Along with the small matter of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, Apple has, as expected, also taken the wraps off the 5.5-inch version, which it has opted to call the ‘iPhone 6 Plus.’ We know you’re eager to learn of the device’s specs, features, price and release date, and all of the just-announced info can be seen below.
Features and Specs
The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is physically similar to the 4.7-inch model, although aside from the size of the display and overall form factor, there are some notable discrepancies.
Its profile almost as thin as the 4.7-inch edition. With a depth of just 7.1 mm, it’ll be noticeably slenderer than the iPhone 5s at 7.6mm, and if it were not for the 4.7-inch handset (6.9 mm thick), it would be the thinnest iPhone of all time.
The power button, as with the 4.7-inch model, is located on the side of the device. This, in turn, makes it easier to reach the button with just the one hand.
Color options are once again Space Gray, White + Gold and White + Silver, although once again, we’d imagine that the gold one will sell out first.
Phil Schiller took to the stage to discuss the “all-new iSight camera,” and while it remains an 8-megapixel offering, it appears that the Cupertino outfit has taken a leaf out of HTC’s book and sought to dispel the so-called ‘megapixel myth’. While HTC’s rear-facing shooter has fallen short, though, Apple’s new iSight promises to deliver a much better performance thanks to what Schiller describes as an “all-new sensor,” and with f/2.2 aperture, remodeled True Tone flash and “Focus Pixels” technology, we’ve no doubt that the point-and-shoot experience will continue to improve with both of these new smartphones.
Notably, the iPhone 6 Plus’s camera is better than that of the standard iPhone 6 in that it features OIS, or optical image stabilization. The smaller handset features digital image stabilization, but if you’re in pursuit of the very best point-and-shoot experience, you’ll want to be looking at the iPhone 6 Plus.
The rear-facing camera can also shoot 1080p video at 30 or 60fps, while Slo-mo will manage 240fps. Not bad.
The iPhone 6 Plus offers a 5.5-inch ‘Retina HD’ display that Apple has laden with Ion-strengthened glass. So, it’s not the sapphire glass that many reports had pinned their hopes on, but nonetheless, should help to protect the iPhone 6 Plus against scrapes, scratches and other cosmetic damage.
The real clincher with the iPhone 6 Plus is that it offers full HD 1080p resolution, which is a first for an iPhone. Even the 4.7-inch model, at 1334 x 750, is no match for the 1920 x 1080 resolution of the iPhone 6 Plus, and if you’ve been waiting all these years for a 1080p smartphone from Apple, it’s finally here.
Incredibly, it offers 185% more pixels than the iPhone 5s, and even though it’s considerably larger, users will surely notice a considerable difference when making the jump from one of the current fleet to the iPhone 6 Plus.
Improved Touch ID
As with the smaller iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus offers an improved, 500 dpi Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It’ll offer a more refined performance than the current specification, and given that Apple is also set to add this feature to both iPads this fall, it looks to have become a standard feature of Apple’s wider iOS experience.
The iPhone 6 Plus is powered by the dual-core A8 processor that is, Apple claims, 25% faster than the A7 of the iPhone 5s. With 50% faster graphics, it’s clear to see that the all-new design hasn’t hindered improvements under the hood, and as a result, the entire experience should feel very slick and accomplished.
Apple threw the mobile arena a bit of a curve-ball last year when it dropped the bombshell of the smartphone world’s first 64-bit SoC, and as was always going to be the case, the chip of the iPhone 6 Plus is another 64-bit job.
There’s an M8 motion coprocessor on board as well, which is designed to pick up on movement-based date for fitness apps without draining your precious droplets of battery.
There’s now a 128GB storage option to contend with, adding to the pre-existing 16GB and 64GB options. Given that iPhone users cannot readily add a microSD card when they want more physical storage because, well, there’s no microSD slot, this move will appease the power users previously off-put by the lack of anything higher than 64GB.
As you may have noticed, the 32GB option for the iPhone 6 Plus has been removed.
The iPhone 6 Plus supports 20 LTE bands, which is up from 13 with the iPhone 5s, and includes a neat “carrier aggregation” feature used to achieve optimum speeds.
There’s also, as you might imagine, Bluetooth 4.0, and near-field communication, or NFC. The latter will facilitate contactless payments directly through iOS 8, and although the numerous features of the device may capture the headlines for now, Apple’s inclusion of NFC could prove very significant to the way transactions are processed from here on in.
Apple has made some big claims about the iPhone 6 Plus’s battery life, with up to 24 hours of talk time over 3G. This is quite a leap from 10 hours on the iPhone 5s, and according to Apple’s estimates, it should also outlast the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 by considerable margins.
We will have to wait, however, to see how the device performs in real-world tests, but for now, the iPhone 6 Plus’s battery seems like it may finally buck the trend of iPhones offering terrible battery life.
There are a few neat software features to help consumers adapt to the larger display of the iPhone 6 Plus.
The “reachability” feature, which is also accessible to those on the standard iPhone 6, sees the interface slide downwards when the home button is double-tapped, making it incredibly easy for users to navigate the entire UI with just one hand. It’s a very novel, innovative idea from Apple, and appears to have resolved the common issue of phablet users being forced to either use two hands, or strain their digits.
Another software-specific feature adorning the iPhone 6 Plus is that of the iPad-like interface. Not only does the layout structure follow that of the company’s tablet when in landscape mode — as was rumored in the run-up to today’s keynote — but throughout, the iPhone 6 Plus borrows much of its design language from the iPad.
It’s clear from the onset that despite their aesthetic similarities, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus differ considerably in many key areas, and as suspected, the Plus offers quite a bit more than just a bigger display.
Price and Release Date
iPhone 6 Plus pricing: the 16, 64 and 128GB models will retail for $299, $399, and $499 contract, respectively, in the United States, meanwhile the pricing of unlocked models hasn’t been disclosed, yet. And yes, there is no 32GB version, instead we get 128GB model priced at $499.
The iPhone 6 Plus will be available for pre-order on September 12th, and will hit shelves on September 19th.
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