iPhone 6. The Rumour Mill – Likely Models, Versions and new Features

So we wait with baited breath to see what the next iteration of the Apple iPhone will be. With the competition putting out ‘iPhone killers’ Apple Bitealmost daily and nibbling into Apples market share, it seems time for something dramatic from the innovative tech Company.

Whilst still very much at the rumour mill stage, here is what the available evidence and info is strongly suggesting.

The next version of the iPhone is widely and will almost certainly be called the iPhone 6. It is scheduled for release in September of this year.

If the huge orders Apple has been placing in Japan with Sharp and in South Korea with LG, is anything to go by then the anticipated increase in screen size will become a reality. Initial reports and information leaked from those factories suggests we will be looking at two versions. The current models 4” screen will be scaled up into 2 new versions sporting either a 4.7” or a 5.5” screen. It goes without saying that this will be the high end resolution liquid crystal versions.

We can expect the iPhone 6 to be a far more powerful beast with an uprated processor and according to some sources; a major Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturer has started a production run of these next generation A series ‘Apple A8’ chips. First reports are emerging of a very fast 2.6GHz chip.Apple Chip

As well as the increase in screen size we expect the iPhone 6 to be far thinner than it is now. Here at G&D we have read more than one report suggesting it could be as little as 5.5 mm, which is quite a significant change to the current design.

So what about that screen? It seems Apple may well be moving to an Ultra-Retina display with a pixel density pushing 389ppi. Design features will also include a durable Sapphire screen at long last. All this coupled with the larger screen sizes adds up to a mouth-watering combination that some would say is long overdue.

Other rumoured features that have been floating around cyber space,

Significant improvements to the camera with major changes to the aperture size and possibly moving to as much as an 8-megapixel camera. Some sources are even suggesting Apple has decided at last that the camera is an ever important aspect of a smartphone and Powerful iphone 6 cameramay go all out with a 10 mega-pixel version with an f/1.8 aperture complete with interchangeable lenses.

There is also a lot of hype about Apple going with a bezel-less display or at least playing with the iconic design feature to make it less prominent.

Personally, I’m a little worried that Apple may be finding it necessary to do battle with competitors on screen size. Once a smartphone doesn’t fit into my trouser pocket, it’s no longer a phone in my eyes. However if they can squeeze every available mm of front facing space into being a screen, that would be the way to go!

The Apple App store is also set for some changes and improvements but details are sketchy so far.


Review: Smartphone Camera Comparison – Samsung Galaxy Note II v Apple iPhone 5

DUMMY: So ever since I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Geek has been whinging that I’m an Apple fanboy. He’s also bleated that I’m not comparing like-for-like products. We took a walk in the local park on a nice sunny day, Geek with his tombstone-sized Galaxy Note II, me with my sleek and svelte iPhone 5 and decided to give the phones a head-to-head. The question: whose was the best smartphone/camera.

GEEK: You are a whiny Apple fanboy.

DUMMY: Whatever. So here are some of the shots we took. First, here’s the iPhone 5 in quite a shaded area:

GEEK: And then the Galaxy Note II:

DUMMY: Both cameras struggled with the transition from shade to bright sunlight but the stand-out winner in this first shot is the Note II. The level of clarity and detail is far superior and to be honest the iPhone 5 image is quite blurry in comparison.

GEEK: Oo, what a surprise.

DUMMY: On to the next picture. The same subject but in brighter sunlight. iPhone 5 first again:

GEEK: And then the Note II:

DUMMY: Curses. I can see the same kind of issues here. The Samsung camera gives greater levels of detail, certainly up close and in the foreground. As you move further back into the mid and background this difference is less pronounced and at a pinch I might argue the iPhone 5 deals slightly better with dark shaded areas.

GEEK: You’re just making this stuff up, aren’t you.

DUMMY: Shuttit! All in all, I’d say its pretty conclusive. The Samsung camera is without doubt superior to the camera in the iPhone 5. Come on Apple, sort your game out!

GEEK: Boohoo.


Review: Samsung S4 Mini v iPhone 5

Geek has been telling me for a while now that the iPhone killer had really arrived and I must admit I have been looking longingly at the Samsung S4 Mini for a while. When I got the opportunity to try one out and review it, I jumped at the chance with a view to perhaps breaking my 5 year love affair with apple and iOS. Geek has the more powerful big brother Galaxy Note II but I don’t get that phone at all. I guess I’m just one of those people that think a phone should be pocket sized.

Now anyone who has been an Apple customer for many years will have become indoctrinated into the ‘Apple interface’. I kept in mind from the very beginning that there would be a learning curve and that I would have to keep an open mind to change. Not my best quality if I’m honest but on with the review!

Out of the box I was quite impressed. I recall when I got the iPhone 5 originally I was equally impressed with the quality and feel but I’d say the Samsung might have edged that just slightly. Generally size and ergonomics, there is very little between the two to be honest.

Everything on the iPhone is based around the home button and the the touch screen interface where the Samsung has a couple of nicely disguised additional buttons alongside the home button. When not active they are virtually invisible. If you swipe over them with your finger, an additional menu feature button lights up on the left and on the right a back button.

As you might expect with a version of a phone tagged as ‘Mini’ its not just its size that has been shrunk; the internal storage and the processor speed are both a reduced version of its big brother the S4. Just trawling around apps, emails and settings I couldn’t really find any discernible difference or lightning performance. Certainly not an iPhone killer so far anyway!

The screen initially appears nice. Good vivid colours but when I hold up the iPhone 5 to the S4 Mini, to my eye the iPhone 5 wins on clarity and quality. Okay, the Samsung screen is a little larger, which is always good but not a major benefit in my eyes.

Enough about the look and feel for now and more about how it works, especially from the perspective of a brainwashed Apple fan!

To start with I found it a nice slick menu system. It felt bright and fresh. Perhaps not as intuitive as the iPhone but I put that down to my Apple ‘blinkers’ for now. I found the touch screen less precise than the iPhone. There was a lot of frustrating miss-typing going on and its not like I have sausage fingers or anything, honest!

I then started to go searching for all my mainstay apps that are essential to my mobile world. I was quite prepared that I might have to find an Android alternative if it was iOS specific. It’s here in this crucial arena that the credentials of this ‘iPhone slayer’ start to get shaky.

I’ve recently written a blog about the App store and the world’s fascination with it and apps in general. Its fair to say that apps are what set a phone apart from its competition and so far the Samsung and iPhone 5 were neck and neck. Tell me please what the App store interface is about on the S4 Mini? It’s simply horrific. I can’t find the simplest and most mainstream of apps. It’s clunky and poorly organised. It does give you the option of going to the Google Play store which brings it all back down to planet earth but again the route to this is not intuitive at all. I was very disappointed with this aspect.

It’s worth nothing that Samsung loads its phones with supposedly “value added” apps that you can’t uninstall (without rooting). These apps usually are named “S “-something or “Samsung “-something. All in all pretty poor!

Lets finish by covering the basics.

Call Quality

The iPhone 5 has always had a big question over call quality. When it’s connected it’s quite good but all too often it drops a call for no apparent reason or goes straight to voicemail regardless of your signal strength. The S4 Mini has so far been faultless. It is very good at what its meant to be, a phone. The slightly scalloped edges seemed to make it more ergonomic to hold to my ear. – something the iPhone has lost between the 4S and the 5.


This is adequate but no more. It’s fine for quick snaps and it seems to let in plenty of light. Take a similar picture with the iPhone 5 and you can see that Apple has got this right and Samsung has missed the boat a little. I was only watching the Gadget show the other day which did a straw poll of people who bother to carry a camera or dedicated digital recorder these days. Because of the camera quality in smartphones the conclusion was that it was dying tech. Confusing then that the camera in the S4 just doesn’t quite cut the mustard.


It’s always a tough thing to gauge battery life accurately or realistically because what I’ve installed now won’t compare to what I’ve installed next week. It’s difficult to tell how the battery will be drained by different demands. What I do know is that my iPhone 5 was rubbish from day 1 when it came to battery life. With moderate to heavy use of everything I need daily it will require a top up charge during the day and a full charge over night. So far the Mini is performing far better and after a day of setting up, downloading emails etc, it’s only just slid under 80%. Not bad at all.

So is this an iPhone killer?

I desperately wanted to like this phone. I can’t help feel like I should be willing to look beyond Apple; Android receives so many accolades Google must be doing something right. Geek thinks it’s our saviour from evil iOS. At its core the Mini is like an iPhone 4S. It does all it needs to quite well but at the end of the day it’s just an iPhone wannabe.

I have to say I sometimes wondered if my frustration at struggling through the menus (i.e. my own reluctance to try a new OS) was at the heart of my mixed feelings for this phone and maybe that’s true. What I do know is that iOS is intuitive enough to let me navigate around and find my way. With Android on the S4 Mini Mini, all too often I had to go and pester Geek to find out how to do something. Not really what I wanted from the new hub of my mobile universe.

I’m going to give it another week or two to see if I can get over my ‘Android phobia’ and maybe I’ll come back and review the S4 Mini again!

[easyreview title=”Dummy rating” icon=”dummy” cat1title=”Ease of use” cat1detail=”There’s just too many ways to customise and change .” cat1rating=”3″ cat2title=”Features” cat2detail=”It’s got everything a good smartphone should have but it lacks a quality camera and a seamless App store.” cat2rating=”2.5″ cat3title=”Value for money” cat3detail=”Design-wise I love it. It does everything it should and you can get it very cheaply on a good contract.” cat3rating=”4.5″ cat4title=”Build quality” cat4detail=”I’m a little torn. It’s a thing of beauty and I love its lightness but also worry that it’s frail because it’s so light.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”It’s a good smartphone and I like it but it is no iPhone killer!!!!!”]

Review: Sinjimoru Sync Stand for Apple iPhone 5 Dock, Cradle Holder

£19.99 from Amazon.

I’ve long been an Apple fan (well a fan of the core devices they produce – not of the way they extort loyal customers with ridiculous prices for add on-consumer products). So when I got my iPhone 5 on the day it was released to the UK, my plan was to hang fire for a month or two and wait to see what the world of eBay and Amazon would deliver in the way of gimmicky add-ons. In particular, I always like a second charger and a dock station so I can charge and view my phone at my desk. Months after the iPhone 5 release nothing has been officially produced by Apple and the Lightning cable is still very expensive but I found this nicely designed dock that claimed to tick all my boxes.

iPhone 5 dock

Initially I was attracted by the design and the fact it worked by integrating my existing Lightning cable. It looked to be a good bet, especially if you were to believe the Amazon reviews.

On opening the dock, I was pleasantly surprised by its quality and feel. It appears to have been machined from aluminium and then plasti-coated. It is a solid and compact little design and looks as good on my desk as it did in the pictures on Amazon. It comes with a couple of adaptors to allow either the new Lightning or the older pin charger to be threaded through the dock and mounted. In this way, the phone can (theoretically) sit on the dock and over the charging point, with the cable inserted into the phone. I’ve only tested this with my Lightning-cabled iPhone 5, and it’s here that I started to have problems.

iPhone adaptors

The connection is unreliable at best. The Lightning cable pushes through a transparent base plate and the thickness of this base plate seems to affect the quality of the connection into the phone. Don’t get me wrong, if you wiggle it about a bit it eventually, sometimes connects but that’s not really what I want from a dock on my desk. I want something solid and easy to click in, which brings me to my next point. The way the dock seats the phone means it’s almost entirely supported by the Lightning cable’s connector. When this was the older style pin that might have been ok, because it was wide and robust but with the Lightning pin: recipe for disaster.

iPhone 5 docking station

For me, this has become a (very!) expensive stand for my phone that doesn’t charge or sync my phone. I have no idea where the other reviews came from on Amazon because it just doesn’t work. I’ll give it 1/2 simply because it looks pretty!

[easyreview title=”Dummy rating” icon=”dummy” cat1title=”Ease of use” cat1detail=”Well, it only works as an expensive stand” cat1rating=”0.5″ cat2title=”Features” cat2detail=”Simply doesn’t work as described for the iPhone 5″ cat2rating=”0″ cat3title=”Value for money” cat3detail=”Mmmmmm!! Feel like I’ve been conned on this purchase” cat3rating=”0″ cat4title=”Build Quality” cat4detail=”It’s a shame it doesn’t work. It’s very nicely built” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”I’d seriously avoid this if you are after an iPhone 5 dock. It’s useless.”]

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