Apple held one of its biggest media events yesterday, where it announced the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay payments process.
The next-generation iPhone comes in two variants, the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display, and the iPhone 6 Plus with a 5.5-inch display. Every year, Apple generally has one top-of-the-line iPhone, but this year the lineup has become more diverse thanks to the two variants. With pre orders going live September 12th, we help you decide if you should upgrade from your current iPhone to the iPhone 6.
If you were to pick the highlight of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, it would obviously be the larger displays. Both iPhone 6 models come with what Apple calls a Retina HD display that boasts of a higher contrast ratio, an improved polariser and wider viewing angles.
The iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1336×750 pixels at a pixel density of 326ppi, which is the same as the iPhone 5s, but it can show you much more content. The iPhone 6 Plus has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p with a pixel density of 401ppi, which is the highest on any iOS device. With the iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll see even sharper text, and be able to better enjoy your HD movies.
The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5 all have the same 4-inch display with a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels at a pixel density of 326ppi. With the new iPhones, you’ll be able to see much more content on your screen, and in case of the iPhone 6 Plus, see text even sharper.
Although Apple’s kept the iPhone 6’s 8 megapixel count the same as earlier generation iPhones, it has added a number of features to the camera that will let you take even better photos.
The iPhone 6’s rear-camera can now shoot 1080p HD videos at 60fps, and slo-mo videos at 240fps. The iPhone 5s can shoot HD videos only at 30fps, and shoot slo-mo videos at 120fps. The iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c don’t support slo-mo.
iPhone 6’s new iSight sensor add “Focus Pixels” that make autofocus faster, the new signal processor in the A8 chip makes face detection even faster and also powers Auto image stabilisation. One notable difference between the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 is that the iPhone 6 Plus comes with optical image stabilisation while the iPhone 6 comes only with digital image stabilisation.
The front-facing FaceTime HD camera has also received a big update. It now has an f/2.2 aperture and can capture 81% more light, and also supports burst mode along with improved face detection, HDR video, exposure control and more.
If you take a lot of photos with the iPhone’s camera, then these new improvements can be a good reason to upgrade.
LTE & Wi-Fi
The iPhone 6 supports LTE Advanced with speeds of up to 150 Mbps as compared to the iPhone 5s’ upper limit of 100 Mbps. It has support for up to 20 LTE bands, ensuring maximum compatibility with LTE networks all over the world. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is 3x faster than 802.11n Wi-Fi. While the iPhone 5s supports Wi-Fi calling, the iPhone 6, in addition to Wi-Fi calling, also supports VoLTE.
These improvements may prove to be useful if your carrier supports LTE advanced, or if you have an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router.
The A8 chip
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are powered by Apple’s new 64-bit A8 chip made on a 20nm process. It boasts of up to 25 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster GPU performance as well as being 50 percent more energy efficient. The two iPhone 6 variants also come with a new M8 chip that in addition to your step count can also measure altitude with a new barometer sensor.
The motion coprocessor was first introduced with the iPhone 5s, and earlier models can’t do low-power motion tracking like the iPhone 5s or iPhone 6.
The battery life of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is equal or better than the battery life of the iPhone 5s. You can surf the web for 12 hours on the iPhone 6 Plus, for 10-11 hours on the iPhone 6 and for 8-10 hours on the iPhone 5s.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have slightly different storage tiers than earlier iPhones. Base models of both variants are 16GB, but the next configuration skips 32GB and goes right to 64GB, and the top of the line iPhone 6 comes with 128GB of storage. If you take a lot of photos with your iPhone, or play heavy games, and aren’t concerned about price, then the 128GB option can be great for you.
Apple Pay & NFC
Apple unveiled its much rumored mobile payments service yesterday, that takes advantage of the new NFC chips in the iPhone 6. Apple Pay is a seamless way to make payments at retail stores as well as online that guarantees security, and uses Touch ID for authentication. The iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c or iPhone 5 won’t support Apple Pay unless you also buy the Apple Watch.
Apple Pay will launch in the US in October with an impressive number of partners, and while this in itself may not be a good enough reason, clubbed with all the other features, it sure makes a convincing case to upgrade to the iPhone 6.
iOS 8 & iOS apps
iOS 8 runs on iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s and of course the two new iPhones. The iPhone 5 and up run iOS 8 with no major issues, but if you’re using the iPhone 4s, you might want to upgrade.
With the iPhone 6’s larger display, apps will now be able to take advantage of the additional screen real-estate to show additional elements, use iPhone-style split-screen layouts in landscape mode, and more.
The iPhone lineup is more diverse than ever, and there’s a choice at every price point. The iPhone 6 starts at $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB. The iPhone 5s is available for $99 and the iPhone 5c is available for free.
Should you upgrade from the iPhone 5s
The iPhone 5s is just a year old, and if you bought it on a contract, you still have a year to go before the contract terminates.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have a larger display, better battery life, improved performance, a camera that can take better photos, optical image stabilisation, larger storage capacities and more. An iPhone 5s to iPhone 6 upgrade is much more significant than say an iPhone 5 to iPhone 5s upgrade, but you’ll have to evaluate if the extra cost of an early-termination-fee is worth the new features.
For an even more detailed comparison, checkout our spec shootout between the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5s.
Should you upgrade from the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c
The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c have nearly the same specs, but the former was launched two years back, while the latter was launched just a year ago. The improvements of the iPhone 6 over these two devices are quite significant in all aspects, as we’ve detailed in this post, and if your contract is coming to an end then it might be a good decision to buy the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.
You’ll get a better and larger display, a faster device, improved front and rear cameras, longer battery life, faster download speeds, Apple Pay and more.
For an even more detailed comparison, checkout our spec shootout between the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 5c.
Should you upgrade from the iPhone 4s
The iPhone 4s is now three years old. If you’ve completed your two-year contract with your carrier, then the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus are great upgrades for you, offering you all the improvements Apple has made in the past few years in a single device starting at $199 or $299.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus go on sale September 19, and preorders start September 12. Even if you don’t find the new devices appealing, you can choose the $99 iPhone 5s or the free iPhone 5c if you’re on a older generation iPhone.
Let us know if you’ll be upgrading to the iPhone 6 in the comments below.