| Christoph Dernbach |
Berlin (dpa) – After years of resisting the trend towards larger devices, Apple has finally opted to go bigger with its new iPhone 6 models.
The decision is the right one, as tests by dpa show real benefits from the plus-sized phones.
The release of the iPhone 6 means iPhone fans have three choices: A four-inch display with the older 5c and 5s models; the 4.7-inch display of the iPhone 6; and the 5.5-inch version with the iPhone 6 Plus.
Another change is a farewell to the acute edges of recent models, with rounded edges heralding a return to the designs of 2007.
At seven millimetres, the housing continues to get thinner every year.
But, even with metallic housings, the new iPhones don’t weigh much more than Samsung’s plastic smartphones.
Both of the new iPhones impress with their bright displays, which still manage to present colours in natural tones, unlike the high contrast versions seen in some competitors. Still, it’s only a modest improvement over the 5s display.
Resolution is significantly higher, at 1,334 x 750 pixels for the iPhone 6 and 1,920 x 1,080 for the full HD resolution of the 6 Plus, which allows space for an extra row of apps on the start screen.
Apps like Mail or Safari have already been upgraded for the higher resolutions.
The Plus model also allows some special features in horizontal mode, such as a split screen on mail that shows both an inbox and a selected mail.
However, many apps still have not received the upgrade.
To make sure that both the new models can be controlled with just one hand, the on/off button has been moved from the top to the side.
Also, a light double-click on the home button pushes the address bar from the top of the screen downwards so it be reached with an outstretched thumb.
All in all, it’s still possible to control the iPhone 6 with one hand. But the 6 Plus requires a little juggling.
Looking at the back, it’s obvious that the new iPhones have had to make some concessions to the technological realities of everything that has been stuffed inside.
The camera lens juts out a bit. Parts of the back are also plastic to make sure the antenna has no reception problems, hopefully avoiding a repeat of the
Antennagate scandal surrounding the iPhone 4, where the metal housing disrupted signals.
Apple skipped pursuing ever-higher pixel counts with the camera, sticking with the eight megapixels currently in the 5s.
Pictures taken during a dpa test were sharp and full of detail, partially thanks to a quick autofocus.
The lens in the iPhone 6 Plus also comes with an image stabiliser to prevent wobble.
As promised by Apple, the iPhone 6 can show video for more than 11 hours before the battery dies.
It even hit 12 hours with pure online surfing, an hour longer than promised.
The 6 Plus even lasted 14 hours surfing, an additional two more than advertised, but came up a little short of the 14 hours of promised battery life for straight video watching.