Meet the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. I’m almost certain this isn’t the first time you’ve seen these phones, but I thought I’d give you my voice on the matter. Sure, we may be on the “S” cycle this year, but does that mean there’s nothing special to look forward to?
This year, the iPhone is now available in a new Rose Gold color option, but no matter which way you slice, that color is pink. There’s also the typical Gold, Space Gray, and Silver available as well, but colors aside, what makes this iPhone better than last year’s model?
This year Apple’s iPhone slogan is “The only thing that’s changed is everything.” I’m not sure if you’re seeing what I’m seeing, but does “everything” encompass the design too? Compared to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the difference is basically indistinguishable and if it weren’t for that tiny little “S” on the back, you’d never know the difference between the two. It’ll also be completely unnoticeable once you add a case or a skin into the mix.
So what’s the big “everything” that’s changed here? Well, they’re a bit heavier and just every so slightly thicker than the previous generation, but I’m not sure everyone would consider that a good thing, especially when you take the battery capacity into account, but more on that later . The added weight and thickness is due to the use of 7000 series aluminum to strengthen the build and the new display technology which we’ll get into shortly.
Check out our iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus unboxing + impressions video below:
Internally we definitely have some changes happening though. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are rocking an A9 processor, 2GB of RAM, with a 1715 mAh battery in the iPhone 6s and a 2750 mAh in the 6s Plus, both down from 1810 and 2915 mAh respectively in the previous generation models. There’s LTE Advanced inside along with faster Wi-Fi as well. Touch ID is still present and is also said to be twice as fast over the previous generation, but I’ll put it to the test in a full comparison video coming up in the near future.
Both of these device also sport the same display in size and resolution featuring a 4.7-inches at 1334-by-750 on the iPhone 6s and 1920-by-1080 on the 6s Plus, but there’s a special new feature that comes along with the display technology this year. Meet 3D Touch, what Apple is actually calling the next generation of Multi-Touch.
This is a new feature on both new iPhones that actually senses how deep you press the display. Its pressure sensitivity is tied in with iOS and app-specific features that almost works as a quick access right-click menu for certain things. When you use 3D Touch, you’ll receive some feedback thanks to the new Taptic Engine, which notifies you when you’ve successfully reached the amount of pressure to trigger it. It doesn’t take much pressure, but enough to where it won’t accidentally go off, which is nice. There are a ton of new features that this enables within iOS 9 and also a handful of select apps (though more are rolling out), but stay tuned for a features overview on 3D Touch.
On both of the devices, there’s a 5-megapixel camera above the display with 720p video recording capabilities and a flash, but probably not the kind of flash you’re thinking about. Apple calls this feature Retina Flash. According to Apple, there’s a special display chip inside that helps detect the ambient light around you, then match the tone with a flash of the display that’s three times brighter than usual. Just in case you need to step up your selfie game, ya know?
The real star of the show is located on the backside though. Apple has upgraded the camera sensor to 12-megapixels this year. Along with that, it’s also (finally) capable of shooting 4K video. If you’d like to see that 4K in action, check out the above video. Unfortunately, the iPhone 6s is still stuck without optical image stabilization though. You’ll need to grab the 6s Plus if that’s important to you. Photos seem pretty crisp and natural looking. Definitely not a huge noticeable upgrade at first glance . The iPhone tends to have its own picture profile, which is consistent across the last few years of devices, but zooming in on these pictures does reveal quite a bit of detail. Either way, I’ll save my full thoughts on camera performance for the review, but check out the photo gallery below:
Another new feature with the camera is Live Photos. Not nearly as exciting as it sounds though. This feature is enabled by default in the camera app and will automatically capture a second and a half before and after you take a picture. The end result? Apple’s “revolutionary” reinvention of the Graphics Interchange Format. Once a Live Photo is saved, you can view it by 3D Touching the display. You can also set them as a wallpaper and view them on other Apple devices as well.
So that’s the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in a nutshell. I’ll definitely be exploring these two in-depth over the next week or two and bring you our full review. Do you think these new features are worth the upgrade? Let me know with a comment.
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