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.

While the last iPhones did plenty to lure users of Android devices and older iPhones — as Apple’s sales numbers have shown — much of that was due to the leap to the bigger screens. The changes are less immediately obvious now on first glance, but the cameras are a bigger step up than the last time around. Cameras are arguably the most important feature in a smartphone to many users, and between the upgraded photo quality and Live Photos — not a killer feature, but definitely cool enough to play around with — users will find themselves drawn to Apple’s newest iPhones.

That’s before considering the 3D Touch display — a unique feature within smartphones. While we won’t go as far as some who now claim their older iOS devices already feel outdated after using 3D Touch, it’s nice to have the extra functionality. It makes it easier to navigate quicker, and sometimes, when you have to send an urgent text or take a photo before the moment gets away, that matters. The future possibilities are the most tantalizing thing about it — we can see a home screen full of 3D Touch pop-up menus, making it easier to do things without having to pop in and out of apps. And if you’re an Apple Watch user, between using the watch and quickly peeking into app features, maybe you’ll actually have more time to look away from your phone.

We’re a bit concerned about the iPhone 6s’ long-term battery life, and we considered knocking its grade slightly when compared to the 6s Plus — even a slight drop in battery life compared to the iPhone 6 might be troublesome for some users. But in the end, we understand that some users much prefer the iPhone 6s’ smaller size, and are willing to sacrifice that battery dip, in addition to the slightly less-impressive camera. (For what it’s worth, we at iLounge don’t mind the large size of the Plus, and thus, still prefer the Plus model for those aforementioned reasons.) There’s enough of a leap ahead in cameras, speed, and interface here to warrant upgrading — both new iPhones earn our high recommendation.

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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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