Meet the new generation of iPhones

iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus

Apple invited journalists to their September 9th event with the mysterious words “Wish we could say more”, creating a lot of hype and anticipation around that date. Apple did not disappoint journalists or fans with their announcements. One of the products that most people looked forward to seeing was the iPhone 6 but people got more than they bargained for with a second phone announced called the iPhone 6 Plus. This is the first time Apple has released two phones of different sizes that are in the same generation. We take a look at how these two new phones compare to their predecessor, as well as some of the other announcements Tim Cook (the CEO of Apple) bestowed upon the public.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Screen and dimensions

The iPhone 5S had a 4-inch screen size which is quite small when compared to the offerings of competitors like Samsung and LG. The iPhone 6, however, has bumped up its Retina HD screen size to 4.7-inch which is more in line with the norm on the smartphone market now. The iPhone 6 Plus takes it up a few notches with a 5.5-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (that’s 185 times that of the iPhone 5S).

The iPhone 6 Plus may be bigger than its predecessor but it is also thinner at 7.1 millimeters. The iPhone 6 is even thinner than that at 6.9 millimeters but the camera at the back protrudes slightly, adding some size in the process. The iPhone 6 has a screen resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels.

There were rumours of a sapphire display but that didn’t come to fruition. However, the screens are ion-strengthened which makes it extra hard and therefore more difficult to damage.

Colours and capacity

The colours you can choose to buy your new iPhone in do not differ from previous offerings. You get white, grey or gold. Capacity, on the other hand, has been increased with both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus having the ability to go up to 128GB. But, keep in mind, that extra capacity comes with a bigger price tag as well.

Design

Many say that the sixth-generation iPhones resemble the original Apple phone designs with a softer, less boxy look. The back is rounded, they are thinner and the all-glass front kind of melts into the curved metal edges of the phone. There are complaints about the camera at the back protruding too much since this can easily become damaged when put down on any surface with the camera facing downwards.

Price

Speaking of price, a 16GB iPhone 6 will make your wallet $199* lighter and its highest capacity offering of 128GB will cost you $399*.

Starting price is $299* for the iPhone 6 Plus but the 128GB will cost you $499*.

* Prices are for those on a two-year contract.

Camera

Many people buy iPhones for the ability to produce Instagram-worthy images and Apple knows this. So, the new iPhones both sport improved cameras. Both have the same 8 megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture as the iPhone 5S. The difference is in the sensor which is called the next-generation iSight sensor with focus pixels. This new sensor offers DSLR-like autofocus and is twice as fast as the iPhone 5S. So, now you will be able to take HDR images with a single shot instead of a series of shots as before.

True Tone Flash has been brought back which uses two LEDs to match up the colour temperature for better flash photos. It also has image stabilization technology for when you’re feeling a bit shaky and videos are shot at 1080p (30 to 60 frames per second). You can also take slow-motion videos which I’m sure will supply endless hours of fun.

Battery life

Now you can spend even more time on your phone with the iPhone 6’s increase of 10 hours more talk time and an hour more for browsing. The iPhone 6 Plus gets twice as much talk time as its predecessor (from 40 hours to 80) and a couple of hours more browsing time.

Release dates

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will officially be released on September 19 in the UK and the US. The iOS 8 operating system will become available for free upgrade on September 17.

More Apple announcements

Apple Watch

Everyone anticipated Apple’s wearable tech offering to be called the iWatch but it is simply called the Apple Watch. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, described it as “the most personal device (we’ve) ever created”. It is a fashion accessory, timepiece, fitness tracker, payment method and communication tool all wrapped into one device.

It will come in two sizes with six different Apple-designed straps (such as the leather sports band that uses magnets for fastening). It is not a standalone device – you will need an iPhone for it to work at all. The Apple Watch has a touchscreen that can easily tell the difference between a single tap and a long press. It also has a side-mounted dial that is supposed to be similar to the iPod’s clickwheel for zooming in and out, and scrolling, without obscuring the screen.

This wearable device is a great health monitoring tool that counts your steps and monitors your heart rate, among other things. It charges inductively, meaning wirelessly using an electromagnetic field transferring energy between two objects.

Not all of the features of the Apple Watch were revealed but some include being a controller for your Apple TV, serving as a viewfinder for your iPhone’s camera and acting as a walkie-talkie.

The Apple Watch will become available at the beginning of 2015 at a cost of $349 (on a two-year contract).

Apple Pay

The most widely accepted method of making payment through an electronic device has so far been NFC (near-field communication), something that Apple has steered cleared of – until now. The iPhone now has a NFC antenna on top of it so that Apple Pay, the company’s answer to Google Wallet, can function.

All that is needed to make payment is a picture of a credit card or the use of a card already on file with an iTunes account. A fingerprint reader adds an extra layer of security seeing as many have questioned the safety of this payment method.

Apple has struck deals with Visa, American Express and MasterCard, along with 6 (American) banks and 22,000 retailers where Apple Pay can be used. Currently the majority of support is for US citizens and Apple hopes to make the NFC method of payment a commonplace occurrence.

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