Apple reinvents the phone that reinvented the phone
There's that scene at the very beginning of Star Wars, where you see the blockade runner fleeing towards a planet, and it looks pretty big. Then you start seeing the Star Destroyer, and seeing it, and seeing it, and it redefines your whole perception of big. The iPhone 6 is not like that at all. While its 4.7-inch screen is significantly bigger than last year's 4-inch model, its thinner, rounder body makes most of that difference evaporate when it hits your hand.
That's why Apple is pitching the iPhone 6 as not only bigger but better — more advanced display technology, second generation 64-bit processor and motion coprocessor, improved cameras, faster cellular and Wi-Fi networking, and a new transaction system called Apple Pay.
Yet power is far less important than empowerment. What good is a bigger display if it doesn't make the iPhone more accessible to more people? What good are better specs if they don't make the iPhone more capable in more ways?
That's the audacity that underlies both the new iPhone 6 and the even bigger iPhone 6 Plus — that Apple can not only increase the size of the iPhone but once against expand the reach of personal computing.
So, can they?
- Apple has made the iPhone 6 bigger without making it significantly heavier, brighter and more functional without sacrificing battery life, and for those for whom even 4.7-inches isn't big enough, has introduced a 5.5-inch option as well.
- The bigger display might take some getting used to, especially for people with smaller hands who prefer using their iPhone one-handed. Also, while size and extensibility complaints have been silenced, those who want full customization will still need to look elsewhere.
- With faster chips, faster networking, better cameras, and an unprecedented choice between a denser or bigger display, the iPhone 6 is — no surprise here — the best, most accessible, most capable iPhone Apple has ever made. And, for most people, most of the time, remains the best phone period.
|iPhone||iPhone 3G||iPhone 3GS||iPhone 4||iPhone 4S||iPhone 5||iPhone 5c||iPhone 5s||iPhone 6||iPhone 6 Plus|
|Model Name||iPhone 1,1||iPhone 1,2||iPhone 2,1||iPhone 3,1||iPhone 4,1||iPhone 5,1||iPhone 5,3||iPhone 6,1||iPhone 7,2||iPhone 7,1|
|Launch OS||iPhone OS 1.0||iPhone OS 2.0||iPhone OS 3.0||iOS 4||iOS 5||iOS 6||iOS 7||iOS 7||iOS 8||iOS 8|
|Screen Size||3.5 inches||3.5 inches||3.5 inches||3.5 inches||3.5 inches||4.0 inches||4.0 inches||4.0 inches||4.7 inches||5.5 inches|
|Screen Resolution||480x320 (163ppi)||480x320 (163ppi)||480x320 (163ppi)||960x640 (326ppi)||960x640 (326ppi)||1136x640 (326ppi)||1136x640 (326ppi)||1136x640 (326ppi)||1334x750 (326ppi)||1920x1080 (401ppi)|
|Screen Type||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||IPS LCD||DD-IPS LCD||DD-IPS LCD|
|System-on-a-chip||Samsung S5L8900||Samsung S5L8900||Samsung APL0298C05||Apple A4||Apple A5||Apple A6||Apple A6||Apple A7||Apple A8||Apple A8|
|CPU||ARM 1176JZ(F)-S||ARM 1176JZ(F)-S||600MHz ARM Cortex A8||800MHz ARM Cortex A8||800MHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9||1.3GHz dual-core Swift (ARM v7s)||1.3GHz dual-core Swift (ARM v7s)||64-bit 1.3GHz dual-core Cyclone (ARM v8)||64-bit 1.38Ghz dual-core (ARM v8)||64-bit 1.38Ghz dual-core (ARM v8)|
|GPU||PowerVR MBX Lite 3D||PowerVR MBX Lite 3D||PowerVR SGX535||PowerVR SGX535||PowerVR dual-core SGX543MP4||PowerVR triple-core SGX543MP3||PowerVR triple-core SGX543MP3||PowerVR G6430||PowerVR GX6450||PowerVR GX6450|
|Co-processor||none||none||none||none||none||none||none||M7 Motion||M8 Motion||M8 Motion|
|Cellular Data||EDGE||3G 3.6||HSPA 7.2||HSPA 7.2||HSPA 14.4||LTE/DC-HSPA||LTE/DC-HSPA||LTE/DC-HSPA||LTE Advanced||LTE Advanced|
|Rear Camera||2MP||2MP||3MP/480p||5MP/720p, ƒ2.8, 1.75µ||8MP/1080p, ƒ/2.4, BSI, 1.4µ||8MP/1080p, ƒ/2.4, BSI, 1.4µ||8MP/1080p, ƒ/2.4, BSI, 1.4µ||8MP/1080p, ƒ/2.2, BSI, 1.5µ||8MP/1080p 60fps, ƒ/2.2, BSI, 1.5µ||8MP/1080p 60fps, ƒ/2.2, BSI, 1.5µ OIS|
|Front Camera||none||none||none||VGA||VGA||1.2MP/720p, BSI||1.2MP/720p, BSI||1.2MP/720p, BSI||1.2MP/720p, BSI||1.2MP/720p, BSI|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 2.0+EDR||Bluetooth 2.0+EDR||Bluetooth 2.1+EDR||Bluetooth 2.1+EDR||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Wi-Fi||802.11b/g||802.11b/g||802.11b/g||802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz)||802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz)||802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5GHz)||802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5GHz)||802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5GHz)||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
|GPS||none||aGPS||aGPS||aGPS||aGPS, GLONASS||aGPS, GLONASS||aGPS, GLONASS||aGPS, GLONASS||aGPS, GLONASS||aGPS, GLONASS|
|Sensors||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared, fingerprint||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared, fingerprint, barometer||Ambient light, accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope, infrared, fingerprint, barometer|
|Connector||30-pin Dock||30-pin Dock||30-pin Dock||30-pin Dock||30-pin Dock||Lightning||Lightning||Lightning||Lightning||Lightning|
|Height||4.52 inches (115mm)||4.55 inches (115.5mm)||4.55 inches (115.5mm)||4.54 inches (115.2mm)||4.54 inches (115.2mm)||4.87 inches (123.8mm)||4.91 inches (124.8mm)||4.87 inches (123.8mm)||5.44 inches (138.1 mm)||6.22 inches (158.1mm)|
|Width||2.40 inches (61mm)||2.43 inches (61.8mm)||2.43 inches (61.8mm)||2.31 inches (58.6mm)||2.31 inches (58.6mm)||2.31 inches (58.6mm)||2.33 inches (59.2mm)||2.31 inches (58.6mm)||2.64 inches (67.0mm)||3.06 inches (77.8mm)|
|Thickness||0.46 inches (11.6mm)||0.48 inches (12.3mm)||0.48 inches (12.3mm)||0.37 inches (9.3mm)||0.37 inches (9.3mm)||0.30 inches (7.6mm)||0.35 inches (8.97mm)||0.30 inches (7.6mm)||0.27 inches (6.9mm)||0.28 inches (7.1mm|
|Weight||4.72oz (135g)||4.69 oz (133g)||4.72oz (135g)||4.83oz (137g)||4.94 oz (140g)||3.95oz (112g)||4.66oz (132g)||4.30oz (122g)||4.55 oz (129g)||6.07 oz (172 g)|
|Colors||Aluminum||Black/White||Black/White||Black/White||Black/White||Slate/Silver||Blue/Green/Pink/White/Yellow||Space gray, Silver, Gold||Space gray, Silver, Gold||Space gray, Silver, Gold|
|Launch Price||$499/$599 on contract (no subsidy)||$199/$299 on contract||$199/$299 on contract||$199/$299 on contract||$199/$299/$399 on contract||$199/$299/$399 on contract||$99/$199 on contract||$199/$299/$399 on contract||$199/$299/$399 on contract||$299/$399/$499 on contract|
This review focuses on what's new and what's been changed in the iPhone 6. Each generation, however, stands on the shoulders of the generations that came before. For added context and for previously introduced features, see previous reviews: