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iphone 6 release dateMonths of speculation and leaks built up the expectation for bigger displays and enhanced capabilities for Apple’s the new flagship phone.

Enter the newly unveiled iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Today at their annual press conference in Cupertino, CA Apple unveiled the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, larger phones designed to make the iPhone more competitive compared to its competitors which have long boasted larger screens. The new iPhones will also be capable of handling the new Apple Pay system via built in NFC capability.

Some of the specifications and highlights released during the press conference included:

-Larger and Thinner: The new iPhone 6 features a 4.7 inch screen while the iPhone 6 Plus sports a larger 5.5 inch screen, officially making the 6 Plus Apple’s first entry into the phablet market. Both phones are also thinner than the 5S. The iPhone 6 is only 6.9mm thick and the 6 Plus is 7.1 mm vs. the 5S that is 7.6 mm thick.

-New Processor: A8 chip (2nd generation 64 bit chip). 2 billion transistors u(p from 1B in the A7) built on 28 nanometer process. This means the phone should handle mobile gaming and process data a lot faster. It should also help keep the phone cooler during more intensive tasks (e.g. running GPS navigation).

-Enhanced screen resolutions: 1334×750 and 326ppi for the iPhone 6; and 920×1080 and 401 ppi display for the iPhone 6 Plus. In short, the iPhone 6 has over 1 million pixels while iPhone 6 Plus has over 2 million pixels. This means better visuals for mobile games and watching movies (a major appeal for those interested in the larger iPhone 6 Plus).

-Reachability: To make single-handed usage possible, Apple introduced a brand new geature for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus called Reachability. Double touching the TouchID button makes the whole display slide down so you can reach anything at the top.

– Camera: the new iPhone lineup will feature an 8MP iSight camera and True Tone flash (all things in 5S). However, the main upgrades come in the form of a new sensor. Phase detection autofocus means a faster autofocus (it is expected to focus almost twice as fast as previous generation iPhone. It can now shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second or 60 frames per second and slo-motion video up to 240 frames per second. Cinematic video stabilization also makes for better video recording.

-FaceTime Upgrades: New iPhones come with Burst mode on the FaceTime camera for Burst Selfies. The new HD FaceTime sensor does single shot HDR and HDR in videos to get great exposure in the foreground and background.

-Apple Pay: Apple introduced their new Apple Pay system which allows you to use the NFC transmitter in the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with Passport. Retailers will be able to charge the credit/debit card associated with your iTunes account with a simple wave of your phone. Apple also has security in mind: Passport will not store your credit card information. That means if you loose your phone, you don’t have to cancel your credit cards (you can simply lock your iPhone from the “Find My iPhone” app).

-Battery: The iPhone 6 will have similar standby time as the 5s (10 hours), but improved talk time (10 hours for the 5s vs. 14 for the 6). The iPhone 6 Plus will have the biggest jump in battery life: 24 hours of talk time and 16 hours of standby time, making the 6 Plus a clear choice for those who need their phone to last all day on a single charge.

-Storage and Price: the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will come in 16/64/128GB Storage. The Base 16GB iPhone 6 will cost $199 and the 16GB iPhone 6 Plus will cost $299 (on two-year contract). Price for the 128GB 6/6 Plus will be $399 and $499 respectively (on two-year contract).

While much of the focus (and excitement) was dedicated towards Apple’s plan for the Apple Watch, the new improvements on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus should not be ignored. A bigger size negates the competitive advantage of Android and Windows devices typically built with larger screens. The unprecedented amount of storage space also means plenty of room for music, movies, pictures, apps, and recording lots of video with the new camera. And the new mobile payment system will make purchasing much easier.

If the goal was to make the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus a much more all in one device, then Apple has certainly achieved that goal.

Aaron Zamora

Aaron grew up in Whittier, California and is currently finishing his master's degree in Human Communication studies from California State University, Fullerton. His interest in journalism began in high school where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for his school’s newspaper and participated in their inaugural broadcast journalism program. An avid world traveler, Aaron has a wide array of interest that include a passion for cinema and television. He is also a sports fanatic.