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iPhone 6 vs iPhone 5S: What to expect

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iPhone 6
iPhone 6

Apple will launch a new iPhone this year. Apple does it every year. The iPhone 6 will likely arrive in September and it will make the iPhone 5S look like yesterday’s news.

As usual, Apple has not yet revealed a single thing about the next iPhone, but there have already been plenty of leaks suggesting exactly what the iPhone 6 will be all about.

Here we look at the how the iPhone 6 will likely differ to the iPhone 5S and what that means for you.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy S5 vs Galaxy S4: What to expect

It will likely have a larger 4.8-inch screen
The iPhone 6 is widely tipped to be the iPhone that embraces a larger screen. The popular money is on a 4.8-inch screen, up from 4-inches on the current model.

This could potentially make the iPhone 6 a good deal larger than the current iPhone 5S. However, we expect Apple may significantly cut down the amount of bezel above and below the screen, mitigating the size increase.

While there's no guarantee that Apple will go larger, it seems inconceivable that Apple will ignore the sentiment that larger screens are preferable. That doesn't mean a monster phone like the Galaxy Note 3, but a small bump in size should be enough to bring the iPhone closer to its rivals.

It will have higher resolution
Apple is also expected to increase the resolution of the display in order to keep the screen looking pin-sharp. There are some suggestions the iPhone 6's resolution will be 1,600 x 900, but we find that hard to believe for various reasons.

This would be a problematic choice as app scaling will be much trickier than it was in the screen upgrades of previous generations. When the iPhone went Retina with the iPhone 4, the pixel count was simply doubled. And when the screen got longer with the iPhone 5, it only got taller and not wider so apps not optimised still looked ok while not using the full length of the screen.

But 1,600 x 900 is completely different. It's not the same aspect ratio (16:9) as the current iPhone 5S, which has unusual 1,136 x 640 resolution equal to a 71:40 aspect. Moreover, if Apple did choose to switch to a 16:9 aspect, why wouldn't it opt for a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution like rival phones?

In other words, we don't place much confidence in this claim. What is interesting, however, are the claims the Galaxy S5 will use a 2K LCD display. If that's the case, doubling the current iPhone's resolution to 2,272 x 1,280 doesn't seem quite so fanciful and would allow Apple to retain the current aspect ratio for apps and avoid any compatibility issues.

We expect to hear a lot more about this issue in the coming months.

The iPhone 6 will have a new design

Even if Apple doesn't make the screen larger, it's a certainty that the iPhone 6 will have a new design. Why? Because it's due one.

As per Apple's usual plan, the iPhone 5S was a spec and feature update in the same design as the iPhone 5. Every 'S' model has always been followed by a complete design refresh, which is why a new design is expected.

What will it be like? No number of concepts can tell us that, but we'd like something that looks good and is actually durable. That would be a nice change.

802.11ac Wi-Fi support
This seems like a certainty. It was surprising to some that the 5S didn't have ac Wi-Fi support. This is a relatively new wireless standard that, when used with an ac router, provides better speed and range than the step-down n standard.

This isn’t something that most iPhone 6 owners are going to notice, but it’s a neat extra that keeps the phone current, technologically. For a look at some of the latest ac-compatible routers, check out our best routers round-up.

8MP camera sensor, but larger and with a better lens
Apple has kept the iPhone’s camera resolution the same for years, and it’s rumoured to be doing so again with the iPhone 6. Like the iPhone 5S, it’ll apparently have an 8-megapixel main sensor.

However, it’s expected to have a larger sensor this time around. That’s good news – the size of a sensor is one of the main factors in image quality. Quite how large it’ll be is not yet known, though. The iPhone 5S has a 1/3-inch sensor – advertised as being larger than the iPhone 5’s 1/3.2 sensor, but it’s still not a huge thing.

In order to compete with some of the larger phone sensors, Apple would need to pack in a 1/2.6-inch (like the Moto X) or 1/2.3-inch sensor (like the Sony Xperia Z1). Even these sensors are the sort of size you get in an entry-level compact camera, so are not exactly extravagant.

There’s only one current phone with a genuinely quite large sensor, and that’s the Nokia Lumia 1020. It’s a 1/1.5-inch sensor that’s larger than many dedicated compacts. We sincerely doubt the iPhone 6 will have anything quite as impressive, however.

Optical image stabilisation

The iPhone 6 is also likely to benefit from another neat photo feature, optical image stabilisation, with leaked designs suggesting Apple is working on this feature. The iPhone 5S uses a form of stabilisation for video, but it’s software-based, cropping into the image cleverly in order to provide a buffer to smooth out any jaggedy movements.

Optical stabilisation would mean the camera elements would actually move to compensate for juddery movement. This is used most effectively to allow cameras to increase their exposure times when shooting in low light to dramatically improve image quality.

Next, read our iPhone tips and tricks

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