Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus

As foretold by us yesterday, Apple announced two new larger iPhone releases today: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Sized at 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches respectively, the phones sport a slick new style and brilliant new features.

The iPhone 6 is priced at $200 for 16 GB, $300 for 64 GB, and $400 for 128 GB, with a two year contract. The larger iPhone 6 Plus commands a premium: $300 for 16 GB, $400 for 64 GB, and $500 for 128 GB. Both phones come in silver, gold, and black.

Pre-orders start this Friday, September 12, and the phones go on sale Friday the 19th.

Both phones have radically new designs. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, have visibly larger displays, now feel like a miniature iPad. The rear of each device is smooth brushed anodized aluminum that curves softly into its glass front face rather than being completely flat on the back with largely squared-off edges—like the past four iPhones. On the front, you’ve also got the familiar Touch ID home button.

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The iPhone 6 has a 1334×750 display, the 6 Plus 1920×1080 display. That’s more than 1 million pixels on the iPhone 6 and more than 2 million on the iPhone 6 plus. These new display sizes are made of a new generation of Retina display that Apple is calling Retina HD. The new re-engineered displays use ion-strengthened glass on top, and on the bottom, an ultrathin backlight. Even with the larger display, Apple is assuring that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will allegedly have equal or better battery life than the last generation of iPhones.

To use these big-screened phones, Apple’s introduced or added a few new software tricks to iOS. In the iPhone 6 Plus, the Messages app has a new horizontal split display. Stocks also has a two panel horizontal view, so does Mail. The keyboard takes advantage of the display area, too, and there’s a new horizontal home screen view. These views obviously make better use of the increased screen size available, but we wonder how easy it is to use with your fingers as you type.

You can also use swiping gestures for navigation in Mail, Messages, and Safari. There’s also a new gesture called reachability: Here is how it works: If you double touch the home button, the display slides down so you can reach things at the top of the display without having to readjust your hand. This seems like a better solution than Samsung’s one-handed mode, but it’s still kind of awkward that it’s necessary.

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Both phones will ship with iOS 8. Software updates will go out to older iPhones (the 4S and later) on September 17.

On the iPhone 6 line, Apple upgraded the camera hardware and software. Apple is using an 8-megapixel camera with a f/2.2 aperture. There’s also a new sensor inside that’s an improvement over previous iPhone cameras, and a faster auto-focus. There’s the standard digital image stabilization in both phones, but in the bigger iPhone 6 Plus, there’s also an optical image stabilization system that uses the phone’s gyroscope and M8 processor to negate out movements and shaking hands and makes pictures better. Video is stabilized too, and there’s a new slow-mo mode that shoots at 240 fps. So the creatively inclined can feed their art if they want.

Inside, a new A8 processor promises to keep things humming faster than any iPhone before, and the M8 chip has improved performance for motion-sensing and health-tracking. Included alongside these updated processors is a new sensor: a barometer.

As expected the company stock has soared after the launch, we hope that this will get Apple back into the A-Game and keep the innovation going.


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