Today, Apple is launching the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. One of first changes is that the new iPhone 6 has a 4.7" 1334x750 display, and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" 1920x1080 (1080p) display. The thickness of of the 4.7" model is 6.6mm and the 5.5" model is 7.1mm.

The displays will have higher contrast, better peak brightness, and better viewing angles according to Apple. This suggests that the iPhone display has a chevron shape to its subpixels to improve viewing angles. The glass also has a 2.5D curve similar to the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 for a smooth feel when swiping off the edge of the phone.

iOS is also adapted to the new larger iPhone 6 Plus' display by adding landscape views for many native applications that are two pane. In addition, in order to work with the differing resolutions Apple has added a "desktop-class scaler" to avoid incompability issues with applications that aren't aware of the new displays. This in turn implies that Apple is not doing integer scaling/doubling in all cases, and that we'll see fractional scaling used. These displays are known as Retina HD. There's also a one-hand mode for the iPhone 6 Plus in order to deal with the larger display size.

The new A8 powers both of these iPhones, and has 2B transistors compared to 1B the A7. It's also built on 20nm but it's unclear whether this is TSMC, Samsung, or both.

Apple also claims 25% higher CPU performance on the A8 and is also emphasizing that this new SoC can do better sustained performance over time compared against other smartphones. The GPU is supposed to be a GX6650.

Image Courtesy Engadget

Apple is also emphasizing that battery life on the iPhone 6 and how it compares to the iPhone 5s. WiFi browsing battery life is slightly increased over the 5s while LTE browsing battery life is unchanged, meanwhile the iPhone 6 Plus improves to 12 hours for both WiFi and LTE.

There's also a new M8 coprocessor which makes use of a new barometer sensor to measure relative air pressure and compute distance and elevation for better fitness tracking, which is used for the health application in iOS 8.

Apple is also finally introducing MDM9x25 with carrier aggregation and VoLTE. This means that there's a dual transceiver solution in the iPhone 6 devices. On the same line, Apple is finally adding 802.11ac to its smartphones and has worked on enabling seamless WiFi calling that goes from WiFi to cellular networks.

On the camera side, we see a new 8MP sensor which adds phase detection auto focus for faster autofocus, which is touted to be able to focus at up to 2x speed. There's also better local tone map and better noise reduction in addition to the PDAF system that was first seen in the Samsung Galaxy S5. Panoramas can now be up to 43MP in total resolution and a better gyroscope reduces stitching errors.

There's a brand new ISP in the A8 SoC as well, which is likely to be named the H7 ISP if we follow from the A7. Furthermore there's one feature that the iPhone 6 Plus does have that the iPhone 6 doesn't have for the camera, which is optical image stabilization (OIS) to reduce shaking. It appears that the entire module is floating instead of just a VCM-based lens stabilization system. There's also a timelapse feature. The PDAF also helps with continuous AF in video that avoids all of the breathing effects that come with conventional contrast-based focus.

The front facing camera also has a better sensor, f/2.2 aperture, single photo HDR, HDR video, and burst shot on the front facing camera.

Both will launch with iOS 8, which has QuickType that we've talked about at the WWDC keynote in addition to Extensibility which allows for TouchID auth in third party apps.

Also new to the iPhone 6 family is Near Field Communication (NFC) hardware, which is being used to power Apple's new payment system, Apple Pay. The iPhone 6 family utilizes an encrypted secure element (likely on the NFC chip itself) and credit cards are added through Passbook and validation for a purchase can be done using TouchID.

Apple has reassured security concerns by saying that Apple cannot know what is purchased and the cashier cannot see the credit card number or any information to ensure security. Online payment is also handled by Apple Pay which is a one-touch solution using TouchID and one time number from the secure element. Groupon, Uber, Target, Panera, MLB, and Apple store applications are all already supporting this system. Another example cited was OpenTable which allows for one to pay for a dinner check through an app. The system launches in the US in October as an update and will have an API open to all developers to implement in their applications.

  Apple iPhone 5s Apple iPhone 6 Apple iPhone 6 Plus
SoC Apple A7 Apple A8 Apple A8
Display 4-inch 1136 x 640 LCD 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 LCD 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD
WiFi 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n, BT 4.0 2.4/5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, single stream, BT 4.0, NFC
Storage 16GB/32GB/64GB 16GB/64GB/128GB 16GB/64GB/128GB
I/O Lightning connector, 3.5mm headphone
Size / Mass 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, 112 grams 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm, 129 grams 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm, 172 grams
Camera 8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash
1.2MP f/2.4 Front Facing
8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash
1.2MP f/2.2 Front Facing
8MP iSight with 1.5µm pixels Rear Facing + True Tone Flash + OIS
1.2MP f/2.2 Front Facing
Price $99 (16GB), $149 (32GB) on 2 year contract $199 (16GB), $299 (64GB), $399 (128GB) on 2 year contract $299 (16GB), $399 (64GB), $499 (128GB) on 2 year contract

There are new silicone and leather cases with gold, silver, and space gray. The iPhone 6 starts at the usual $199 for 16GB, $299 for 64GB and $399 for 128GB. The iPhone 6 Plus comes in the same colors at $299 for 16GB, $399 for 64GB and $499 for 128GB. The iPhone 5s is now $99 on 2 year contrast, and the iPhone 5c is free. The new phone will ship on September 19th and preorders begin on September 12th.

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  • mkozakewich - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    The purpose of the 5.5" screen is to help the older people that have trouble with the smaller items. This phone should display those over 20% bigger, which seems a bit strange compared to a regular iPhone, but which is great for people who are used to iPads.
  • L A - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    "The purpose of the 5.5" screen is to help the older people that have trouble with the smaller items.". Lol...too funny! I don't know where you spend your days, but you are delusional. I see so many people of all ages using large screen phones wherever I go. Being a business professional I choose a Note 3 for the purpose of multi-tasking and the stylus for jotting down quick notes instead of typing. A large screen is just more functional than some little small screen. I use a phone as a tool not some toy!
  • Impulses - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    You'd be surprised how many old foggies buy Notes because they think on screen elements will be bigger tho... I know several lawyers and two doctors that did so. Enthusiasts know things are scaled and mostly the same size, but the average buyer is clueless.
  • ToastyFlake - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    Being a "business professional", you must be an older person :)
  • wetwareinterface - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    i thought the purpose of the 5.5 inch screen was for those individuals with larger hands. you know "so it can be accessed with one's thumb from corner to corner ... accident? i don't think so"
  • Milkman128 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    6+ is 1080P
  • goshirn - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Excuse me, but if you were planning to pay $299 for the phone, then you can indeed have a 1080p screen, on the iPhone 6 Plus, the screen size is then 5.5''.

    The iPhone 6 that has the 4.7'' with the 750p display is $199. These are prices with contract, but the price difference between them, unlocked and without contract, is $100 as well.

    And now to my opinion: I rather have a display that has amazing color accuracy and contrast, and is 750p than a less accurate display that has a 1080p panel (all other things being equal). I will definitely wait for the review of both phones from this website, Anandtech always posts amazing, detailed reviews, if the screens are super accurate (like everything seems to indicate, from past experience) and the cameras as well have very good color reproduction and performance in low light (comparing to everything but HTC One, vanilla and M8), then the iPhone 6 and Plus will be the first iPhones in a couple years to be on my top phone list.

    I rather have better but less than more and worse. Like Apple says about these phones "Bigger than bigger." I think the review on this site will prove that. I'll be very disappointed if it doesn't.
  • sigmatau - Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - link

    A phone with 16GB of storage with no memory card slot is pure garbage for $299 on contract. Same for a 16GB phone for $199 on contract. That is all.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Yeah, same for 16gb storage on a "high end" (cough) phone. FFS, its 2014 and that memory costs them pennies.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Yes, but pennies multiplied by millions of phones is a lot of... wait a second...

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