iPhone 6S Review: Not Bigger But Better, Faster And Stronger

It is the battle of the big screens in the smartphone world. Apple too followed the trend and in the past three to four years the most meaningful change on the iPhones are the plus size screens. It is a strategical move from Apple to take on the other smartphone companies which were booming. Apple relented on the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5 and as time passed by there was the introduction of 4.7-inch screen and later a 5-inch screen on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus respectively. As we figured out, the move really helped Apple to gain some lost ground in the Android-powered large screen smartphone planet.

Who does not love a bigger screen isn’t it? A smartphone isn’t a phone anymore without a bigger screen, that’s what most of us think and it is quite true, though. When the larger screens hit the market and were introduced by Apple on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus we were ecstatic and it showed with the sales numbers that plummeted with excitement.

So when Apple announced a new series of phones earlier this year, we thought that it is most likely to be a taller and a wider phone just to nurture the competition even more. But we were wrong! Most of the updates and enhancements done in the past were on the exterior and the overall looks of the phone, but now with Apple’s S series iPhones, it’s the other way around. Apple has gone on to have a look on the inside to make it faster, reliable and a better phone overall. It has gone deep into the mix making some subtle changes on the exteriors and some major and effective changes on the interiors.

So what’s new on the outside

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The iPhone 6S looks just like the last year’s model, the iPhone 6. But if you go close enough then you can spot the difference though it is very marginal. It is increased in height and depth by 0.2mm, and thinner in width by 0.1mm. You cannot see and feel the difference in person just like me as long as you measure it.

But where you can actually feel the difference is in the weight of the device. The new iPhone 6S is now heavier than the older iPhone 6 with an overall weight difference of almost 14 grams. The new iPhone now stands at 149 grams as compared to the older 129 grams. Some of you might not be happy with this extra weight and prefer to have that thin and light but from my experience it is better to have a heavier phone as it helps to hold the phone better. I personally quite like that extra weight on my hand it makes me feel confident about it. Nevertheless what the extra weight does is make the device fell very robust.

But what makes me disappointed is the same back metallic cover which is ultra smooth, I know it looks clean and tidy and most importantly very stylish but it offer little to no friction. This design feature is again carried over to the new device as well. As it is heavier than before it can be a very good recipe for floor impacts and some costly repairs and maybe even a total loss.

But to counter this Apple have introduced certain new features which can certainly help the device to be safe on its own. They are:

  • A stronger and harder screen which is shatter resistant.
  • A stronger robust aluminum case which prevents the total device from bending.

There is more to it other than this. There are cool and wonderful color options to go for as well. They are most common silver, the rich gold, and the unique space gray and rose gold.

So what’s it packing?

The most interesting changes that Apple introduced on this new device are mainly on the inside and there are substantial updates or rather enhancements that will really excite an iPhone lover. Being an iPhone owner for the past three years I for one was quite happy with the new features list.

3D Touch

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This is really a game changing feature on the new device. With owners of the previous models, this is really a great upgrade from the old devices as it is very nifty and most importantly very effective as well. The 3D touch as Apple addresses is the next generation of multi-touch which allows users to control the device with different levels of forces coming through touch. For example preview of a message or an email without opening it by gently tapping the screen. Instances of haptic feedback can also be experienced. Though Android powered devices come with a feature close to this like the detection of subtle changes coming from tapping pressure on the touch screen itself. But for me I loved the new 3D touch and I believe this is a very nice touch given by Apple.

The main working formula of this three-dimensional touch feature is the now trending “Peek and Pop”, what you need to do is just peek an email if you want to have a preview and pop it open if you want to see the actual whole content. This is quite an efficient as it saves a lot of time as you can preview the message or an email beforehand with just a small effort. The peek option is more like a trackpad with which you can move smoothly around the screen though the new 3D Touch feature is incorporated on the old glass. Coming to its added weight, this new feature has to be its main contributing factor.

It is a great feature indeed and being using it for quite a while now I am quite impressed with its efficiency and I can assure you that this is ought to be the most important feature on the iPhone 6S .

Camera

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As we expected this new phone comes with an upgraded camera and this time it has got some really nice features attached to the overall package. It is a 12 megapixel camera which in my opinion is a great upgrade though there are competitors in tandem with this such as the Samsung S6 with 16 megapixel camera but I for one does not agree on the fact that more megapixels equal to a better camera. This is not at all true if the camera is calibrated right a smaller megapixel camera can also take commendable snaps and can easily take on higher cameras.

As the competition is going forward at a much faster rate, Apple also joined the party and released this new device with a new upgraded 12-megapixel camera. My first impressions on this camera are way faster-snapping capability and enhanced clarity. But what made me fall for this camera is the new Live Photo. This is ought to be the standout feature in this generation of cameras and Apple really made this very special and very efficient. Many of you are thinking what on earth is Live Photo? It is a simple procedure in which the camera of the device snaps and records the moments both before and after a shot or a snap (1.5 seconds to be precise). The resultant of this is outstanding! It is as if the whole picture comes to life every time you use it. I really loved this feature and I can assure that most of you will fall for it just like me.

But there is a catch this Live Photo capture takes a substantial amount of space which on an iPhone is something very important as space is limited and there are no external expandable slots like other phones. But as per my testing it takes up space but not at an alarming rate so thinking about this and not going for it would be not justified. In the other way around this is good news for iPhone users as there is room for Apple to make iPhones with bigger storage options or at least with expandable memory slots.

One of the things that are interesting is that this iPhone 6S what I am testing does not have Image Stabilization, but the iPhone 6S Plus have the Optical Image Stabilization feature. So it is something really surprising as the mechanical of the devices are identical. Other than this there is 4K video at 30 FPS and it can also capture panoramas with 63 megapixels. There’s a 5-megapixel front camera equipped with a unique feature known as the True-Tone Retina Flash that lights up the iPhone just before capturing a shot.

There are some glitches on the camera which Apple has been working on updating. The peek and pop feature of the new 3D Touch is also of great help in the camera app too.

Upgraded Internals

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The new iPhone as expected comes with an upgraded chipset in the form of A9. This is a new chipset which has promise, with a 64-bit operation. The changes are substantial owing to better overall performance.

There is a brand new Touch ID which is the second generation module that can detect fingerprints twice as fast, and this new processor in close to 70% faster at CPU tasks and 90% more efficient at GPU tasks than the previous generation A8 processor used  in the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. There is also an M9 motion coprocessor which is built-in enabling the “Hey Siri” functionality which is always on.

The 64-bit architecture led to efficient working in terms of opening and closing of the apps and other operations of the phone. It is quite fast now and the speed of processing is quite noticeable. Though as per my testing the 2 GB RAM that is operating inside this phone does not justify this processor. I think a better more upgraded 4GB RAM could have been a better option and could take the performance of this device to a whole another level. Many of you will agree on this fact and I am sure of it! Though coming to what we have on hand, this 2GB RAM works great and does everything right. So nothing alarming! The apps and games run smoothly enough to give that nice feeling every time you swipe over and open or close something.

Nowadays battery life is as important as the performance and the looks of a phone and especially if it’s an iPhone which has some controversies related to battery performance. The battery is quite improved now but not the best yet, but it is still quite better than previous generation thanks to an efficient processor and good internals. Now that’s wonderful isn’t it? Yes, the new iPhone is much more frugal in terms of giving high operation time. The battery size is smaller than the other models, but it is working efficiently. As per a comparison, it is quite close to the Sony Xperia Z5, though behind by some margin.

Now coming to connectivity, it is quite clear that both the Wi-Fi speeds and the LTE have been worked upon owing to faster connectivity. To be precise, the LTE is twice as fast leading to 23 LTE support capabilities and Wi-Fi speeds up to 866 Mbps. If compared with the previous iPhones say the iPhone 6 and the 6Plus then it is quite a difference, close to twice the previous connectivity speed.

Conclusion

All in all, the new iPhone is a more enhanced iPhone in terms of everything and it has worked upon all its cons to having come to this point where there are still some cons but the advantages and all the good bits make it much more of a worthy option to go for. If you have an iPhone 6 or anything older then it will be wise and recommended to upgrade to this phone as it is quite different much powerful, good features and most importantly much more reliable. I am in love with this phone and being an extensive iPhone user for quite a time now, it is much more than a phone now it is the best iPhone till date!

1 Comment
  1. Reply Sara Apr 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I think the size is just fine the way it was with the iPhone6 before it. They made a good decision in not making the S bigger. People are upgrading for the added features.

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