The tech world has been abuzz for practically a whole year with the new features of the iPhone 6 , including the iPhone 6 Plus, announced at Apple’s keynote (you can read our iPhone 6 vs 6 Plus comparison review to find out the differences). However, as with any major tech release, the rumour mill didn't get everything right and there were several highly anticipated features, deemed certainties by many analysts, that the smartphone did not get. See also: iPhone 6 review.
Here are just five:
1. Sapphire screen
Sapphire glass is a single sheet of synthetically grown crystal that is substantially stronger than the latest version of Gorilla Glass, seemingly the current industry standard for smartphones and tablets. Numerous acquisitions by Apple in the field of developing and mass-producing this material, helped by leaks of the supposed screen component, led to rampant speculation that this was due to plans to use the material to make the iPhone 6’s screen, putting an end to broken and scratched iPhone screens.
Sadly, this was not to be. The production facilities acquired by Apple were instead put to work making Sapphire Glass for the Apple Watch screens, with the iPhone 6 sticking with the previous ‘ion-strengthened’ Gorilla Glass. According to Visual Capitalist, the prohibitive cost and difficulty of manufacturing the stronger glass still outweigh the benefits of scratch-resistant screens.
2. QuadHD Screen
The latest major advancement in terms of smartphone screens has been the advent of QuadHD, bumping screens up from the previous top-end of 1080p to a whopping 1440p. This higher resolution can already be seen in competitors such as the LG G3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and it was thought that Apple might be eager to catch up on the ground that it’s losing to Android phones.
However, the iPhone 6’s screen continues to lag behind, with the resolution not even coming up to full-HD (Only the iPhone 6 Plus gets a 1080p screen, and even that only just breaks 400ppi.) While pixel density isn't the be-all and end-all, it's one aspect where Android owners can trump iPhones.
3. Dedicated battery-saver mode
One of the most common criticisms leveled at the iPhone is its comparatively short battery life. While this problem has been somewhat addressed, with the iPhone 6 boasting 50 hours of music listening and 14 hours of talk time (and the 6 Plus even longer), a feature introduced by competitors such as HTC and Samsung hasn't materialised in iOS 8: extreme power saving
Some smartphones now include a extreme battery saver mode, stripping the phone down to a black and white (or very dim) screen and reducing functionality to purely calls, texts and web browsing in order to extend the charge of a device in emergency situations. It was hoped that Apple would adopt that concept, thereby neatly circumventing many people’s battery woes, but it appears that it’s confident enough in the advancements made to the standard battery life.
4. Dust and waterproofing
A few years ago, an unexpected dip in the toilet would have been a phone’s death sentence. However, nowadays the proliferation of fully waterproof smartphones means that not only is dropping your phone in the bath frequently no cause for alarm, many people use their smartphones for stunning underwater photography.
This is another area that Apple has always avoided, with many an iPhone consigned to a watery grave while users of Sony’s Xperia Z range frolicked merrily in the surf, phones in hand. Although no official confirmation of the iPhone 6’s IP code (the industry-recognised water-and-dustproofing rating) has been heard from Apple, the fact that it’s not advertising it almost certainly means it’s still one of the iPhone’s non features.
5. Hi-Res Front Camera
The front-facing camera in the iPhone 6 has, in a very clever piece of branding from Apple, been dubbed the ‘FaceTime HD’ camera. This would appear to imply that it has, as many suggested, incorporated a much better quality sensor than the iPhone 5s’ 1.2MP camera.
However, aside from an increase in the aperture size to 2.2, the hardware of the so-called ‘FaceTime HD’ camera is functionally identical to its predecessor, with all of the upgrades touted in Apple’s keynote based on software improvements.