10 Best Reasons to Buy (or Receive) an iPhone 6 This Holiday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) iPhones were the first smartphones to really make their mark and the company hasn't looked back, having surpassed everything from Motorola's Flip Phones to BlackBerries (BBRY) which could handle email with aplomb and Microsoft (MSFT) phones which stressed mobile Web browsing as well as email, appointments and hints at what was yet to come.

Two new models, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, were released in September, and to say sales have skyrocketed is understating the fact. It's likely because these new devices are iPhones through and through, while at the same time, adding so many new features to the that users want and need to have.

There are actually hundreds of reasons why you should own an iPhone, but we can't list all of them. Here's the ten best reasons to own an iPhone if you're not already an Apple fan boy (or girl):

10 - Two Big, Beautiful Devices

Despite Steve Jobs' claim that no one needed big phones, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are larger than any Apple phones in the past. But, that doesn't make them bulky or awkward.

Both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are super thin, lightweight and beautiful to behold. The 6 measures 5.44 by 2.64 by 0.27 inches and weighs a scant 4.55 ounces, while the 6 Plus is 6.22 by 3.06 by 0.28 inches and weighs only 6.07 ounces. Both feel thinner and lighter in person than they look in photos.

Both models utilize Apple's new, 64-bit, 1.4 GHz, ARM (ARMH) -based A8 processors mated to a M8 graphics chip. Both use on only 1 GB of RAM to run the latest version of Apple's operating system iOS 8.

There are versions of the new phones for all four major U.S. carriers, AT&T (T) , Sprint (S) , T-Mobile (TMUS) and Verizon (VZ) .

9 - High Resolution Displays

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display capable of delivering 1335 by 750 pixels. In comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus touchscreen measures 5.5-inches and provides the user with a full HD 1920 by 1280 pixels.

Apple brags its new Multi-Touch screens contain what they call "dual-domain pixels" which "deliver higher contrast for more color at wider viewing angles." A new screen feature to note is the improved polarizer layer which reduces glare and makes it easier to actually see what's going on in bright sunlight.

Believe the hype. The screens look terrific - bright and color-accurate to our eyes. Looking at photos or watching videos on either new iPhone is a pleasure.

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8 - Improved Battery Life

Even though Apple managed to include bigger and brighter displays, both new iPhones deliver improved battery life over previous models. You can thank both the hardware and software for that.

The combination of the new A8 processor and M8 graphics chip as well as more efficient screen designs in combination with iOS 8 software makes these the faster and most efficient iPhones ever. A fully charged iPhone 6 is good for as much as 14 hours of (3G) voice calls, 10 hours of 3G or LTE Web browsing, 11 hours of video and 50 hours of audio. The iPhone 6 Plus could provide you with up to 24 hours of voice, 12 hours of browsing, 14 hours of video and 80 hours of listening.

7 - iSight Camera

It's better than ever. What else do you need to know?

Apple's new rear shooter (for both models) measures 8MP but that number doesn't tell the whole story. With improvements in the controlling software, "larger Focus pixels" and f/2.2 aperture lens the iSight system offers 3264 by 2448 pixels resolutions for stills at 60 frames-per-second at 1080p or 240 fps at 720p for amazing super-slow motion effects.

The best part of all of these numbers is that the results are consistently terrific.

For the record, the front-facing, 1.2 MP camera is capable of 30 fps videos at 720p.

6 - Connectivity

Apple has upgraded the wireless capabilities of both new phones. The new iPhones can operate on more LTE bands (up to 20) than any other smartphone on the market today. That means these phones should be able to lock onto the fastest connection it can find without much effort. Apple says the phones are capable of handling LTE speeds up to 150 Mbps. That's really fast.

The phones can also connect over 802.11a/b/g/n and the newer, super-speedy 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks as well as Bluetooth 4.0/LE.

There's also NFC, but we'll discuss that when we get to Apple Pay.

5 - Security

The famous, single Home button just below the iPhone screen now serves a dual purpose - it not only brings you to your main screen it's also a fingerprint scanner to keep your phone and what you do with your phone safe and secure.

Known as TouchID, it lets you unlock your iPhone with a swipe of your finger. The system, both the hardware scanner and iOS 8 software, reads your fingerprint (and others if you allow it) recognizes who you are and lets you proceed. Touch ID also allows you to approve purchases from Apple sources such as iBooks, iTunes and the App Store (others to follow) with the flick of a finger.

The system remembers passwords and credit card account information and simplifies purchases.

4 - Apple Pay

But if Touch ID isn't enough there's also Apple Pay. It's a secure system that allows your iPhone to act as your credit cards so you can purchase goods and services without having to take out your wallet.

Both iPhone 6 models use their internal Near Field Communications (NFC) chips to handle transactions in combination with the Touch ID feature. All you have to do, according to Apple, is "hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID. You don't even have to look at the screen to know your payment information was successfully sent. A subtle vibration and beep let you know."

Apple Pay works with credit cards from Visa (V) , Mastercard (MA) and American Express (AXP) and a growing number of major retailers including McDonald's (MCD) , Walgreens (WAG) , Macy's (M) and Toys R' Us.

3 - iOS 8

Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 8, takes the totally redesigned look of iOS 7 and added new features and improvements everywhere in iOS 8.

In addition to the new Photos software already mentioned, there's the new Messages application, better Maps, a smarter Siri voice command system and a whole lot more. There's also additional ways to connect and use Apple's iCloud services and new, seamless interplay with iOS 8 and Apple computers running OS X Yosemite.

Not only is iOS on the new iPhones more powerful, it's also faster and easier to use than in previous incarnations. Plus, Apple is always fine-tuning its software and sharing those improvements in over-the-air updates for their products.

2 - Well Priced

The original, first-generation iPhone retailed for hundreds of dollars ($599 for the popular 8GB model). When Apple lowered the price for subsequent versions, sales began to explode. Luckily, iPhone contract prices have remained steady for a number of years.

iPhone prices are based on the storage capacity included. There are three levels of storage -- 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. The contract price for the iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the 16GB model and runs to $399 for 128GB model. You need to add an additional $100 for the larger iPhone 6 Plus configurations.

Prices for the iPhone 6 are competitive with leading Android smartphone models such as Samsung's (SSNLF) Galaxy S 5, HTC's One(M8) and the LG G3. The iPhone 6 Plus is similarly priced with Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 phablet.

On top of the reasonably priced iPhone 6  and 6 Plus, Apple also still sells the 5s and 5C. The 16GB version of the 5s starts at $99 while the 8GB iPhone 5C is free with a two year contract.

1 - It's an Apple Product

That means you know the quality level of these new iPhones is high and that they're competitively priced.

You know that if you ever encounter a problem there are a network of people willing, ready and able to help. Whether you purchase your phone from your favorite cellular carrier, any one of a number of major retailers or from one of hundreds of Apple stores located in the United States and around the world you have experts who will assist you.

If you're an iPhone fanatic a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus has to be on your holiday shortlist. If you're contemplating giving one as as gift you can be sure you'll be making the recipient very, very happy.

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

To submit a news tip, send an email to tips@thestreet.com.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's Senior Technology Correspondent.

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