While most of the new features found in Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are already widely known, there are always a few changes and upgrades that seem to slip through the cracks. Here’s our effort to bring some of those overlooked features and tweaks into the light.
Bigger, but barely — Both new iPhone models are slightly larger than their predecessors. iPhone 6s is 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm, as opposed to the 6 measurements of 138.1mm x 67mm x 6.9mm. iPhone 6s Plus is 158.2mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm, a slight change from 158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm of iPhone 6 Plus. iPhone 6s weighs in at 143 grams, up from the iPhone 6 weight of 129 grams, and iPhone 6s Plus is 192 grams, an increase over iPhone 6 Plus’ 172 gram weight. We’re curious to see if the slight changes will affect compatibility with past cases at all — at this point, it appears like most existing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases could fit the new iPhone models without issues.
Bluetooth 4.2 and more LTE bands — The previous iPhone models supported Bluetooth 4.0, but Apple’s latest iPhones are designed to support Bluetooth 4.2. In fact, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are the first iPhones to support the newest Bluetooth spec — the recently released sixth-generation iPod touch was the first iOS device to support Bluetooth 4.1. BT 4.2 is said to be faster and safer than its predecessors. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus also now use LTE Advanced and support 23 LTE bands, more than ever before.
iPhone 6s’ smaller battery — As was rumored leading up to the launch — and probably expected due to the new panel that enables 3D Touch — it appears that iPhone 6s has a slightly smaller battery than its predecessor. A promo video shows a 1715 mAh battery in the 6s, down from the 6’s 1810 mAh battery. However, Apple makes the same battery life claims as it did for the iPhone 6, perhaps owing to greater efficiency from the new A9 chip. We’ll see if there’s a notable difference in our review. (It’s unclear at this point how large the 6s Plus battery is.)
Rose gold, gold, and 128GB are now s-only. — Apple has removed the gold editions of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from its stores, and the same goes for the 128GB capacity models of those iPhones. If you want a new gold (or rose gold) iPhone, or a 128GB model, you’ll have to get the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
Lots of camera upgrades — Most of the overlooked upgrades on the new iPhones can be found in their cameras. Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus now allow massive 63MP panorama photos. Apple did briefly mention the new 63-megapixel panoramas during its event on Wednesday, but it’s noteworthy as a significant jump from the 43MP panoramas of its predecessors.
As it was with the iPhone 6 Plus, optical image stabilization for photos is still just a feature in the larger iPhone, as it isn’t found in the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6s. But the iPhone 6s Plus gets an additional upgrade from its predecessor, as it also enables optical image stabilization for video — which makes it the only iPhone model to have the feature.
A number of other upticks have been made to video recording: While both new iPhones still allow for 1080p HD video recording at 30 frames per second or 60 fps (as was the case with their predecessors), the newest iPhones also allow 4K video recording — but only at 30 fps, although you’ll now be able to snap 8MP pictures at the same time you’re recording 4K video. Additionally, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus supported 720p slo-mo video recording at 120 fps or 240 fps. In the new iPhones, 120 fps gets a boost to 1080p, while 240fps recording remains at 720p. Another new feature in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is playback zoom, which allows you to zoom in on videos as they’re playing. One aspect that hasn’t gotten an upgrade, however, is front-facing video recording – while the FaceTime HD camera gets a nice bump to 5MP for still photos, videos taken with that camera remain limited to 720p.
While Apple demonstrated 4K video editing on its upcoming iPad Pro during Wednesday’s event, it’s also noteworthy that the upcoming iMovie for iOS 2.2 will also support 4K video editing on the newest iPhones, as well.