iPhone 6 Plus Raises the Stakes for Apple

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The recent announcement of Apple’s two iOS smartphones — the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6 — raises the stakes for the company as it tries to stay competitive with the ever expanding Android universe. While Apple’s new phones aren’t revolutionary, their upgraded specifications should convince most iPhone users to stay in the fold, lest they become tempted by high end Android models from Samsung or LG. Even some of the recent Windows Phone models look promising, despite the mobile operating system’s inability to gain any tangible market share.

What follows is a closer look at both new iPhones, their new features, and how they are able to leverage some of the enhancements in iOS 8.

A Sharper Display and Larger Touchscreen Highlight the iPhone 6 Plus

The most striking aspect of the new iPhone 6 Plus is its large 5.5-inch touchscreen — Apple’s biggest yet on a smartphone. The added screen real estate is probably a direct result of trying to stay competitive with the large screens on the latest models of the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG G3, which are two of most popular examples of high end Android smartphones. The Retina HD display on the larger iPhone 6 comes in at a stunning 1920×1080 resolution, sure to please most consumers of streamed video content.

Additionally, the display on both iPhone 6 models features higher constrast “dual domain” pixels that allow viewing from wider angles than before. The thinner display also means the new iPhones are the most slender yet from Apple. Enhanced polarization promises better viewability in high sunlight conditions as well.

The 4.7-inch display on the smaller iPhone 6 is still capable of resolutions of 1374 x 750. The iPhone 6’s sports a 326 ppi resolution compared to the 401 ppi resolution on the iPhone 6 Plus. The better resolution on the larger iPhone 6 means that landscape orientation is finally supported on the home screen and in some Apple native apps — namely Mail, Calendar, and Stocks.

Both Models of the iPhone 6 Sport a Faster Processor

No matter the iPhone 6 model, it contains a 64-bit microprocessor architecture powered by Apple’s new A8 chip. The M8 motion co-processor theoretically improves the iPhone’s analyzing the various sensors contained in the smartphone. Even a barometer is included in the new smartphone design, giving an opportunity for iOS weather app developers to check atmospheric pressure in real time.

Both the iPhone 6’s CPU and the GPU used for graphics processing rates significantly higher than the iPhone 5. The GPU improvements will definitely make gamers and those who enjoying watching movies and other rich media content on their iPhone very happy.

Even with this additional computing horsepower, Apple claims that battery life is actually improved with the iPhone 6. Cupertino’s secret apparently resides in the enhanced power efficiency of the A8’s design. The A8 enjoys up to 50 percent better energy efficiency than the A7 chip used in older iPhone models.

Enhanced Camera Another Highlight of the New iPhone

Both iPhone 6 models feature an enhanced iSight camera that takes full advantage of the smartphone’s new A8 chip. Many of these improvements come into play when shooting video. It is now possible to capture 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second, 240 fps slow-motion video, and time-lapse photography using the iPhone 6’s camera.

It appears the golden age of the amateur videographer has now dawned.

Both the rear-facing and the front-facing FaceTime HD cameras garnered improved functionality, including better face detection and light capture. Easy to use exposure controls also let iPhone owners take the best possible images no matter what camera they are using.

In short, Apple’s hoping that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus bring enough to the table to keep its current customer base from leaving the roost in favor of the latest Samsung and LG Android phones. The improved horsepower of the A8 chip gives the enhanced camera and other hardware features the ability to shine while still making battery life a priority. Apple may not convert any Android owners with their new iPhone, but they are definitely giving Android smartphone manufacturers something to ponder.

Photo Credit: Waldemar Brown

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