The New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
The iPhone, Bigger
The predictions for the iPhone 6 were correct. Less than a year after the iPhone 5 refresh, today Apple debuted the newest iteration of their ubiquitous phone, releasing a pair of different-sized models. The new iPhone 6 will sport a 4.7-inch display, while the screen on the aptly-named iPhone 6 Plus measures in at 5.5 inches. You’ll find Retina HD displays on both models, with the iPhone 6 Plus featuring the first-ever 1080p Full HD screen on an iPhone. Both screens will have better colors, higher contrast rations and wider viewing angles, and will be enhanced by an improved polarizing layer. Pictures will look better, text will be crisper and everything will be easier to see outdoors in the sun.
Even with the larger screens, both new models will be thinner than the iPhone5:
The iPhone, Faster.
Powering these larger iPhone models is the all-new A8 processor, which is up to 25 percent faster and 50 percent more efficient than last year’s A7 chip. Utilizing the impressive 64-bit architecture we first saw in the iPhone 5S, the new models promise significant speed improvements over their predecessors. Users can also expect longer battery life, even while the chip pushes the GPU to power these larger screens. A new technology, dubbed “Metal,” joins the power of the CPU and GPU to deliver a gaming experience on par with today’s video game consoles. Video playback options will also be improved, so you can get the most out of the new HD displays.
Connectivity is also greatly increased in the iPhone 6. With more LTE bands than any other smartphone, the iPhone 6 can connect you to high-speed mobile data networks in more places around the world. That LTE connection will also be faster, at up to 150 Mbps, for speedy streaming, surfing, video-chatting and more. Users will even be able to use both voice and data simultaneously, depending on carrier. Support for wireless protocol 802.11ac gives the iPhone 6 faster Wi-Fi than devices with only Wireless N support. The iPhone 6 also lets you make calls over Wi-Fi.
The improved processor also brings new and added camera functionality to the iPhone 6 models. Already one of the best smartphone cameras in existence, the imager in the iPhone 6 gets even better. Sporting the same great large-pixel sensor and f/2.2 lens, the iPhone 6 gets new imaging capabilities from the A8 chip, like improved face detection, and better exposure metering. Newly added are Focus Pixels, which are phase-detect pixels (like those found in high-end digital cameras) that allow the iPhone camera to focus twice as fast as the iPhone 5S. The iPhone 6 Plus also has optical image stabilization, helping your photos stay sharp when you’re shooting in low light.
Enhancements extend to the iPhone 6 video functions as well. Shoot gorgeous 1080p movies at 60 frames per second, with continuous autofocus and video stabilization keeping everything sharp, even if your subject is moving. For the really fast action, bump your frame rate up to 120 or even 240 fps at 720p resolution, and you can play your video back in super-slow motion.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus will each be available in one of three finishes, with 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage. Apple iPhone 6 Preorders start September 12th, and officially hit the market on September 19th.
Introduced alongside the new iPhone 6 was Apple Pay, Apple’s new instant, wireless mobile payment system. The gist of Apple Pay is simple: you can store multiple payment methods in your iPhone and when it comes time to pay, simply wave your phone near the contactless reader. Using NFC, payment is sent to the merchant.
Apple Pay is both easy to use and very secure. To add a credit card, you can manually enter the account info or just take a photo of the card. You can add multiple cards and set one as the default.
Apple Pay works with Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards; with credit cards from major banks, including Bank of America, Chase, and Citi; and will be accepted at countless merchants, including Staples, Subway, Whole Foods, and many more.
Apple repeatedly stressed the security of the Apple Pay system, both as a mobile payment system and in comparison to existing forms of payment. Payment info is not stored on Apple’s servers, so it’s not susceptible to data breaches, and Apple never sees any purchase or payment info. This gives Apple Payment an advantage over traditional credit cards, where your card info is visible to merchants and other would-be data thieves. Find My iPhone allows for remote wiping of all payment info in the event that you lose your phone, and Touch ID enables an extra layer of security to keep others from using your Apple Pay account without authorization.
The final big piece of news was the debut of the Apple Watch. After months of speculating, we finally got a look at Apple’s first foray into the world of wearable technology. This gorgeous device is part smartwatch, part activity tracker, and 100% awesome.
Like most of the smartwatches available today, the Apple Watch functions mainly as a second screen for your iPhone. It can relay voice and email messages to you, act as a viewfinder for your camera or take phone calls right on your wrist. Get GPS directions, weather information or Siri assistance beamed to your Apple Watch. Letting your linked iPhone do the heavy processing of these tasks helps preserve the Apple Watch’s battery life.
Built in haptic feedback alerts you to incoming messages or calls. You can navigate the watch face the same way you would an iPhone, with gestures on the flexible Retina screen. But since it can be hard to see what’s beneath your fingers on a small screen, users can engage the innovative Digital Crown to control the phone while having full view of the screen.
Among the many unique features of the Apple watch is the staggering amount of customizing options, both digitally and physically. Millions of unique screen possibilities combine with countless body and band combinations. Various watch case finishes are available, along with bands crafted from leather, bracelet, and rubber. And there are bound to be lots of aftermarket options as well. Apple definitely outdid themselves in the design department.
In addition to all of the traditional smartwatch functions (and telling time, of course), the Apple Watch is also a fully-featured activity tracker. Built-in sensors read your heart rate and how often you move, and work with the Activity App to monitor your activity levels and encourage you when you need to move more. Data is transferred and stored on your iPhone, letting you view and analyze your activity by day, week and month.
There’s plenty more good stuff hiding in the Apple Watch, but these are the basics for now. We’ll do a full overview and analysis when we get our hands on one. The Apple Watch is due early 2015, and will start at $349. There’s no official Apple Watch preorder date set yet, but keep your eyes open and we’ll post an alert when we know.
Thanks for joining us on this crazy day! We’ll continue to provide more info on the iPhone 6 models and the Apple Watch as the release dates get closer and we get models in the store.