Even though we're still three or four months away from seeing the iPhone 6 officially unveiled, we've been given plenty of good looks at what the device may look like. Schematics for the 4.7-inch handset leaked ages ago, prompting plenty of people to make dummy units based on those plans; they don't really indicate the final experience, but they do give us an idea of what to expect in terms of design. And, believe us, Apple has a lot coming down the pipeline, as we covered last week. So instead of fawning over dummy units being posted around the Internet, we got our hands on a dummy unit of our own. For science.
Before we begin: we want to reiterate that this is a dummy unit, nothing more. None of these parts came direct from Apple, and they're based on supposed schematics for a device that hasn't even been announced. There isn't even an Apple logo on back, so as far as we're concerned, this could be any nameless upcoming smartphone coming in 2014. Be that as it may, all signs point to this being the iPhone 6's final design. Truth be told, we have some mixed feelings about that, especially since the antenna bands are so prominent—it looks like it was haphazardly bandaged by a blind nurse. This is a dummy unit, however, so things could certainly change in the next several months.
For years, Apple has been adamant about the usability of a smaller screen, but obviously the Android market had other ideas. Now, the Cupertino company is playing catch up in the Tim Cook era, pushing beyond the 4-inch form factor into 4.7-inch territory; that's still on the smaller end of the spectrum for Samsung and HTC, but the change is pretty significant for iOS. Holding the device next to an iPhone 5s, and the difference is certainly noticeable, though it doesn't feel too big a jump so as to feel unwieldy.
Apple's engineers are experts at refining designs, taking what's out there and presenting it in a beautiful and easy-to-use package. The iPad mini/Air design has already become an iconic part of the company's portfolio, so it was only natural to see that same approach make its way to Apple's most successful ever product. It feels thin, comfortable, and the displacement of the sleep/wake button to the right side works perfectly. We wish the screen had a bit less bezel, so hopefully that changes by the time an official model is unveiled. It's looking more and more like we'll see something in September, which isn't all that far away when you think about it.
We'll have plenty of content throughout the week covering this particular dummy unit, so stayed tuned for more hands-on, quick comparisons and more.
Special thanks to Sonny Dickson for hooking us up. You can find him on Twitter here.