Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) new 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch 6 Plus formally go on sale Sept. 19, but reviews of the new phones are in, and they are largely positive. Apple has already said it received 4 million preorders for the new phones within the 24 hours of presale availability, and the devices are likely to be a hit with consumers well through the holiday season. However, the reviews certainly won't hurt iPhone sales.
"I think it's a terrific phone. In my view, it's the best smartphone on the market, when you combine its hardware, all-new operating system, and the Apple ecosystem whose doors it opens," Walt Mossberg wrote of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 on Re/code, noted Reuters.
Screen size is a major differential in the new phones as Apple seeks to catch up to competing phones on Android and Windows Phone that have larger screens and have proven popular with consumers. Yet bigger is not always better, as some reviewers noted.
Geoffrey Fowler of the Wall Street Journal praised the iPhone 6's "performance, usability and camera refinements, coupled with a safe, powerful operating system that now lets the iPhone's big collection of apps do more."
Molly Wood of the New York Times notes that both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus "get thinner, flatter and more rounded shapes than their predecessors, losing the squared-off sides on the more recent models. The effect looks sleek, but feels slippery. Dropping seems imminent as you stretch your thumb across the larger screens." She noted that Apple has a feature called Reachability that lets users touch the home button twice to shift the screen down to the bottom half of the display in an effort to mitigate the larger screen sizes.
"The feature works nicely for one-handed scrolling and finding app icons, but it doesn't do much else," she noted. "If you're in an email, for example, you can't get access to any actions like Reply or Archive."
Lance Ulanoff of Mashable praised the new phones' cameras, especially the video-recording capabilities. "The iPhone 6's video capabilities are mind-bogglingly good. While the default setting for video is 1080p, 30 frames per second (fps), you can go into settings and change it to 60 fps," he noted. "The resulting video has an almost hyper-real look; essentially people and objects look like you could reach out and touch them." Article