iPhone 6 Review
Apple’s latest generation of phone is here, the iPhone 6 is the next big change after Apple’s iPhone 5 was launched two years ago. However a lot has happened in the smartphone market space since then.
Android has taken major lead thanks to diversification and availability, and smartphones have become much cheaper. A few companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus have emerged to show that cheap phones don’t have to be bad quality or bad spec’d, and that they too can create major hype.
So amidst all of this smartphone tension, where does today’s iPhone 6 stand and is is worth your major moolah. Let’s find out!
Just like every iPhone release, this one was riddled with issues as well. Apple managed to sell 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices overnight since it went on sale and a lot of people had major issues in getting to the online Apple store. Then there is this crazy #bendgate phenomenon, and just like Apple’s #AntennaGate this one has the whole world talking about bending iPhones. People are confused and some assume that a bending iPhone is a feature of the new iPhone, just like the G Flex.
[pullquote_left]iPhone 6 is Unaffected by the Bendgate Issue[/pullquote_left]
Apple has received just a few complaints over bending iPhone 6 plus’ and the whole story seems like a media frenzy, also it does not affect the iPhone 6 at all. All bendgate theories aside, Apple has managed to improve on what was already an excellent handset. People wanted a bigger iPhone and Apple delivered two sizes. People asked for better battery and the Cupertino giant may have a winner on that as well, but hardware is not the only factor. Apple has tied in iOS 8 brilliantly and the end user experience may just be what you have been looking for.
Build Quality and Design
Apple has chosen to go with a treated Aluminum just like every year, however this year it’s thinner and strengthened at the hip using stainless steel and titanium inserts. The iPhone however, is presumed to be easily dented or nicked at the round edges just like the case of the first generation. The front glass is rounded to the edges giving the phone a massively premium outlook and a great in-hand feel. Expect almost all manufacturers to follow this in the upcoming handsets.
Looks wise the iPhone 6 is much more good looking in person than in images and video. It feels excellent in the hand and thanks to the new rounded edges, the phone will stay in your hand much longer. Everyone who has seen it, has appreciated its looks. The Golden color especially has been improved over the past generation gold.
The camera module sits above the whole body of the phone, which makes it prone to scratches, however the super hard sapphire lens, makes it really difficult to do so. The Apple official case tucks the camera module in just a tad bit to add a layer of protection and not bulk. The leather case is really appreciable and well made, much more so than last generation cases.
Procession on the new iPhone 6 happens on the new Apple A8 Chipset and it is the first chipset to include 2 Billion transistors. Which is really impressive if you factor in the size of the A8 die i.e 89mm2. The increase in the performance is based on a 1.4 Ghz CPU and a hexa core GPU. The front has a larger 4.7 inch display which is an Apple iPhone first along with a larger resolution of 1334 x 750 px, retaining Apple’s retina requirements.
The Battery is bigger on the iPhone 6 with a 1810 mAh unit in tow, non-replaceable as usual, you also get the same 8 Mp and 1.2 Mp camera combo. However improved lenses and sensor promise better imagery and we agree. There is also an NFC module on the inside, but it is only for payments and not for information bumps. Apple Pay is not available in India, in fact it won’t be for a while so it really may not be relevant. However if you are in the US, this may simplify payments for you significantly, especially if all you carried was a credit/debit card.
Performance is easily noticeable out of the box; the iPhone 6 is snappier, opens apps faster and renders objects quicker. The graphics information is about as accurate as mentioned and games that will take full advantage of the GPU will truly shine in the coming days with extra detail and nag-less gameplay.
Multitasking has taken a major bump up, thanks to iOS 8 which is much lighter and handles multitasking better, but the hardware also plays an important role and improves it, resulting in a flawless experience overall.
Gaming, Display and Multimedia
The iPhone 6 is by far the best gaming experience on a smartphone, the visual elements truly shine out in gameplay, and since all games are designed around Apple’s hardware on the iPhones, they run at best possible settings resulting in the best possible output, and therefore the best possible gaming experience.
[pullquote_right]The Display shines on the new iPhone 6[/pullquote_right]
The new bigger 4.7 inch display truly leverages the OS experience, you still get to use the phone with one hand, and once you have used “reachability”, the first question you will ask is “why hasn’t anyone else done it before?”. It makes sense and it works really well. Apple should have stuffed in a larger resolution display on the iPhone 6, but the current resolution is very good. There is zero pixelation on screen, text looks excellent, viewing angles are really wide and outdoor visibility is top notch, basically the same as you would expect from an iPhone, but better.
The speakerphone is definitely louder and more defined, however it’s no “boomsound” speaker setup and it’s no where near as great as a stereo setup. Why Apple choses to use a single speaker after 7 years of inception is beyond us, when they could have easily done a stereo setup with this iPhone. Audio output from the 3.5mm headphone jack is still the best from any phone ever and bundled with a good set of headphones makes for the best on the go sound experience.
240fps at 720p is going to be the best fun you have had with a Camera, be sure to get at least the 64 GB variant if you intend to use this. The best usage is outdoors so that you don’t get random tube light flicker. The one major let down this year was the lack of 4K video, and now that the storage was bumped up to 128GB it would have simply made sense, as the sensor and chipset is very capable and with the iPhone 6 Plus OIS would have meant excellent video.
There is a major improvement in the new autofocus capabilities of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 misses the OIS from the 6 Plus which is a major pity, because there is no real reason Apple should have left it out.
The new autofocus is laser fast, and the new lens setup is better for macro. The iPhone usually has great background defocus and close up capture capability as it is, the new iPhone 6 camera improves that by a handful. You also see sharper pictures, highly improved HDR and color correction, and perfectly saturated colors. Thanks to the excellent image processing you get ideally one of the best pocket cameras today. It is also the most used camera in the world and that is just going to become bigger.
Phone and Battery life
Network performance is a definite improvement on the iPhone 6, the signal strength has improved tremendously and audio quality in phone calls is definitely up there in the Top 3. The lack of a 3G toggle in the settings panel in iOS 8 troubles users indoors, because you are now unable to switch to a stronger 2G signal. The iPhone 6 however does that by itself now more than ever, which works great for us.
Battery life has seen a major jump since the iPhone 5s, which had appalling battery life. Newer chipsets, a slightly larger battery and iOS 8 tweaks are all to thank for a bump in battery which will go an easy 18 hours, meaning a full day without the need of a recharge. Apple’s extreme battery life chart is a bit off from actual usage delivering upto 7 hours on 3G talk in normal usage.
Apple ties in the operating system beautifully, and especially thanks to iOS 8 and hand-off, get ready to get a multi device experience like no other. While your phone rings, you can set it up so that every device on the same iCloud account rings too, whether an iPod touch or an iPad and even another iPhone will ring and you can answer the call on either. Best case example, you put your phone on charge and are working on the iPad, you can now receive a phone call on that. The same will apply to MacBooks and iMacs on Yosemite, which will receive calls and texts allowing you to not switch screens when you don’t need to.
iOS 8 also takes good advantage of the bigger displays, widening side panels in landscape and allowing you to use a zoomed in view for larger icons and text. iOS 8 also uses Apple Pay which may become the future of payments (when it’s available globally anyway). Simple things like reachability and the new improved keyboard only add to the experience of the bigger screens. Typing is definitely faster, and as mentioned before, the OS is quicker and lighter on its feet, therefore improves the usage experience tremendously.
[pullquote_left]The Best Your Money Can Buy![/pullquote_left]There is no major innovation from Apple this year, and most have constantly asked me for one. Once Apple Pay comes to India and the rest of the world, there is a high chance that iPhone 7 will be out by then / or iPhone 6s or whatever they call it. The iPhone 5s in terms of performance, usability and camera/optics was essentially one of the best phones of last year. The two issues, poor battery life and a small display irked many users and Apple has addressed those two beautifully in this release. What else has improved? The design and the overall appeal of the phone, the rounded edges on the display feel wonderfully natural and invite you to slide your finger on the new phone. Big improvements on the performance front and the Touch ID sensitivity also really improve the experience.
Should you buy this if you own an iPhone 5s?
If you want a bigger screen, a bigger storage capacity or even better battery management and can afford buying a new phone, don’t think twice.
What is different between the Nexus 4 and the new iPhone 6?
The question is flawed somehow, because of the sheer distinction in the kind of products. A 2011 Honda Accord and a 2014 BMW 5 Series Sedan are identical, they both have a 2 Liter engine, 4 wheels, 5 passenger capacity, Air-conditioning and even similar interior equipment. If you go into more detail they even have identical length and width, and if you add Rs. 5 lac (US$ 7000) worth performance parts to your purchase of the Accord you can make it run faster than many sports cars. So why is the BMW more expensive and more appreciated than the Accord? If you answer that question the same is applicable to the above question.
If you can afford it, the iPhone 6 is fortunately or unfortunately the best smartphone experience today, and once you get to use it and understand how it simplifies your life, you truly appreciate its experience. The experience which is again fortunately or unfortunately enjoyed best with more Apple products in your daily use scenario. Even as a standalone phone, only a minor user-share have disliked the iPhone experience, and those who left iPhones a few years back, would be delighted to now bounce back onto the bandwagon.
- Touch ID Sensor
- Excellent Camera
- Unmatched Smooth Operation
- Beautiful Design
- Large 128 GB Option
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- Question Around Weak Build
- Availability in India