During a recent trip to New York, I missed an opportunity to visit the Apple store in Manhattan. Anyway, the trip would have been pointless, I was told. Hundreds of people were queuing up well past midnight at the 24-hour store to try the new iPhone and eventually take one of them home. I was lucky, for days after returning I was holding a iPhone 6 review unit in my hand.
But does the newest edition of the Jesus Phone justify queuing up into unearthly hours and forgoing your monthly pay packet to bring one home? I decided to investigate.
Specs: 4.7-inch LED backlit IPS screen (1334x750p, 326pp1) | A8 chip with 68-bit + M8 motion coprocessor with 1GB RAM | 16/64/128 GB internal storage | 8MP rear, 1.2MP front camera | iOS 8
Price: Rs 53,500 onwards
This is well and truly among the slimmest phones I have used, and I have not used the Gionee S5.5 which claims to be the thinnest one. It is also the lightest. I could almost visualise someone bending the phone by sitting on it. The device is so light and slim, you will not realise that you have it in your jeans back pocket. Despite this thin frame, not for one second does the phone make you think it is flimsy.
You just need to look at the perforated speaker holes at the bottom of the metallic body to see that the phone has been built with the precision of a jet engine. Despite the smooth curved edges, the phone sticks to Apple’s familiar design language in more ways than one. For me the only hitch in the design is the rear camera lens which protrudes out of the thin frame and might need to be protected.
The Retina HD display is definitely among the best you will see in a phone these days, despite the new Quad HD phones coming into the picture. It is stunningly crisp and clear with Apple loading the phone with wallpapers that drive home the point every minute you use the phone. The screen works well even in bright sunlight and this comes to your help while using the camera outdoors.
The new iPhone 6 has an A8 processor that is much faster than the ones on its predecessors. Apps launch really fast and you can switch between them seamlessly. But what really show the power of the processor is the camera, for you don’t even realise that the phone has a shot a picture and readied itself for the next. It is that fast. The phone did, however, heat up slightly when you browse for long durations, especially using the Facebook app. On the other hand, I have never been able to upload something on to Facebook so fast. A bunch of six photos shot with the phone, went up without so much as a pause.
Frankly, I was not all that amazed by the new iOS 8 launch. I was expecting Apple to do much more, especially with customisation. So, I was pleasantly surprised that during setup, the iPhone 6 asked me how I wanted my icons — small, or large. It seems Apple is slowly learning from Android, as far as giving customers more options are concerned.
The first place you will notice a change, is the notification centre which has much more actionables than before. The pull up control panel too lets you do much more, like access AirDrop. In messages, you can now add photos and audio clips, though you will need to send it to someone using iOS 8 too.
The native health app now calculates your daily activity and much more, but for the much more you will need to feed in a lot of data. Siri works smoothly and understood my Indian accent with a high level of accuracy though it could not pull up much local information.
For me, this is among the top features in the camera. Yes, the iPhone camera has always been a class apart, but not you can do much more like adjust the exposure as you shoot.
The new slow-motion and timelapse video options are easy to use but give professional quality video in the end. You can keep clicking photos without any lag as the phone processes the pictures really fast.
Then, this is maybe among the handful of phone camera where you can use the digital zoom without coming up with a useless pixelated photograph in the end. The front camera offers great selfies and comes with a timer too. This is one phone camera that won’t make you regret leaving the DSLR at home.
This deserves a special mention. I unboxed the iPhone 6 with about 70 per cent charge. That same night I watched the 90-minute iPad launch event live stream on the phone. By the end of it, the phone still had 55 per cent charge left. I used the phone for a good 12 hours more, though without taking or making calls. With regular use the phone will easily give you an entire day of juice.
I got a 16GB review unit and out of the box it gives you just over 9GB of space. Having been an iPhone user for a couple of years, I suggest you stretch the budget a bit and buy the 64GB as you will end acquiring loads of photos, content and apps with this phone.
There is no doubt that the iPhone 6 is worth the obeisance most of the world is paying it at the moment. It is among the best phone flagships phones available in the market at the moment. A couple of years ago there would have been no competition, but now users have at least two other phones that offer good options in the same price range. But then Apple fans don’t look at options, do they?