Hardware,  News

It’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Pre-Order Day – What Will You Do?

Today is the first day you can order one of the brand new models of the new iPhone, either the 6 or 6 Plus. Many carriers are offering some great deals both in the US and UK and of course, there’s always the alternative buying choice, to buy sim free, unlocked from Apple.

So, what will you do? Read our guide with the most up to date information and see if this helps you make up your minds…

Importantly, of course, it’s worth pointing out that there’s no pressure to upgrade, do not be swept along with the buying frenzy if it will cause financial difficulties to you.

iOS 8 will be released next week, on the 17 September 2014 and will work with the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPod touch 5th generation, iPad 2, iPad with Retina® display, iPad Air™, iPad mini™ and iPad mini with Retina display.

If you are in a position to upgrade to one of the new handsets, here are the options you might want to be aware of.

Firstly, you need to decide whether to purchase the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus. Personally, I have opted for the iPhone 6 Plus and I will tell you why. It comes with a gorgeous 5.5 inch display that also features a higher pixel count of 401 ppi vs 326 ppi. (Apple defines a ‘Retina Display’ as being 326 ppi – essentially when the naked eye can not distinguish between individual pixels). It effectively has 2 million pixels – 183% more pixels that the iPhone 5s. Both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus are still being produced with 8 megapixels, this is the same as the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5/5c. The sensor is also still the same as the iPhone 5s’ and both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus also still get the same f/2.2 aperture. One of the significant differences that pushes the new models ahead of the old is the upgraded ‘True Tone’ flash for more realistic flash lighting and the new ‘Focus Pixels’ – Apple claim this will halve autofocus times and enable faster face and smile detection as well as continuous autofocus in video.  Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is a benefit to the iPhone 6 Plus, (essentially moving the lens around to minimise camera shake the route cause of blurred images). The iPhone 6 comes with digital image stabilsation which is a cheaper software based alternative. I believe the iPhone 6 Plus will take ‘better’ photographs particularly in low light conditions with longer exposure times.  With regards the front facing FaceTime Camera (commonly known as the ‘selfie’) both new iPhones are the same. Allowing for 81% more light, HDR, improved face detection algorithm and a burst mode. The resolution though is nothing to write home about, just 1.2 mp. I really would of liked to have seen 4k video recording possible in the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Samsung, LG and Motorola have already accomplished this. Both new Apple handsets offer 1080p video recording at 30 fps and 60fps (frames per second) as well as 120-240fps in slo-mo.

I have no idea why Apple have continued with the 16 GB memory module and have dropped the 32 GB module. It would have been far more sensible to start with the 32 GB and ditch the 16 GB but what they have done is step up to the 128 GB and this is of course hugely welcome. Not just as mobile photographers storing images but also because with the iOS 8 update, this is going to allow developers to create more power hungry apps that will take up serious room on your phone hard drive.

All smartphone users suffer with battery life issues, sales of portable external battery devices have soared in recent times and no self respecting mobile photographer would leave their house without a fully charged battery pack on board. However, the iPhone 6 Plus pushes battery power to a new level. Not so with the iPhone 6 , this has little improvement over the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6 Plus offers 80 hours of audio, that’s double, a 40% increase to video (making it 14 hours), 3G talk time increases from 10 to 24 hours, 3G browsing is up from 8 to 12 hours and standby is up to 16 days – not that I’ve ever known anyone to leave their phone in standby for days on end.

Personally, I feel the iPhone 6 Plus has the edge, I am looking forward to apps such as Procreate porting to this device (they will also port to the iPhone 6) but the extra screen space of the iPhone 6 Plus, will give many more photo/image editing opportunities. I would have liked to have seen the iPhone 6 gain OIS and the screen resolution further increased. The increase in battery life is a huge advantage to the iPhone 6 Plus and of course the upgraded camera is a significant pull. Therefore, I feel the iPhone 6 Plus is the more complete handset.

So, the next thing to consider is where and how to buy…

Where To Buy in the US


The Apple store is taking pre-orders today for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – both in the US and UK they are showing a 3-4 week delivery schedule for the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple are offering a trade-in program that will give you an gift card for your old iPhone and also offers financing options.

It’s also possible to purchase from Walmart Best Buy, Target and Radio Shack who will begin taking pre-orders today.

Walmart only offers the 16 GB for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for the usual carriers. They are also discounting the handset by $20 and will give you a $15 gift card for a pre-order. Walmart also has its own trade-in program – go here to view that.

Radio Shack will give you a gift card for pre-ordering too, up to $50.

Target will allow you to trade in your old phone online or in store. It’s offering up to $200 for the iPhone 5s and $100 for the 5 or 5C, $75 for the 4S and $50 for the iPhone 4.

Best Buy will only accept pre-orders in stores, not online.

Gazelle is another great place to sell your phone to and offers some great quotes, to get one for your handset, go here.

Glyde also offer great deals for your old handsets, go here for a quote.

Amazon offer a good trade-in program and this is worth looking into – go here.

If you’re currently with a carrier, firstly you need to check if you’re eligible for an upgrade. In the US AT&T also offer a trade in program – click here for that. There are various packages and options available as new or existing customers.

Verizon Edge will allow you to pay for the cost of the new handset over 20 months and comes with a $25 discount on the shared data More Everything plan. You can also purchase the phone on contract and at full retail price if you would prefer. Verizon will also offer a free 16 GB iPhone 6 in exchange for your iPhone 5, 4, 5S or 5C in good condition, the bottom line is that you have to sign up for a new 24 month contract.

Sprint are offering a special deal if you’re transferring over to them from AT&T or Verizon. It’s a prepaid Visa card to pay off your early termination fees, up to $350, go here to read more.

T-Mobile offer a Simple Choice plan that allows you to pick up a 16 GB iPhone 6 or 6 Plus for free and then pay either $27.08 or $31.24 for 24 months. Greater storage will set you back up to $200 for the 128 GB and then $27.08 or $32.25 respectively per month. I like this package from T-Mobile, it also offers unlimited data and texting when you’re overseas and will be the first and only US carrier that supports Wi-Fi calling. T-Mobile have also announced that they will match any competitor’s trade in value and give you $50 too.


How to buy in the UK


As above of course, you can head to the UK Apple store and pre-order from there. As we write this, news is coming in that Apple are selling out fast of the iPhone 6 Plus 128 GB worldwide in all colours. So, if this is the model you are yearning for, we suggest you head over there, fast.

If you’re ordering via a carrier, then by visiting the Three site, you’ll find a message saying they will be accepting pre-orders this afternoon (GMT) for both models, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Vodafone are offering pre-orders now and have all number of packages for you to browse, go here.

02 are offering the new devices but at the time of writing, their whole site has crashed – go here.

Virgin Media are offering the new handsets but are not offering preordering at the time of writing, go here.

Giffgaff will also be selling the new phones but currently you need to sign into the home page with your name and email address and they’ll get back to you with the deals, go here.

Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U are offering some great deals for pre-orders – follow the links for those.

If you prefer a sim free phone, these will be available at Amazon, gsmnation, Expansys.

Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com


  • Eitan

    Thank You for the extensive article, Joanne.
    I, personally, am going to stick to my 4S. Didn’t see any reason to upgrade to 5, and now to 6. The sizes of these are way to big, and I believe street photography with such huge phones will be a bit difficult.
    One needs a good eye, and a good opportunity. That all it takes to get a winning photo 🙂

    • Joanne Carter

      I completely understand Eitan, time will tell whether these new handsets will enable mobile photographers to capture the streets so well. I’m rather liking the new handsets for post processing opportunities as well as pre but we’ll see how they fare in the real world.

      • Jelly Beans

        I understand Eitan’s sentiments; however, some apps like VSCO do not have full functionality on the 4s (plus i.e. Procreate, etc.). Also, I can imagine that having more space for post-processing would be an advantage, plus the horsepower. I’m going with the 6 and I’m excited….

        • Joanne Carter

          Yes Jelly Beans, I think many are comfortable editing on their iPads – it does make me wonder though whether there is a one device benefit here or not. Trying to maintain both the iPhone and iPad as far as updates go is expensive. If all image capturing and editing could be done successfully on the iPhone 6 Plus, this could offer a financial saving to many…

  • Jim Moore

    Totally agree… if you want to buy for the features – the 6 Plus is the way to go. I have the 6 Plus on order although my partner has opted for the 6 – principally on the size aspects.

    Testing apps in the new sizes show they scale gracefully. Simply B&W seemed to fire up without issue and I may consider specific UI tweaks for apps going forward for the 6 Plus.

  • Carolyn Hall Young

    Thank you for the clarity. I appreciate that you go far beyond the “press release” in your assessment and comparisons.

  • kate hailey

    I’m holding off, for now at least. I’ve only just upgraded to the 5s about 6 months ago. I think I’d just get the iPhone6 if I were to purchase one of them.

  • Susan RENNIE

    Thank you for your careful assessment of the 2 new iPhones. I have made my choice based on two key considerations: portability and visibility. I have a friend who has one of the big Galaxies, and this mini-mini pad size does not fit in a pocket. She needs a bag or a strap to carry it around. For me the beauty of the iPhone has been its portability (= mobility). I would appreciate more screen real estate but not at the expense of pocketability. Secondly, for street photography the negligible size of the iPhone makes it less intrusive and more invisible — so important these days. If I need more power for processing I can port images to my iPad. With its 128 memory (oh yes), the 6 meets my needs as mobile photographer.

    • Joanne Carter

      Thank you for your feedback and comments too Susan. Yes, you make a very good case and I agree with you in many ways. The iPhone 6 Plus will be similar to the Samsung Note 3/4, it’s a much bigger device. There are pros and cons to both and it will come down to personal choice and needs in the end. I am pleased that my assessment helped you. Looking forward to seeing your images taken with the iPhone 6 soon – exciting!

    • Joanne Carter

      Thank you for your feedback and comments too Susan. Yes, you make a very good case and I agree with you in many ways. The iPhone 6 Plus will be similar to the Samsung Note 3/4, it’s a much bigger device. There are pros and cons to both and it will come down to personal choice and needs in the end. I am pleased that my assessment helped you. Looking forward to seeing your images taken with the iPhone 6 soon – exciting!

  • Tracy Mitchell Griggs

    The larger series will probably benefit every genre but street photography re: size issues.
    And there will always be a huge market for early adapters – will be interesting to see image output quality, but wondering what the real advantages will be for those who heavily app their images on a phone or iPad – image quality really not that essential for extreme layering and compositing.