You were expecting it, and here it is: Apple has unveiled the smaller of its two new smartphones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. As the leaks suggested, it centers around a 1,334 x 750 Retina Display HD and is decidedly slimmer (not to mention curvier) than its already svelte 5s predecessor, at 6.9mm thick. It’s not all about looks, though. The new handset is also running a beefier A8 chip that’s claimed to be about 25 percent faster than the A7 you saw the last time around, even as it’s up to 50 percent more efficient — Apple estimates up to 14 hours of talk time, 11 hours of video and 10 days of standby.
Not surprisingly, the iPhone 6 makes better use of advances in both wireless and sensors — important to both its iCloud upgrades and its newfound focus on health. You’ll find 802.11ac WiFi, and 150Mbps LTE data; you can make voice calls over both LTE and WiFi if your network supports them. The new M8 co-processor can not only estimate distances all on its own, but track air pressure to gauge your elevation (much like a few existing smartphones from Samsung and others). There’s a next-gen gyroscope, too, so fitness apps and games should deliver more accurate results.
Photographers may not like that there’s still an 8-megapixel rear camera, but Apple has rolled in DSLR-style phase detection to speed up focus and a new imaging chip with better noise reduction and improved color tones. You won’t get optical image stabilization like you do on the larger iPhone 6 Plus, but there are still quite a few features that should improve your day-to-day shooting — you can take high dynamic range (HDR) photos in a single shot, record regular-speed 1080p video at up to 60 frames per second, and capture slow-motion clips at 240 frames per second instead of the previous 120. If you’re fond of panoramas, you can stitch together pictures that are the equivalent of a whopping 43 megapixels.
If you’re intrigued, Apple will be selling its 4.7-inch model in the same colors (black, gold and white) as last year. You’ll get more for storage the money depending on how much you’re willing to pay, however; $199 will still get you 16GB, but paying $299 and $399 will respectively get you 64GB and a hefty 128GB. Apple starts taking pre-orders for all iPhone 6 models on September 12th, and will release them on the 19th.