Apple back into competition with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are undoubtedly the most anticipated smartphones of the year. Not only has Apple finally given iPhone fans the larger screens they’ve been clamoring for (4.7 inches and 5.5 inches), the duo delivers a host of other enhancements. There’s a blazing A8 processor inside that should take mobile gaming to the next level; a new 8-MP iSight camera with super-fast autofocus; and Apple Pay (with NFC), which could replace your wallet. But that’s just part of the story. Whether you’re upgrading your existing iPhone or you’re jumping ship from Android, there’s a lot to know about Apple’s two new flagships.

The iPhone 6 Plus is a great phone. Its 5.5-inch, 1080p IPS LCD deftly straddles the chasm that existed between the former 4-inch iPhone 5S and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini. While the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 fits in the same gap, the 6 Plus sits right in the sweet spot for those who prefer a little more tablet in their smartphone.  The iPhone 6, which feels great to hold, has nearly all the same features as the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus both have larger screens than previous iPhones. They both have new A8 processors. They both have 16, 64, or 128GB of storage. They both come in three colors: white/silver, white/gold, and space gray, which is black/darker silver. The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch, 1,344×750-pixel display. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch, 1,920×1080-pixel display, plus optical image stabilization in the camera and the ability to run more apps in horizontal-landscape mode, with split-screen effects like an iPad.

The new iPhone design might seem bold and different, or possibly a little like the HTC One M8’s curved metal, but it’s also still very Apple. This iPhone is slightly thinner than before, but it feels much thinner; part of that’s the increased screen size, and partly it’s the curved design. Glass from the front folds ever so slightly around the edges, and the sharp industrial hard edges of the iPhone 5 and 5S are completely gone. The iPhone 6 has an increased 4.7-inch display, a similar screen size as last year’s Moto X. It’s big for Apple phones, but still on the smaller side for Android phones, which have moved, lately, to the 5-inch territory.

Apple back into the competition with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus

To avoid any unfortunate thumb-straining incidents, Apple has provided a feature on the iPhone 6 plus called “Reachability.” Two quick taps on the Home button slide any content at the top of the display — app icons, Safari’s URL bar, whatever else is up there — down to the bottom. It’s handy in theory, but not particularly useful in practice. The new iPhone’s biggest improvements come in autofocus: the 8-megapixel rear iSight camera has the same megapixel count and flash as last year, but autofocus has been improved for both still photos and videos. The iPhone’s video-recording speeds can be set at 60fps now, which gives a more immediate crispness for high-speed action. Apple has finally bumped up this year’s storage to a maximum 128GB, but you have to pay up. The new iPhones have iOS 8 preinstalled, of course; Apple’s latest OS will be available to other iPhone owners too, as well as iPad 2 and later owners.

A 4.7-inch screen isn’t massive to most smartphone users, but iPhone owners may find that it takes getting used to. If you consider the 5S, the 6, and the 6 Plus as 4-, 4.7-, and 5.5-inch siblings, there’s a size for everyone. Apple’s clearly in the screen game now, making iOS devices at all sizes and comfort levels. The iPhone 6 Plus is not a phone for everybody. Its size is its biggest drawback and, indeed, that will likely be the deciding factor for many on whether to go with the 6 or 6 Plus.