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Apple haven’t been in the phablet market for long, but they’ve already made a splash, and their second generation iPhone 6S Plus looks like it could be yet another winner. The original 6 Plus was okay, but it didn’t do much to dent Samsung’s stranglehold on the phablet niche, but the 6S Plus could well be the device that makes Apple the king of phablets, as well as the king of phones, tablets and computers. Why should you be wanting one of these? Well, there’s that huge 3D touch display, of course, which is amazing. But there’s a new, faster chip set on board as well, plus some great camera upgrades, and serious internal memory too. For those looking for a new mobile, a phablet might be a great bet with it’s large screen, and for those looking for a phablet, the iPhone 6S Plus is the best of the bunch.
This is very obviously an iPhone, from the sleek lines, the sexy corners to the minimalist feel about the whole device. It may be a little thicker than you’re used to though, because of that new screen tech, though it does mean the 6S Plus is more robust. A full metal and glass unibody design means that you’re getting a light weight design, and one that feels high quality and fits comfortably in the hand to. Apart from looking stunning, the 6S Plus has some nice internals as well. The A9 chip set is faster than ever, there’s a ton of internal storage, there are new cameras, and, of course, that much promoted new 3D touch screen as well. Put all this together and you end up with a device that’s truly top of the line. Looks, performance, functionality, everything is here in one new phone. If you’re looking for the best of the best, then when it comes to phablets, the iPhone 6S Plus is definitely it.
You’re looking for great performance on a high end phone, and you’re getting it here. The 6S Plus runs something like a dual core 2 GHz processor (Apple don’t release these numbers, generally), but that’s not really important. At the heart of the 6S Plus is the new A9 chip set, and that makes it up to 70% faster than the original 6 Plus. Add in 2 GB of RAM and you’re looking at a phone that’s super speedy, but also responsive. As an Apple device this does run iOS, and it’s iOS9 this time. Essentially not a lot has changed and the user experience is very familiar, but there are a couple of nice new touches. One of these is the new low power mode (to save battery), but there’s also the addition of a “back to previous app” button that makes navigation that much easier. In short, you’re seeing some excellent performance here. The iPhone 6S Plus is fast, responsive, great at multi tasking, so it’s not just a pretty face!
3D touch is a big selling point for the 6S Plus, but what is it exactly? It’s tough to explain, but basically the display is more sensitive and it can tell the difference between “touch” and “press” and respond differently to each. This gives you double the options for touching that screen, in the same way as, for example, a computer mouse with right and left click does. It’s a little weird at first, but it’s definitely useful. Size wise, we’re looking at 5.5 inches, so a little big for using one handed, but lots of space for comfortable viewing and typing. Resolution here is 1080 x1920, giving about 441 PPI, but that’s not the whole story. This is an Apple Retina display with IPS and LED backlighting. All this really means for you is that picture quality here is crisp and clear, colours reproduction is amazing, and viewing angles are great. Bottom line? This is one of the best displays we’ve ever seen, it’s close to flawless. It’s a pleasure to look at, no matter whether you’re watching HD video or gaming or just typing emails.
We haven’t seen a real camera update from Apple for a while now, but all that changes with the 6S Plus. Now we’ve got a 5 MP cam up front for FaceTime and selfies, complete with screen flash (where the display lights up to act as a flash for the camera). Moving to the rear, and there’s a full 12 MP camera. That’s right, Apple have finally retired the standard 8 MP cam, and it’s about time too. Plus, there’s a whole host of features, including things like: optical image stabilisation, 4K video recording, dual LED flash, phase detection autofocus, and some impressive 4609 x 2592 resolution. Love taking pictures? Then the iPhone 6S Plus is going to be a joy for you. Photos from this device are simply beautiful.
We’re not quite finished, there are a couple of other things that need mentioning. The first is that Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, has had an upgrade as well. She now understands and responds to more complex commands and questions, so she’d more useful than ever. You’re getting a fingerprint scanner, which has become standard for Apple, but it does give you more security. There’s support for Apple Pay as well, which is Apple’s new digital payment and wallet service. Last, but not least, there’s a cool new camera mode. Live Photo gives you the ability to capture both a video and a photograph at the same time. You’ll get a 3 second video, and a photo will be taken right in the middle of that. This means you get both a still photo and a moving photo, which is pretty neat.
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Dimensions||158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in)|
|Weight||192 g (6.77 oz)|
|- Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID v2)|
|- Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Type||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.5 inches (~67.7% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating|
|- 3D Touch display|
|- Display Zoom|
|CPU||Dual-core 2 GHz|
|Internal||16/64/128 GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||12 MP, 4608 x 2592 pixels, optical image stabilization, 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, optical stabilization|
|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 2915 mAh battery (11.1 Wh)|
|Stand-by||Up to 384 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 24 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 80 h|
|Colors||Space Grey, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold|
Simply put, the iPhone 6S Plus is an amazing new device, and it’s got everything we could wish for and more. From that super fast ship set to the flawless 3D touch screen, and better cameras as well. User experience here is superb, and it doesn’t hurt that this is a very good looking mobile too.
Connectivity is the normal stuff, so you’ve got 3G, 4G, Bluetooth and WiFi. The addition of advanced LTE should mean a little more speed for that mobile data though. You’re getting a lot of storage here, with 128 GB of internal memory. There’s no SD card slot though, so you can’t add any more in.
Anything we don’t like? The price point is a bit high, but this is a top of the line premium product so we wouldn’t really expect much less. We don’t like a lack of SD card options in general, but with 128 GB of memory extra storage really shouldn’t be necessary. We actually love pretty much everything about the iPhone 6S Plus. This is a fantastic phablet, and one that you should definitely be considering if you’re phone shopping.
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.