Meet the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus

By April Taylor , Sep 10, 2014 12:34 PM EDT

Apple has officially unveiled its new-generation iPhones, introducing the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone Plus, which mark great improvements over their predecessors.

The iPhone 6 was one of the most highly-anticipated devices of this year, mainly because it finally moves past the 4-inch mark in display size. The main difference between the two iPhone models lies in display size, as expected.

While the new-generation iPhones mark notable improvements over their predecessors, many critics argue that Apple is just playing catch-up, and the iPhone 6 finally sports some features and specifications that have been gracing Android devices for quite some time.

"iPhone 6 isn't simply bigger - it's better in every way. Larger, yet dramatically thinner. More powerful, but remarkably power efficient," Apple touts. "With a smooth metal surface that seamlessly meets the new Retina HD display. It's one continuous form where hardware and software function in perfect unison, creating a new generation of iPhone that's better by any measure."

In terms of specs and features, let's start with the display. The new iPhone 6 comes with a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, while the iPhone 6 Plus sports a large 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are also thinner than the previous flagship, measuring 6.8mm and 7.1mm in thickness, respectively, as opposed to the 7.6mm-thick iPhone 5S.

In many ways, the new iPhone 6 Plus bridges the gap between the iPhone and the iPad, especially considering the functionality of its massive display. The iPhone 6 Plus, for instance, will work with a horizontal screen just like the iPad, allowing users to take advantage of that extra screen real estate.

Under the hood, the new iPhone 6 line packs Apple's latest 64-bit A8 processor, paired with an M8 motion co-processor. According to Apple, the A8 is 25 percent faster than the A7, while also delivering a 50 percent boost in graphic performance. In terms of battery life, meanwhile, it seems that the new iPhone 6 will also be more efficient.

"Built on 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the new A8 chip delivers more power, even while driving a larger display," Apple further boasts. "The M8 motion coprocessor efficiently gathers data from advanced sensors and a new barometer. And with increased battery life, iPhone 6 lets you do more, for longer than ever."

Available configurations will include 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB of internal storage capacity, with no 32GB variant and no support for expandable memory. On the software side, the new iPhones run Apple's latest and greatest iOS 8, taking full advantage of all the neat features the new OS has to offer. Also on board is Apple Pay, the company's new mobile payments platform.

Another notable improvement with the new-generation iPhones lies in the connectivity department, as Apple has significantly boosted LTE functionality. The two new iPhone 6 models now support up to 20 LTE bands, which is more than any other smartphone out there, according to Apple. The iPhone 6 lineup also comes with Wi-Fi 802.11ac, which should translate to "up to 3 times faster" Wi-Fi signals.

In terms of camera performance, the protruding new 8-megapixel camera with "True Tone" flash and a f/2.2 aperture will reportedly allow for auto-focus that works twice as fast due to its "phase detection" feature. Optical image stabilization (OIS), meanwhile, will deliver clearer shots.

When it comes to video recording capabilities, the iPhone 6 is now able to record 1080p video at either 30fps or 60fps with its rear camera, while Slo-Mo functionality bumps it up to 240fps. The aforementioned "phase detection" tech, which means faster auto-focus for still images, also applies to video on the new iPhone 6 models. This feature should be particularly in handy because users would no longer have to tap in the screen constantly during video shootings in order to refocus.

The iPhone 6 will hit commercial availability later this month, launching on Sept. 12 via Apple's online and retail stores, but they will also hit all major carriers in the U.S. Pre-orders will kick off this Friday, Sept. 12.

Lastly, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will retail for $200, $300, and $400 for the 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB options, respectively, while the iPhone 6 Plus will cost $300, $400, and $500 for the 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. These prices are applicable with carrier agreements.

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