Review: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus | iLounge

Review

Review: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

A-
Highly Recommended

Company: Apple

Models: iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

MSRP: $649-$949

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Phil Dzikiy

Pros: Upgraded cameras bring higher-quality photos and video to the iPhone. Live Photos are a neat, new feature. 3D Touch display adds a new dimension to the user interface, which makes navigating the home screen easier and opens up a number of new possibilities within apps. The A9 processor and 2GB of RAM make for a faster overall experience. Touch ID is super-fast and easy. The new aluminum alloy feels a bit nicer to hold. Both 6s phones appear to fit well in the vast majority of 6 cases and many 6 Plus cases.

Cons: Battery life in the iPhone 6s takes a step back. 16GB models aren’t worth it; we consider the 64GB model a better option by far. A lack of third-party apps supporting 3D Touch thus far make the feature a bit limited at this time. The iPhone 6s speaker is a bit disappointing — and the smaller phone doesn’t have quite the feature set of the 6s Plus.

At first glance — or maybe even second or third — you won’t be able to tell the difference between iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and their respective predecessors, as the screen size and general design remain the same. They are slightly larger than those iPhones, though, and we do emphasize “slightly.” iPhone 6s is .2 mm taller, .1 mm wider, and .2 mm thicker than iPhone 6, and iPhone 6s Plus is .1 mm taller, .2 mm wider, and .2 mm deeper than iPhone 6 Plus. It’s more noticeable when you’re holding an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus in one hand and its predecessor in the other — the new iPhones are heavier due to the 3D Touch display. It’s enough to be noticeable — iPhone 6s jumps from 4.55 ounces to 5.04 ounces, and iPhone 6s Plus is up from 6.07 ounces to 6.77 ounces — but it’s unlikely to be a deal breaker in any way. In fact, some may prefer their iPhone to have a bit more heft.

OK, in some cases, there is one major difference instantly visible on the body of the new iPhones — one new color. Joining gold, silver, and space gray is Apple’s rose gold. The new color was first seen on the expensive Apple Watch Edition, so this will be the first time most people see the rose gold. On the iPhones, depending on the lighting, rose gold sometimes looks a bit more pink, sometimes a bit more gold, making rose gold a pretty accurate name. Most people will likely just call it pink, though it certainly doesn’t look like the pink iPhone 5c or any pink iPod.

Though the bodies of the new iPhones look the same, its construction is different — we’re mainly talking about the material of the phone’s shell, which is made from Apple’s 7000 Series aluminum. The company claims it’s the strongest alloy ever used in an iPhone. Early reports also note the iPhone 6s Plus is harder to bend than its predecessor, which drew some (overblown) criticism from bending in user’s pockets. If nothing else, the added thickness and weight make the newer iPhones feel a bit more substantial. Though Apple has been obsessed with thinness in recent years, the company clearly thought the 3D Touch display was worth adding a teensy bit of bulk. The alloy is also a bit less slippery to us than the last iPhones. But you should still use a case.

Case compatibility was a big question with these new iPhones — simply put, will iPhone 6 cases work on iPhone 6s, and will iPhone 6 Plus cases work with the iPhone 6s Plus? We tried dozens of cases, and the answer is largely yes. All of the cases we tried worked fine with the volume control and sleep/wake buttons. Generally speaking, if an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus case is made of anything with some give and flex — rubber/TPU cases, for instance — it should be fine. It’ll be a bit more snug, which might even be beneficial in some cases. The only cases we’d have some concerns about are hard and particularly unforgiving cases, especially those for iPhone 6 Plus. One iPhone 6 Plus battery case worked, but was so tight on the 6s Plus that we could barely remove it from the case. If you want to wait for specific iPhone 6s/6s Plus cases, that’s fine — they will fit better — but you should be fine with most existing 6/6 Plus cases.

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Editors' Note: iLounge only reviews products in "final" form, but many companies now change their offerings - sometimes several times - after our reviews have been published. This iLounge article provides more information on this practice, known as revving.

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