iPhone 6 Plus: Everything you need to know about Apple’s ‘phablet’

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Well, it looks like the rumours we’ve been passing around the web for months were spot-on. At Apple’s highly-anticipated iPhone 6 launch in Cupertino, California today, Tim Cook and the Apple team launched not one but two new flagship handsets.

First up there’s the iPhone 6 and then there’s the bonus phone: the iPhone 6 Plus. The unoriginally named Plus is Apple’s first foray into the ‘phablet’ market, a huge handset/tablet hybrid that’ll compete with the likes of the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 when it comes to market later on this month.

At 5.5 inches the iPhone 6 Plus is Apple’s largest handset to date, so let’s take a look at what this giant device has to offer and how it differs from the 6, as well as its predecessors.

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The design

Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus have an anodised aluminium back plate, as well as a stainless steel Apple logo on the rear and they sport a curved display with rounded edges. It’s great to see that just because this phone is so much bigger, it’s not veering away from Apple’s iconic, slick and minimalist design.

As you can see from the comparison chart above, the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t just bigger than the iPhone 6 at 5.5 inches, but it’s also just a little bit thicker too. However, it measures 0.5mm less in width than the iPhone5S, so will still feel like a premium upgrade if the massive screen isn’t enough for you.

The home button is the same as the one we’ve seen on the 5S and comes with a Touch ID scanner, too. However, the power button has been moved to the edge of the handset, which should make it a little bit easier to turn on and off given the device itself is just so huge – I doubt my hand would be able to reach a button located at the top!

So back to that huge screen, it’s 5.5 inches and has a pixel density of 1920 X 1080, which is about 138% more than the pixels you’d find on an iPhone 5S, in case you were wondering. Both devices allegedly have ‘Retina Display HD’, which basically means they both have better displays than any other past iPhone model.

A really nice touch on the iPhone 6 Plus is that if you tip it landscape, all of the apps and the home screen move with you and are optimised for landscape viewing, just like you’d find when using the iPad.


Looks great, right?

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The insides

The iPhone 6 Plus is packing a new 64-bit A8 chip, which is a whole 13% smaller than the A7, the iPhone 5S’ previous chip. It’s got a CPU that’s 20% faster than its predecessor and 50% faster graphics, too.

Given that the iPhone’s in-built Health app will be a key part of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus experience, the M8’s motion processor has been tweaked and can now (allegedly) tell the difference between activities. This is great news for those who use the phone to track workouts, steps and runs but sometimes feel a little frustrated when the data isn’t as accurate as more advanced devices and gadgets specially built for tracking.

Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will also allow you to call via wi-fi, so if you’re on the tube or somewhere that doesn’t have great signal you might still be able to make that all important call.

Other than the size of the screens there’s not a great deal of difference between the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus. Well, until it comes to the battery life. The iPhone 6 will be similar to the iPhone 5 S unfortunately, but if you get your hands on an iPhone 6 Plus you’re looking at a good few hours more talk time and 3G browsing time, which is good news given you’re going to have such a huge screen to watch things on.

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During the presentation from the Apple team it didn’t feel like the cameras on the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus had much of an upgrade from the one found inside the iPhone 5S because it only takes photos in 8MP resolution. However, the new cameras have had an upgrade in the form of a new iSight sensor, which gives the handsets’s autofocus a boost and is twice as fast as the autofocus you’d find from a 5S.

There’s also the ability to take panorama shots that can be up to 43 MP in size, as well as video recording in 1080 pixels that can be slowed down to create Matrix-style dramatic action shots!

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Apple Pay

Apple has finally realised the potential of NFC and has built it in to both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus handsets. The reason for adding NFC is for the new Apple Pay mobile payments system, but could also be used for paying for transport or a whole range of other things.

Apple Pay promises to be a really secure and hassle-free way to pay for pretty much everything. All you have to do is place your iPhone 6 Plus (or iPhone 6 or even your Apple Watch!) against a payment reader and the payment will be taken straight away – just like the experience you get from using contactless debit or credit cards already.

Many people have been wondering what the implications are if you lose your phone – will you literally have to get a new life and accept the fact the thief will be on a spending spree right now? Well, Apple Pay works using Touch ID for identity verification, so at least for the time being you can use Apple Pay without getting all paranoid about security and privacy.

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Pricing and Availability

Both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus will be available in three variations, 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus will cost £619, £699, and £789 and the iPhone 6 will cost £539, £619, and £699.

Both phones will be available in gold, silver, or grey. Pre-orders open on 12th September, and will go on sale on the 19th September.

Becca Caddy

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