The Good Improved speed and durable collection than previous models; 3D Touch; and the latest iPhone left with a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Bad Low battery life, camera performance and processor speed compared to new iPhones.
The Bottom Line The iPhone 6S is not what it used to be. At $ 100 more, respectively, the iPhone 7 makes a lot more money per dollar.
Editorial Note (September 12, 2018): The iPhone 6S reviewed here is no longer being sold by Apple , but the iPhone 8 is now available in its place at a reduced price of $599. See all of the new iPhones and new products that Apple just announced.
Update in summer 2018
Reasons to Buy an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus at this point. They are the oldest phones in the Apple lineup, and starting at $ 449, $ 338 or $ 600 for 32GB 6S and $ 549, $ 415 or $ 735 for 32GB 6S Plus, they’re just not cheap enough to require consideration. . $ 100 more, respectively iPhone 7 and 7S Plus Make more money for the buck – including a faster quad-core processor, a brighter screen, longer battery life and a great camera.
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have a slight difference: they are the only remaining iPhones with a built-in headphone jack. All newer models come with Apple’s branded Lightning connector, but they also come with a 3.5mm adapter that is suitable for legacy headphones, so nothing special. There is no noticeable difference in sound or performance between ports.
Bottom line: The 7S and 7S Plus are the best value iPhone on the market today. (If you are looking for the absolute cheapest Apple phone, this is a reduction iPhone SE , which starts at $ 349, £ 265, or AU 465.) But if you can hold out until September, chances are you will have new batch of iPhone to choose from – along with lower prices for the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 , iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X .
Apple iPhone 6S Full Review, originally released on October 2, 2015, and last updated on September 8, 2016.
When I showed my iPhone 6S to one of my wife’s friends, it became nostalgic. She emotionally heard her predecessor iPhone 6 . It changed her life. Larger screen, better camera and Apple Pay. Everyone wanted these things. It was as close to the perfect phone as I have ever seen. All we really lacked was a better battery (plus no matter what).
All things iOS 10
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I showed her 3D Touch, the latest Apple technology on these iPhones. She clicked on a hypnotically-animated lock screen, a floating fish. She watched as she danced under her finger. And yes, she was amazed. But when I showed her everything 3D Touch was doing, she said, “I’m not sure I would really use it.”
This year’s next iPhone, the iPhone 6S, does not improve this battery. And its latest features aren’t changing so fast in the game, at least not on the surface. It’s obvious: it’s the iPhone of the Year S, and Apple always uses it sophisticated S updates for every other year to customize the design and speed up the processor. This is a phone for people who didn’t get an iPhone 6 last year. And over the last few years, S phones have introduced evolutionary changes that have taken the phone seriously; The iPhone 4S added Siri, and the iPhone 5S debuted with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
New iPhone 6S and 6S Plus look the same (except for the metallic-pink model in rose gold), just like last year’s iPhones. In many ways, they feel the same way. But the game has hidden benefits. The latest, boldest technology is a new, touch-sensitive touch screen called 3D Touch. There are also many other improvements: better cameras. Better overall system speed. And always on (and I mean always -one – unless you turn it off) Gray. And what I didn’t even get a chance to test in full: a completely redesigned glass screen with reinforced glass, which Apple promises is more durable. We’ll get to that in the next few weeks, but this one can change a lot of leads.
3D Touch can be the “next big idea” in touch screens and interfaces. But are these new iPhones mandatory for just one reason? I think it will be down when more apps are here. But right now its software benefits are slim.
I spent a week with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus (rose gold and gold respectively), transporting them everywhere I went, from farmers markets in New Jersey to shanks in the New York Jets game, to the New Jersey Transit through Meadows mountains and a night to meet my baby. I showed them to my friends, my family, anyone I met and got their opinion. (To find out how to show up on the flight, check out mine weekend diary .)
I can take the wonder of tiny, powerful smartphones for granted, but I can’t help but feel that the iPhone 6S doesn’t have one “big thing” at the moment that people want to upgrade from 6. That doesn’t mean it’s not the best phone, of course . For now, though, it’s a promising iPhone 6 update, not a revolution.
But if you’ve been holding your iPhone for a while, don’t wait any longer. Get this one (or its big-screen brother, 6S Plus). Just make sure you don’t buy the 16GB model.
3D Touch: Amazing equipment needs killer software
Tap on the iPhone 6S screen and new exciting things will happen. A popup window appears. Small menus appear. You feel a hum or a slight click. Like Apple Watch , these phones allow you to tap the screen for small tasks. Apple calls this 3D Touch. And this is the boldest new technique on these iPhones a mile.
It’s a cool idea, but as I found it, showing it to my family and friends is not at all intuitive. Yes, his promises can be huge. But 3D Touch is ultimately used very heavily in iPhone 6S and 6S Plus software at the moment: it mostly adds either pop-up menus to apps on the home screen, or adds “look” and “pop” to apps, expanding links or messages to previews, which can then be fully opened or reversed by lifting your finger. Some apps do a lot with these new ideas, especially Mail.
Email browsing and signing questions can transform how this app is used. But many people who try this for the first time don’t understand how to use 3D Touch. There is no textbook. And for the most part, 3D Touch is not important yet. Until it starts to integrate into more applications – and in a more useful way – I would not be surprised if many people forget that it even exists.
I like to use 3D Touch to preview links or popup programs. When I hold the app and see a menu of advanced options under my thumb, it feels almost like a computer, not a phone ( latest MacBooks , which uses a similar but less touchy Apple trackpad technology called Force Touch, also has Safari preview popups). Apple creates a common language and develops what your computer-sized computer can do.
Previewing is a very smart idea; links to Safari preview web pages without actual clicks. Being able to pull up a menu on the iPhone almost doesn’t feel like right-clicking on a computer and getting a context menu. It is useful and surprisingly useful. But you don’t need to use it, you can always do things the same way you always do with normal touch controls. You can even turn off 3D Touch. And the menu that follows doesn’t offer all the options I would like. They’re not all set up either: what 3D Touch does or doesn’t do is mostly up to the app developers. There are a lot of apps available to take advantage of 3D Touch, but it will take some time before it feels wide.
Maybe that’s why 3D Touch doesn’t feel important in iOS yet. But the programs that come up to use it are gradually coming in and they can be really interesting. Imagine pressure sensitive music programs. Art programs. Games Remote control of the drone with 3D Touch switches for careful control of directions, for example. You can press to change brush strokes while drawing (the new Notes app already allows this). You can press harder on the keys of the virtual piano (Magic Piano Smule has already added this feature). Racing games can get similar gas pedals (AG Racer added this, and this is one of the best 3D Touch demonstrations). I could see it working as a virtual dimmer for smart home remotes.
I want more. I started 3D touching every icon, every menu; I want 3D Touch in all my apps and everywhere. It’s weird when it’s gone. I need smarter 3D Touch menus, smarter advanced features. It’s legal better to have him than not have him, but I don’t expect his killer programs to come out in at least a couple of months. And iOS could also be used with plus ways to take advantage of it, as well as an animated lock screen. What can I do if I can flash folders or click on zoom in while scrolling and browsing?
It doesn’t really matter if the 3D Touch should be upgraded now. You will update it sooner or later. He will eventually have a phone. Want this later or now? This will allow for major changes to the iPhone and iOS. This is a subtle thing now.
What my family and friends thought
Most of my friends and family didn’t necessarily care about the new iPhone features. My wife was late for the iPhone 4S update, but she wasn’t worried about 3D Touch. Or live photos about it. She is considering buying an iPhone 6. My son-in-law just wanted Live Photos to help him get back and pick the best photos, like Burst Mode. My mom already has an iPhone 6, and in addition to having more storage space for her photos, she also didn’t see anything new that she needed. My kids thought “Live Photos” was cool, but they didn’t recognize the difference between video and video (down, I think that would be true for most people, and that’s probably the case).
What I think
If I bought a new phone now and didn’t get an iPhone 6, I would buy it easily. At 64GB or 128GB – never 16GB (the smaller ones barely contain enough photos and videos to get if you’re the type of person who doesn’t delete). If I had an iPhone 6, I would wait until next year … or, find a way to sell my phone and trade without it costing me so much.
I think Apple, and the whole phone industry, are trying to change the “Should I upgrade?” question bit by bit. They’re trying to make it an “every year” thing, not an “every two years” or “Should I buy something new?” thing. Phone plans like AT&T Next, or Apple’s own yearly plan, are almost like leases. You can trade in your old ride and seamlessly move to a new one.
The 6S fits well with this model; it is being refined and refined. Is it a shocking new or forward-looking repository? No … except for the 3D Touch concept, which is brilliant hardware that still needs software that will make it truly brilliant. This software from iOS and the applications themselves will arrive, but maybe not right away. 3D Touch can create a new style of touchscreen app design, falling into the iPad, Apple Watch and possibly affect the rest of the industry. Currently, just a week away, it’s still baby steps.
This iPhone is built for the future, but at present it is for the most part a pleasantly advanced iPhone 6.
A deeper look at the iPhone 6S
As we said, 3D Touch is not the only thing new to the iPhone 6S. Here’s a more in-depth look at camera enhancements and a faster internal processor and fingerprint sensor. Also, look at the smaller 4.7-inch Apple iPhone differs from its bigger brother, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus (a bigger difference than last year). Finally, with the significant changes in phone sales (at least in the US), we are looking at how buying and leasing calculations are also changing the purchasing decisions for these new iPhones.
Advanced Camera: Live Photos, 4K Video, and more
What do Live Photos do? Apple’s new camera innovation captures the second half before, as well as the second and half after you take any picture on your phone using the front or back cameras. I took a bunch of photos and then forgot about it. Later, I realized that bits of video and audio were added to all of my photos. Click, and I could see the photos becoming small videos. Or animated GIFs with audio.
They are not exactly like regular videos: they are more like time gaps. The images skip a bit like a flipbook. He has a bit of a charming, distant feeling. They eventually seem like little sights.
If I forget to someday shoot videos that I often do, they may serve as replacement. But where will I tell them how I compare them? Apple is discovering ways to make these Live Photos available elsewhere. You can now send them to other iPhone users, make them as screenshots, or send them to Apple Watch. I want them on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat. I want these to be instant GIFs. Then I would love them. They will, after all, come. (Facebook, Getty Images, and Weibo are three programs that should support them soon). Now I feel that I would not use them too much; on the other hand, I could see a whole new sub-genre of pet and toddler photos – again, once the sharing issue was resolved. But they can make me stop wanting to shoot so many short videos.
4K video recording does not make a huge impact on your phone or while watching it on most TVs. That’s because most people don’t have 4K TVs yet. Fortunately, PC monitors support 4K as well as YouTube. And adding ultra-high-definition video to new iPhones makes GoPro cameras better. It added 4K and a new ultra-smooth optical image stabilization for video (6S Plus only), pushing the video of this iPhone to another level. The only trade-off is the place: Like Live Photos, 4K videos will take more of your phone’s internal storage. Another reason to avoid this too small entry-level 16GB model.
The rear camera takes better photos, but I didn’t always appreciate the big difference in everyday casual use. The front camera, however, is a mile better. Pictures are clear! You can make flash selfies that really work and not dazzle you!
Optical image stabilization on the 6S Plus, both for photos and videos, is not required for normal daily use. But it makes the photos taken or dimmed clearer and clearer, and keeps the videos much smoother. For professional use or anyone who has no camera other than their iPhone, I would get the 6S Plus. Most people will be fine with 6S.
For more on deep dives with iPhone 6S Plus cameras, check out Andrew Hoyle’s photos selfie shoot-out , low light camera test and open camera test , where you can see more examples of how the 6S Plus camera goes. The FaceSime 6S Plus front camera is identical to the 6S: the iSight rear camera looks a bit better in low light.
S stands for speed, as it has been for years. The 6S does this in a number of ways: faster A9 processor, dual memory, faster wireless connection via improved Wi-Fi antennas, and access to faster LTE (LTE Advanced) data networks and faster home button Touch ID sensors.
Unlocking the iPhone with Touch ID is so fast now that I almost didn’t see the lock screen. One click, you are. And if you run multiple apps at the same time, as I usually do, these new phones handle the application much more smoothly … while “remembering” the status of the previous application better. Jumping between Netflix, Geometry Wars 3 and Safari is a piece of cake.
Like many years, these speed boosts make the phone feel more nimble. iOS 9 sometimes feels unreliable on the iPhone 6, while it runs on the 6S oily. As far as unlimited landmarks are concerned, these iPhones are exploding fast: they are faster than last year’s iPad Air 2. But of course, you are using this power on a smaller screen and without true split-screen multitasking.
Battery life: same as last year
One thing that hasn’t really changed is what I’ve been wanting for years … the battery. The batteries are actually smaller in this year’s 6S and 6S Plus phones, but they provide similar battery life during a normal day of use. I needed to recharge my iPhone before the night of the 6S when it was actively using it Jawbone Up3 and the Apple Watch combined with it), just like the iPhone 6.
We did our standard lab video test, put the iPhone 6S in airplane mode, and got 10.5 hours of battery life. This is not what you will be using your iPhone for, but it shows that the battery’s basic potential is similar to last year’s iPhone 6 using iOS 8. On our IOS 9 Battery Tests across devices, we didn’t find that the OS update affects the standard lab-based battery playback test. Its effect on daily use.
IOS 9 has new power-saving modes that can get more use at the end of the day, and I found them to get a bit more of what I needed. However, I have found that I need to save time when the sun goes down. Next year I would like to see the batteries increase a little … not the other way around.
Editor’s note: This year’s iPhone 6S A9 processor is made by two different manufacturers, and your phone has one or the other. According to Apple , battery performance between the two variants (TSMC and Samsung) varies only about 2 to 3 percent. We do our own testing and update it when we have the final answers. In our review, iPhones had TSMC processors, and they had no performance issues.
6S Plus: Professional phone
The iPhone I really want is one that has Plus features (battery life, better camera, higher resolution screen) in the normal size of an iPhone. Apple offers you a choice, but not both. The 6S is right-sized and more than enough for almost everyone. Plus it offers something more like “Pro”: it means that it will be a better all-day battery life, feel like a tablet because of its larger screen size, and yes, it usually takes more reliable photos and videos.
I lived with the iPhone 6 Plus for months after using the iPhone 6, then moved back again. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which is only available in Plus, does not make much difference to daytime use in daylight, but can make images much clearer without blurring in darker conditions or when using digital zoom. If you rely on your iPhone as your everyday camera, especially for work purposes (as I do at press events), it matters. And so, it’s worth the extra $ 100.
Are you renting or buying?
Phones are like machines. Some people don’t really think about what year their car is: they buy it and use it until they need a new one. Others rent their cars. They want a new ride all the time.
Apple offers many options, and they are all pretty good. Last year’s iPhone 6 remains a great phone, but if you’ve waited a while to buy a new phone, spend the money and get the 6S: it has enough new stuff to easily make it worth it. If you want a 6S, get a 64GB or 128GB model. Live photos and 4K videos chew up storage space, and 16GB is still not enough. Want to save money? Get last year’s 64GB iPhone 6 instead of the price of this year’s 16GB iPhone 6S.
Get 6S Plus if you’re really serious about photos and videos like professionals, or someone who wants to shoot the best family movies for the home, as Plus makes the best photos and videos. It costs an extra $ 100, a bigger screen and a better battery, but it won’t fit all pants (or budgets). Most people will still do well with the 6S. I would have bought Plus in a heartbeat if it was a little smaller. It’s really big even compared to other big screened Android phones.
The simplest recommendation: iPhone 6S, 64 GB.
I have not mentioned Android phones until now. What you need to know is that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are extremely fast compared to today’s Android phones, have cameras that are generally best in class (or close enough to feel the same), and screen sizes that are competitive. You choose the iPhone for its software-hardware synergy, custom design and, of course, its apps and software. There are many great Android phones. The iPhone is well above most of them.
You can now become a savings person to buy a new phone, waiting for the right time to upgrade. Or perhaps you are part of one of the more common plans that allows you to get a new phone every year. If you’re old, I’d say this is a great time to buy if you don’t own a last year’s iPhone 6.
For the average person, the new features of the iPhone 6S will not be terribly new. You can use one of last year’s iPhone 6 models and be more than good. These are still great phones.
But under the hood, this iPhone has a much better engine. It has a lot of potential. It’s easily one of the best smartphones on the planet. And get an iPhone if you’re waiting for an upgrade or phone plan that makes it easy to move to a new phone.
For some people, a new phone costs more every year than any other gadget. If you are that person, you already know it. But otherwise, it’s an iPhone “buy-buy” in advance for those who have been around for so long they didn’t know when the time was right. It’s very polished and refined. I can’t say that my life has been changed with the iPhone 6S, but I can say it’s a really good improvement over the year. 7 will definitely get a facelift, but this model has everything you need. Except perhaps a better battery.