Apple joins the big league with 5.5 inch iPhone 6 Plus


iPhone 6 Plus

This was expected after a series of very consistent leaks that go all the way back to March, days after Mobile World Congress (which Apple never takes part in thanks to its unwritten policy of not showing up at trade shows and such-like conferences). Word spread back then that Apple was keen to join the likes of Samsung and take them head on with a large display iPhone and a smaller more manageable iPhone to take care of its traditional users.

The large iPhone would help Apple win back the hearts of some of its fans who had shifted base just because they needed a bigger phone. Incase you’ve forgotten, Apple had for long considered 3.5 inches to be the sweet spot for reasonable smartphone use. It only cranked that a bit with the iPhone 5 which with a 4 inch display. Yesterday marked the end of those small display “dark ages” as Apple went all big, literally.

The iPhone 6 Plus is simply the iPhone 6‘s big brother. We’re used to Apple gloating over its crisp retina displays. This is different though as you’ll be staring at Apple’s first full HD display on an iPhone with the 6 Plus, Retina Display HD (yes because calling it anything else would’ve been hard).

Beyond the 5.5 inch display, the iPhone 6 Plus packs Apple’s new A8 chip which is a 64-bit SoC just like the A7 the iPhone 5s had. It also has a large battery to go with it. At 2915 mAh, Apple expects the iPhone 6 Plus to get you not less than 14 hours of video playback, 12 hours of browsing the internet on either Wi-Fi, LTE or even 3G and 16 days on standby.

The camera has also been improved according to the company though there isn’t a change in the megapixel count. It remains at 8 and since the iPhone has always been praised for great photography I doubt it will be an issue to the legion of loyal iPhone camera users out their. Optical image stabilization is on the ready for better low light snaps (PS: no iPhone had OIS before so this is a first and only the iPhone 6 Plus is getting the OIS love. The iPhone 6 won’t. It relies on software-based image stabilization alone). The front-facing “FaceTime” camera has also been upgraded a bit and it will record and stream your video in HD.

Like the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus is also very thin at just 7.1 mm thick (it measures 158 x 77.7 x 7.1 mm) and clad in an aluminium chassis that serves to maintain Apple’s renowned quality.

The device runs on iOS 8 and the software has been tweaked to include support for a landscape mode so that the extra screen real estate can be put to good use. Yes, for the first time ever you’ll be able to use the homescreen of your iPhone in landscape mode. This is an iPhone 6 Plus exclusive.

A barometer and NFC (to support Apple Pay) round up the list of the most prominent features of the iPhone 6 Plus as are the M8 motion coprocessor that will come in handy in tracking your movement all day for fitness purposes while making sure your juice is not drained. As is expected and can be seen from the image above, TouchID is now a prime feature in every new Apple smartphone so we are better off not dwelling on it.

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi calling are the other features supported by the device which will be available in 16, 64 and 128 GB versions at insanely high prices.

Here’s a quick recap of the specs:

  • Display: 5.5 inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels… 401 ppi) IPS LCD
  • Processor: A8
  • Memory: 16, 64, 128 GB internal storage/ 1 GB RAM
  • Camera: 8 MP main with dual LED/ 2.1 MP secondary
  • Battery: 2915 mAh
  • OS: iOS8
  • Others: Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac, Wi-Fi Calling
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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.