Hello again folks, it’s that time of the year again! The iPhone 6S has been announced.
Every other year, Apple releases a new iPhone that is an increment to the previous version. Today, we look at the “S” increments of this year – the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus.
The iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus have the same design as the previous iPhone, with the exception of a the “S” badge under the “iPhone” branding. And the new iPhones also come in a new colour – Rose Gold – though it looks like a pale pink to me.
Apple says that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have stronger “aerospace-grade” (Series 7000) aluminium bodies and sturdier glass. I can bet this improvement was made after the “BendGate” issue that many users reported last year. Hopefully, the new iPhones won’t bend in the hands of Lewis (UnboxTherapy) or in the pockets of many others. It is notable that the new iPhones are marginally heavier and thicker than the previous ones, thanks to the improved build. The 6 and 6 Plus were 6.9 and 7.1mm thick and weighed 129 and 172 grams, respectively. The new 6S and 6S Plus are 7.1 and 7.4mm thick and weigh 143 and 192 grams. The changes are rather insignificant, and only the weight difference between the 6S Plus and 6 Plus is obvious in-hand. And yes, the camera bump remains.
As I predicted in my editorial a few months back, the new iPhones now have “3D-Touch”. It’s essentially the same as “Force Touch”, so I’m still confused about why the different name. The iPhone 6S phones will adopt the same pressure-sensitive capability that calls up secondary menus and actions when you press and hold the screen. Press harder on the screen, and you get contextual pop-up menus. You can access shortcuts from the home screen for your most frequent actions, say messaging a friend. And if you’re in your email inbox, applying fingertip pressure to an element in the message will surface more information, like maybe the flight number on an emailed travel itinerary, for instance.
A likely more impactful and significant improvement in the new iPhone 6S phones lies in the camera. iPhones have had the best cameras on smartphones for years now, only contested by a few other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4. This year, Apple has let go of its stubborn hold of its 8MP sensors, and upgraded to a 12MP sensor on the iPhones. It touts better autofocus and improved colour reproduction. The camera can now record 4K videos (at 30fps), matching up with its competitors.The iPhones also have 5MP front-facing cameras with an interesting and novel flash-technology. Unlike some other phones with front-facing flashes, the iPhone uses the screen as a flash. Truly intriguing, but we’ll have to see how well that works though.
The new iPhone also has a new feature called “Live Photos”, which is essentially a short 1 or 2 second video attached to your photo, so that you can “3D Touch” on the photo and view the short video which is automatically recorded after the photo is taken.
There are quite a few new improvements over the previous iPhone, but whether they are good implementations and whether it is worth buying the iPhone 6S over the iPhone 6 is something that has to be looked into.
Stay tuned with us for more coverage on the new iPhones.