Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new tablet, the iPad Air 2, has already being celebrated with a raft of excellent reviews. But this new iPad air device is not the only option on the market for Apple fans. Given the scale of the iPhone 6 Plus, deemed to be a phablet-sized device, for the first time Apple fans could be in something of a quandary regarding whether to purchase an iPad Air 2 or an iPhone 6 Plus.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both devices, even though both can be said to be close to the pinnacle of technology in their particular niche. So here is the ValueWalk rundown of the particular characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of the two devices.
iPad Air 2 Versus iPhone 6 Plus
Price and contract
The iPad Air 2 may to some degree better suit consumers who are looking for a long-term device. The iPad Air 2 will be available on a two year contract, and this is intended to subsidize the upfront price of the device. Whereas one can guarantee that there will be a replacement for the iPhone 6 next year, the same cannot be said for the iPad Air 2; we may not see a new range of iPad air tablets until 2016. So this is something to factor into the equation when making your purchasing decision.
It is difficult to directly compare the design of a smartphone and tablet, as ultimately they are completely separate devices that differ radically in appearance. What can be said is that the iPad Air 2 is the slimmest, lightest tablet Apple has made, and the manufacturing giant has really attempted to mark this out as a genuinely mobile device.
But the iPhone 6 Plus is no slouch in the looks department either, and has been acclaimed for its sleek design. The question to ask yourself here would be how mobile you need your device to be. Obviously the iPhone 6 Plus would have the edge in this department, but bear in mind that the iPad Air 2 is as mobile as any tablet that has ever been produced.
In terms of size, it is extremely elementary to deduce that’s the iPad Air 2 screen is significantly larger than the iPhone 6 Plus. But this doesn’t necessarily equate into quality of display. While a tablet may appeal more to people who intend to watch a lot of video content on the go, phablets are increasingly delivering functionality in this field, while also offering all of the advantages of a smartphone.
When we look at the resolution of the two devices, the iPad Air 2 has a slight edge with its 2,048 x 1536 pixel resolution. This gives the tablet an edge over the iPhone, but the pixel density of the smartphone is actually superior; 401 ppi as opposed to 264 ppi. This means that there are advantages of both screens, and what should probably be taken into consideration by consumers is what specifically they intend to use the device for. The iPhone 6 Plus will in fact deliver better image quality, but the iPad Air 2 is better suited to long periods of time watching animated material.
The iPad Air 2 may not greatly diverge from its predecessor externally, but its internal machinations are significantly different. The processor contained within the iPad Air 2 is radically upgraded from the iPod Air, with the A7 chip included in last year’s tablets being replaced by an optimized version of the A8 processor found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
This makes the iPad Air 2 a very powerful device, but it is worth noting that the tablet needs extra processing power in order to shift graphics around its larger screen. The superior processor of the iPad Air 2 does not necessarily mean that it is a more powerful device in practical terms. The iPhone 6 Plus has its own version of the A8 processor, and compares quite competitively in this department.
Both the iPad Air 2 and the iPhone 6 Plus will feature the new Apple Pay system. However, it is worth noting that there is no NFC chip in the iPad Air 2. Perhaps this could be looked on as a weakness, but many Apple fans will want to use the new proprietary Apple software anyway.
The iPad Air 2 does a pretty good job of taking photographs, and the camera fitted in the device is largely indiscernible from the snapper in the iPhone 6 Plus. However, it is worth noting that the iPhone 6 Plus is a superior video camera due to extra functionality which has been included in the handset, and the iPad Air 2 also doesn’t feature opticle image stabilization, which has been particularly praised in the iPhone 6 Plus device.
Ultimately, given the extra features in the iPhone 6 Plus, and the fact that phones more readily lend themselves to taking photographs anyway, if you are a serious photographer then you will want to opt for the iPhone 6 Plus above the iPad Air 2.
The iPad Air 2 has been very much praised in this department, with AirDrop making it easier than ever to operate this tablet in conjunction with an iMac desktop machine. However, the iPhone 6 Plus has also received critical acclaim with regard to its operability, and both devices are fitted with TouchID functionality. There is little to choose in terms of slickness, although the speedy processor in the iPad Air 2 possibly runs the outstanding iOS 8 even better than the iPhone 6 Plus.
Both the iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 Plus offer an outstanding mobile experience, and which you opt for will depend on how you wish to utilize the device. Many tablets users favour long sessions of video viewing, whereas the iPhone 6 Plus offers superior photograph taking capabilities and increased convenience and mobility.