Another year, another iPhone. Another year of record sales and monumental amount of media coverage for Apple’s latest iPhone. It’s like we’re all stuck in an orchestrated release. with the brand new iPhone 6 already being a hit, as we expected it to be, let’s dive a bit deeper into the iPhone 6 and see what makes it so special that 10 million people forked over at least $200 to buy it over its launch weekend.
So here it is—the iPhone 6 or should I say the iPhone we’ve seen in leaked photos and schematics since April? It’s Apple’s latest handset that’s bigger, thinner, and overall a more attractive iPhone than the iPhones that came before. The iPhone 6 has grown considerably over the iPhone 5s. The new phone measures in at 5.44 inches tall, 2.64 inches wide, and 6.9mm thick. Much bigger than the iPhone 5s which measured in at 4.87 inches tall, 2.31 inches wide, and 7.6mm thick.
Screen size has also taken a jump. As everyone knows, the 5s had a 4-inch display and now the iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch display. The resolution is bumped up to 1334x750 which is finally above 720p so Apple finally decided to give it a new name calling it the Retina HD display. And the best Apple iPhone display I’ve ever seen yet. More contrast, better color accuracy. Again, nothing out of the ordinary for the new iPhone. I suppose one of the neatest features of the new panel is the curvature around the edges. It makes it a more fluid experience with iOS 8 with all the swiping back and forth. But it also makes it a pain to get screen protectors for the display.
On the back of the iPhone 6, Apple has redesigned it entirely. Gone are the little pieces of glass on the top and bottom. It’s fully made out of aluminum and plastic inserts for the antenna bands. It makes it look great and it feels even better in the hands. The protruding camera is very questionable. I’m not really afraid of scratching the lens but it does make for a wobble when you have it sitting on a flat surface.
Another neat design feature includes the relocation of the lock switch from the top right hand corner to the right hand side which makes sense for a larger device. The volume rockers have been made thinner and longer for more ease of use and the speaker grills has been redesigned to look a little bit more industrial. But apart from those changes, it’s still the iPhone we know today.
The internals have been reworked as well. The iPhone 6 comes equipped with 1.4GHz dual-core A8 processor alongside an M8 motion co-processor and 1GB of RAM. The battery has been bumped up slightly to 1810mAh and the internal storage has been set from 16 to 128GB models. We still find Touch ID on the same spot on the iPhone and also the same 8MP rated camera. But Apple tells us it’s new. We’ll check that out later in this video.
The software running on the new iPhone and probably your iPhone 5s and 5 is called iOS 8. And other than some launch bugs like iOS 8.0.1 which broke Touch ID in cellular connectivity, it’s the best version of iOS. The biggest feature of iOS is the ability to run smoothly without having any major quad-core processor in that or several GB of RAM. That’s just how iOS was designed to run.
With iOS 8, we were given a few new features to make it a more enjoyable experience. One in particular is called Reachability, which is an iPhone 6 and 6 Plus specific feature. All it does is really bring down the display a little bit to make it more accessible. But honestly, it’s not the brightest idea in Apple’s book. And if I were you, I would just use my other hand.
Performance on the iPhone 6 is incrementally faster than the iPhone 5s. Benchmark show the iPhone 6 is slightly faster than the 5s but that’s really expected. Real world usage and I really couldn’t point out a difference between the two. To me, applications open in or around the same time. Multitasking is just as fast as the 5s as it is on the 6. And everything is just about the same. It’s safe to say that if you’re looking for a major upgrade, you really won’t find it on the iPhone 6.
Next up is the camera. The iPhone 6 comes with an 8MP camera with basically the same structure as the iPhone 5s camera: 8MP sensor, same number of elements in the lens, same aperture rating. But Apple has improved it (or so they say they did). They’ve added something called Focus Pixels. Any Canon 70D user knows exactly what I’m talking about. So basically, embedded in the sensor are a bunch of little tiny sensors that work in tandem with the autofocus software. The result is really freaking fast autofocus. I’m fairly impressed by how little time the iPhone 6 takes to autofocus. It almost seems like you point and it focuses before you even have time to push the shutter button.
Other improvements to the image quality really come from the software like exposure manual control for example. The iPhone 5s and previous iPhones have had a tendency to over expose shots and video. But with built-in software controls that will let you dial down the exposure for a more pleasing image. It also works a great treat in video mode. And speaking of video, the iPhone 6 does not have UHD 4K video recording mode. It’s the same old 1080p but it does have 60p. But honestly, it’s not that exciting anymore. Slow-motion has been given a new frame rate now up to 40fps, which can make for some really interesting videos.
The last part of this review is all about battery life. The question is, has Apple finally made an iPhone that will last you a full day? Well, the iPhone 6 (as we already know) has fantastic battery life. The iPhone 6 on the other hand, it’s not half bad actually. It’s better than the iPhone 5s and with my usage, I can say 4.5-5.5 hours of usage time sometimes more, sometimes less. Couple that with about 10 hours of standby and you’ll get through a whole day with about 20% of battery life left.
So all in all, is the iPhone 6 the best iPhone? When I get asked that, I respond with the same exact answer every single year. Is the new iPhone supposed to be the best iPhone? Doesn’t that define improvement of a device? So yes, the iPhone 6 is the best iPhone you can buy today. You won’t be disappointed with it. But if you’re looking to switch from Android to iPhone, you won’t be impressed either. The iPhone is becoming a very interesting device to me because I am somewhat of an Apple fan boy. But every single time Apple releases a new iPhone, I get a little more resilient to “the best iPhone ever made” quote. To me, the new iPhone 6 is the new iPhone that’s marginally better and that’s about it.