Finally, we know that Apple’s still got some designers on their payroll!
It’s been a long two years since the iPhone received a design overhaul, and what an turnaround it is!
The Apple iPhone 6 represents one of the most comprehensive overhauls in the smartphone industry. When Tim Cook announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, he unleashed the catalyst that Apple needed, to bounce back into a market crowded.
The iPhone 6 now features a classy 4.7 inch screen with the Apple A8 processor to back it up. It’s an extremely powerful device which looks just as gorgeous!
But will Apple’s gamble of shifting away from the standard screen size pay off? Let’s find out what the iPhone 6 is all about and see if we can decide for ourselves!
The iPhone 6 has a beautiful 4.7 inch 720p Retina HD display which screams ‘oomph’. Although on paper, it’s 1334×750 resolution is not the pinnacle of resolution, however the Retina HD makes it tick.
Recent trends may suggest QHD as the display capability to vie for, yet Apple’s Retina HD built on top of the staple IPS LCD continues to walk the high-quality-display streets with its head held high.
Apple’s surely still got the secret sauce that makes displays rock.
We’ve tested the iPhone 6 extensively and we can easily agree that it meets are our every requirement, and if there’s a better screen out there, it can possibly only be the one on the iPhone 6 Plus (thanks to its higher ppi).
The iPhone 6’s expansive design makeover from the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s kind of reinvents the iPhone. Gone are the flat edges and sharp angles; replaced by rounded edges and curved screen edges – both of which make the iPhone 6 feel infinitely smoother and slick.
It doesn’t feel as lightweight as the iPhone 5s though. Coming in a tad heavier at 129 grams (vs. 112 of the iPhone 5s), yet thanks to the well balanced distribution of hardware, it doesn’t feel quite so “weighty”. The ease with which the folks at Apple have increased the size of the iPhone while keeping the overall balance of the phone just as before is indeed commendable. The changes are so well executed that the moment you hold the iPhone 6, you know exactly why spent the caboodles of your money on it. It feels just right.
Apple has made a couple of tweaks that are complete departures from the past. The power button is no longer at the top, it’s now at the right hand side, above the nano-SIM tray. This is a much more convenient location for something as critical as a power button, for both right and left handed users.
Considering the size of the iPhone 6 Plus, the power button had to be shifted from the top to the right. And it’s safe to say that Apple wanted some sort of uniformity on both of its latest devices, hence the change on the iPhone 6 as well.
Another change in design philosophy is the protruding rear camera, but that’s covered later in this review.
In terms of the layout, nothing else has changed from the iPhone 5/5s. The volume buttons still sit below the mute toggle on the left side, and the 3.5mm headphone jack holds its place at the bottom. Also present at the bottom is the now-standard Lightning port and 6 stylish holes for the speaker.
Apple have got the design spot-on, yet again. It is a pleasure to hold this device. The aluminium finish, the rock-solid feel and the sweet balance all go into making this feel like the premium device it actually is.
One thing to take note of though, the iPhone 6 is not clearly listed as water- or dust-resistant, though there were some rumours that Apple had snuck in some protection to that end, but those were never proved either way. It might not be a deal breaker, but it’s something you should be aware of.
The iPhone 6 houses two processors inside; one is the A8 processor which is the primary processor and the other is the M8 processor which helps save battery life by allowing the A8 processor to go to sleep from time to time. The A8 packs a dual core processor clocked 1.4GHz. This doesn’t seem like a major upgrade from the A7 processor on the iPhone 5, that was clocked at 1.3GHz, but trust me, as is often the case with Apple, numbers are misleading. The iPhone 6 is immensely slicker, unbelievably smooth, and yet, more battery efficient!
The additional M8 processor is the game changer. It looks after all the data captured by the various sensors on the iPhone 6; these include the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and barometer. It’s a lot more energy efficient than the main processor and this boosts overall performance in handling any sensor-associated tasks.
The Apple iPhone 6 features a nano-SIM slot. It does not however have a microSD card slot – classic Apple. But that isn’t much of a concern as you get three internal memory options; 16 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB.
The iPhone 6 is Bluetooth 4.0 enabled and has NFC capabilities as well (Apple Pay only).
A large part of a phone’s appeal lies in the OS it rides on. The iPhone 6 runs on iOS 8 and is shortly due an official update to iOS 9.
iOS 8 itself brought a lot of new features to the table – Interactive Notifications, Notification Centre widgets, Battery Monitor, Apple Pay and the ‘Hey Siri’ functionality are just some of the features that debuted on iOS 8. Custom keyboards was another nice touch on iOS 8 and a lot of developers have worked on the same, bringing a lot of cool stuff to the table.
This might be a game changer for Apple!
Additionally, the combination of Healthkit and the M8 co-processor is a killer. It provides detailed information about your activities throughout the day.
Other cool features include the Reachability shortcut… double tap the home button and the screen’s contents will slide down towards your fingers, making it easier for you to manoeuvre around the larger screen and its elusive corners.
Continuity is another thing Apple fostered, that increases your productivity by allowing you to seamless move between Apple devices. If you own an iPhone and a Mac, for instance, they are seamlessly integrated to each other via the iCloud. You can starting writing emails or texts or even calendar entries on one device, and continue the task momentarily on another device. Works on Safari pages too! Not only that, a cousin-brother facility called Handoff allows you to even make voice calls from your Mac via the iPhone. Rather helpful, isn’t it?
iOS 8 is as smooth as ever and feels like a breeze. The new features on iOS 8 are a blessing and make the iPhone experience even more satisfying.
The iPhone 6 boasts of an 8 megapixel rear camera which is as awesome as always. The lens and sensor have been improved on the iPhone 6’s camera, which lets you take better low-light shots. Apple’s camera is still minimalist, which is a good thing. All the camera modes and other settings are easy to access and there’s no unnecessary clutter.
The new iSight camera on the iPhone 6 works brilliantly indoors as well as outdoors, in addition it employs new technology that helps in speedy focussing. Similar to the kind of focusing technology used in the Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s accurate and saves time.
One thing missing on the iPhone 6 camera though is Optical Image Stabilisation, which Apple chose to give its bigger sibling instead. As the name suggests, OIS helps smoothen the shakiness that comes in photographs due to little hand movements.
Editor’s Note: Even though the iPhone 6 Plus does come with OIS, our sustained experience yields that there’s not much difference in the shots taken from both these phones, most times. So you shouldn’t feel miffed if you but the iPhone 6 and not the Plus.
The best thing is that the camera on the iPhone 6 is a point and shoot dream. Apart from the HDR toggle, Apple has also added exposure control to the iPhone 6’s camera. Tapping the screen brings up a slider that lets you control an image’s brightness. It’s a nice little addition.
The Slo-Mo on the iPhone 5s created a lot of buzz in the market. It was very well received. And now, the iPhone 6 comes with a Super Slo-Mo mode! Although there are several Time Lapse photo apps around now, Apple’s own camera app does things very efficiently and with relative ease.
The front camera is a 1.2 megapixel camera which is, on paper, very similar to the one on the iPhone 5s. However, Apple has added a timer and burst mode to the front camera, which makes it easier to take selfies in bright as well as low-light conditions.
The only thing that people are a little unhappy about is Apple’s decision to have the camera protrude out of the back panel. Knowing Apple, this is more a nod towards technical constraints, and not any indication of designer apathy!
All media, which includes pictures, music and videos have to be synced onto the iPhone using iTunes on your computer, or via iCloud. There is no other way to put media on your device, which is quite a bummer, if you are using a stand alone iPhone without other Apple devices. Though iTunes can be installed on Window PCs it is not ideal.
Media you purchase in the iTunes store becomes available on your iPhone instantly, and on any other Apple device you may have.
Coming to Bluetooth, transferring media to or from another smartphone using Bluetooth is again not possible on the iPhone, an instance of how closed the iPhone architecture is when it comes to handling media. Wi-Fi Direct is also not supported.
Tapping the Music icon takes you straight to your music playlists, from where you can switch to alternate views like artists, songs, albums among others. The audio quality on the apple earphones is excellent and music sounds great even at full volume which is really loud.
I don’t see anyone using the music player at these levels, and strongly suggest using the volume limit option in the music settings. The onboard speaker has good clarity but is soft and you will need to pump up the volume, so I propose you avoid using it altogether and instead use the earphones with a volume limit.
Watching videos on this phone is a nice experience thanks to the Retina display, and the larger screen is a godsend, and was sorely missed on earlier iPhones.
When it comes to gaming, this phone outshines everything else out there on the shelves in India, due to the display clarity as well as the inbuilt Game Center app which interacts with all the games you download onto this device. Using Game Center you can create an online gaming identity, upload your contacts to get personalised friend recommendations, earn achievements and challenge friends.
Social integration is built in with settings for Facebook and Twitter available on the phone. All you have to do is sign in and install the apps and you are set to go. Signing in to Facebook will automatically download your Facebook friends to the contacts app and your Facebook events to the calendar app, keeping all the information up to date. You can also post status updates, photos and other content straight to Facebook or Twitter through the Notifications Centre.
iPhones have a lot of things happening around them. Apple and IBM are working closely together to bring to you the next generation of business apps made exclusively for iOS. These apps will ease your business activities by making things simpler and easily achievable. They will cover a broad range of categories like Health Care, Industrial Products, Banking, Travel & transportation.
When it comes to security from viruses, Apple has an exemplery record and as such its devices do not even need anti-virus software. Another great security feature is the Find my iPhone feature which allows you to locate your phone in case it has been lost or stolen.
If one of your Apple devices goes missing, iCloud can help you work out where it is. Just sign in at iCloud.com or use the Find My iPhone app to see your missing iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac on a map.