iPhone 6 Review: Is it really worth an Upgrade?


The all new Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus featuring stunning 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina HD displays, are going to release tomorrow in India. The sale starts at 12:00 Tonight. The Economic Times reports, Apple is shipping 50,000-55,000 units of its new iPhones to India in the first phase to ensure there is adequate supplies for Thursday midnight’s launch.

According to reports, there has been over 25,000 units pre-ordered which has stepped up Apple’s retail distribution in India this year. Most of the multi-brand chain stores and E-commerce portals like Amazon and Flipkart have opened up for pre-orders and that has certainly helped the numbers grow up.This is also the first time that Apple will have midnight sales of its new launch, a global practice and retailers are pulling out all stops to ensure it goes off smoothly and everyone who pre-booked an iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus gets their hand on it on day one itself.

The iPhone 6 Plus has been in news ever since the release in the US; mostly for not-so-good reasons. To begin with the Bend-gate, reports of iPhone 6 Plus getting bent. There were too many trolls on the same; however, apple confirmed that, there were only 9 units reported with this behaviour out of the billion sales made. As always, Apple announced iPhone 6 and 6 Plus as one of the best iPhone ever made. Well, from the looks, it may not be the best looking iPhones. Let’s see what’s in store.

Hardware, Look and Feel:

The new iPhones feature a precision unibody enclosure of anodized aluminum that conforms seamlessly with the shaped glass of the display, resulting in a completely smooth and continuous surface. The antenna inlays look very clumsy; however, this phone feels very good than its looks. You definitely need to hold one to realize how ergonomic and good it feels.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are engineered to be the thinnest ever, delivering a bigger display in a design that is still comfortable to hold and easy to use. Despite being big, it fits really well in your palm.  Both models include the Apple-designed A8 chip with second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture for fast performance and power efficiency.

Both models include the M8 motion coprocessor that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and the new barometer, which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation. The M8 motion coprocessor can continuously measure your motion data, even when the device is asleep, saving battery life for fitness apps that use the sensors all day.

The performance on the iPhone 6 is smooth and this dual core can give other Quad-Core Android Phones run for money. The App launch speed, Gaming performance, Consistent graphics, Spotlight search work slick.

iPhone 6 features a stunning 4.7-inch Retina® HD display with 1334 x 750 resolution, providing 38 percent more viewing area than iPhone 5s, while iPhone 6 Plus features an even bigger 5.5-inch Retina HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, providing 88 percent more viewing area and nearly three times the pixels than iPhone 5s. The Retina HD displays offer advanced technologies including higher contrast for deeper blacks and dual-domain pixels for more accurate colors at wider viewing angles.

The Audio performance on the iPhone has gone better. The volume is a little higher than the older versions. However, with Apple owning Beats Audio now, I expected something even more remarkable.

Camera

From the looks of it, the awkward protruding Lens on the rear can be a turn off to few people. Also, None of the earlier generation iPhones had lens protrude, it was always a flat back panel. However, the performance of the camera, makes you forget this.

The iSight camera gets even better with a new sensor featuring Focus Pixels for faster autofocus, making it easier to quickly capture any moment. High-definition video on iPhone improves with faster frame rates up to 60fps for 1080p video and 240fps for slo-mo, as well as continuous autofocus, cinematic video stabilization and time-lapse video. The audio capture is impressive as well.

iPhone 6 Plus users will also benefit from optical image stabilization technology that compensates for hand shake in low light and works with iOS 8 to reduce subject motion. The FaceTime HD front camera now captures over 80 percent more light with a new sensor, larger f/2.2 aperture and advanced new features including burst mode and HDR video.

The slo-Mo is one of my most favourite. It makes you instantly fall in love with it. Check out this video I shot on the iPhone:

A slow-motion clip shot on an iPhone at a beach in Goa.

Posted by iclickd on Friday, 9 October 2015

Pictures are really crisp, colors are wonderful and most importantly, iPhone cameras are very snappy and quick on shutter. The low-light performance of the phone isn’t too great. However, if I am buying a phone, just for the camera features I would buy the Nokia Lumia with Pureview instead.

Software Platform:

If you are wondering, how well the Apple’s Software scales to this big screen sizes, the answer is wonderfully well. The new iPhones come with iOS 8 featuring a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType keyboard and Family Sharing. Read more about the iOS 8 Features here. Your messages and alerts live along your daily agenda when you pull down for notifications.

The iOS 8 also introduces ‘Apple Pay’, an easier way to simply and securely make payments with just the touch of a finger. I personally love the concept and most importantly the attention to detail in implementation. Apple has not just introduced the technology, but an ecosystem. Read this article to understand on how Apple Pay can transform the Mobile Payment business. With Apple Pay, Users can pay securely and conveniently in stores by simply holding the phone near the contactless reader while keeping a finger on Touch ID. This hasn’t been implemented as of now; it would arrive as a free update to the iOS 8 in the US. There is still no official report on its availability outside US.

With iOS 8, motion data from M8 motion coprocessor appears in the Health app so you can see how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, or how far you’ve walked or run. Developers can use CoreMotion APIs that take advantage of M8 and HealthKit to create apps that help you take better care of your health and fitness.

The iPhone’s single button has more functions than ever and it works pretty well. Pressing once and holding unlocks the phone with your fingerprint Touch ID, The double press brings up the task switcher for multitasking between apps or to close any running apps, A long press wakes up Siri, and a gentle double tap brings in reachability to help ease one hand access. (shown below).

Recommendations

Those who love raw performance and higher level of customizations will never appreciate iPhones. In this version, the build could’ve been better. Siri may not be as good as others. I personally like Google Now better. Cortana does a very very neat job as well. The custom keyboard is still not that great. The Auto-correct is way behind than the Androids. The home screen is still a bunch of icons and if you like this user-experience, you would be fine. However, if you moving from an Android or a Windows Phone, this may be a little strange to begin with. However, the responsiveness of the iPhone is very consistent unlike the other flagships devices.

The Health ID is a great thought and implementation as well. The day to day experience on the iPhone gets wonderful. Thanks to the bunch of relevant applications on the AppStore. Third party apps work better on an iPhone than their own devices. For eg: I still love using Google Maps on an iPhone than an Android; so does the Microsoft OneNote as well.

Summing up, iPhone 6 is crafted really well. If you are reading this review till here, you must’ve already made a decision on whether you want to be in the Apple Ecosystem. Coming to the important question with which we began this article, Is it worth an upgrade? The answer is a partial Yes. The reason being partial is, it makes sense to move to iPhone 6 from a iPhone 4 or a iPhone 4S or even iPhone 5. If you are an iPhone 5S user, it doesn’t make so much of difference to you, until features like Apple Pay and its security chip means a lot to you.

If you are deciding between a iPhone 6 and an iPhone 6 Plus, I would vote for a 6 Plus for the sheer presence of the optical stabilizer in the camera department.  Again, iPhone 6 feels good as a phone, whereas, 6 Plus feels more a Phablet. Both these devices are excellent when it comes to user experience, camera and most importantly the battery life.

If you are looking at buying a new phone and are confused between a iPhone, Android or a Windows Phone, then the choice becomes even clearer. If I were in a market looking at buying a phone, I would look out for an Ecosystem. I mean, a platform of devices which can work along with your Phone. For eg: An iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch and a Mac. or even a Android Phone, Nexus Player or Chromecast, Android Wear etc. So if you own any one of them, picking others are going to be easy. At-least that’s how I would recommend.