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Event Coverage

Hands-on with the Apple iPhone 6 & 6 Plus (pictures and videos)

By Alvin Soon - 10 Sep 2014

Hands-on with the Apple iPhone 6 & 6 Plus (pictures and videos)

What's new with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus?

Simply put: The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are bigger, thinner, and more powerful than previous iPhones. The camera remains at 8MP, but with new sensors and phase detection autofocus, which is the same kind of autofocus used by DSLR cameras. The iPhone 6 Plus has a slightly better camera, with optical image stabilization for steadier shots, and also longer battery life than the 6. The 32GB model is gone; 16GB stays, 32GB is dropped in favored of 64GB and there's a new 128GB model.

Prices stay the same for the iPhone 6 compared with the iPhone 5S at launch, while the iPhone 6 Plus is US$100 more at each level. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be launching on 19th September in select markets (including Singapore), with pre-order starting on 12th September.

iPhone 6's Compared
  iPhone 5S iPhone 6 (4.7") iPhone 6 Plus (5.5")
Screen Size 4" 4.7" 5.5"
Resolution 1136 x 640 1334 x 750 1920 x 1080
Pixels Per Inch 326 ppi 326 ppi 401 ppi
Camera 8 MP 8 MP 8 MP
Pixel Pitch 1.5 µ pixels 1.5 µ pixels 1.5 µ pixels
Image Stabilisation Digital Digital Optical
FaceTime Camera 1.2 MP 1.2 MP 1.2 MP
Capacities 16/32/64GB 16/64/128GB 16/64/128GB
Processor A7 (64-bit) A8 (64-bit) A8 (64-bit)
Coprocessor M7 M8 M8
Power
  • Talk time: Up to 10 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 3 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Video playback: Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
  • Talk time: Up to 14 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 10 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 11 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Video playback: Up to 11 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 50 hours
  • Talk time: Up to 24 hours on 3G
  • Standby time: Up to 384 hours
  • Internet use: Up to 12 hours on 3G, up to 12 hours on LTE, up to 12 hours on Wi-Fi
  • Video playback: Up to 14 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 80 hours
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm
Weight 112g 129g 172g

 

How do the new iPhones look and feel in real life? 

Apple's newest iPhones are its biggest, and yet thinnest yet. So how do the bigger iPhones feel in the hands?

The iPhone 6 feels more like the original iPhone and the iPhone 3G/3GS did. Unlike the iPhones 4/4S and 5/5S, which are hard-edged and blocky, the iPhone 6 feels smooth and organic in the hands. They also feel incredibly light, despite the 4.7-inch (129g) and the 5.5-inch (172g) models both weighing slightly heavier than the iPhone 5/5S (112g).

The iPhone 6's curves make it look and feel more organic.

Both new iPhones look and feel impeccably well-made. The curved corners of the screen catch the light with an attractive gleam, and the aluminum body looks confidently strong. Nothing here is unapologetically plastic. The iPhone 6 looks like a single shape, and you feel like you're twirling a smoothly polished stone rather than a block of machinery.

The curved forms of the iPhone 6 really remind me of the original iPhone. I wonder if there's more than a hint of coincidence there, knowing how obsessive Jony Ive is with the details. The power button has been moved from the top to the side, where it's more easily reached with the bigger sizes. The rear camera juts out slightly from the body, but when you place it on the table you hardly notice it. I certainly didn't feel any bump or unevenness when using both new iPhones on a table.

The rear camera juts out ever so slightly, and the power switch has been moved to the side. 

Personally, the big deal about the iPhone 6 is not in their bigger sizes, but in how impossibly slim they are. These are the slimmest iPhones that Apple has made, and even though the iPhone 6 is slightly heavier than the iPhone 5/s, the slender breadth makes it feel lighter than it looks.

Apple never mentioned it in the keynote, but the iPhone 6's slim figure might be the reason they waited eighth generation iPhone to increase its screen size. Its thinness makes it easier to reach around the body and touch the screen.

 

Hands-on with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (videos)

The iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch screen feels like the right size for my big hand, and you can see it briefly compared against the 6 Plus in this video:

Now see how I try to reach across and use the bigger iPhone 6 Plus. I don't think most can use this phone with one hand.

 

How big is big?

I have pretty big paws for an Asian guy, and the 4/7-inch iPhone 6 feels just right in my hands. I can reach for apps without much of a problem and the phone fits nicely into my jeans pocket.

How big is big? Here's the iPhone 5 (left) next to an iPhone 6 (center) and iPhone 6 Plus (right). 

The iPhone 6 Plus with the 5.5-inch screen, on the other hand, feels big. Real big. It's a stretch to reach across and tap on the furthest icons, and it really feels like you want to use two hands with this one. Double-tapping (not pressing) on the Home button for both iPhone 6 models activates 'Reachability', which slides the display down so that you can tap the software buttons in an app. There's also a new Display Zoom feature that increases the icon size.

In addition, Apple has made the iPhone 6 Plus easier to use and maybe even more productive in a new landscape mode, which you can see on the next page.

 Playing stackaphone: The iPhone 5 on top of a iPhone 6 on top of a iPhone 6 Plus.

I stretched to the max with my thumb and still couldn't reach the leftmost app on the iPhone 6 Plus.

Both iPhone 6 models have a new Reachability gesture, double tap on the Home button and the display comes down for you to reach across more easily.

 

The iPhone 6's bigger screen not only makes things bigger, it also shows more

It's pretty amazing that the new iPhones retain their pixel density even with the bigger screens. Apple calls it 'Retina HD', but what it means is that even though the screen is bigger, it’s still as rich and crisp as the Retina displays on the iPhone 5/s and 4/s. Things look slightly bigger on the big screens, and you also see more on the screen.

Check out the shot below to see what we mean, you can see how the last story on our website gets clipped on the iPhone 5, but more of the thumbnail picture shows up on the iPhone 6 and especially on the 6 Plus. The video box on the right (with the blue headline) is also larger in the new iPhones. So, for example, if you're reading text on the new iPhone 6, you'll not only see slightly bigger text, you'll also see more of the page at the same time.

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