There's a shiny new toy in town, and Apple claims it's the company's most advanced iPhone yet. The iPhone 6 is now available for preorder, but is it worth the upgrade if you already have the iPhone 5s? Read on for a breakdown of what the iPhone 6 has to offer and whether its new features, bells and whistles are worth your dime.
Screen size and design
The iPhone 6 debuts a larger 4.7-inch Retina HD display and measures 5.44 by 2.64 by 0.27 inches. The iPhone 5s has a compact 4-inch regular Retina display and measures 4.87 by 2.31 by 0.29 inches. Note that although the iPhone 6 is bigger in height and width to accommodate the larger screen, it is actually thinner than the iPhone 5s.
Whereas the iPhone 5s sports sleek, beveled, sharp edges, the iPhone 6 features round edges that resemble those on the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones. Both devices come in the same three colors: silver, space gray and gold. [For a "phablet"-size screen, check out the iPhone 6 Plus.]
The iPhone 6 will come with iOS 8, which features many upgrades from the iPhone 5s' iOS 7. These include quick shortcuts and improved email management tools. iOS 8 also features a much-improved Messages app — in addition to text messaging and the ability to send photos, Messages now lets users send voice, videos, locations and other content during their conversations.
iOS 8 also offers a new feature that can help business users be more productive on the go. If you use iCloud, the new iCloud Drive lets you work on files right on iCloud itself. This offers a more organized, streamlined way of managing files while eliminating the hassle of having to open different files on different apps to access the information you need.
The standout feature of iOS 8, however, is Apple Pay mobile payments. Apple has finally caught up with its competitors, equipping the iPhone 6 with near-field communication (NFC) capabilities that allow users to pay for in-store purchases using their iPhone. Apple Pay works with Touch ID, making it easier, faster and more convenient to pay for purchases — simply hold the iPhone 6 near a contactless reader and hold your finger on the Touch ID sensor to complete a purchase. Apple Pay can also be used to make online and in-app purchases.
Additionally, iOS 8 comes with HealthKit, a dashboard that keeps all your health and fitness data. It includes everything from your heart rate and calories burned to your cholesterol and blood sugar. The app is also meant to help other health and fitness apps work together within the iOS and Apple ecosystems, so you can better take care of yourself while taking care of your business.
Apple calls iOS 8 its biggest iOS release to date, but you don't have to purchase an iPhone 6 to take advantage of its new features. iOS 8 will be available for download beginning Sept. 17, so you can just update your iPhone 5s from iOS 7 instead of upgrading to a new device.
Performance and battery life
If you need a faster, better phone with a longer battery life, the iPhone 6 has you covered. The iPhone 6 is powered by the brand-new A8 processor with 64-bit architecture, giving users much improved performance. This technology supports a battery life of up to 14 hours of talk time on 3G, 10 hours of Internet usage on 3G or LTE, and 11 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi.
In comparison, the iPhone 5s runs on the A7 processor, which is 25 percent slower and 50 percent less efficient than the iPhone 6's A8 processor. Moreover, one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone 5s is its below-average battery life. It offers 10 hours of talk time on 3G, 8 hours of Internet usage on 3G and 10 hours of Internet browsing on Wi-Fi.
The iPhone 6 also offers better connectivity than the iPhone 5s. It supports more LTE bands and offers faster LTE download speeds, as well as up to three times faster speeds over Wi-Fi.
In true Apple fashion, both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5s come with built-in, nonremovable batteries.
On contract, the iPhone 6 costs $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 64GB and $399 for the 128GB. The iPhone 5s is only available in the $99 16GB and $149 32GB models, both on contract.
Originally published on Business News Daily.