The iPhone 6L is Apple's biggest phone to date, and it's the second new, bigger phone the company is introducing today. Here's what you need to know.
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Apple's original iPhone was a groundbreaking product that virtually didn't have competitors, but today it's hardly alone in a sea of quality handsets. While other manufacturers have experimented with larger phones — or even tablet-sized phones — Apple's remained small, almost stubbornly so. The iPhone 5/5s featured only a 4-inch screen, which today is small considering even the smallest flagships hit 4.7 inches and most are up over 5. The new 5.5-inch phone is an admission that some people might benefit from a little more real estate.
Indeed, what we've got is a hot Apple phone, the most innovative in years, that breaks many of the company's most entrenched conventions.
While the iPhone 6L is noticeably larger than its predecessors, the design is a subtle evolution of the sleek, minimalist look Apple's been tweaking for years. Whereas the iPhone 5/5S opted for a a flat sides, the iPhone 6L has a more rounded design, with the pill-shaped volume buttons introduced on the iPad Air last year.
The phone has a 1920 x 1080 display, which as Phil Schiller points out has 138 per cent more pixels than the iPhone 5S. With the new large phone Apple is taking advantage of the the real estate in apps with new split-screen modes in both apps and on the home screen. The home screen view in particular is very striking because we're so used to that stubbornly vertical view of all of the generations that preceded it.
Despite rumours that Apple would be making good on its huge investments in sapphire glass that would be potentially less susceptible to cracks, all we're hearing is "ion-strengthened" right now. The glass curves around the edge to the back.
The 7.1mm-thick phone is super slender — even skinnier than the 7.5mm iPhone 5/5S.
The iPhone 6 Plus sports Apple's new A8 chip. It's 13 per cent smaller than the A7, while being up to 25 per cent faster CPU and with 50 per cent faster graphics, according to Apple.
The camera has new capabilities enabled by the new processors, including support for voice-over LTE and Wi-FI calling when you're in range and your carrier signal cuts out.
The iPhone is getting a brand new 8MP camera that now has phase-detect autofocus, a feature that's only recently come to digital cameras without mirrors. (The Samsung Galaxy S5 has it as well.) The new AF mode should help focus considerably faster, especially in low-light situations.
Speaking of low-light, The iPhone 6 Plus will be steadier when you shutter speed is slow thanks its built-in optical image stabilisation — versus the digital stabilisation in the iPhone 6 as well as all the iPhones that came before.
Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both come with an NFC radio, which in conjunction with a secure element chip enables Apple Pay. It will let you make payments at a growing range of retailers. It will support credit cards from American Express, Visa and MasterCard.
Apple Pay will also work with apps so you can buy a Groupon or pay for an Uber with just a touch.
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.