With the release of the iPhone 6S, Apple touted adamantly that ‘the only thing that’s changed is everything.’ Given its prominent position in the smartphone market, it isn’t surprising then, that Apple tried its hardest to reflect this with its brand new handset. Despite it looking exactly the same as its predecessor, the iPhone 6, there are in fact a multitude of changes under its hood that makes it stand out in its own right. Speaking along these lines, probably the main issue that Apple is trying to solve with the iPhone 6S (and the 6S plus) is how it can convince users, especially in a market fully diluted with many excellent smartphones; that the ‘S’ edition is a phone worthy of upgrading to. Let’s start by looking at the design. Apart from the tiny S logo on the back of the phone, nobody is going to even realize that you have the latest iPhone unfortunately. However, if you are just upgrading from the iPhone 5S then you will certainly notice the difference.
Take for example the metallic chassis of the 6S. It feels very smooth and premium in the hand, which we can attribute to the use of 7000 series aluminium; this is the strongest material that has ever been used by Apple in the construction of any iPhone to date. What’s more, the front of the phone is now secured in a refined level of strength, with glass that’s been reported to minimize shattering when ‘accidentally’ dropped on the ground by the user. Now I’m sure that this is a feature that everyone can get behind. Moving back to its overall feel, the 6S is absolutely world class. It would definitely be an appropriate accessory inside the boardroom, or in the hands of today’s technology wielding youth. Its definitely lightweight, easy to manipulate and the buttons are all where you would expect them to be. The screen colour is nothing short of excellent. It is clear, bright and unbelievably colourful. But surely we shouldn’t expect anything less. Whether you are watching a movie or flicking through your holiday snaps, the screen displays colour in the way that you would desire. A great benefit is the peak brightness, which maxes out at 558 nits. What I found when using the max brightness configuration was that the screen was viewable in bright sunlight. The screen isn’t reflective either so it’s perfect for summer occasions, whether you are out on the beach or having a barbeque.
Moving onto its performance, Apple has taken things to the next level by inserting an A9 chip into the 6S. In doing this, it has allowed prolific app users like myself to not have to fret over lagging of any sorts. In general day to day use, browsing and switching in between apps is a breeze and there are no flaws whatsoever, whether you are using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. To add to this, Apple claimed there would be longer battery life with the 6S due to its improved CPU. I can certainly agree with this. On a few occasions, I left my phone unplugged at 80% battery overnight. By the morning, it had only dropped to 70%, which was more than enough to last through another full day. The bottom line is that the 6S’ battery life, especially if your phone spends more time in your pocket than in your hand, is up there with the very best of the Android stable. Probably the most interesting new feature of the 6S is Live Photos. It is a feature that captures a three-second video alongside your photos. It brings a surprising new dimension to reliving the various moments in your life.
While it has been introduced by Nokia and HTC before, Apple’s integration really does make a big difference. For example, one hard press away is the difference between saving a snapshot and saving a moment. The main appeal of Live Photos is that when you’re going back through your photos of (for example) spending time with your loved ones, it does a better job of rekindling those memories in real time. It is also worth saying that with Apple’s user base and reach, Live Photos has the added potential to make it bigger than any of its predecessors. This is because the old problem of moving pictures on phones was that you couldn’t really share them. But now, you can share Live Photos with anyone else using iOS 9 devices. So, should you buy this phone? My opinion is this. If you want or need to buy a new iPhone, buy this iPhone. Everything else aside, the awesome upgrades mentioned in this review aren’t reasons that stand alone to upgrade from an older (but perfectly well-functioning) iPhone 6 or even 5S for that matter. If you were to compare the 6S to other Android phones in the market, it suddenly becomes a tougher question. And I would say the reason for this is because people don’t buy iPhones because they want better screens or any extra features. They buy them because they like simple and elegant design. They like having an enormous amount of apps at their disposal and most all, they like the idea of having a smartphone that does it all; and does it perfectly.
Reviewed by Linn Win for Pink&Sparkles