iPhone 6S Review Scoring Summary
| Style & Handling
|+ Stylish design
||– Weak battery life
|+ 3D Touch
||– Not full HD
|+ Smooth performance
||– Similar to iPhone 6
Verdict: The iPhone 6S is the best phone Apple has ever made, but it’s not much better than the iPhone 6.
iPhone 6S Review and Specification
The iPhone 6S is the newest iPhone and it almost goes without saying that it’s also the best. Apple has upgraded the iPhone 6 in several key areas, but has it done enough to compete with the other flagships of 2015?
The addition of 3D Touch plus a new camera certainly helps, but with a similar design to last year’s model and some of the same problems the iPhone 6S isn’t quite a perfect phone.
The design is at once a strength and a weakness of the iPhone 6S, but mostly a strength. It looks stunning with a slim 7.1mm thick metal shell in space grey, silver, gold or rose gold.
It’s strong too, with series 7000 aluminium and ion-strengthened glass, keeping it protected from bends, scrapes and drops, though you’ll still probably want to put it in a case.
But the actual look of the phone is little changed from the iPhone 6, so it doesn’t look that distinctive and inherits two of the uglier aspects of that handset, namely the antenna strips and a camera what sticks out.
Those are minor issues though and on the whole the iPhone 6S is a work of impressive craftsmanship and one of the best looking smartphones around.
The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch. That size makes it one of the smallest flagships around, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how large you want your phone to be, but for big-screen fans there’s always the iPhone 6S Plus anyway.
The iPhone 6S is also fairly low resolution for a flagship though and that’s more objectively a bad thing. In practice it has a great screen, with good contrast and natural colours, but it’s hard to feel like you’re quite getting your money’s worth when cheaper rival phones pump out QHD resolutions.
There’s a 1.84GHz dual-core Apple A9 processor and 2GB of RAM in the iPhone 6S, which is a bit of an upgrade on the 1GB found in the iPhone 6 but still fairly lacking compared to rivals like the octa-core Samsung Galaxy S6.
But as anyone who’s used an iPhone can attest they don’t feel like they’re lacking in power and so while meatier specs might have been nice it’s the real world performance which counts and there the iPhone 6S is near faultless, powering through apps, games and media with no visible issues.
Apple has upgraded its camera to a 12 megapixel one in the iPhone 6S. In practice it doesn’t feel vastly superior to the 8 megapixel iPhone 6 one, but it’s a small improvement on what was already one of the better smartphone snappers around.
It also has new features like Live Photos, which allow you to turn your photos into short videos. The camera also supports 4K video recording, so it ticks a lot of boxes.
Round the front you get a 5 megapixel selfie camera and this is an improvement on last year’s offering too, taking sharp shots and even aided by an innovative flash which works by lighting the screen up far brighter than normal.
Interface and features
The iPhone 6S runs iOS 9, which is perhaps the most intuitive mobile operating system around. It also benefits from the App Store, which has a rich and varied selection of content.
But none of that is new to Apple fans, what is new is 3D Touch, an innovative feature which allows you to interact with the screen in a new way. You see it can tell the difference between light and hard presses and respond differently accordingly, with a light press often letting you peek at content, while pressing down harder will open it.
It’s a little thing in some ways, but it’s a genuinely useful feature which we can see making its way to many more handsets in future.
The iPhone 6S also has a Touch ID fingerprint scanner for speedy unlocking of the handset. Plus it can be used to authorise payments, including in-store ones using Apple Pay. Touch ID is one of the most accurate and easiest to use fingerprint scanners we’ve come across, so it’s a great addition.
Battery Life, Memory and Connectivity
There’s a 1715mAh battery in the iPhone 6S and it’s good for about a day of use, which is comparable to many other recent flagships, such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9, but it’s not really as good as we’d like to see. It’s also actually a smaller battery than was in the iPhone 6, which is a bit of a disappointment.
You get a choice of 16, 64 or 128GB of built in storage, but with no microSD card slot the 16GB option is verging on pointless. The iPhone 6S supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC (but only for Apple Pay).
The iPhone 6S is a brilliant phone with a genuinely inspired new feature in the form of 3D Touch, plus an improved camera, more power and all the features you’d expect from an iPhone, such as slick performance, a great design and an intuitive operating system.
That said its battery life is a bit disappointing, though still in line with many flagships, and while the improvements are nice they don’t lead to a substantially better phone than the iPhone 6 overall.
It is a bit better though and that makes the iPhone 6S the best handset Apple has ever built and one of the best phones on the market.
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iPhone 6S Specification
|Dimensions: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mmWeight: 143gScreen size: 4.7” (750 x 1334)
Screen Resolution: 750 x 1334 display resolution
Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 326
Processor: Dual-core application processor
On-board Memory: 16/64/128GB
Camera: 12MP (rear) 5MP (front-facing)
Operating system: iOS 9
3G / 4G LTE: Yes / Yes
Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / Yes
Battery capacity: 1715mAh
Colours: Space grey, silver, gold, rose gold
Launch Date: Out Now