Apple launches iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

New and improved

Other notable improvements include a faster and more efficient A8 processor, a new camera with optical image stabilisation, improved fingerprint sensor, faster wireless communication options, larger batteries, and new support for NFC contact-less payments.

Starting with a new processor, Apple’s latest A8 will drive the high-resolutions demanded by the new displays, along with optimising processes to improve battery life.

Like the A7, this processor is dual core, with quad core graphics. It’s meant to have 25 percent faster processing power and 50 percent faster graphics performance than the A7, and is 50 percent more energy efficient.

Also, Apple says that the A8 can provide more sustained performance without throttling back to control heat build up.

While other smartphones may have faster speeds and more ‘cores’ and it’s likely that this will be enough to keep the iPhone 6 at or near the top of the performance pecking order.
American pricing, people. Don't get too excited.

The new M8 motion co-processor can track your distance and even figure out elevation, such as when moving up stairs. The system  things like air pressure to figure out many steps you’ve climbed and links to the new HealthKit app.

On the camera front, Apple has kept its camera at 8 megapixels, but rather focuses on other enhancements for taking better photos. A new pixel matching technology helps reduce out-of-focus shots.

The Panorama mode can create shots up to 43 megapixel photos with better pixel stitching to join everything together.

Only the iPhone 6 Plus gets the new optical image stabiliser, which is a mechanism that houses the tiny camera and helps counteract shaky movement.

It’s an electro-mechanical system, similar to that found in far larger, and more professional lenses.

The iPhone 6, on the other hand uses a digital optical stabiliser for the same task.

The camera now supports a time-lapse mode, and the front facing camera can take burst ‘selfies’ and now supports high dynamic range (HDR).

On the outside, the lens has a raised rim around it that protrudes from the phone. While not a problem, it does mean that the device will not lie completely flat.

Like the 5, both iPhone 6 models also feature 2-tone flashes, which will create a more ‘natural’ colour cast to photo rather than a harsher ‘white out’ effect.

This time, however, the LED flash is circular rather than pill shaped.

On the communications side, the iPhone 6 now supports the latest Wi-Fi standard, called 802.11ac.

This means it can transfer information around compatible Wi-Fi networks at speeds up to 430Mbps, and brings it in line with the latest smartphones from Samsung, HTC and Sony.

There’s a new Wi-Fi calling feature that starts your call on Wi-Fi and hands off to cellular networks once the signal strength improves. This will starting with US carriers.