iPhone 6: A Little Bit Bigger, A Whole Lot Better

This is it. Apple just announced the iPhone 6, a sleek sliver of aluminium that comes in two sizes. The screen on the smaller of the two measures 4.7 inches diagonally, and depending on the nature of your needs (and the size of your hands) it might just be the perfect phone for you.


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Design

The iPhone 6 is pretty. The device sheds the boxy profile of its predecessor in favor of rounded edges. It's also significantly thinner than any other iPhone — 6.9mm thick for the model with the 4.7-inch screen!

The iPhone 5's combination of flat anodised aluminium and flat glass panels has been replaced with an all anodised aluminium case with ion-strengthened glass that curves around the front. (Apple did not mention the word "sapphire", so it's safe to assume the new tech didn't make the cut this time around.) The lock button is now located on the side of the device so that it's easier to reach.

The overall effect brings the iPhone 6 design in line with that of the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Like the iPad, the new iPhone also features an embedded Apple logo in the back case. It is pretty no matter which way you look at it.

Screen

The new iPhone lineup also features a new generation of displays that Apple's calling Retina HD. That means 38 per cent more pixels are being packed into the 4.7-inch screen. Bigger screen and more pixels means the picture is sure to be beautiful.

Other upgrades include an improved polariser and an ultrathin backlight.

NFC and Apple Pay

Near Field Communication (NFC) has finally arrived in the iPhone. After years of avoiding the technology, Apple appears to be doubling down on NFC in order to enable touch-to-pay functionality. In fact, the company is launching a whole payments program called Apple Pay.

Apple Pay is meant to replace your physical wallet on the secure element platform. Your identity is confirmed using Touch ID at the point of sale. Apple Pay also uses the Passbook app to keep track of all your credit and debit cards. You can use the card you already have on file in the iTunes Store. If you add a new one, Apple doesn't store the card number — it creates a device-specific ID — and doesn't see or store information about your purchases. If you lose your phone, you can disable Apple Pay using Find My iPhone.

However, Apple Pay isn't just for retail use. The system will also be integrated into a number of apps, from Uber to Open Table, to enable one-touch purchases. ApplePay comes with the iPhone 6, but it's also available with the iOS 8 upgrade.

Guts

IPhone 6 Guts: A Screaming Processor and a Better Camera Than Ever

The new generation of iPhones isn't only increasing in size but speed as well. Apple just announced its next-generation A8 processor that will be baked into the iPhone 6 and most likely future iPad Airs. Apple confirms rumours that the A8 has over one billion transistors and is 13 per cent smaller, 25 per cent faster and 50 per cent more efficient than its A7 predecessor.

Apple is also introducing a new generation of M8 chip can tell when you're cycling, walking, running and can measure distance and elevation even if you go up a flight of stairs. The A8 does inherit some traits from the A7, primarily its dual-core and 64-bit architecture characteristics, however it's manufactured with the 20nm process rather than the A7's 28nm process.

From a straight spec comparison between chips, such as the Snapdragon 805 found in Samsung's new Galaxy Note 4, the A8 may not seem like a big deal. The 805 is quad-core 2.7GHz SoC, but it's important to remember that the A8 is a custom job, built and optimised specifically for Apple products and iOS, whereas Qualcomm creates stock chips for multiple smartphones. A pure spec sheet comparison doesn't come close to telling the whole story.

All the forthcoming Apple ads (and believe me, they're coming) will obviously, and maybe justly, focus on the iPhone 6's new slim exterior, but Apple isn't just about cosmetics. It's the marriage of design, software, and the impressive guts inside that holds the world's attention every September.

Other little improvements include an upgraded LTE modem that promises faster upload and download speeds. The new LTE technology accommodates VoLTE. And 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is supposed to be three times faster than the previous generation. With VoLTE, the new iPhone can make calls over Wi-Fi using your cellular connection.

Battery life, by the way, is supposed to be the same or better as the previous generation of iPhones. The iPhone 6 will have 14 hours of 3G talk time.

Camera

After upgrading the iPhones brains and brawn, all that's left is its vision. Because Apple slimmed down its devices (5.58mm!), it has also had to tinker with the camera module to make it fit, and even then it still protrudes slightly on the back. The lens remains the same with an 8 iSight camera, truetone flash and a f/2.2 aperture. This most likely is so people can take advantage of iOS 8's manual camera controls. The improved image signal sensor in the A8 makes advanced face detection possible, which means better focus.

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 plus will each have digital image stabilisation. However, the Apple's phablet offering will also include optical image stabilisation, which will help capture steady video and better pictures in low light. Concerning video, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus can take 1080p video at 30fp or 60fps. If you want to dial the speed down with the iPhone's slo-mo function, those frame rates jump up to 120 fps or 240 fps.

The New iPhone Has Burst Mode For Selfies

Burst mode, for the uninitiated will take several photos with one push of a button. This joins a number of other features that make the iPhone 6's camera better than ever. The lens is the same with an 8MP iSight camera, truetone flash and a f/2.2 aperture, but it has a bunch of manual controls, an improved image signal sensor and digital image stabilisation. But perhaps most importantly, the new iPhone's selfie burst mode leaves you with the question, why take one selfie when you can take one hundred?

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone 6 will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models for $869, $999 and $1129 respectively in Australia. The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models for $999, $1129 and $1249 respectively. Both phones will be available from Apple, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and other carriers from September 19 onwards. Pre-orders start on September 12.


Comments

    OK, for a moment I forgot my skepticism. Well done Apple, but no waterproofing= no sale for me

      Yeah, all top of the range expensive phones should be waterproof, tough and allow for inductive charging, even if that makes them slightly bulkier and heavier, I hate buying a new phone only to feel guilted into putting a condom over it and shove fiddly cables in it, when you get use to not having to do that, going back to doing it feels like a huge step backwards. Plus, being able to use the phone in the shower is very important to me, when you are married with kids, it's basically the only alone time you get.

      Yeah same here. You would think the smooth design itself would make water resistance a snap but apparently not. I'm sure Apple gets a too big a profit from there Apple Care and telco insurance plans to make phones waterproof and shatterproof.

    Yeah I love using my phone in the shower, pool, rain etc...

      Rain is a real possibility and I hate having to try and protect my phone while talking in the rain and holding an umbrella at the same time. Waterproof smartphones should be a norm in 2014, not a future expectation.

        Why not get out of the rain what a joke

    Meh. Apple used to be the innovators and game changers. Now they're the ones playing catch up and making products in response to competitors' better offerings, rather than the other way round.

      personally i think everyone is all about the same now. no one is coming out with huge advancements, just incremental adjustments.

      you say catching up, I say they held back just to fuck with their Apple Lovers.

    wish they would ditch this space grey colour and get back into the deep dark black game.

    After reading this my main conclusion is 1. Gizmodo got paid for these stories because there is like zero bias. 2. They made an iphone out of the latest ipod touch and 3. replacing the screen on this one when they inevitably break is going to be a bitch!

      How can Giz have been paid for these articles if there is zero bias? If there was bias (and I havent come across any yet, being an Android lover, and I think Giz know very well not to show bias) Im quite sure people would be all over it in the comments section.

        usually they compare features with other phones and don't sound like an Ad for apple trishool.

      @maniac256 You're right. IFA was last week.
      LOTS of big news from Samsung, LG, Sony, Asus, Nokia and others. That's why:

      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/sony-ifa-2014-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/nokia-ifa-press-conference-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/samsung-galaxy-note-4-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/asus-ifa-2014-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens-2/

      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/samsung-galaxy-note-4-better-in-all-the-right-places/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-hands-on-with-the-asus-zenwatch/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-hands-on-with-the-lg-g-watch-r/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/nokias-new-charger-tells-you-when-your-phone-needs-juice/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/toshibas-chromebook-gets-a-redesign-full-hd-model/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-listening-to-sonys-800-mdr-z7-headphones/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-hands-on-with-sonys-xperia-z3-and-z3-compact/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/samsung-galaxy-note-4-better-in-all-the-right-places/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-sonys-new-z3-tablet-compact-smartband-talk-and-smartwatch/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-hands-on-with-sonys-ilce-qx1-interchangeable-lens-camera/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/ifa-2014-hands-on-with-ps4-remote-play-on-sonys-xperia-z3/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/samsung-and-lg-want-your-next-tv-to-be-curved-and-ultra-hd/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/asus-ifa-2014-press-conference-live-stream/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/sony-ifa-2014-press-conference-live-stream/
      http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/samsung-galaxy-note-4-press-conference-live-stream/

    So either Giz users are complaining that Apple hasn't announced a new iPhone yet, or they're complaining that it doesn't come with lasers and booster rockets when it does get announced. Props to all of you for finding a way to be dissatisfied with anything Apple produces! #wherecanIjointheAppleHatebandwagon

      The dissatisfaction is not having done anything thats not already being done in a million other ways.

      All Apple have done really are:
      1. Update specs (wow, that was unexpected, right?)
      2. Increase the screen size
      3. Make two versions (small and big)
      4. Introduce an NFC chip
      5. Let you use your iPhablet in landscape mode
      6. Jack up the price

      The rest have moved on with:
      1. Wireless charging
      2. Waterproof, shockproof, dust proof devices
      3. Added OIS to their pics and video recording (something on the iPhone 6 Plus has)
      4. USB OTG
      5. Other endless things...

      Yes disappointment should be something that all non-iPhone users should be feeling, especially for whats being delivered for the price Apple want people to pay. As an Android person I actually enjoy it when Apple bring something that the competitors havent done. It is inspirational and forces the rest to play catch up or do better, and almost tempts me to conver to the dark (Apple) side.

      Last edited 10/09/14 2:00 pm

    Allow me to take advantage of using my devices as MTP units, give me the ability to expand my phones storage and let me have the reassurance a spilled drink on my phone when drinking at a social gathering will not destroy my phone(or even put it under a cold tap to cool it down when it starts getting too hot for contact with skin) and you might convert me. I can't ask for widgets, iOS8 sort of answers that enough for me to get by, and the ability to use third party keyboards is cool. However those 2 points have been Android advantages since conception. Apple is almost there, but not quite

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