iPhone 6S Plus review
Aside from the pink color option, the other changes aren't particularly noticeable. Both phones are now made from series aluminum, an alloy used in the aerospace industry that, when compared to last year's phones, makes for a sturdier but similarly lightweight design.
The regulatory icons that used to live on the iPhone's back have been removed too, leaving a teensy "S" logo to let the world know you've upgraded. Meanwhile, we're still left with the same 16GB, 64GB and GB storage options as last year, and you're almost certainly going to want one of the latter two. I was hoping against hope Apple would finally give the 16GB model the heave-ho and raise the baseline to 32GB of space. That was clearly silly of me. Economies of scale aside, iOS 9's smaller footprint and new developer tools like app slicing make the 16GB iPhone a little easier to make do with, though the inclusion of an upgraded megapixel camera, 4K video shooting and animated Live Photos which are turned on by default means some will have a tough time keeping free space available.
As ever, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor lives in the iPhone's home button, but this year's module is a clear improvement: Apple claims it can pick up your fingerprints up to twice as fast as before. I can't make out exactly what the speed multiple is here, but Touch ID really is blazing fast now, and I can't remember the last time it didn't work on the first try, either. In fact, it's actually so fast that I've had to change some of my daily behaviors as a result.
You see, I used to be one of those people who tapped on the home button to check the time or change tracks while I was in my car yes, dangerous, sorry. With the 6s and 6s Plus, that doesn't fly anymore: Touch ID picks up all but the quickest home-button taps. As it happens, both phones are a touch thicker and heavier than before, but they're still comfortable to hold, and the change in thickness specifically is so subtle that it's nearly imperceptible.
As for the weight, the 6s and 6s Plus do indeed feel noticeably weightier: The 6s weighs in at grams, up from , while the bigger 6s Plus now comes in at grams, up from Not that that's a bad thing. All told, this is one of the few times an iPhone has gotten beefier the 4s was slightly heavier than the 4 , and I'm actually quite pleased about it. At some point, there has to be a lower limit to how thin a phone can get and still be comfortable to use. I'd much rather see companies abandon that ceaseless march toward cartoonishly thin designs and instead work to make better use of the sizes they've already achieved.
Bigger batteries, anyone?
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review - PhoneArena
Speaking of the sort, the cells in these new models are actually slightly smaller than they were before: 1,mAh in the 6s and 2,mAh in the 6s Plus. I'll delve more into battery life a little later spoiler alert: It hasn't really changed , but recent teardowns seem to reveal why we've gotten a bit of a downgrade this year. In short, you have that new 3D Touch screen to blame. To give you a little background, the display crams 96 pressure sensors into the backlight layer of the phones' Retina HD displays, along with a Taptic Engine that provides some subtle vibrations when you bear down on the screen.
Turns out, the engine took up some extra room near the phones' bottom edges, just under the spot where the battery sits. For now, the time-savings you get from using 3D Touch gestures feels worth the slightly smaller batteries, but hopefully Apple will eventually figure out how to shrink the necessary components so that it doesn't have to compromise on battery size.
At first glance, you probably wouldn't notice anything different about the IPS screens on the 6s and 6s Plus. After all, they're the same size as before 4. You won't even notice the improved glass covering them until you drop it please don't.
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The eagle-eyed among you might catch that both screens are a touch brighter with slightly better color reproduction. There is, of course, something much more important at play here. It's called 3D Touch, and it's the biggest change in how we interact with iPhones since Siri. Let's start with the broad strokes: If you press your finger down on, say, an app icon, you'll get a small menu of quick actions that you'd usually have to be inside the app to use. You'll also feel a brief vibration from the Taptic Engine as a sort of tactile "thumbs up. The whole thing is made a little trickier by the fact that it's initially easy to mix up a 3D Touch and a long-press like the one used to rearrange your app icons.
It didn't take more than a day or two for my muscle memory to learn the amount of pressure needed to make 3D Touch work, but hey -- your mileage may vary. Those 96 3D Touch sensors can also take precise measurements as you push down and release. Imagine, for instance, playing a racing game and being able to press the screen to accelerate past the chump who just whiffed while taking a corner.
If that's the future of smartphones, bring it on. What's more, there's an entirely new vocabulary around this 3D Touch screen. Pressing down to preview something in a little pop-up window -- be it a web link, or an address someone texted you -- is what Apple calls "peeking. Congratulations, you just "popped" something. You can't use all the same 3D Touch actions if you're using an iPhone 6s Plus in landscape mode.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
Apple's already laid out guidelines about how developers should implement 3D Touch, and they're basically centered on one key idea: 3D Touch is about helping users do things faster. So far, the vast majority of apps don't yet support 3D Touch, but the ones that do take different approaches as to what you can peek at. Some, like Twitter and Instagram, let you press down on their app icons to bring up those Quick Actions menus for near-instantaneous tweeting and photo sharing. Others, like Dropbox, offer previews of your files when you long-press their filenames in a list, but there's no app icon interaction.
OpenTable takes sort of a hybrid approach -- you'll get both an app icon menu and the ability to peek at restaurants' locations in Maps as you're scrolling through the culinary options. This all might sound complex, but trust me: It's not. Once more developers get on board, people will be able to zip around their home screens and just do things , as opposed to constantly jumping in and out of apps. It's also a tremendously useful tool for getting quick bits of context -- why yes, I would love to see a map of that sweet poutinerie in Berkeley, thanks very much.
After I got used to using 3D Touch, going back to the plain screen on my iPhone 6 was almost painful. Heck, even if you use the 6s and 6s Plus full-time, most developers haven't had the chance to build 3D Touch support into their apps yet. I can't tell you the number of times I was reading something in a non-supported app like Twitter, and pressed my thumb down on a link only to have nothing happen.
The mild twinge of annoyance I felt every time that happened speaks to how powerful 3D Touch is: It might seem like a gimmick at first, but it quickly became a feature I wanted to use all the time. I've already penned a few thousand words on iOS 9, and its focus on cohesiveness and efficiency makes a great match for the new iPhones. Most of the software tweaks on the 6s and 6s Plus are centered on those lovely little 3D Touch interactions, but there's one more trick that's currently only available on these things.
Jump into Siri's settings and you'll find that you can now enable "Hey Siri" -- Apple's always-on listening mode -- to work even when you're not connected to a power source. The feature launched with iOS 9 just a few weeks back, but it works best with the new iPhones' more efficient M9 co-processor helping out under the hood.
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Review
Weird as it sounds, I've taken to just talking to her sometimes when I want to listen to some Capital Cities in Apple Music, add yet another event to my stupid-packed calendar or turn on Airplane Mode when it's time for some shut-eye. What's more, one of my favorite features from recent iPads has reached the new iPhones: 3D-Touching the keyboard while pecking out a text turns it into a trackpad for precise placement of the cursor when an inevitable typo pops up. If you lump in these tweaks with all the other thoughtful design changes in iOS 9, you're left with a tightly integrated package that tries to give us the apps and info we want at just the right time.
Thankfully, after several years, Apple finally traded in its 8-megapixel sensor in favor of a megapixel main camera. Naturally, it's actually not so much the higher resolution that matters; it's all the other, more technical bits that should help improve photo quality. The folks in Cupertino went for smaller, more densely packed pixels 1. That's where Apple's "deep trench isolation" comes in: The company managed to separate the sensor's photodiodes to keep incoming photons from introducing interference into surrounding diodes.
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You don't really need to worry about that, though: It basically just means your photos should come out nice and crisp. Right, so how do photos actually look? Pretty great. Colors look nicely saturated, but naturally so, while the standard Photo mode handles dynamic range and exposure better than I expected.
This becomes especially apparent in landscape shots; neither the 6s nor 6s Plus blew out the sky on bright days, which made for some great shots of Toronto's famous Honest Ed's superstore. Once you get a little closer to your subject, though, things start to go slightly awry. Just about all of the photos I shot using the 6s and 6s Plus's main cameras were crisp with clear color separation, but zooming in didn't reveal much more detail than in photos I took with the iPhone 6. That's not to say the 6s' photos were worse than ones taken with last year's iPhone; they just weren't always the dramatic leap forward I was hoping for.
Photos taken with the iPhone 6s Plus are, in most cases, on par with those taken on the regular 6s, but it does fare a little better in low-light situations thanks to its optical image stabilization. Those of you with really steady hands might not notice as much of a difference, but it came in handy when shooting video. Also on the plus side, the front-facing FaceTime camera has also received a long-overdue upgrade to a 5-megapixel sensor. It should shock absolutely no one that selfies came out crisper and more natural looking, and the software-based screen flash does a respectable job lighting up faces in bars.
As for video, the 6s and 6s Plus can shoot in 4K -- not that most people have 4K-ready screens in their homes yet.
The resulting footage is remarkably sharp, with colors that were more or less true to life. Of course, all of this comes at a price: 4K video will eat up your free space in a hurry if you let it, which is why Apple didn't bother setting it as the default recording quality. What is enabled by default, however, is the Live Photos feature. You've probably seen the demos already; when you snap a photo, the camera captures just a little audio and video before and after the shot is taken -- much like the Living Images feature found on recent Lumia phones.
The end result is a neat, gimmicky way to capture enhanced pictures. They're evocative at best and sort of lame at worst, but artsy types will surely get a kick out of concocting cool Live Photo scenarios and sharing them to and fro. Remember, Live Photos are shareable between anyone running Apple's latest phone, watch or computer operating systems, so they need not languish alone on your 6s. They'll quickly spring to life as you thumb through your Camera Roll, and you can set them as Live Wallpapers too -- just apply a quick 3D Touch to run through the animations on your lockscreen.
All told, then, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have great cameras. In Apple finally gave us an iPhone which offered a display to rival its Android flagship counterparts, while enabling you to really take advantage of the apps, games, movies and TV shows in its expansive libraries. The iPhone 6 Plus was expensive, but there's no denying it was well received.
Android fans will continue to berate Apple for its seemingly copycat 'innovation', but the plain fact is that the 6 Plus was a great handset, with all the power of the iPhone and a much longer battery life. It's no surprise then, that Apple returned in with the refreshed iPhone 6S Plus, and then followed its phablet line up again in with the iPhone 7 Plus. While it may no longer be top-dog in Apple's line up, the Cupertino firm has confirmed it will bring the iOS 11 update to the handset, meaning it's still a more than viable option for those looking for a new phone.
As you've probably guessed from the 'S' handle in its name, the 6S Plus is more of an incremental upgrade over the 6 Plus rather than a re-imagining of Apple's smartphone range. It might be a stretch for current 6 Plus incumbents to justify upgrading to the new iPhone 6S Plus, but it's got a few fancy features you won't find on older iPhones. The iPhone 6S Plus inherited the price tag of its predecessor, but since the arrival of its successor - the 7 Plus - Apple has not only cut the price, but also removed the 16GB and 64GB models entirely.
There's no mistaking the incremental credentials of the iPhone 6S Plus when it comes to design. It looks identical to the iPhone 6 Plus, and I mean identical. Remember the iPhone 4 and 4S? It's like that. The sleek, rounded metal body continues to look and feel premium, with the build quality you'd expect from Apple. After last year's unfortunate ' bendgate ' fiasco, Apple has looked to reassure people that its latest smartphone duo are tough.
This isn't strictly necessary, given that we'd have expected last year's models to be strong enough to get through a couple of years of use, but some clarification was needed. Both the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus sport what Apple is calling ' series aluminum', which it claims is a lot stronger. Who wants to volunteer up their new iPhone 6S Plus for a bend test? The 6S Plus is still a beast in the hand, with Apple's insistence on the sizeable bezels above and below the display ensuring its supersized dimensions.
The 6S Plus is ever so slightly thicker than its predecessor, gaining an additional 0.
You won't notice the addition, and I suspect Apple needed a little extra space to squeeze in its 3D Touch technology.