The new iPhone is out! Of course, there is a lot of excitement about the new technology (and rightly so), but a lot of current iPhone users will face a choice: “Should I upgrade from my current iPhone?”The iPhone 5c and 5s have been Apple’s most popular offerings, so we’ll look at whether it makes sense for current users of the iPhone 5 to upgrade first.
Design / Features
The obvious difference between the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6 family is screen size.Apple responded to some of the pressure imposed by the increasingly ubiquitous “phabletized” Android phone market, and increased screen sizes all around.The iPhone 6 has a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 6 Plus clocks in at 5 inches. The increased size will likely make most people happy, but there is a point at which screens become too large to be considered phones any longer.In fact, tablets have gone down to as small as just below 7 inches already, so the categories seem to be melding.
In addition, while the iPhone 5 was largely a rectangle with squared-off edges, the iPhone 6 thins out that rectangle, opens up the face, and rounds off those edges.The iPhone 6 is either 6.9mm or 7.1mm thick, compared to 7.6mm, a reduction of almost 10 percent.
One of the most interesting new features of the iPhone 6 is Apple Pay, which will arrive in October. Apple Pay promises to make mobile payments a more accepted standard (and Apple has the corporate influence to make it happen). Unfortunately for those with the iPhone 5s, this feature requires near-field-communication (NFC) capability, which only the iPhone 6 will have.
Previous generations of the iPhone have mostly been spec bumps on the previous model, but the specification improvements in this update include some critical components.
Apple upgraded the iPhone 5 chip set (A7) to the A8 chip with the release of the iPhone 6, and it could be critical to the functioning of the phone. While most of the everyday functionality of the iPhone could be achieved using older generations of processors, it is critical to have high-capacity processors in order to take advantage of the advanced photography, video, and gaming components of a device. With the progress Apple touts in its relationships with game designers, it’s clear that Apple sees the A8 as an exponential upgrade that is needed to take mobile gaming to the next level. Only time will tell how well the A8 can perform, as developers explore its boundaries, but it is a critical piece of the upgrade.
While it won’t be noticeable to most users, screen resolution upgrades will make a big difference to anyone using their phone for high-capacity video or gaming. The iPhone 6 (1,334 x 750 pixels) has an upgraded screen resolution compared to the iPhone 5 (1136 x 640 pixels).
The iPhone 6 will continue to shoot 8-megapixel photos (like the iPhone 5), but it does have some interesting new features. With the iPhone 6, users will be able to shoot in slow motion at 240fps, compared with 120fps for the iPhone 5. In addition, the A8 chip contains a new image processor with dedicated face detection, and even blink and smile detection to automatically help users chose the best photo when shooting a “burst”.
Of course, upgrading a phone is a big decision, but understanding what the new features are makes the decision a lot easier. The features of the iPhone 6 represent a definite improvement over the iPhone 5.