fps slow-mo footage, Apple is bumping that up to 240 frames per second, which is quite a feat. The new sensor now also captures time-lapse videos.
On top of all this, the new iPhone 6 Plus now finally has NFC connectivity, which powers the new Apple Pay mobile wallet solution. With Apple Pay, users simply connect an iTunes-linked credit or debit card and tap on a mobile payment machine to make a payment. Validation is done via Touch ID, making it a totally seamless experience to spend money. And with such a potentially high-risk commodity, Apple claims that the company does not have any information about where, when and how much you’ve paid in any given transaction, while the cashier will not be able to see any information on your credit card.
In addition to the standard silicone cases, Apple will for the first time offer a sleek leather case for the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’ll be available in five colours, including the PRODUCT(RED) colourway – which looks brilliant on leather, by the way.
International prices are not announced yet, but in the US the new iPhone 6 Plus can be purchased from $299 with a two-year contract. The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in three colours (Black, White and Space Grey) and yes, there is a new 128GB option. As for international availability, both models will be available in nine countries worldwide including the USA from September 19. Apple also states that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will hit 115 countries by the end of this year.