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.

Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have gotten a processor bump from last year, moving on from the quite-fast A8 processor (and M8 motion coprocessor) to the A9 chip with an embedded M9. The speed will show up in the usual ways when compared side-by-side to the older phones — iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus start up faster, and move in and out of apps faster. Other than that, most users probably won’t see a huge difference from the get-go, but of course, the faster chips give these iPhones the potential to run more demanding apps now and in the future.

Geekbench reveals the processor leap in the newer iPhones. iPhone 6s gave us a 4215 multi-core score and 2436 single-core score, and iPhone 6s Plus an impressive 4412 multi-core score and 2532 single-core score. These benchmarks surpass their predecessors by a sizable amount — the numbers are even more impressive when compared to the iPad Air 2. Both new iPhones actually feature better single-core scores than Apple’s current top-of-the-line iPad, and the multi-core scores in the new iPhones don’t trail far behind the iPad Air 2’s score of 4529. The speed on display is serious.

The other big bump is a double dose of RAM — iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are the first iPhones to feature 2GB of RAM. Again, while many casual users might not notice much of a difference, power users will likely see gains – especially those who tend to open lots of Safari tabs, as the extra memory will allow users to hop in and out of those tabs without waiting for frequent reloads.

There’s one more speed bump worth noting in the new iPhones — the revamped Touch ID. Apple’s second-generation sensor is lightning-quick. Before, you’d have to put your finger on the sensor and wait a beat. Now, the fingerprint is recognized almost instantaneously, allowing users to unlock their phones, make App Store purchases, or use Apple Pay even faster than before. Touch ID’s faster speed also makes it easier and quicker to add fingerprints to the phones during setup.

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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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