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6 Reasons Why the iPhone 6 is a Worthy Upgrade

The bigger sharper screen isn't the only feature worth noting on the iPhone 6; a new CPU and fitness features make this a worthy upgrade.
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Apple's iPhone got its biggest redesign in recent years today as Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But whereas last year's models packed minor upgrades, this year's iPhones boast some serious new tech. Is it enough to give Android a run for its money? We'll let consumers decide that. In the meantime, we've listed a few of our favorite new features below.

Larger Screen Means It Finally Catches Up to Android

Although Steve Jobs once ridiculed smartphones with big screens, Apple did some major backpedaling today as it debuted two new larger iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The phones feature 4.7" and 5.5" displays respectively, up from the 4" screen on the iPhone 5s.

The iPhone 6 features a 1334x750 resolution display, which offers 38% more viewing area than the iPhone 5s. Its big brother, the iPhone 6 Plus, features a 5.5" Retina HD display with 1920x1080 resolution and 88% more viewing area than the iPhone 5s. When compared to Android's current flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the iPhone 6 Plus offers an extra 0.4" of screen real estate, making it Apple's first foray into the phablet market.

Faster Chip Designed For Sustained Performance, Better Gaming

Apple's new iPhones both house the company's new A8 processor, which Apple claims is 25% faster than its A7 predecessor. Graphics also got a major boost with a new graphics chip that's 50% faster than the previous generation. Unlike its predecessor, the new A8 was designed for sustained performance. Apple claims it can outperform other CPUs over a longer period of time because the A8 processor doesn't slow down due to heat. In real world use, that means you'll be able to play demanding games/apps without having your phone turning into a mini-iron.

New M8 Coprocessor Will Kill the Fitbits of the World

Like it or not, Apple wants you to get fit and its new iPhone features a redesigned M8 coprocessor that can now track distance and elevation. For fitness buffs, Apple also claims its phones will be able to distinguish between running and cycling, a feat that many of today's fitness gadgets can't perform. In addition, the M8 coprocessor will be able to count the number of stairs you climb per day. Does this mean all new and existing fitness gadgets — including Apple's own Apple Watch — are DOA? It's too early to tell whether the smartphone can chalk up another victory for its industry, but things are looking grim for the Fitbits of the world.

Is It the First iPhone to Last 48 Hours Without a Charge?

Despite the iPhone's extra muscle, the new A8 chip is said to be 50% more energy efficient than the A7. Apple was vague about how much extra battery life you'll be able to squeeze out of your iPhone in daily use, but one thing is for sure, this iPhone should offer a noticeable boost. While we await the initial reviews, Apple is offering these stats: 14 hours of 3G talk time for the iPhone 6, and 24 hours for the iPhone 6 Plus; 10 days of standby for the 6, 16 days of standby for the iPhone 6 Plus; and 11 hours of video for the 6, 14 hours for the 6 Plus.

It Can Handle Mobile Purchases with Ease

The new iPhones are the first Apple devices to feature NFC technology. Essentially, that means the new phones will let you purchase in-store items by simply tapping your iPhone at a supported credit card terminal. Your address and credit card information will already be housed inside your iPhone so you can make purchases direct from your smartphone without the need for your wallet. Purchases are authenticated via the iPhone's TouchID sensor. To be fair this technology isn't new, but with Apple's heft, this could be the big break it needs to gain traction. Retailers that support this method of payment include Whole Foods, Macy's, McDonald's, and Walgreens.

It Packs Improved Video Capabilities, Including Time Lapse

Although the new iPhone maintains the same 8-megapixel shooter found in the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6's iSight camera packs a new sensor which allows for an autofocus that's twice as fast as that in the iPhone 5s. And while the iPhone 6 uses digital image stabilization to combat blurry photos, the iPhone 6 Plus has an optical stabilizer. In addition, the new camera offers improved facial, blink, and smile detection, which should make taking those selfies that much quicker. And if you didn't download Instagram's new Hyperlapse app, the new iPhone has a time-lapse feature built-in.

In terms of pricing, Apple has kept the starting price of the iPhone at $199 for the 16GB iPhone 6. The 32GB slot has been replaced with a 64GB model at $299, and Apple is now offering a 128GB model for $399. Pricing on the iPhone 6 Plus is slightly higher, starting at $299, $399, and $499, for the 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models, respectively. (All prices are for subsidized models). However, as we've noted before, retailers are quick to discount the iPhone so it shouldn't take long before we start seeing some deals on the iPhone 6.

Are you rushing out to the store for the 6 or 6 Plus? Or do you think this update is all hype? Let us know in the comments below.

Senior Writer Emeritus

With over a decade of experience covering technology, Louis Ramirez has written for CNET, Laptop, Gizmodo, and various other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @louisramirez.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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20 comments
sunny63
The claims of long battery life will need proof .It will only get tested once the phone is available. Despite the tremendous functionality of the ipone my two biggest issues have been the battery life and quality of phone conversations, the basic phone function. Although the provider of the phone service has a lot to do , the quality is no where close to seen with land lines and i am waiting for the day when that happens. The batter life sucks and is not comminsurate with the phone functunality. Everytime i forget to switch off the phone the battery gets depleted even when all the background apps are off. This problem has gotten worse with my newly acquired iphone 5s .
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@Quilombo It's not.
Quilombo
Very poorly written article. Please just go ahead and admit this is sponsored.
erik05
@ phissith the note 4's battery will last 7% more time than the note 3 and it will charge from 0-50% in 30 min. so you're good with a note 4
phissith
I am an android user and plan on getting Note 4. However I did dropped my jaw when I read that iPhone 6+ will have 24 hours of talk time!! That is amazing!! I don't believe there is any Android phones that can make this claim!!
tinzi
This is not a responsible article and supporting points are mostly inaccurate. Apple's Iphone6/6+ specs are extremely disappointing as of 2014. They're at least one year behind in technology. 4.7/5.5/NFC is nothing new no matter how you put it. How does A8 compares to the SnapDragon810? No one knows at this point. Mobile purchase is far from main stream by all means. The new iphone is one piece of ordinary MID-END device charges at premium stand point.
Deniro444
Apple overprices all their products and Google owns owns like 90% of the world. So I don't see why one is better than the other. They're both all about money.
jtown
Many people have written Blackberry off, however if you take the time try one of there Blackberry 10 touch screen devices Z10 or Z30 you won't be disappointed. The blackberry 10 devices are like having use of all android apps and features while maintaining strong security and fluid transition between functions.
CSkow
Our smartphone world is not a one-size-fits-all environment. God bless those who love android (and windows) phones, but I'll stick with my iPhone. Having used both the GS4 and the iPhone 5, I find the iPhone screen easier to read even though it's smaller. I plan to upgrade when I'm ready (not right away), and it will likely be whatever iPhone is current at the time. Enjoy whatever you have.
vmnrao
NewLeaf- why "if money is no object"? Does it not depend on the individual user, where they are in their upgrade cycle, what they will use the phone for (e.g., in place of a tablet), how often they use their phone (battery life), and their need for fitness features, NFC, etc. For example, I'm upgrading from a 4S, nice phone, but it's not LTE, I use it for running and cycling apps with a primitive HRM, and I'm eligible for upgrade pricing. Your comment about money being no object simply does not apply. Nice broad brush you got there. Might want to put it away. Thanks.
NewLeaf
These are all perfectly legitimate new features. If money is no object for you, then you should upgrade.

Everyone for whom money is no object, raise your hand.
BarefootedWonder
Ah, it's times like this that I miss the dealnews podcast. In any case, I feel most of the upgrades on the 6 over the 5 I already own are inconsequential. I don't feel a need for a bigger screen, I don't want to use my phone for my wallet or my fingerprint to unlock anything. And frankly I don't care if my phone knows how many flights of stairs I've walked up, I get enough attitude at home without my phone judging me too. That said, I'm probably going to get one anyway when my 2 year contract comes up in a month. The faster, more energy efficient processor that promises better battery life and gaming performance is a big selling point. A better camera and crisper screen resolution are always nice, and the 64gb model at a cheaper price is a nice change.
oberz3
Mig48 - I agree with you 100%!
nagol68
The iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus) is a worthy upgrade only if you are a insane Apple fans the refuse to consider any other phone. The S5 beats this phone is every category (Not the screen size, but bigger isn't always better). Lots of Nokia's even beat these new phones!
Mig48
Good article summarizing the new features. I don't like going through pages of descriptions of new features, just give me the short version, like this. I'll just stick with my iphone 4 in the end. The day I upgrade phones every time a new one comes out will be when service providers charge half of what they do now.
Louis Ramirez (DealNews)
@bond007taz @slayerskid The Samsung Note 3 is on its way out, so that's not a fair comparison. The Note 4 doesn't have an official U.S. release date yet (though it should arrive sooner rather than later). That said, side-by-side the Note 4 would dust the 6 Plus in a lot of categories. But this story isn't an Android vs. Apple comparison. It highlights how Apple's new phones are catching up to the industry and which upgrades will make a diff to the avg iPhone user.
bond007taz
"iPhone 6 Plus offers an extra 0.4" of screen real estate, making it Apple's first foray into the phablet market."

why would you compare the 6+ to the S5 when the S5 is NOT a phablet??? the 6+ should be compared to the Note 3, which is a 5.7" screen... oh wait, i know because the Note 3 is bigger than the 6+

so how much did Apple pay to write this?
slayerskid
"When compared to Android's current flagship, the Samsung Galaxy S5, the iPhone 6 Plus offers an extra 0.4" of screen real estate"

Shouldn't you be comparing the 6plus to the Samsung Note?
imgja
Don't get why Apple owners are so quick to jump on the "next big thing". You have to know they have them planned years in advance - and are just dribbling them out to you one small improvement at a time, so you'll stand in line & hand over your money. Apple is a giant $$$ machine, no different than all the other mega-corporations that you protest against. Their factories are overseas & their response to users is slow, at best. Stop being a lemming.
Cornholio29
Hahaha how much did Apple pay you to write this? Or were you just looking for some filler articles?
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