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Review: First impressions of the new iPhone 6

Michael deAgonia | Sept. 22, 2014

This year's launch of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus wasn't exactly the smoothest of rollouts. There were glitches during the Sept. 9 unveiling, a delayed and problematic pre-order process and an iOS 8 launch on Wednesday that saw key features pulled at the last-minute. But that didn't stop the company from booking an astounding four million in iPhone pre-sales, and it didn't dissuade thousands of people from standing in line for hours (some, for days) for a chance to buy one of the new iPhones.

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the first to offer display sizes larger than any previous model (up from their predecessor's 4 in. screen to 4.7 in. and 5.5 in., respectively). They also include a new A8 system-on-chip processor; faster LTE access; NFC for the upcoming Apple Pay system; a new M8 motion sensor and processor; support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi; better 8-megapixel cameras; and even a new barometer sensor.

In hand is my new 128GB iPhone 6 in Space Gray. Like many, I awoke just before 3 a.m. on Sept. 12 to preorder my iPhone. After 20 minutes of trying to access the Apple Store online while simultaneously using the Apple Store app on my iPhone 5S and iPad Air, I was finally able to get into the store using the iPad and place my order. Many would-be buyers weren't so lucky, and within a short time, hoped-for delivery dates of Sept. 19 slipped to a week to 10 days. (For iPhone 6 Plus buyers, those delivery dates are now well into October.)

Getting my pre-order meant that unlike last year, I could watch various reports of the thousands and thousands of fans hoping to buy iPhones yesterday from the comfort of my own home.

The UPS man arrived at mid-afternoon; minutes later, the box was open and I was holding my new phone. Hours (and hours and hours) later — after literally the slowest iCloud restore I've ever experienced — my iPhone 6 was set up and ready, a near clone of the iPhone 5S save for the bigger screen, sleeker styling and better everything.

First impressions

I should note that these are just my first impressions; a full review, including a look at how the new A8 chip works and whether battery life remains good, will come after I've had some serious time with the iPhone 6. (Follow me on Twitter or check my site if you want to know when the final review is published.) But it seems already clear from the crowds lining up to buy it to the details I can see up close that this will be a home run for Apple.


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