Tech explained: Here's how the iPhone 6's new, bigger screen will improve user experience

Without a doubt, the most important new features of the just-announced iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are their large displays. The more regularly-sized iPhone 6 will come with a 4.7" panel, while the significantly larger iPhone 6 Plus will feature a massive, 5.5" screen. But as you might have guessed, that's not all there is to these new displays. Apple has practically improved each and every aspect of its IPS LCD screens, not only on the hardware level, but also in terms of integrating them better with the iOS experience through some smart software features. Let take a deeper look at the various ways that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus' screens are going to improve user experience!

Size and resolution

First things first, the most obvious benefit users are going to get from having a larger screen on their iPhones is that all content will appear bigger and more comfortable to view. iOS, the mobile operating system powering all iPhones and iPads, is designed in a smart way, so that text and other small design elements appear large enough on mobile devices' relatively small screen sizes. But of course, having a larger display on your iPhone will make things even easier to read (the jump from 4" to 4.7" is quite substantial, let alone from 4" to the iPhone 6 Plus' 5.5 inches). Not only that, multimedia content like video and games will also be way more immersive on the bigger screens of the new iPhones, so if mobile gaming is your forte, or you tend to watch a lot of video, chances are the iPhone 6 will significantly enhance your experience.

Since display size has gone up with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a bump in resolution was also needed, in order to preserve the legibility and clarity if the displayed image. While the iPhone 5 and 5s had screen resolutions of 640 x 1136 pixels, the iPhone 6 brings those numbers to 750 x 1334 pixels, preserving the same pixel density of 326 ppi (pixels per inch). Meanwhile, the iPhone 6 Plus has an even higher resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, delivering a pixel density of 401 ppi, meaning that things appearing on the screen will look even sharper and clearer on Apple's phablet. There isn't going to be much of a visible difference between the iPhone 6's 326 ppi and the iPhone 6 Plus' 401 ppi in terms of screen clarity - one will be able to see things a bit more clearly on the iPhone 6 Plus, if they examine the screen very closely and carefully, but that's rarely the case when it comes to real-life, normal usage.

Color reproduction and outdoor visibility

The iPhone 5s had great color reproduction characteristics, but there was still room for improvement. For example, the color temperature of the 5s was about 7100 K, which is a bit higher than the reference point of 6500 K, resulting in colors that are slightly colder (bluish) than needed. With the new IPS LCD screens on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple promises improved white balance, which basically means that the color temperature of the displays should be even closer to the reference point this time, resulting in more true-to-life visuals. Additionally, similarly to its predecessor, the iPhone 6 will offer about 100% sRGB colorspace coverage, meaning that all content found on popular media formats, plus the internet, should look exactly as intended on your mobile's screen.

When it comes to brightness and contrast, Apple claims that the iPhone 6 series will exhibit "incredible brightness", but obviously, that's open for interpretation. The iPhone 5s really had an amazing brightness output, reaching about 580 nits in bright daylight. If Apple has managed to reach similar or even better brightness levels with the new, larger panels, that would indeed be a great achievement. Meanwhile, the manufacturer promises a significantly improved contrast ratio, courtesy of a non-traditional method, which involves a process of photo alignment. The phone will be using UV light to determine the optimal positioning of the liquid crystals inside the display, in order to produce better contrast and image clarity. Furthermore, in its effort to improve outdoor visibility, Apple has also enhanced the polarizer of the screen, which will allow it to look better when the user is viewing it through sunglasses.

Viewing angles have also been worked on. The iPhone 6 series will feature the so-called dual-domain pixels, which basically means that the positioning of the RGB sub-pixels will be slightly tweaked so that brightness, contrast, and colors don't degrade so much when the display is viewed from an angle. Hopefully, these optimizations will benefit the iPhone 6 display's viewing angles, without compromising any other aspect of its quality.

Software optimizations improving the iOS experience on a larger screen

First and foremost, we have to mention that the larger displays and higher resolutions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus mean that users will be able to see more of their content on the same screen. Whether you are browsing through a webpage in Safari, reading through a long message thread, or checking your calendar appointments, there's going to be a bit more content displayed on the screen, compared to previous iPhones, saving you some scrolling action.

Aside from that, there's going to be a new feature, called Zoom view. What it's going to do for you is to optimize the UI in order to make elements bigger, so that they occupy relatively the same area as they do on the older iPhones. This way, you may not be seeing more content on the larger screen of the iPhone 6, compared to that of the iPhone 5s, but things will appear bigger. It'll basically be a choice between having a larger item size and having more items on screen.

A somewhat more intriguing new software feature will be the landscape mode available with the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. Apple has redesigned many of the built-in iOS applications, like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Stocks, so that they employ a more versatile landscape view that shows additional options or content. It's pretty neat that Apple has taken the time to add such features to iOS 8 - we're sure that iPhone 6 Plus users will definitely appreciate this kind of functionality. Naturally, this also opens new horizons for iOS app developers, who will be able to take advantage of the larger canvas in order to produce even more productive and advanced applications.

So, it appears that the new, larger screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are going to enrich the iOS user experience in a number of ways that go beyond simply making things bigger. Apple has done tweaks and improvements to pretty much every aspect of its mobile screens, and that gets us pretty excited about the enhanced iOS experience that's soon going to be rolled out to consumers - starting on September 19, when the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are going to be released.

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)



1. seanwhat

Posts: 321; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

We already know how bigger screens improve user experience, that's why we've been buying bigger phones for the past few years.

3. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2364; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

this!!!!!!!..(five characters or more)

9. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

The main problem is I don't really see their multitasking ability. It's no use bragging about a bigger screen if we still get the same amount done...

18. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

but but but you can double tap the home button and the app shrinks. btw the lovely part is that you have to try it about 3 times to get it to work, no, it's not lag, it's just a new feature that is there to make sure if you really want to shrink the app or not. something like this: -do you want to shrink the app? yes -are you sure? yes! -pinky promise? shrink the f*cking app already! -ok!! gosh, here you go

20. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

That really made me laugh! +1 for you

33. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

nah only Samsung's millisecond delay can be termed as lag. Apple does it right with processing your command keeping it contextually aware.

58. onthecouchagain

Posts: 49; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

What's worse is, even if it does work well, if an app has the 'Back' button on the upper left of the screen (as most iOS apps do) and it doesn't support gestures to go back, it means users will have to double-tap home button and tap the back button just to go back. That's just horrible UI. When on Android, there's a dedicated back button near your thumb.

73. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Lol, this guy.

74. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Therefore I dubbed the iPad mini mini. At least it has calling capability now just like any phablets in Asia.

54. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Read original article at Anandtech -- BTW, it's nothing new. Android OEMs have done it in past.

55. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Of course iAnand is the source LOL He is working now for Apple without need to hide it anymore. #43


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Gotta love how after 2-3 years later, once Apple FINALLY does it, it becomes a big deal and is sooooo revolutionary. iPhone: Trying to catch up with Android since 2011.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Ray S logic. "Ah yes...The Note 4, yawn 5.7 inch QHD display...yawn...snapdragon 805 processor with 3GBs of RAM, yawwwwn....500+ PPI...YAWWWWWWN! OH MY GOD ITS THE iPHONE 6 PLUS! 5.5 INCH 1080P DISPLAY, IT'S SO AMAZINGLY DETAILED 400 PPI RETINA!!! OH MY LORD!!!!"

2. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2364; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Lol , but its just an upscaled version of ipad

4. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

So what their saying is another row of icons is better? How's that?

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I don't normally subscribe to bashing Apple for just using "rows of icons" but now that I look at images of the 6, it is starting to look cluttered. What stands out about the iPad is that, even though there is room for about ten rows of icons, Apple wisely chose to make good use of spacing. Apparently they didn't get the same memo here. It doesn't look quite as bad on the Plus, but the icon spacing on the 6 isn't very flattering.

69. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Try reading iengadget site on their review " Apple accepts that smartphones have evolved"

14. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

It's not about how many icons are on the screen. It's about how the space is utilized once an app is open. The iPad proves to be the best with apps specifically designed for it. I don't see this being any different. There's no point in simply magnifying apps because of the larger space.

5. jeff327

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 28, 2012

Way too funny that PA thought we needed an explanation in why bigger screens enhances the user experience. I did not know you could do these things with 4.7" or 5"5" until apple invented it. Thanks for telling me because I was fumbling around with my G3 not understanding what size my phone was and how to experience it. I appreciated it very much PA!

6. JMartin22

Posts: 2414; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

More obsolete and meaningless articles about something that has been going on for a few years now, but deserves special mention now just because Apple is just now doing it. I wouldn't be surprised if you guys rated this phone a 9.5/9.6 because of.... uhh? Big screen and marginal processor bump?

22. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Too low, it will get 9.8. Same for apple watch 9.7, little lower score because its much smaller device than ip6. Or else Apple will sue PA with theirs army of lawyers and shut PA down if the score is too low.

26. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Yet better phones like the One M8, Lumia 930, Moto X 2014 will remain in the 8s here at PA.

7. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Todays local newspaper was full of iPropaganda. Mad me sick. No wonder Apple sells, because a normal person only reads those small stuff in newspapers. Also they reviewed Xbox One and gave 5/5. Lol retards.

12. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012


38. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

The Xbox nONE is utter garbage. I can see why you were sickened.

47. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Xbox Live still remains the best multi player ecosystem in the world. Makes PSN look terrible.

51. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

It may be the best, but saying that it makes PSN look terrible is a bit too much IMO. For me, Nintendo Network is good enough lol. Though it kinda sucks sometimes :)

53. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

PSN's online community is nowhere near Xbox Live's. XBL party chat is probably one of the reasons why I never got a PS3 or PS4. Multiplayer in general is better and PSN is definitely inferior.

67. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Thing is, you can't have an useful ecosystem when no one uses it lol. Everyone is on PS4 now, very much for every reason to be on PS4 over fail box one.

13. WendyFromCircus

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Double tap home button to get reachability, priceless :)

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

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