gadgets

HP To Become Two Companies As Consumer PC And Printer Business Splits From Corporate Services

HP will indeed split itself into two companies, with its corporate hardware and services division becoming Hewlett-Packard Enterprise under CEO Meg Whitman, and HP Inc. becoming the PC and printing brand, with new initiatives like 3D printing spinning up, under Dion Weisler (Whitman remains as Chairman of the board for the consumer company, too).

The company’s decision to split is part of its five-year turnaround plan, according to a release detailing the move, and are aimed to help the troubled tech enterprise become more profitable. It will reduce debt at the operating level, the release states, and help make the organization more nimble and better able to deal with changes in the market. It’s set to be completed before the end of fiscal 2015.

Separating the two halves of the company will also mean that each arm is more free to work with partners of opportunity to extend their reach and presence. With the enterprise business yoked to the consumer hardware division, it’s possible both sides were prevented from being able to form relationships with hardware and software companies that compete with its other half. It also opens up potential acquisition opportunities, especially for the enterprise division, which has apparently been attracting some interest from players like EMC.

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HP Plunges Downmarket With A $99 Windows Tablet, $199 Windows Notebook

The race to the bottom is back. Reminiscent of the netbook war of yesteryear, HP just followed Toshiba’s lead with a $99 tablet along with introducing a $199 Windows notebook. Expect to see these colorful devices at a department superstore near you.

HP hasn’t revealed the specs powering these Windows 8 machines. That’s by design and as we’ve said for years, the spec is dead anyway. HP is clearly hoping to sell these devices on price alone although both include one year of Office 365 and 60 minutes of Skype calls each month.

The 7-inch HP Stream 7 costs $99 while the 8-inch HP Stream 8 is $149 and comes with 200MB of LTE data each month. The 11-inch HP Stream 11 notebook is $199, and likewise, the 13-inch HP Stream 13 is $229.

These machines are squarely aimed at Chromebooks. Using the familiar Windows brand, Microsoft and its hardware partners such as HP and Toshiba, hope to stem the tide of consumers looking and finding something new in Google’s enticing Chromebook hardware.

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Originally posted here: HP Plunges Downmarket With A $99 Windows Tablet, $199 Windows Notebook

Solve Your BendGate Woes With This 3D Printed iPhone Case

Did your surprisingly tight pants bend your iPhone 6 Plus? Did your bony butt ruin your iPhone 6? Did you place your iPhone into a vice and bend it with pliers? 3D printing can help!

This pre-bent iPhone 6 case is available on Shapeways and costs $19.99. The creator, Fernando Sosa, is offering the case in multiple colors including Bent Blue, Pressure Purple, and OMG Orange. Sosa is famous for creating a “plug” shaped like Vladimir Putin.

You can also just download your own copy here and print it at home. I’d recommend editing your copy to match the bend in your own iPhone (provided you’re one of the nine people who have been actually affected by the problem.) Enjoy!

Visit link: Solve Your BendGate Woes With This 3D Printed iPhone Case

The First Four-Seater, Solar-Powered Vehicle Hits The U.S. Road

Stella, the first ever family sized road vehicle that runs on the sun has made its U.S. debut. The car took first place in the World Solar Challenge and won the Michelin Cruiser Class for completing a 3,000 kilometer journey from Darwin to Adelaide in Australia last fall.

While other solar-powered vehicles have been made for racing, the solar-powered Stella is the first vehicle made for road travel. A large solar panel sits atop the roof to power the car up to 500 miles on a single charge. Compare that to a Tesla Roadster, which can run on an electric charge for 245-300 miles.

The Netherlands team that designed the vehicle took Stella for a U.S. tour to help kick off National Drive Electric Week. They recently traveled up Highway 1 from L.A. to San Francisco, and I met up with them in SF to check out Stella.

Follow this link: The First Four-Seater, Solar-Powered Vehicle Hits The U.S. Road

Watch Apple’s First Timberlake And Fallon iPhone 6 Ads

Apple has gone back to territory that treated it well in the past with new ads for the iPhone 6, with a spin on the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” John Hodgman/Justin Long duo act that served it well in the latter half of the last decade. This time, it’s not quite so oppositional, as the spots compare the relative virtues of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake making funny sounds and agreeing that the new features on both phones are generally awesome.

One ad is about the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus camera capabilities, and in this one Fallon and Timberlake experience a sort of mind-meld where their message is essentially the same, albeit with each focusing on some different new feature Apple has added or improved, including Slow-Mo video capture and cinematic image stabilization. In the other ad, Timberlake mostly just says “Huge” while Fallon chides him.

These ads are both entertaining and well-conceived, and Apple’s use of celebrities without even including their faces in the frame is basically a pitch perfect way of the company saying it doesn’t actually need celebrity endorsement to sell its products (but it’s nice to have it). The ads also harken back to early iPhone marketing, which generally featured a single hand extolling the device’s virtues and features with simple narration and a catchy instrumental backing track.

Apple never needs to advertise to sell its first batch of devices, as evidenced by record pre-sales, but these ads combined with Fallon and Timberlake’s appeal should help keep the records falling as these devices continue to expand their regional carrier and global rollout.

Follow this link: Watch Apple’s First Timberlake And Fallon iPhone 6 Ads

Rumor: Oculus Will Unveil A Handheld Virtual Reality Controller [Update: Not Yet, But Coming]

Oculus‘ headset lets you look around virtual reality but requires integrations with unofficial controllers to move an avatar, fire weapons, or input other commands. But at tomorrow’s Oculus Connect virtual reality conference, sources say Oculus is expected to unveil an official controller or controller industry standard to make it easier for developers to build more complex games. Several developers have been placed under NDA regarding the conference’s big news, though sources could not confirm details. However, four sources told TechCrunch that a gamepad is what’s being whispered around the Los Angeles VR community.

[Update 9/20/14 12:45pm PST: Oculus did not reveal a handheld controller today, instead showing off its new Crescent Bay feature prototype headset that's the successor to the DK2, and the Oculus Platform VR app marketplace. However, when a source was getting a demo of the Crescent Bay and told an Oculus employee they wished there was a handheld controller, the employee replied "it's coming."]
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The Sixense STEM System wireless virtual reality controller

One developer told us that code in the new Oculus SDK implies some official controller or API for connecting the Rift headset to a gamepad is on the way. The news makes a lot of sense considering that earlier this year, Oculus acquired Carbon Design, which designed the Xbox 360 controller and the Kinect motion sensor. We’ve reached out to Oculus for comment.

Right now, some developers use hacked console video game controllers or third-party VR controllers like the Sixense STEM to pipe inputs beyond head movements into Oculus. I tried the lightsaber game demoed below last night at TechCrunch’s Virtual Reality Meetup in LA, and the Sixense STEM felt natural and easy to pick up (literally). It was clear why Oculus would want to officially support these kinds of experiences.

Oculus could potentially release an input device of its own design. This could look like a traditional Xbox controller that may or may not have motion control, or like two handheld Wii Nunchucks which would allow for more realistic wielding of objects, such as pistols, swords, or a bow and arrow like in Survios’ ‘Zombies On The Holodeck’.

Alternatively, Oculus may simply create a standard for controllers built by third-parties like Sixense that could connect to the Rift, along the lines of the MFi standard for game controllers introduced by Apple with iOS 7 last year. It would then likely present an example of these controllers built by partner.

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The Sixense Razer Hydra controller

Since the Rift already uses a camera facing the user to detect head movement, controllers could piggyback on the same platform to recognize how a user moves the input device or devices.

An official input device or platform could unify some of the fragmented VR space, encouraging developers to invest in building games, art, and social apps that work on Oculus hardware connected to PCs and mobile offerings like Samsung’s VR headsets. That confidence will be critical to getting flagship experiences built that lure mainstream consumers to the alternate dimensions offered by virtual reality.

Come back to TechCrunch at 9:30am PST on September 20th to watch the livestream of the Oculus Connect conference and see what’s unveiled.

Additional reporting by Kyle Russell

More: Rumor: Oculus Will Unveil A Handheld Virtual Reality Controller [Update: Not Yet, But Coming]

Oculus Reveals Its New “Crescent Bay” Prototype With 360-Degree Head Tracking And Headphones

Oculus gave the world the first look at its new prototype Crescent Bay today at the Oculus’ Connect conference (livestream), and I got the very first hands-on demo. Crescent Bay has a faster frame rate, 360-degree head tracking, and integrated headphones, plus it’s lighter.

Oculus also announced the new Oculus Platform coming to the Samsung VR, which brings VR to a large audience through mobile apps, web browsers, and a VR content discovery channel. You can read our full story on Oculus Platform here.

CEO Brendan Iribe called Crescent Bay as big of a step up from the DK2 as the DK2 was from the DK1. This still isn’t a consumer version, but it’s getting closer.

The Crescent Bay is not an official developer kit, but instead a “feature prototype” designed to show off the future of what Oculus is doing, similar to the pre-DK2 “Crystal Cove” prototype. The Crescent Bay likely won’t ship out to developers but will prepare them for what Oculus puts into the “DK3″ or whatever it calls its next developer kit, which VR makers will be able to buy and tinker with.

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Thanks to the 360-degree head tracking powered by a camera on the back of the Crescent Bay, users will be be able spin around all the way so they don’t feel constricted, while previous Oculus headsets could tell if you facing all the way backwards. The expanded positional tracking volume and integrated high-quality headphones will make the sound of Oculus as immersive as the visuals. Oculus licensed RealSpace3D’s audio technology built at the University of Maryland. RealSpace3D allows for high-fidelity VR audio by combining “HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.”

Oculus also announced that it’s done a deal with game engine Unity to make Oculus support official for everyone on both the free and pro versions of Unity.

Update: Hands-On

By camping out, I just got the very first public demo of the Crescent Bay. Oculus wouldn’t allow any official photos or videos, but someone else still snapped a few and sent them to me. You can watch a short video clip of me trying it on, and here’s a description of how it felt.

SubstandardFullSizeRenderDuring the 10 minute demo, I hung out with a tyrannosaurus rex, perched on top of a skyscraper, stood by a fire with some woodland creatures in a polygonal field, floated over a SimCity, shrunk down to microscopic size to look at giant dust mite, and watched a SWAT team fight a giant battle mech.

The headset is remarkably light, causing no neck strain .  . The goggle portion feels like mid-quality hollow plastic, though overall it feels pretty durable for its weight. The best part was how quick and accurate the motion tracking was. At one point in the demo, I was in a dressing room in front of a mirror with a floating mask mimicing my movements. No matter how fast I turned or spun around, I couldn’t detect any real latency in the mask. The motion tracking always kept up.

The way it does that is with an array of tiny LEDs layered over the outside of the Crescent Bay headset. Unlike the DK2 which just used LEDs on the front, there’s a back panel to the strap that goes around you head which holds LEDs that can also be tracked with a camera so Oculus knows when you turn all the way around.

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What felt most noticibly missing was a gamepad or controller for being able to move walk around or enter commands. This is what was rumored to launch today at Oculus Connect, but didn’t. But a source tells me that when they told an Oculus employee they wished the demo had a controller, they were told “it’s coming”.

Oculus Wants To Win PC and Mobile VR

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe announced that over 100,000 Rift developer kits have shipped to over 130 countries. He said “If you love sci-fi, this is your holy grail. Today it is happening. Virtual reality is here. Just let that sink in. We thought about flying cars, maybe hover boards, and virtual reality. Now it’s here. Our mission is to transform gaming, entertainment, and how we interact…We’re really sprinting towards the consumer version.”

To do that, Oculus needed to nail “Presence” or feeling like you’re actually in the virtual world. That means nailing every component of a VR rig so that no step causes motion sickness. These components are tracking the motion of your head, CPU, GPU, display, photons, optics.

Iribe went on to explain that Oculus sees VR as dividing into two categories, and that it needs to win at both:

  • PC-based: Where computers can drive the most immersive experiences.

    “With positional tracking, high frame rates, low persistence, and strong GPUs, you can create unbelievable worlds, you can create believable worlds.”

  • Mobile-based: Where affordability, accessibility, and mobility will bring VR to a mass audience.

Oculus Nubmers

Last night, Oculus also announced it would open source all the technology around its DK1 developer kit on Github. This could help developers level up their own development, build components using Oculus’ designs, and even sell these products without having had to come up with them.

By creating official new hardware and software platforms, Oculus could help unify the fragmented VR industry which has been using unofficial hacks to make third-party peripherals works with the Rift. The announcements could convince developers that Oculus is a more stable platform to build on so they increase their investment and help it build VR experiences that mainstream customers will find interesting.

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Coming off raising $2.5 million through Kickstarter and another $93.4 million from VCs, 2014 has been an epic year for Oculus. It took huge numbers of pre-orders for its DK2 developer kit before being acquired by Facebook in March for $2 billion. Despite a quick backlash from some developers and Kickstarter supporters for selling out, Oculus has largely reassured the VR community that having Facebook as a parent company makes it more of a reliable platform, not less.

Bigger developers began signing on, creating an ecosystem of peripherals and content experiences around the Rift. Most recently, the DK2 began shipping to developers and Oculus built a mobile VR rig for Samsung which lets you slip a Galaxy Note in to act as the headset’s screen.

Now we’ll get to see what developers will do with the new Oculus Crescent Bay headset and Platform.

Go here to see the original: Oculus Reveals Its New “Crescent Bay” Prototype With 360-Degree Head Tracking And Headphones

Join Us In Hardware Alley At Disrupt London, Won’t You?

Disrupt London is fast approaching and I’d love to see you in our amazing Hardware Alley. This even, which runs during the last day of Disrupt, features all of my favorite startups – the hardware ones – in glorious technicolor.

What is Hardware Alley? It’s a celebration of hardware startups (and other cool gear makers) that features everything from robotic drones to 3D printers. We try to bring in an eclectic mix of amazing exhibitors and I think you’ll agree that our previous Alleys have been roaring successes.

We’d like you to register as a Hardware Alley exhibitor. You’ll get to exhibit on the last day of Disrupt Londo, October 21, to show off your goods and get access to some of the most interesting people (and most interesting VCs) in the world.

All you need to demo is a laptop. TechCrunch provides you with: 30″ round cocktail table, linens, table-top sign, inclusion in program agenda and website, exhibitor WiFi, and press list.

You can reserve your spot by purchasing a Hardware Alley Exhibitor Package here.

If you are Kickstarting your project now or bootstrapping, please contact me at john@techcrunch.com with the subject line “HARDWARE ALLEY.” I will do my best to accommodate you.

Hope to see you in London!

Read the original here: Join Us In Hardware Alley At Disrupt London, Won’t You?

Apple’s iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Go On Sale To Long Lines Of Fans

Apple started selling its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today, with sales in-store kicking off at Apple Store retail locations beginning at 8 AM local time. The lines this year are longer than they have been in recent memory, if not ever for an iPhone launch, and by all accounts this is shaping up to be probably the most successful iPhone launch day in history, provided there’s plenty of stock on hand to satisfy the gathering throngs.

Lines at Apple’s 5th Avenue store goes on for at least five city blocks, for instance, and is estimated to be well over 1,000 people deep at last count, and queues elsewhere in the world are also snaking around city streets and packed with folks.

Apple’s main store in Toronto at the Eaton Centre had already amassed a long line that snaked around the entire upper floor of the mall where it’s located when I dropped by last night, with people spanning an area of about two city blocks indoors wrapping around and doubling back in a massive throng of people.

I spoke to the front-most line sitters, which included Frank Cranton in first, a Canadian soldier just back from Afghanistan who’d been there since Monday and who had never owned an iPhone before, only iPads; and to number two line member Ishan Vadera, who’d been there since Tuesday and who was a repeat iPhone owner but who wanted this device especially badly. Third was Bruno Wong from Canadian startup Orchard, an exchange marketplace for used iPhone devices.

Speaking to those in line revealed that most were drawn to this device because of the bigger screen and impressive new design Apple launched with the 6, though there were also many who were interested in the camera and other new features. For many near the front, this was an upgrade from devices older than the 5s, or their very first iPhone and a switch from Android.

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The scale of this launch, at least as witnessed first-hand at the Eaton Centre, far exceed previous new device releases, so it’ll be very interesting to see what that means in terms of launch weekend iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales.

Read the original post: Apple’s iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Go On Sale To Long Lines Of Fans

iPhone 6 Plus Review: The First Truly Well-Designed Big Smartphone

Apple is launching not one, but two premium smartphones today, and the iPhone 6 Plus is the one many probably were skeptical even existed just a few short months ago. With a screen size measuring 5.5-inches across the diagonal, it’s well into the territory labeled “phablet” on the ancient sea charts of mariners who’ve braved the Android waters. However, Apple’s version of a smartphone that strains the inclusion of “phone” in any word describing it might surprise even those dead set against the trend toward ever-bigger mobile screens.

Video Review

Basics

  • 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display, 401 ppi with 1300:1 contrast
  • 16, 64 or 128GB storage
  • A8 processor (64-bit)
  • 8MP iSight camera (rear) with 1.5 micron pixels and optical image stabilization, 1.2 megapixel FaceTime camera (front)
  • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • 20-band LTE support
  • MSRP: 16GB for $299 on contract/$749 contract free; 64GB for $399 on contract/$849 contract free; 128GB for $499 on contract/$949 contract free
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Larger screen is great for productivity and media consumption
  • Battery and camera noticeably better than iPhone 6

Cons

  • Not a one-handed device for most
  • Priced above even the usual premium segment

Design

The iPhone 6 Plus is literally an exaggerated version of the iPhone 6 in terms of its physical design, with dimensions stretched to accommodate its much larger 5.5-inch display. It’s 0.01-inches thicker, just under half-an inch wider, and just under an inch taller than the iPhone 6, and you’ll notice each of those increases in the hand, including the additional thickness, even if it is just a shade of difference. In terms of carrying and holding the device, the additional size makes for a less ‘perfect’ ergonomic quality, something the iPhone 6 definitely achieves, but there’s still lots to love about the industrial design of the 6 Plus.

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Like the iPhone 6, it benefits from rounded edges and smooth surfaces that recall the iPad mini and iPad Air. The curved sides make it easier to page back and forth through content with swipes, and it’s easy to imagine how a design with right angles would’ve resulted in an uncomfortable grip with a device this size. The screen is also the star here, and that 5.5-inch high res beauty is set off by thin side bezels, and top and bottom bezels that appear much smaller since they take up a far smaller percentage of the overall front surface of the device.

Attention to detail is Apple’s forte, and that’s apparent in the way the volume keys, relocated power button (it’s on the right side now) and lock switch are all machined. Perforations including the speaker holes on the bottom right are similarly well-executed, and overall the sense you get of the iPhone 6 Plus is one of extreme high quality, which is not something that can be said for the rest of the ‘phablet’ field. Apple has managed to make the very first well-designed smartphone of epic scale, regardless of your thoughts on the merit of the category as a whole.

Performance

The iPhone 6 Plus may be powering a much larger display, and it may need to output content at a higher resolution, but it’s not showing any additional strain vs. the iPhone 6 despite the extra legwork required. The 64-bit A8 process that Apple has designed, which uses a new, smaller and more power-efficient 20nm process, is more than up to the task of serving up animations, swipes, switches and multitasking for the 6 Plus.

If you’re new to the world of iOS and iPhone, you’ll probably just note that the performance is excellent and move on. But if you’re upgrading from an older device, like perhaps the iPhone 4 or 4S, you’re going to instantly take note of just how speedy everything is with this new processor architecture. The screen sizes are stealing headlines, but the performance of the A8, in graphics-intensive applications and in rendering interface flourishes, means that you’ll be feeling the effects of Apple’s next-generation processor improvements long after people are used to the bigger displays.

iphone-6-lteThe iPhone 6 Plus, like the iPhone 6, also features faster wireless performance, on both cellular and Wi-Fi connections. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi felt blazingly fast when used on my home network, which is run from a current-generation Airport Extreme that supports the latest Wi-Fi speeds. LTE is now able to handle up to 150 mbps connections, where supported (and with 20 bands supported on a single model number, you’re more likely to find it works with carriers around the world). Apple has also worked with carriers to get LTE roaming working with more international carrier arrangements, and I found that my AT&T testing sim provided a strong Rogers LTE connection here in Canada.

Features

Apple has brought a number of great new features to both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, including Apple Pay, which works as advertised in demos but will launch publicly in October in the U.S., and ‘Focus Pixels’ phase detection autofocus for faster, better picture taking. But there are a few featues that are specific to the iPhone 6 Plus that make it a device destined to appeal to both power users and everyday customers looking to simplify their life with a single gadget, instead of requiring both a tablet and phone (and even a computer).

iphone-6-plus-touch-assistReachability is the feature Apple created to help users deal with much larger devices, regardless of the size of their hands and digits. The iPhone 6 Plus leans on this especially, as it’s impossible for anyone not in the NBA to reach their thumb across to the top opposite corner. I find it difficult to even reach across the other side of the screen, let alone the corner, when one-handing the device. Reachability helps reach the stuff that’s in the top row, but it doesn’t bring down the status bar on the Home screen (it does in app), which would be helpful, and it’s still a stretch to reach the relocated opposite corner.

For most tasks, I find the iPhone 6 Plus to be a two-handed device – but I also find that I’m absolutely fine with that. The 6 Plus is closer in usage style to an iPad mini, in my experience, albeit one that’s pocketable and capable of full cellular voice communications. Part of the reason that it works so well as a tablet-style gadget is that Apple has introduced special landscape support for both the homescreen and some its first-party apps, which really add to my ability to be productive using them.

The apps in question include Mail, Messages and Calendar, and these now offer up overviews in a column on the left, and detail views on the right, much like they do on tablet or desktop devices. In Mail, it lets you quickly scroll through and triage your email without having to constantly swipe back and forth, and in Messages, it lets you keep abreast of the latest goings on in multiple conversations at once. Using these landscape views effectively almost requires two-handed use, but it ends up feeling well worth the trade-off.

Apple has also introduced new optical image stabilization for still pictures to the iPhone 6 Plus, and the effects are very impressive. That’s something I’ll address in greater detail in the ‘Camera’ section below.

The new Slow-Mo function captures action slowed down even further than before, and as you can see in the demo video above, that makes for some fun results. In particular, if you pay attention to the moments when Chelsea licks her lips in the video above, you can see just how good the new video feature is at capturing even blink-of-an-eye action in painstaking detail.

Display

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The iPhone 6 Plus has the best screen of any iPhone. It’s above that of either the iPhone 6 or 5s in terms of pixel density, and it’s capable of playing back full HD content in native resolution. The improved contrast and color rendering Apple has also worked into its screen tech is also even more obvious here than it is on the iPhone 6, and that results in a display that’s perfect for viewing photos or watching movies, as well as for showing off well-designed apps and software.

By the numbers, the iPhone 6 Plus’ display offers 88 percent more viewing area that the iPhone 5s, but at a cost of just 55 percent more volume. That means that while it’s very big, it’s not nearly as gigantic as if they’d just increased the proportions of the 5s. The screen trade-offs have real benefits for certain kinds of users beyond just enabling landscape mode, too – with Display Zoom, all interface elements suddenly become easier to read even for those with age-related vision loss, and that’s going to be a big selling point.

I showed my mother both phones and she was instantly drawn to the larger display of the 6 Plus. For these users, too, the 6 Plus can represent a single-device computing solution; it replicates much of the functionality of a tablet, with additional portability, and if you don’t do much beyond browsing the web, or interacting with the rich field of current apps, you’ll be better-served by this with its always-on connectivity than you would by even the combo of a smaller phone and a Chromebook, for instance.

Camera

iphone-6-plus-cameraApple’s other big selling point here, besides the advantages of a larger display, is the improved camera. Thanks to extra space inside the iPhone 6 Plus, it managed to fit in an optical image stabilization module, which can actually shift the camera lens around both vertically and horizontally to capture a clear image free of the camera shake that can afflict photos taken freehand. And the optical stabilization, in addition to the software-based stabilization Apple already uses in its iPhone camera, results in a photo-taking experience like no other.

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As you can see, it works great both indoors and out, and produces some of the best looking low light photos I’ve seen out of a mobile device. The iPhone 6 Plus image stabilization results in pictures that look crisp even when captured casually, and Apple’s new autofocus tricks mean there’s almost no waiting before a scene is properly focused and exposed, with as little manual intervention as possible. You can still manually adjust the point of focus and exposure, but the camera is smart enough that in most cases, you shouldn’t have to.

Apple’s video recording stabilization means you can stroll and shoot with results that aren’t debilitating to watch, and that’s a big plus. The optical image stabilization works for still images only, but software-based anti-shake is in action in the clip above, and it helps make the iPhone’s movie capture another highlight of the overall camera package.

Battery

The iPhone 6 Plus has another trick up its sleeve, aside from the optical image stabilization and the landscape orientation bonuses: Better battery life. The improved powerhouse on the 6 Plus affords it a full 10 hours more talk time compared to the iPhone 6, plus an additional 6 days of standby time (16 in total), as well as 2 more hours of browsing on 3G and LTE. It’s a trick that, with mixed use, resulted in at least a full day of extra use over the iPhone 6 in my testing, which could stretch to even longer if I used it only sparingly. During one cycle, where I used my phone only a few times a day to check calls, weather and messages, I got over three days of standby time and nearly 11 hours of use.

This alone might be enough reason to get people to opt for the 6 Plus over the 6, and it definitely helps increase the overall appeal of Apple’s big phone. Accustomed as I am to using my phone during the day and plugging it in when I get home in the evening, however, it’s not as great of concern – but already there have been a few times when an extended lack of readily available outlets have shown the merits of the 6 Plus and its capacious power core.

Bottom Line

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The iPhone 6 is still the best smartphone for your money in my opinion, owing mostly to the fact that the majority of people are going to feel most comfortable using a smaller device as their daily companion of choice. But the iPhone 6 Plus surprised me: I went into this review expecting to find it was a niche gadget, reserved for those seeking the absolute top-of-the-line, convenience be damned. Instead, I found myself getting strangely comfortable with a phone I still find difficult to use one-handed. In short, the 6 is my favorite current smartphone, but the 6 Plus is its closest competition.

I suspect we’ll see the trade-offs Apple has made in building a phone on this scale downplayed further by the introduction of the Apple Watch next year, as it means the iPhone 6 Plus can stay in the pocket for small things like seeing a message or figuring out why it just vibrated to indicate some kind of inbound notification. Even know, it’s a device well worth your consideration, and if you’re thinking about which to purchase, you should consider how much you value: 1) The ability to more easily manage communications from your pocket; 2) Having energy reserves at the end of the day; 3) Putting the best possible mobile camera in your pocket; or 4) Replacing up to three devices with just one for casual users. If you rate any of these things as high priority, then the 6 Plus might be the better choice.

See the original post here: iPhone 6 Plus Review: The First Truly Well-Designed Big Smartphone