iPhone 6 Is More Than an iPhone 5S Refresh

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-09-15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    iPhone 6 Is More Than an iPhone 5S Refresh
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    iPhone 6 Is More Than an iPhone 5S Refresh

    By Don Reisinger
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    Apple iPhone 6 Adds a Bigger Screen
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    Apple iPhone 6 Adds a Bigger Screen

    iPhone 5 owners will immediately discover that the iPhone 6 comes with a larger screen than what they've grown accustomed to over the last couple of years. Instead of the 4-inch display found on the iPhone 5, the iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7-inch screen. That's enough of a difference for Apple to boost its pixel resolution to 1,334-by-750, compared with 1,136-by-640 for the iPhone 5S.
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    An Enhanced Wireless Experience for Those Seeking It
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    An Enhanced Wireless Experience for Those Seeking It

    Wireless is obviously a major concern for many customers, so Apple has boosted its offering in the iPhone 6. The device now supports 802.11ac as well as 802.11n WiFi connectivity. The iPhone 5S only supports 802.11n, which doesn't support the same distance and throughput as the newer standard.
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    Near-Field Communication for Apple Pay
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    Near-Field Communication for Apple Pay

    Apple's iPhone 6 is the first device from the company to support near-field communication. With the chip included, users will be able to communicate with payment devices and purchase products with Apple Pay. That service, which is scheduled to launch this fall, is designed to replace the traditional wallet and improve the security of credit card transactions. We'll see if Apple can succeed at making Apple Pay both popular and reliably secure.
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    TouchID for Security Concerns
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    TouchID for Security Concerns

    When TouchID was introduced in the iPhone 5S, Apple touted its service as a secure option for those who want to lock down devices. The technology recognizes a thumbprint and will only open the handset when the print is pressed onto the Home button. The same technology has found its way to the iPhone 6 and appears to work in the same way as it does on iPhone 5S.
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    Nearly the Same Camera Experience
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    Nearly the Same Camera Experience

    Those with the iPhone 5S will find that they won't get much of a boost in camera experience by switching to the iPhone 6. Both devices sport 8-megapixel sensors. However, the iPhone 6 does add auto-focus with Focus Pixels, which Apple says will allow for a more rapid focus on the target. The company's panorama feature has also been given a kick and can now go up to 43 megapixels in size.
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    Pick a Winner on Design
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    Pick a Winner on Design

    Looking back at the last few iPhones and the design featured in the iPhone 6, one must really decide for themselves what's most appealing. The design of the iPhone 5S and the design of the iPhone 6 are similar, but Apple has made the latter look a bit more rounded along the sides and uniform on the back. In terms of color, however, the same Space Grey, Silver and Gold are available for both phones.
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    Apple Boosts the Internal Power
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    Apple Boosts the Internal Power

    Internally, the iPhone 6 adds a nice power boost compared with the iPhone 5S. The device now comes with Apple's A8 chip, as well as the M8 motion coprocessor. While Apple was quick to point out that those two chips are the most powerful it has ever offered in a device, the company didn't make a clear distinction between the power capabilities in iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S. Just know that on both processing power and GPU performance, the iPhone 6 wins out.
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    There's No Advantage on the Software Side
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    There's No Advantage on the Software Side

    Whether customers have an iPhone 5S or an iPhone 6, they will all be capable of running the same operating system when iOS 8 launches on Sept. 17. Apple's iOS 8 works across Apple's last few devices, as well as iPads and the fifth-generation iPod. Apple's iOS 8 will come bundled with the iPhone 6 and will be a free update on previous models when it's made available over the air.
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    Consider the Size and Weight Comparisons
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    Consider the Size and Weight Comparisons

    The iPhone 6 is a slightly larger device than anything Apple customers have seen so far. The device is 5.44 inches tall by 2.6 inches wide. And it weighs 4.55 ounces. That's quite large compared with the iPhone 5S, which comes in at 4.87 inches high by 2.31 inches wide, with a weight of 3.95 ounces. The iPhone 6 wins out in depth, however, coming in at 0.27 inches, compared with the iPhone 5S' 0.3 inches.
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    A Big Difference on Price
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    A Big Difference on Price

    The iPhone 6 is priced at the same rate that the iPhone 5S used to be offered at, meaning it starts at $199 with a two-year agreement and goes up to $399 for the top-of-the-line, 128GB option. The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, has lost its 64GB option, and is now going for $99 and $149 for the 16GB and 32GB versions, respectively. The iPhone 6 is also $100 cheaper on every storage level than the iPhone 6 Plus.
 

People who are impatient to get their hands on an iPhone 6 as soon at it starts shipping on Sept. 19 have either ordered the model that they want by now or are prepared to take their chances standing in line hoping to get one of the relatively small number of devices that will be available at Apple Stores. But once one moves past those diehard fans who simply have to get their hands on an iPhone 6 at the earliest possible moment, there are a lot of smartphone buyers who want to take some time to consider what phone model best suits their needs. Some might argue that going with the iPhone 6 is a good idea, while others might say that saving money and buying the iPhone 5S is a more sensible decision. In either case, there are now a handful of appealing iPhones on store shelves, and picking which one to buy might not be so simple. This slide show focuses on the iPhone 6 and how it's positioned between the larger iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 5S, which has been around for almost exactly a year. It also looks at the iPhone 6's key features to determine just how big of an upgrade it is over last year's model.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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