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Apple unveils the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

After months of speculation, Apple took to the stage today to announce the latest model of its iPhone 6. As per the rumours, Apple has announced two models of iPhone in two different sizes. There’s the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 as well as a larger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage today and skipped the usual updates about numbers of iPhones sold and iOS and app downloads. Instead he jumped right into the launch of ‘the biggest advancement in the history of iPhone.’ If you’ve seen any of the leaks up until this point, the aesthetic of this year’s iPhone won’t be at all surprising: it looks exactly like the photos and video we’ve seen up until now.

Both devices have Apple’s next generation Retina HD IPS display with full sRGB colour stripe. The iPhone 6 Plus also has a special landscape mode as well as a one-handed mode, so apps conform better to the larger real estate.

The iPhone 6 Plus is 1080p — 1920×1080 pixels —  while the smaller iPhone 6 is 750p, 1334×750 pixels. The iPhone 6 packs in 38 percent more pixels while the iPhone 6 Plus manages to squeeze in 185 percent more pixels than the iPhone 5 generation.

Interestingly, Apple made no mention of the rumoured sapphire display. Presumably, they still have a tough material, like Gorilla Glass 3, protecting the device from scratches, though we don’t have confirmation on that just yet. However, the new all metal construction does mean that these are the thinnest iPhones yet, measuring just 6.9mm and 7.1 mm thick, compared to 7.6 mm on the iPhone 5s.

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Both devices are based on Apple’s new A8 chip, which is a 64-bit chip with 2 billion transistors based on the 20nm process. It’s 13 percent smaller than the A7 and Apple’s Phill Schiller told attendees today that it boasts a 20 percent faster CPU with 50 percent faster graphics.

Apple claims the processor performance is 50 times faster than the first generation iPhone and the graphics graphics performance is as much as 84 times faster. Apple’s updating the motion co0processor too, introducing the M8. This is designed for fitness apps and measures distance as well as cycling running, and elevation with a new barometer built into the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

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Apple is also promising improved battery life with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which is something a lot of users have been asking for. The iPhone 6 Plus is rated for 80 hours of audio while the iPhone 6 is rated for 50 hours. This is compared to just 40 hours on the iPhone 5S. The devices also see improvements on battery life while browsing over WiFi, LTE, 3G browsing and standby. No word on the actual cell sizes.

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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus support up to 20 LTE bands, more than any other smartphone, as well as VoLTE or Voice Over LTE. Apple is also adding WiFi 802.11ac and support for WiFi calling along with it. The company is partnering with T-Mobile in the USA and EE in the UK for this functionality.

The camera packs an 8MP sensor with true tone flash, 1.5 micron pixels and f/2.2 aperture as well as a “next-gen” iSight sensor with Focus Pixels, faster autofocus, advanced face detection, support for 43-megapixel panoramas, as well as digital image stabilization for the iPhone 6 and optical image stabilization on the iPhone 6 Plus.

This camera also packs something for the selfie fanatics with a new feature called ‘burst selfies.’ Apple hasn’t forgotten HDR either, and it’s adding a new single-shot HDR feature, too. For video, there’s continuous autofocus while capturing video, cinematic video stabilization, capture at 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second, and support for slow motion capture at 120 or 240 fps.

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Both devices will, obviously, launch with iOS 8, which Apple formally introduced today after a preview earlier this year. iOS 8 comes with Apple’s new Health app, which helps you track your general health and fitness data, as well as a new predictive keyboard, a new and improved notification system, and Touch ID support for apps that warrant added security (like Mint).

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus also have NFC built in so that they can take advantage of Apple’s new Apple Pay mobile payments system. This means, of course that the payments system will be iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be the only iOS devices that can take advantage of this new mobile wallet.

Pricing for the iPhone 6 is $199 US for the 16 GB model, while the 64 GB model is $299. There’s a new 128 GB model, too and that will go for $399 (all on-contract prices). The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299. Pre-orders start on September 12 and the phones will go on sale on September 19.

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