iPhone 6S Review: The "S" is for Speed
Though it looks the same the 6S is faster, more durable, and all around improved phone.
4.5Overall Score

The iPhone 6S is Apple’s current flagship device. An “S” release that was debuted alongside the 6S Plus. The typical “S” upgrades mean faster, more advanced hardware, new features type of phone. The 6S packs all of that & more in the same design you’ll find on the 6. The only difference being the improved durability from the 7,000 series aluminum that makes the phone that much more stronger & less prone to bending/dents.

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This review will break down my overall thoughts on the product & answer some of the major questions consumers may be posing such as what’s new & is it worth the upgrade?

Video Review:

 

Hardware/Specs:

The iPhone 6S features the following hardware

  • A9 X CPU
  • M9 Co-processor
  • Retina 4.7 inch display (3D Touch Sensor)
  • 16, 64, 128 GB variations
  • Improved Touch ID Sensor
  • 12-megapixel iSight Camera (720P 30 FPS, 1080P 30 FPS, 1080P 60 FPS, 4K 30 FPS)
  • 5-megapixel FaceTime Camera

Price wise the 6S can range anywhere from $649-$849 depending on the model chosen.

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The new A9/M9 CPU performs at outstanding speeds in everyday usage. Packaged with iOS 9 my experience with the 6S was efficient & it handled everything I threw at it. Despite my gripes with iOS 9 multitasking, gaming, and day to day use of the phone ran smoothly.

A noticeable difference in switching between apps & perhaps the most pivotal change in my opinion is the Touch-ID 2 sensor. This allows you get into your phone instantly, and I mean instantly. To the point where people have complained that you can’t just preview your lock screen unless you use your non Touch-ID finger. My personal favorite upgrade to the 6S it makes getting in & out of your phone secure but doesn’t at all compromise on efficiency.

What’s New in the 6S:

Aside from the obvious hardware upgrades & overall performance be it on benchmark testing or everyday usage here’s a look at some other things new in the 6S.

Camera- The updated camera more specifically the rear facing camera shoots amazing photos & videos. Still one of the easiest cameras to use, the iPhone has amazing quality with a very raw look to their photos. Great for those who like to edit their photos after the shot has been taken. Video wise you now have 1080P 60 FPS video (Sample Video) which is super fluid! Taking another step up you have 4K video at 30 FPS which is outstanding. While most people won’t shoot in this format it is an option. Additionally the Facetime camera features a software flash which has been overdue, and the new Live Photos feature. Essentially it makes a gif out your pictures recording a couple seconds before & after you take a picture. While its great to capture the moment surrounding a shot I honestly found myself just turning it off as I don’t use it all that often.

Sample Pictures

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3D Touch– The 3D touch sensor within the screen allows for pressure sensitive based interaction. You can press deeper into the screen to get sub-menus to pop up as well as interact with certain items in iOS. This is what Apple calls peek & pop. While it seems gimmicky after spending time with the 6S you find yourself trying to force touch items on older iOS devices. The support isn’t all there across apps however the apps that do feature it make it that much more convenient to quickly access certain functionality. It’s a glimpse at how we’ll interact with iOS in the future & another control mechanism for apps. Certain gaming developers have already begun adding 3D touch based support to their apps.

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These are the most noticeable differences aside from the already mentioned A9, M9 and Touch ID updated hardware in the phone. Though they’re slight additions to the phone if you use your camera on a daily basis (which I’m sure many iPhone users do) then its definitely a big difference. The 3D touch while a nice add on to iOS & the iPhone is still in its early stages. It’s not a selling point as of right to upgrade by itself much like Siri was or the camera upgrades on previous iPhones.

Upgrade?

That said is it worth upgrading to the 6S? The phone itself is hands down one of the best smartphones out there without a doubt. However if your on last years 6 you can probably wait out this generation unless you simply just have the money to spend. Anything below an iPhone 6 then by all means the upgrade is 100% worth it. You get a phone while not different in looks except the new Rose Gold (Pink) color it comes in. Does pack a punch with its all new hardware. A faster and sleek device. For those who want the smaller screen size & portability coupled with speed the 6S is simply the best smartphone in that category. Backed by an amazing app store, iOS ecosystem, and hardware it’s the reason it’s the top selling phone for Apple & why their sales have reflected as such.

Are there better featured Android phones out there, certainly. However one thing I like about Apple is their patience to not rush out new features to appease the crowd. Rather they try to implement things when they feel they’ve near perfected it & made it such a seamless experience. This is shown in the Touch ID sensor, their camera & it’s software, the overall build of the device.

Overall Thoughts-

All in all the 6S is a great phone for most people, if you want a bigger screen sized iPhone than the 6S Plus is your best bet. For your other needs well there’s a phone for everyone but for iOS users and those looking to update their current iPhone line you can’t go wrong the 6S. Keeping in mind when I bought this phone along with the 6S Plus I was upgrading from an iPhone 5S. Which still to this day is one of my favorite iPhones. It was efficient for me and still is for most people but the significant jump from that to the 6S really showcased all that I was missing. The lighter & rounded form factor that is reminiscent of the earlier iPhones. From an engineering perspective I’m still amazed at the power they pack in year after year into these even thinner devices. A truly great device for all my day to day needs.

Miscellaneous:

  • The Camera hump on the back while aesthetically unpleasing didn’t bother me much case or no case.
  • Rose Gold is more a soft pink
  • Phenomenal Battery Life (Apple claims 9-10 hours) however in reality I get everyday usage out of it & for the most part I’m always within a chargers distance
  • Touch-ID is crazy fast. Hands down my favorite sensor upgrade.
  • 1080P 60 FPS… I use this more than I do my DSLR which is incapable of shooting in such a format.

In typical “S” upgrade fashion it’s a phone that is that much faster & better despite it’s external likeness to last years model. It’s Apples best phone in that its their latest. Faster, more durable, and packed with their latest OS & features. The iPhone is Apple’s baby & lead selling device & the iPhone 6S encompasses the exact reason why.

 

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