Apple Announces iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

See the original posting on Anandtech

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" display that has a 1334×750 display, and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" 1920×1080 (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. These displays are known as Retina HD.

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 50% higher 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.

Apple is also emphasizing that battery life on the iPhone 6 improves from the iPhone 5s as the LTE browsing value for the iPhone 6 is constant while it improves for the iPhone 6 Plus to 12 hours.

There’s also a new M8 coprocessor which detects distance and elevation for better fitness tracking, which is achieved by using a barometer to measure relative air pressure 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 means 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. 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 to reduce handshake. 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.

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 USD on 2 year contrast, and the iPhone 5c is free. The new phone will ship on September 19th and preorders begin on September 12th.

Edit: There’s also an Apple Pay system in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which uses NFC along the top of the phone. This has an encrypted secure element likely on the NFC chip 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.