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Every year at around this time we get a new iPhone, and this year it’s the turn of the 6S. And for once, we’re not getting minimal upgrades and being told to wait for the iPhone 7, we’re getting a real, solid new model. With a whole list of new features and specs, the iPhone 6S is a fantastic device, and one that shows that Apple still know exactly what they’re doing. And it doesn’t hurt at all that this is a very good looking phone too.
Why should you be on the edge of your seat? Well, there’s cutting edge 3D screen tech here, which is pretty exciting in and of itself. But there’s also tons more speed, two upgraded cameras, a whole new operating system version and so much more. If you’re in the market for a flagship device, then the iPhone 6S isn’t going to disappoint.
With it’s smooth edges and curved corners the 6S is unmistakeably an iPhone. However, it is a little thicker than most due to that new screen tech. That extra millimetre or so just makes the 6S more robust though, and there’s no bending here! This is a full glass and metal unibody build, leading to a premium feel and light weight. The 6S is classic Apple minimalism, and it’s a truly beautiful device.
Ignoring the aesthetics, you’re getting some nice internal specs too. There’s a new chip set, a set of upgraded cameras, and, of course, that 3D touch screen as well. Throw in a few bonus features and you’ve got all the makings of a brilliant phone.
Yes, iPhones are pricey, but in this case you’re really getting what you pay for. The iPhone 6S is beautiful, powerful and loaded with tech, and it’s a phone that even demanding users are going to love.
Because the tech is so different we can’t really compare Apple CPU numbers with those of other devices, and anyway, Apple rarely give out numbers at all. In this case there’s a new A9 chip set, which Apple claim is up to 70% faster than the chip set on the old iPhone 6. There’s also 2 GB of RAM on board, rather than 1 GB as in the regular 6. These two things mean that the 6S is super fast and responsive, and performance really isn’t going to be an issue here at all.
Of course, this is Apple so you’re running iOS. In fact, you’ve got the all new iOS9 version. This is familiar in its intuitiveness and ease of use, but has a couple of new things thrown in for good measure. There’s a low power mode, for example, which helps save battery life, and there’s also a new option that allows you to go back to a previous app from your current app, which is useful.
Performance wise you’re looking at the fastest iPhone around, and one that can just keep going, no matter what you want to do. There’s no complaints in this department!
Everybody’s talking about this display, and with good reason. The 6S has a 4.7 inch screen, which is smaller than some but does mean that it’s more portable than the average flagship phone. And it’s a 3D touch display. This means that the screen detects the difference between you touching an icon and pressing an icon, and responds differently, in much the same way that the right and left click buttons on your computer mouse do. This leads to a whole new way of using that touch screen, and one that gives you a lot more options.
Resolution numbers are a bit misleading here. You’re looking at a 750 x 1334 pixel screen, which gives you about 326 PPI. But because this is a Retina display those numbers don’t really mean much. The combination of Apple Retina tech, LED backlighting and IPS mean that the display on the 6S is crisp, sharp and bright, with great colour reproduction.
Quite frankly, this is one of the best displays we’ve ever seen (even without the 3D tech), and viewing on the iPhone 6S is an absolute pleasure.
Apple have definitely scored points with us for their new camera upgrades. First up, at the front you’re getting a 5 MP camera for FaceTiming and selfies, complete with screen flash (which allows the screen to light up and act as the flash for the front camera).
Moving around to the rear and you’re looking at a 12 MP camera. Yes, you read that right. Apple have finally abandoned the old 8 MP cam. Plus there are a host of other features, including amazing 4608 x 2592 resolution, 4K video recording, dual LED flash, and phase detection autofocus as well.
The combination of all these things leads to a camera that’s second to none. You’ll be taking amazing, clear shots on the iPhone 6S, and these cam specs are sure to please even the pro photographers amongst us.
What else can we tell you about the iPhone 6S? There is a fingerprint scanner for security, which we’ve come to expect from Apple at this point. And that means that you can also use Apple Pay, the digital wallet and payment service.
Siri has had a few tweaks too, and is better than ever. She can now handle complex and complicated instructions such as “find pictures of my mum from last summer” rather than the more simplistic “find pictures of my mum.”
Lastly, there’s a nice new camera mode as well. Apple are calling this Live Photo, and it lets you take a picture and record a video at the same time. The video will begin 1.5 seconds before the picture is taken and end 1.5 seconds after, resulting in a moving memory as well as a still life one.
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Dimensions||138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in)|
|Weight||143 g (5.04 oz)|
|- Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID v2)|
|- Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Type||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||4.7 inches (~65.6% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||750 x 1334 pixels (~326 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating|
|- 3D Touch display|
|- Display Zoom|
|Internal||16/64/128 GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||12 MP, 4608 x 2592 pixels, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps,1080p@120fps, 720p@240fps|
|Secondary Camera||5 MP, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Alert types||Vibration, proprietary ringtones|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.2, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|NFC||Yes (Apple Pay only)|
|USB||v2.0, reversible connector|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Messaging||iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- Siri natural language commands and dictation|
|- iCloud cloud service|
|- iCloud Keychain|
|- Document editor|
|- Photo/video editor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 1715 mAh battery (6.9 Wh)|
|Stand-by||Up to 240 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 14 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 50 h|
|Colors||Space Grey, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold|
The iPhone 6S is more than just another iPhone, it’s a truly innovative and amazing device. With more power, a better screen and better cameras too, it’s difficult to know what more Apple could have given us. And, of course, it’s sexy and stylish as well.
What about connectivity? You’ve got WiFi, 3G, 4G and Bluetooth. But thanks to advanced LTE you get faster WiFi and 4G services. You’re also getting 64 GB of internal memory, but as usual there’s no SD card slot so you can’t add more. Taking advantage of iCloud, Apple’s online storage service, should mean that the lack of SD card isn’t really a problem though.
Truth time: what don’t we like? Um, nothing really. There are a few quibbles, we’d like the option for an SD card, and we’d like a lower price tag, but these things aren’t going to happen, so it’s useless to complain about them. All in all the iPhone 6S is one of the best phones around, and it’s one that any user will be proud to own.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.