There's More to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus Than Just a Bigger Screen

1 - There's More to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus Than Just a Bigger Screen
2 - Apple Has Updated Both Processors
3 - Finally, a Near-Field Communication Chip
4 - Bring On iOS 8
5 - It's About Time Apple Improved Storage
6 - Did We Mention It Has a Bigger Screen?
7 - There Is Also an Improved Retina Display
8 - An Improved Camera for Selfies and Photographers
9 - It Supports Fast Wireless Where Available
10 - It Costs More for the Larger iPhone
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There's More to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus Than Just a Bigger Screen

by Don Reisinger

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Apple Has Updated Both Processors

No surprise here, but Apple has delivered new processors to the iPhone 6 Plus. First up is the A8 processor, featuring 64-bit architecture. Apple kept the specifics on the A8 close to the vest, but did say that the processor will easily outpace the A7 in the iPhone 5S for gaming and other resource-intensive exploits. The company said that, depending on the iPhone being put up against the A8, it can perform 50 times better on CPU performance and 84 times faster on GPU performance. Apple has also updated its motion coprocessor with a new chip it's calling the M8. It now monitors variations in elevation so it can track when you're climbing stairs.

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Finally, a Near-Field Communication Chip

It took a few years, but Apple has finally bundled a near-field communication (NFC) chip in the iPhone 6 Plus. With that chip now included, Apple can start offering its Apple Pay payments platform. Described at the Sept. 9 event, Apple Pay allows consumers to make payments directly from their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The technology requires the near-field communication chip and TouchID to work, and according to Apple, will deliver a more secure transaction than anything before it.

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Bring On iOS 8

Apple will ship every iPhone 6 Plus with iOS 8. No surprise there. In the past, Apple has launched new iPhones around the same time it offers its updated operating system. With iOS 8, customers will get better performance, improvements to key features like notifications and a wide range of health-related apps. It's a free upgrade for those who don't plan to get an iPhone 6 Plus just yet.

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It's About Time Apple Improved Storage

At long last, Apple has upgraded its iPhone's storage capabilities. Customers who pick up the iPhone 6 Plus will now be able to top out their storage at 128GB. There's also a 64GB option available. Oddly, Apple's lowest-end iPhone 6 Plus comes with 16GB of storage, rather than 32GB. Still, it's nice to see the 128GB model available.

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Did We Mention It Has a Bigger Screen?

It took us this long to mention the big screen? Well, as expected, Apple is now getting into the phablet space with the iPhone 6 Plus. The device's screen measures 5.5 inches diagonally. That screen size also makes the handset a bit larger. The device is 6.22 inches tall by 3.06 inches wide. However, it's just 0.28 inches thick.

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There Is Also an Improved Retina Display

Following on that display talk, it's worth noting that Apple has improved the Retina Display bundled with the iPhone 6 Plus. The device has an LED-backlit screen featuring a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution. Apple said that its "typical" contrast ratio is 1,300:1 and it can pack 401 pixels per inch into the screen.

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An Improved Camera for Selfies and Photographers

Apple has boosted its camera capabilities ever so slightly in the iPhone 6 Plus. The rear-facing camera clocks in at 8 megapixels and includes optical image stabilization to take better snapshots. Apple said that the camera will also focus in on targets far more quickly, thanks to a feature called Focus Pixels. On the front, Apple has bundled a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera capable of delivering a 1,280-by-960-pixel resolution.

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It Supports Fast Wireless Where Available

Apple has boosted its iPhone 6 Plus' wireless capabilities. For one thing, the device supports LTE Category 6, which can technically produce speeds of 150M bps. Apple also will allow for voice over LTE (VoLTE) to improve call quality. On the WiFi side, Apple has bundled an 802.11ac antenna into the iPhone 6 Plus. The device also supports WiFi calling for those who want to make calls over a wireless connection and not a carrier network.

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It Costs More for the Larger iPhone

While the standard iPhone 6 offered no surprises in pricing, taking on the iPhone 5S prices that range from $199 to $399 with a two-year contract, that's not the case with the iPhone 6 Plus. That device starts at $299 for the 16GB model. The 64GB option goes for $399, while the 128GB version is available for $499. All of those prices are for two-year agreements. Off-contract pricing starts at $749 and goes to $949.

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