Apple iPhone 6s review
Apple adds depth to the smartphone experience
The Apple iPhone 6s goes further than just refreshing the 6-series and in tandem to offering iOS 9 it also gives Apple fans a whole new experience through the pressure sensitive display.
|✓3D Touch experience||✗No memory card slot|
|✓New rose gold colour||✗Low capacity battery|
The Apple iPhone 6s has a strengthened exoskeleton that employs aerospace-grade 7000 Series aluminium and glass which, according to Apple, is the strongest and most durable used in any smartphone. The manufacturing process for the glass involves a dual ion-exchange process that makes the glass stronger on a molecular level.
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The glass covers the 4.7” Retina HD display that has a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. Dual-domain pixels have been used to allow for wide viewing angles, allowing the user to simultaneously enjoy content and the body’s new rose gold colour scheme, which joins the previous line up of space grey, gold and silver.
Looking for an even smaller iPhone? Check out the iPhone SE review
The iPhone 6s build includes the new A9 64-bit chip. This is up to 70 percent faster than before with up to 90 percent faster graphic processing for intensive gamers. This A9 chip is now so efficient that Siri is always on, which is useful as she takes a much more proactive role in iOS 9.
On the base we find the speaker and the maximum volume can be configured by the user. The iPhone 6s weighs 143 grams and has a body that is 7.1mm thick. Both of these statistics are in line with other flagship phones on the market.
Once again there is no memory card slot, so consumers will need to pick between the 16GB, 64GB or 128GB models. There is some good news though as the efficiently designed apps that come pre-installed only take up 150MB of the available memory.
Phone Set Up
The first task on the Apple iPhone 6s set up is to activate a little security. There is a faster and more accurate fingerprint sensor for use with Touch ID unlocking of the phone. Fingerprint authentication can also work with Apple Pay at shops and within apps. The new default passcode is six digits long, giving millions of combinations as well as enabling users to turn on two-factor authentication.
Live Photos taken on the camera can be set as the Lock screen wallpaper or a Dynamic Wallpaper can be chosen from a selection included with iOS 9. It is worth noting at this point that pressing the keyboard in apps turns it into a track-pad, making scrolling and navigation easy when using notes, mail and messages.
3D Touch is possibly the most exciting addition to the iPhone 6s and this senses how deeply you press on the display while responding with feedback in the form of gentle taps. 3D Touch revolutionises the way you interact with the device and lets you do things quicker and in a simpler way.
Peek and Pop are the two new buzzwords to get to grips with. Peek (a light press) lets you preview content without opening it, while Pop (a deep press) opens content or opens a pop-up menu. Examples of Peek and Pop include:
- Peek at an email in your inbox then press harder to Pop it open
- Peek at a website before you Pop it open
- Peek at photos taken while still in the camera app
- Peek at an address that someone has sent you before you Pop open a full page map
- Pop open Quick Action menus on the Home Screen to, for example, immediately choose to take a selfie, record video, record in Slo-mo or take a photo.
3D Touch also works in the Notes app. A light press draws fine lines whilst a deeper press draws thicker ones.
Finally, 4G is up to twice as fast as that on the previous generation (300Mbps) and Wi-Fi is up to twice as fast too (866Mbps).
Camera & Video
The Apple iPhone 6s has a high-resolution 12MP iSight camera, which can be used to capture the Live Photos we mentioned earlier. This feature captures sound and motion just before and just after you activate the shutter, creating a life-like animated result. Photos taken can be found on any device in the iCloud Photo Library.
4K video recording is possible and this has four times the resolution of 1080p. Users can zoom in and out as they record or play. The iMovie app is a useful tool here and can create movies that can be sent in 4K resolution to YouTube. The iMovie app also allows the user to edit two video streams for effects such as split screen and picture-in-picture.
The 5MP FaceTime HD camera captures better low light photos by employing the display as a flash, a move we have seen recently by many other OEMs. The pre-flash detects the light surrounding you, then the True Tone flash on the display matches the ambient light so that natural looking skin tones are captured. When needed the screen can flash three times brighter than its normal output, so it can never be too dark!
The 1,810mAh battery may be small on the iPhone 6s but the knock on effects from using more efficient technologies, like the A9 chip, means its performance isn’t too bad at all. Up to 11 hours of internet usage over Wi-Fi should satisfy hardy surfers while up to 14 hours of talk time, 11 hours of HD video playback, 50 hours of audio playback or 10 days of standby is also possible.
Written by: Michael Brown