IPhone 6: hands-on

Here’s Gareth Beavis again, along with the ex­pert re­ac­tions to both the iPhone and Ap­ple Watch from some of our other sis­ter mag­a­zines

Mac Format - - ONE MORE THING -

We’ll do a proper, full re­view of the iPhone 6 in the next is­sue after we’ve spent some qual­ity time with it, but you can tell a lot about a phone even after just a few min­utes with it.

Say what you like about Ap­ple – and plenty of peo­ple have – it’s a brand that’s al­ways put de­sign in its most holis­tic sense, right at the heart of its new prod­ucts. Some have ar­gued that the iPhone 5s was the most unimag­i­na­tive of all of Cu­per­tino’s hand­sets, but it had a strong build that screamed qual­ity in the hand, giv­ing the user the in­stant feel­ing of some­thing worth spend­ing a lot of hard-earned cash on.

Ap­ple’s de­sign over­haul here is as much as many could have hoped for – tak­ing a num­ber of cues from the iPad Air to cre­ate a metal­lic, almost ce­ramic, shell that feels sim­ply bril­liant in the hand.

The iPhone 6 loses the sharp edges in favour of sleek and rounded sides that make the de­vice much more pleas­ing in the palm. It just feels so thin, but doesn’t have the over­ly­lightweight feel­ing of the iPhone 5s.

It just feels so nice in the hand. Ap­ple con­sis­tently shows it knows how to make a well put-to­gether hand­set – and it’s done it again here. It feels pre­mium the mo­ment you pick it up, from the vi­brant and clear screen to the sub­tle curve of the dis­play into the rounded frame.

There is a worry that this is a slip­pier hand­set than be­fore thanks to the more rounded de­sign, but then again with Ap­ple up­grad­ing the glass in the screen to some­thing that can with­stand many more bumps and bruises be­fore shat­ter­ing, that might not be the hor­rid ex­pe­ri­ence it might once have been.

Sin­gle-handed

For some, the larger screen is cer­tainly an im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous mod­els, al­beit at the ex­pense of be­ing able to eas­ily use the phone one-handed. While I think 4.7-inches is go­ing to be a tiny bit small for those that might have been swayed by an ac­quain­tance’s Galaxy S5 de­vice with its 5.2-inch screen, the slightly smaller dis­play here is still a very good size for one hand.

At ‘only’ 1334x750 (es­sen­tially 720p), com­pet­ing An­droid phones’ screens may pack more im­pres­sive on-pa­per specs, but the new Retina HD screen looks bril­liant – so much so that I thought I was pick­ing up a dummy model to play with, it was that good. Of course, on-pa­per specs can only tell you so much; if the screen looks good enough, then it’s good enough.

Big­ger and bet­ter

There’s more here than res­o­lu­tion, too: the iPhone 6 packs wider view­ing an­gles, deeper colours and a richer colour re­pro­duc­tion than any­thing else be­fore it from Ap­ple, and that im­presses when you pick it up. And if you’re re­ally des­per­ate for even more pix­els, hey, there’s al­ways the iPhone 6 Plus.

It must be tremen­dously frus­trat­ing to cre­ate a qual­ity, suc­cess­ful app and then find the res­o­lu­tion you ini­tially coded for is now old news. The flip-side is that while you’re spend­ing hours mak­ing an iPhone 6 ver­sion, the phone will prop­erly scale old apps to still work.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been con­firmed to up­scale within the de­vice, and com­bined with the im­proved iOS 8 de­vel­oper tools to play with, you’d have to be un­lucky to find an app that will have ugly black bars.

Apps should scale or re­or­gan­ise them­selves to fit the big­ger screens; while there will be some apps that are dubbed ‘iPhone 6-ready’, they’ll be called so be­cause their de­vel­op­ers chose to up­grade them to make use of the new de­signs, not be­cause they were forced to.

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