Reintroduction - Walking Out of Camp Apple
It's funny, most of my friends know me as a big fan of everything Google, but when I spent the first page writing about my time as an Android user, walking into the camp that is iPhone, I had a few friends message me specifically drawing in on this point.
But, I felt like I had to provide this to the world, because if I went in all guns blazing, destroying every part that Apple does wrong, I would be ripped apart both online, and offline. This is where I'm not going to write the traditional review, I'm going to do what I did before and just write until I think I'm done. This review is going to directly compare both iOS to Android on flagship smartphones, and Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus against some of the Android devices I've been using this year.
So this is a reintroduction of sorts, reiterating that I'm here once again, after just over a week using Apple's newest iPhone.
Apple has baked in some half-decent specifications into the iPhone 6 Plus, but it just doesn't compare to the mouthful of specs that its competition has. Here's what we're looking at, comparing the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus against the 5S, and a slew of other devices from Samsung, Sony, LG and Motorola.
As you can see, the iPhone (all three of them) get their asses handed to them in the specs department. Now, specs won't win the war, but they do sell phones. Samsung has been able to outmaneuver Apple in the hardware department for a while now, but Apple keeps its own by being able to do some truly magical things with much less grunt inside.
This isn't a spec war, and we're not going to say that Apple is somehow much worse because it has a dual-core processor compared to the up to 8-core processor in some variants of Samsung's handsets. Also, Qualcomm has been pumping out some seriously fast processors that are offering up to quad-core 2.7GHz chips, which is just damn right impressive.
One of the bigger standout specifications here is that Apple has opted for a massive 2915mAh battery in the 6 Plus, while the iPhone 6 deals with an 1810mAh battery. This would leave most to believe that the iPhone 6 Plus should provide close to twice the battery life than the iPhone 6, but the screen must be going through some serious juice, because that's not the case.
Camera, Storage & Price
When looking at the spec sheet, we can see that both of the new iPhones have an 8-megapixel iSight camera, which was the same one found in the iPhone 5S, but this time with OIS (optical image stabilization). Compared to some of the rear-snappers on the competition, it's definitely weak - and not in the sense that the sensor isn't up to the challenge, but it can't shoot 4K video. This isn't a big problem, but in 2014 and at the edge of the year at that, we should be shooting video at 4K - or at least providing the option to.
As for storage, we have 16GB, 64GB and 128GB with the 32GB option now completely gone, for whatever reason. There's no expandable storage, which we have on Samsung's Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus direct competitors, and most of the other phones on the market that compete at this level, including the QHD-powered G3 from LG.
I'm not happy with the fact that Apple didn't provide expandable storage with the new iPhones, but we shouldn't be surprised. On the other hand, why isn't anyone kicking up a stink about it? You're forced to spend a massive $200 more to upgrade from the 16GB iPhone to the 128GB iPhone, which is just ludicrous.
Considering SanDisk sells its super-fast 128GB Ultra Class 10 microSD card (capable of 48MB/sec) on Amazon for $109, that's close to a 100% markup on the additional storage inside of the iPhone - and that's at retail level pricing, not with mass purchasing power factored in. I've also chosen a fast, reliable brand and card - but keep in mind, there are far cheaper ones on the market which make the 128GB iPhone look crazy expensive. Kingston for example, sells a 128GB microSD card for $46.99.
When it comes to price, the iPhone is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market right now, especially when you're gunning for that 128GB model. Starting with the 16GB iPhone 6, we have a price of $649, which is double that of the Nexus 5, and even more expensive than the LG G3, which comes with 32GB of on-board storage by default.
The iPhone 6 Plus, has a starting price of $749, which makes it more expensive than every other smartphone on our chart. The 128GB model is an insane $949, which when compared to something like the G3 (which also has a 5.5-inch display, but a resolution of 2560x1440), it is just too expensive. Even with the $109 microSD card from SanDisk, we have $599 + $109, for a total of $708. $708 versus $949, and the LG path would give you 32GB + 128GB, for a total of 160GB of mobile storage, and $241 in your pocket.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specs and Price]
- Page 2 [Recap of Apple's Year, Specs & Key Features]
- Page 3 [Build Quality, How It Feels, Retina Display]
- Page 4 [iOS 8 - Still Needs Work]
- Page 5 [Performance, Leather Case, Camera, Battery Life & Benchmarks]
- Page 6 [What's Hot, What's Not (So Far) & Final Thoughts]