Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus specs review


The new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have finally gone official, putting an end to all speculations, and finally showing what Apple has really been busy with.

After the company started designing its own processors with Swift in the Apple A6 (on board the iPhone 5) and refined this with the even deeper Cyclone in the Apple A7 (on the iPhone 5s), it’s time to up the stakes: welcome the Apple A8, the system chip found in the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Yes, both share the same core silicon and the same camera, but there are some subtle differences.

Design


The most visually noticeable change in the new iPhones is in their design. Gone are the times of sharp edges and flat sides - in the iPhone 6 versions Apple goes for an iPad mini-like style with a curved edge on both devices. The appearance has not changed drastically, but you can instantly note the evolution of design. Apple is still using the same quality materials: aluminum all around, with only a tiny flashes of plastic on the back of the phone for better reception.

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus come with the fingerprint recognition courtesy of Touch ID, and both have now got their power/lock key on the right side so you can easily reach it. Volume buttons are on the left.


Display


The ‘bigger than bigger’ motto for the iPhone 6 Plus is a clear indication that times have changed at Apple: we now have a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and a 5.5-inch, phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus.

The resolution has also changed, and Apple now claims both have ‘Retina HD’, but the actual resolutions differ: the iPhone 6 boasts a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels, while the iPhone 6 has 1080 x 1920 pixels. The ‘Retina HD’ moniker is official even though the sharpness of the 4.7” iPhone has remained the same with a pixel density of 326ppi. The title is deserved for the iPhone 6 Plus with a higher, 401ppi pixel density.

Brightness comes in at 500 nits (typical), which is the same as with all previous iPhones, and should result in great outdoor visibility for both new handsets. Interestingly, Apple claims to have this new technology of “dual-domain pixels on the photo-aligned IPS display that give you a wider angle of view”. What is that and how does it work? We’re yet to find out.

Turning over to colors, Apple claims that both displays cover the full industry-standard sRGB color gamut, and that’s a good thing - Apple has so far shipped very well calibrated screen and we expect the trend to continue with the new iPhones.

Interface: iOS 8



There are no surprises with the interface the two new iPhones are running: it’s iOS 8. The new version of Apple’s operating system adds more under the hood than on the visual side, as it retains the novel flat and modern looks of iOS 7.

Of course, the new Health Hub and Passbook updated with Apple Pay capabilities are the biggest highlights of iOS 8. The Health Hub has already been talked about and it basically aggregates data about your vitals from various gadgets including the iPhone and Apple Watch, but what’s a bit less talked about is the new Apple Pay. Both iPhones now have an NFC chip, and that can be used neatly to replace your wallet. You can use this feature to pay in Starbucks, McDonalds, and many others.

Processor and Memory



The biggest highlight of the new iPhones is the new Apple A8 system chip. Apple revealed that it has successfully made the jump to 20nm manufacturing, and that alone is a huge boost in productivity and efficiency. Apple is one of the first to get 20nm chips in a mass produced devices.

The Apple A8 is also 25% smaller than the A7, yet at the same time it features over 2 billion transistors. In comparison, last year’s A7 had ‘more than 1 billion’, so we have nearly twice as many transistors, a huge jump in just one year.

Naturally, the new Apple A8 comes with a 64-bit-enabled system chip. The iPhone 5s started this, and with most top apps already running on 64-bits, the Apple ecosystem has already made the transition.

Apple breaks new ground when it comes to internal storage. The basic iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models start at 16GB, but rather than going to 32 gigs, the next version steps up directly to 64GB of internal storage. We now also have a third model with 128 gigs of included storage on both sizes of iPhone. Expandable storage via microSD cards is still nowhere to be found, though.

Camera



The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both feature nearly identical cameras: 8-megapixel ones with 1.5µ pixels.

We’re glad to see Apple moving the conversation from megapixels to a more comprehensive one that includes pixel size. Comparatively speaking, many will be quick to point out that others have 13-megapixel and 16-megapixel cameras, and pixel peepers would say that this is an unambiguous advantage, but what this misses is the pixel size that makes a big difference when you go to those very small, 1.1µ pixels. Problem is that such tiny pixels are not particularly good in low-light capture, and it is one compromise that Apple does not want to make. Overall, the take-out is that we should not rush and oversimplify by saying ‘less megapixels means worse camera’. The new iPhones also come with new camera sensors. We don’t know whether those are necessarily larger (we’d guess so), though.

In terms of optics, we have the same five-element lens, but this time with a wider, f/2.2 aperture (older iPhones had an f/2.4 one) and a sapphire cover.

What’s notable, however, is far more than just the change in hardware. The new iPhone camera app gives you much better control over your images with exposure control, a new burst mode, and more. Take a look at the first camera samples below.


In terms of video, Apple continues supporting 1080p, so there is no 4K capture capability. However, you now also have the option to record 1080p at 60 frames per second in addition to the traditional 60fps option. A new slo-mo mode allows you to capture a twice the frame-rate for a twice more pronounced effect: 720p at 240fps.

Also, while being nearly identical, the iPhone 6 Plus has got the benefit of optical image stabilization, while the iPhone 6 will only have digital stabilization.

Battery


There is another important difference between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: the latter one has the larger battery that also lasts longer, but both have better battery longevity. Here is how battery life breaks down on paper:

iPhone 6 talk time | Internet use | Video playback: 14 hours on 3G | 10 hours | 11 hours
iPhone 6 Plus talk time | Internet use | Video playback: 24 hours on 3G | 12 hours | 14 hours

Conclusion and expectations


All in all, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are huge upgrades that deliver on all fronts, and most importantly: they have indeed the larger screens that so many people have been wishing for. Not all people will like the gigantic, phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus, but it’s clear that there are many, and the more universal, 4.7-inch iPhone 6 size will appeal to a broader category.

Apple is also on the forefront of technology in the new iPhones: it is one of the first companies to start selling phones with a 20nm Apple A8 chip and this alone will bring huge performance and battery improvements. The decision to stay at 8 megapixels in the iSight camera counters the market trends, but keeps pixel size reasonable, and the first camera samples speak admirable in favor of it.

With all those, and the new features like Apple Pay, the growing ecosystem with devices like the iWatch, and the new iOs 8, our expactations are for a head start for this two new iPhones and record-busting sales.

Related phones

iPhone 6
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1810 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
iPhone 6 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A8, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2915 mAh(24h 3G talk time)

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48 Comments

1. Busyboy unregistered

About the only thing I like about the iPhone 6 is nothing

23. chaosnightmare

Posts: 182; Member since: May 20, 2010

I'm starting to worry about Apple. I mean I've always been and android user and never liked, even hated apple since the first iteration of iPhones, however I realized we need apple to procduce low budget crap capable to impact in icheeps minds so Android / WP OEMs and any other OS manufacturers can actually care about stay competitive and delivering real innovation and good quality - high specs products that are more than just a beauty design, if Apple falls I fear Samsung, Lg or Sony, in general android comunity becoming the next apple with injustificated prices and no real innovation.

38. TheMoltenD

Posts: 109; Member since: Jul 13, 2014

Android 5.0 will hopefully kickstart some new innovation. Tons of new/upgraded APIs will let developers play and hardware be used more efficiently/to its full potential.

2. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Dissapointment in general , nothing we didnt see alredy in 2010 android world.

3. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

How can PA call the iphone 6 a 'huge upgrade'. Slightly bigger screen,slightly slimmer,still not proper hd standards,ie 1080p screen (iphone 6 plus aside) Slightly bigger battery,slight better camera. Clear away the apple pr lingo nonsence and you essentially have an iphone 5ss

16. warswics

Posts: 19; Member since: May 27, 2014

And yet you took the time to come online and complain about it? Odd.

17. AnTuTu

Posts: 1602; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Bro Apple pay them big times. I am waiting for MKBHD to say something on these products the only reviewer who dares to tell the truth and can be trusted on the Internet.

29. amenx

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

And don't forget Erica Griffin. Best in-depth reviews out there.

46. saffant

Posts: 274; Member since: Jul 04, 2011

MKBHD is not exactly a reviewer. He just gives his opinion --something that any tech enthusiast can do. However, his presentation is that sells.

26. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

Funny how you get almost the same ppi, quad-core processor, 16Gb+SD and other good stuff in a Moto G LTE

27. doejon

Posts: 411; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Neil Armstrong : a small step for androidworld but a big step for apple

5. james1

Posts: 97; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What a joke...Apple thinks that it doesn't have to improve its specs because everybody will buy the iPhone, not anymore, people are realizing the better options with Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and Nokia. They can't just expect to throw a 2012-specs phone at us and expect people to buy it anymore. 8 megapixel, 1800 mAh battery, and 720p screen - and it costs $699 off contract, they got to be kidding....

34. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

Yeah this is pathetic!! They get away with it every year! I'm interested to see how well this old stuff in a new package sells. A 1800 mah battery is like having a tube tv nowadays...

6. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Looks just like a Samsung. Really. Just saying

7. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

You can just tell how Samsung refined the Note 4 from their experience with large phablets. This iPhone is a cheaper imitation.

10. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

I disagree... I think the iP6P is a much better build of device than the N4... ........ And, that's not a biased opinion... I use WP, so looking at both of these devices is easy for me to give my honest opinion.

18. bachir8k

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

so 1k is better than 4k, 8MP is better than 16MP, NoIPen is better than SPen, Smaller battery better than bigger battery, etc... i can see how your opinion is not biased...

25. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

your argument is whats wrong with this website, you are trying to compare two different things, that are not trying to be the same, I have a Lumia 1520 and LG G2 and even I understand that.....

40. AlikMalix unregistered

iOS is better than android on a phone half the specs of any android. You guys keep chasing specs - but iOS users enjoyed experience since day one. The proof is in the pudding - it's an old argument but no android phone has the amount of consumers who are rating apple the best in customer satisfaction - and that's by a huge margin. You know what android has on all phones since 2010 - their old jellybean operating system. Come and troll when u get your update the same day google releases it.

33. Astoni

Posts: 649; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

How biased isn't this?. The 8mp isight camera dosen't even compare to the pics i've taken on my darn phone and i think mine is crap.. (z1) The display is worse and its just a IPS LCD nothing special that apple wants you to think.. And the facts that you get no stylus at all for a phone that has the same freakin size and yet it has a inferior battery.. the note 4 fits a pen with a bigger battery. No i don't hate apple and i'm not all that against the iphone i like apples casual approach but the fact that your comment is overly biased and you have no proof what so ever on how its better is disturbing.

13. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Samsung changes the sides from plastic to metal and fans flip out. Don't be surprised when the Note 5 goes back to a more curved shape in the next year or two.

30. amenx

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

You mean next week. Doesn't Spamsung release two phones every week or so?

8. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

I think it's pretty cool.. It's very nice that Apple has brought some larger screens to the iPhone... But, that's pretty much where the excitement ends for me... I mean, I have a Lumia 1520 running WP8.1.1.1... ........ I'm glad to see some new devices from Apple, but I'm not very impressed, although they are still great devices... Choice is good!

9. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

Welcome to 2012!

11. Federated

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 06, 2010

$949 contract-free on T-Mobile USA. iPhone 6 Plus 128gb it is.

41. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

So for the same price as a basic Windows laptop and a good Android phone, I can get a plus-sized iPhone with 2012 specs? Lol.

12. rodneyej1

Posts: 3576; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

It's not better or worse than any ultra high end Android device... It's not better, or worse, than any ultra high end WP device... It's simply the best iPhone ever.. That's the best way I can put it. The most unbiased, respectful way I can put it... Good day for Apple fans...

14. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Why waste time reading the "Review" above, here's a summary: It's goundbreaking; it's beautiful; it's innovative; it's got a gorgeous huge display that, even though it's bigger than the "ideal" 4 inches, somehow, it doesn't feel cumbersome or heavy to hold; there's nothing else like it, thank you iGod for this blessing.

19. bachir8k

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

lol..

15. RaulBlas

Posts: 47; Member since: Mar 31, 2014

I didn´t watch the keynote... ¿how did they justify the bigger screens after so many years yelling that 4" is too much?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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