Apple iPhone 6s ReviewApple iPhone 6s 9.3
S-generation iPhones have always been slightly less exciting than their full-fledged, S-less brethren, but looking at the improvements Apple's doing with this year's iPhone 6s, we honestly don't feel any less excited than when we first held the iPhone 6 in our hands at about the same time last year.
In fact, the iPhone 6s (along with the 6s Plus) has the potential to be the most disruptive piece of mobile technology to appear in recent years, as it aims to add a whole new dimension to the way we use our handsets. 3D Touch, as this new technology is called, is a big, bold undertaking by Apple. Perhaps more importantly, though – it's an example of meaningful innovation; the kind of which we rarely see these days.
With a strong hardware foundation and all the new features enabled by iOS 9, the iPhone 6s seems to be destined for success. Let's see if it lives up to its promise!
A year later, the iPhone 6's appearance is just as attractive and enigmatic.
As you'd expect, the iPhone 6s keeps the same exact styling of its predecessor. In this case, that's not a bad thing at all, seeing that it's an exquisite design that is both attractive and practical. It consists of an aluminum unibody that holds all the internals in place, as well as an LCD screen panel that's protected by an even stronger glass cover than before – one that is produced using — in Apple's own words — a “dual ion-exchange process”. It sure sounds fancy and what not, but in reality, it's believed to be none other than Corning's Gorilla Glass 4. This particular bit of into isn't official, but it has been proven that iPhones have been using Corning's magical glass since day one, so chances are Gorilla Glass 4 is what's protecting the display of the iPhone 6s (and 6s Plus) as well. Gorilla Glass panels usually aren't unscratchable, but they sure aren't easy to crack or shatter.
Back to that aluminum unibody for a second, it's worth pointing out that Apple is now using a stronger, 7000 Series aluminum, which is promised to be considerably stronger than the one used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Now, even if you accidentally forget your iPhone 6s in your back pocket and happen to put it under the pressure of your perfectly shaped butt, the phone should prove to be solid enough to retain its original geometry. Disclaimer: The last clause may not hold true if your name is Nicki Minaj.
The iPhone 6s has also kept the more controversial elements of the appearance of its predecessor, such as the antenna lines and protruding camera. And while we still aren't into the idea of the camera jutting out from the surface of the back, the shapes of the antenna lines add an element of sophistication and artistry to the appearance. After all, can it be named real beauty, if its figure doesn't carry a hint of strangeness – something to continuously draw your mind towards it?
Physically, the iPhone 6s is 0.28” (7.1 mm) thick, while its weight is 5.04 oz (143 grams). In other words, it has grown ever so slightly thicker and heavier than the iPhone 6 and its 0.27” (6.9 mm) thickness and 4.55 oz (129 gr) weight. And that's about it when it comes to their physical differences.
All physical buttons of the iPhone 6s (volume rocker, power key, mute switch, and home), are located in their usual, easy to reach positions. They tend to feel just a tad softer when being pressed, compared to the keys of the iPhone 6 units we've tested, but this may be limited to our review unit. The 3.5mm audio jack and the Lightning connector are once again to be found on the bottom side of the handset, along with the single loudspeaker.
138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)
143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
4.87 oz (138 g)
144.6 x 69.7 x 9.61 mm
5.54 oz (157 g)
146 x 72 x 7.3 mm
5.43 oz (154 g)
First ever pressure-sensitive phone display tries to convince us there should be more to a screen than simply tapping and swiping.
On the surface, it may seem like Apple hasn't changed much in the way of display technology, but this is not entirely true. The screen size of the iPhone 6s remains the same – 4.7 inches, while the resolution is also unchanged – 750 x 1334 pixels. This may not seem like much, compared to the 1080 x 1920- and 1440 x 2560-pixel screens used by some Android phones, but in reality, it leads to a pixel density of 326 ppi, which is still a very high number even by today's computing standards. Thus, the iPhone 6s's display delivers fine details, a nice and clean image that is easy to read and view. Going forward, we can see the slight benefit of the resolution eventually being cranked up to something like 1080 x 1920 pixels, but at the time being, it's probably wiser to stick with 750 x 1334 for the power efficiency and performance benefits.
Interestingly, the Apple iPhone 6s's maximum brightness has suffered a bit. While last year's model could crank it up to the excellent 600 nits, the 6s “only” reaches 550 nits. Well, that's still a great result which makes it relatively easy to view the display even under bright sunlight, but we know it can be even better. Meanwhile, pulling the brightness slider all the way down gets us to the reasonable 6 nits. At such a low level, the screen is easy on the eyes when viewed in the dark, though it would have been beneficial if it could go even lower than that, like some of its rivals, such as the Galaxy S6 (goes down to 2 nits), or the G4 (also goes down to 2 nits). The automatic brightness control option works very well, as it manages to pick the optimal brightness level in almost any situation.
The iPhone 6 had very good color balance, but there was definitely room for improvement. With the 6s, we're glad to see Apple moving forward: screen color temperature has improved from around 7150 K in last year's model to around 7050 K in the 6s. With the ideal value considered to be around the 6500 K mark, we can see that the iPhone 6s still shows a slight tendency towards a colder image, but overall, it's among the best in this respect. Going forward, we expect Apple to get rid of the excessive blue in the next generations of the product. At present, due to slight bluish tint, the Delta E grayscale value stands at 3.23, while relative color accuracy, reflected in the Delta E rgbcmy value, is the splendid 1.47. If you aren't into the advanced terminology, these numbers simply mean the display is very accurate when it comes to color reproduction.
The screen's average gamma reading is as good as it gets: 2.21, with no artificial contrast boosts detected. This ensures the correct brightness and detail preservation of all images that will be displayed.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Apple iPhone 6||606
|Samsung Galaxy S6||563
|Apple iPhone 6s||554
|HTC One M9||508
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy S6||56.1%
|HTC One M9||78.7%
|Apple iPhone 6||82.3%
|Apple iPhone 6s||82.9%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
3D Touch (hardware)
There really are two aspects to the new pressure-sensing 3D Touch technology that is now built into the display. We'll look at it from hardware and software perspective.
But in order for the user to feel exactly when they have applied enough force, Apple had to implement an improved version of the vibration motor, which it calls Taptic Engine. While, Apple says, the typical vibration motor of a modern smartphone takes about 10 oscillations to reach full power, the Taptic Engine does so with just 1 oscillation, allowing for a faster and tighter response to the user's actions. This response materializes in the form of two slightly different haptic feedback events: a 'mini' tap (lasting 10 milliseconds), and a 'full' tap (lasting 15 milliseconds). The mini tap, as you can guess, is felt slightly lighter, and is used to indicate the Peek gesture, while the full tap is engaged together with the Pop gesture. In reality, the difference in how mini and full tap feel doesn't seem to be that profound.
1. WeezyF (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2015)
im an android fan but i like the way apple is going with their phones. I also believe that android and ios fans can live in peace and appreciate each other. #be together not the same
4. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)
I'm an android fan and Apple fan, and hate how everyone is getting on Phone Arena for giving the iPhone great reviews.
Although I can admit I prefer Android more, the iPhone is an excellent product, and I hate when people do not give where it's due.
What I even hate more are hardcore Android fanboys acting incredibly insecure in the comments section when the iPhone gets high scores. Specs don't mean everything! The overall package and usage tells the best story. By far, the iPhone 6s is one of the most fluid and better performing devices I've had the chance to play with.
Hopefully my Nexus 6P will be just as good if not better.
6. WeezyF (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2015)
exactly! its obvious that these are great phones but just because someone doesnt agree with the things they do doesnt guarantee bashing them. its getting annoying how android fans are getting more obnoxious.
72. sgodsell (Posts: 3224; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
What is obnoxious is stupid people who over look obvious things. For instance they like to compare a low resolution iPhone 6s to the other 3 devices that have QHD displays. Can someone explain to me why phone arena used the phablet sized Z5 and not the Z5 compact. The Z5 compact has a display resolution roughly equivalent to the iPhone 6s. Not to mention the Z5 compact has the same guts as the other 2 Z5's.
164. treflip (Posts: 5; Member since: 05 May 2014)
The res on the iPhone is just 1080p. All devices out these days look really good anyway.
9. WeezyF (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2015)
i also prefer android but i give credit where it is due!
150. Sovat_fc (Posts: 224; Member since: 30 Aug 2014)
You always claim you're a fan of Android, then assault Android fans else all the time. WTF
22. Slowpoke (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Sep 2015)
Don't take the iPhone negativity too strongly. Seems to be mostly 6 individuals whining all the time. And too a point they are fun to read and occasionally make a good point or two. Competition is great. Makes for better products and more excitement.
25. WeezyF (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2015)
competition is great but not unecessary whining about a product that they know is good but choose to hate out of ignorance. We can both live in peace if we wish to.
28. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3606; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Maybe I should just get an iPhone 6S plus and shut up!
67. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)
and why now parena is quiet about overheating iphone 6s ?? as i said b4 all negatives are brushed under carpet..
it is just simply doesn't matter if iphne has cons all negativeness will be pardoned just bcos it is iphone.. so unrealistic and mainly bcos smartphone pages gets provisions not directly from apple but via third party services that they promoting iphone that is for sure !
When they talking about huawei they doing everything to FIND FAULT and spread negatives .. that is the truth..
95. bucky (Posts: 2459; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
Lol one person had an overheating screenshot and you want to start something. Get over the butt hurt.
168. pooma (Posts: 58; Member since: 01 Oct 2015)
ulimited 4k recording means no overheating problems.. overheating is in your mind
71. Furbal (Posts: 920; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
There are some legitimate concerns. Mainly the lack of consistency across reviews. Cons for hardware features need to be universal if they are used against even one phone.
103. joey_sfb (Posts: 5330; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Based on your past posting, SamsungPhanboy is 100% Apple fanboy.
When it come to iPhone its hard for review site to be objective one reason or another.
111. FrenchGuy (Posts: 104; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)
"When it come to iPhone its hard for review site to be objective one reason or another."
You want to know the biggest one ?
118. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)
What not this site:
48. MSi_GS70 (unregistered)
so why this got so much points when it is basically same with rubbish battery ? it is just bcos on device says ''iphone''
and huawei watch got only 7.5 points
DEFO iPhone Arena
84. xdza1979 (Posts: 259; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)
You have been relentlessly definding Apple in this post , over a dozen of replays so i wouldnt call you "an android fan"..
100. barondebxl (Posts: 131; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)
True that. As an android person I absolutely love my 6s. For a 1750 mah battery Its absolutely amazing how apple optimizes performance and battery life with the marriage of hardware and software. Right now I'm trying to kill my battery that has been off charge since 8 am and its almost 11pm and still going strong after medium to heavy use. I wont look forward to any android phones anytime soon. Its not all about specs but more about the experience.
117. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)
Oh i have been waiting for this
f**k this battery bench iPhones 6s have almost the same battery life as before.
129. der_damo (Posts: 168; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)
different tools, different measures equals different results. Everyone uses their phone differently. I noticed an extremly better battery during the iOS 9-phase - and that's all I've been asking for.
148. darkkjedii (Posts: 19734; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Respect for that post bro. You kept it 100.
7. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Live and let live, folks. The iPhone 6S is great. The Galaxy S6 is great.
8. GTNavy (Posts: 44; Member since: 13 Oct 2014)
What the OP wants to say is: " This phone is so perfect to me, that I wish I could marry it and have it's babies". This is the highest score I have ever seen on here for any phone. I'm not saying the phone is bad in any way, but you can clearly see the biased fanboyism in this "review".
14. majp89 (Posts: 167; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
The S4 got a 93, the G3 last year got a 92, the Droid Turbo got a 92, the S6 got a 93. If you're going to try and insult the authors on this site or accuse them of "fanboyism" please do your research first.
81. xdza1979 (Posts: 259; Member since: 08 Aug 2015)
Its 2015 you dont give a phone a 93 for 720p screen and a s**tty battery.
96. bucky (Posts: 2459; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
It's 4.7 inches lol. You keep chasing that 4K lol
104. aba71983 (Posts: 805; Member since: 24 Jul 2014)
Yeah, close to 5 inches.
4.7 with 720p screen resolution is very good.
5.5 with 720p screen resolution is very bad.
162. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)
I'd expect a 1080p for that price
134. j2001m (Posts: 2788; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)
And 16gb of basic hd even if it's supper fast type as used in the s6
10. majp89 (Posts: 167; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
Before the same tired argument comes from the obvious ignorant Android fanboy, let me cover a few things here:
- I have an LG G4, I have never once used the removable battery feature to its advantage because I don't need to. Every single person that works at the local T-Mobile store doesn't use it either.
- I have an SD card in the phone, but I've barely filled the onboard 32GB and haven't needed to use it.
- Wireless charging is considerably slower than charging an iPhone with a lightning connector and causes any phone I've used it on to overheat. I never use that either. I also work in a business with Verizon as my phone provider with over 90 different lines on the account. Verizon is the carrier that pushes wireless charging the most. Guess what? None of our employees have ever asked about a wireless charger, because rapid charging is quicker anyways. It is a relatively useless feature and is not efficient, and until it is improved, Apple sees no reason to use it in their phones. I agree with their decision.
- You can make the argument that quad HD displays look better than a retina display, and to a degree you would be right. But they're taxing on batteries, which is why my G4 with its 3000 maH battery barely makes it through the work day. I got the same capacity with my iPhone 6 and the screen looks just as good (in my opinion.) Again, such a pointless and tired argument.
There are more, but quite frankly I'm getting irritated seeing all the idiots polluting these reviews with their comments that contribute nothing that we haven't seen before. People prefer a phone you don't like, get over it.
18. WeezyF (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2015)
true man its getting increasingly annoying to see how android fanboys ruin the comment section for apple related things. im a hardcore user but i still love everything apple do. just look at how much they sell, its obvious that apple are doing the right thing.
105. joey_sfb (Posts: 5330; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Its not about Android fan want to ruin Apple article. The iPhone is a great product on its own right.
Its just that PA give nasty review to Android phones and not measuring the iPhone with the same yard stick.
iPhone is the only phone running iOS and there are no other choice.
If PA remove iPhone from the picture, they can provide an orange to orange comparison to the rest of the Android devices.
At its current form, you can't give iPhone a 9.3 without knowing where is their basis. A Note 5? A Nexus 6P? Than why a CON on Note 5 for not having MicroSD card?
112. FrenchGuy (Posts: 104; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)
"true man its getting increasingly annoying to see how android fanboys ruin the comment section for apple related things."
And where are you when apple fanboys ruin all android reviews and what do you say ???
I don't get why people do that but in each case, there are doube standards.
37. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Lol baaa sheep speaking here. Some of those features you are brushing off so nonchalantly after fantastic and you have they'll to pass off your opinions on them as fact? Please....lol
52. majp89 (Posts: 167; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
Except if you check my phone history I've only owned two iPhones, the 6 and the 5. I just know a good phone when I use it, and for some reason that makes you android fanboys so angry. Open up your narrow mind once, you might be surprised what you find.
92. Pattyface (Posts: 1518; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
Samsung's fast wireless charging disagrees with you.. Im sure being a tmobile employee you would know that though..
Also I think the issue is poor consistent reviews.. The edge plus got a lower score than the edge because it brought little to the table but when apple brings little it gets the years high score
135. rowlin (Posts: 15; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)
Your arguments are only personal opinion and not what I've found at all.
I have a G3 and my 32gb card is almost full, as I keep all my videos, webinars, photos and a few other things on it separate from the OS.
I use the removable battery feature quite a bit. It's nice to always have a fully charged battery ready to pop in if you forget to charge it, or doing something battery intensive when you'll be out.
Who cares if wireless charging is not the fastest, it's a good place to keep your phone on you desk so it's charged up. I haven't really heard much about wireless charging overheating phones, but it's possible. Apple already has one of the slowest charging phones on the market, so probably wouldn't be much slower, at least rapid charge is available on most Androids now.
137. navysandsquid1 (Posts: 5; Member since: 30 Sep 2015)
Thanks the lord for someone with common sence. Plus micro sd storage is painfully slow and not secure
12. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 228; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)
How is this a 9.3? Compared to the 6s plus it's inferior to it.
16. majp89 (Posts: 167; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
There are advantages of a phone that has a smaller size in terms of ergonomics and ease of use. PA's reviews are pretty subjective in terms of that.
38. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Well they don't take that into account with iPhone s Vs other phones, Whittaker that into account iPhone Vs iPhone,? Lol
55. majp89 (Posts: 167; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)
The user asked a question comparing an iPhone vs. another iPhone. I answered it in relative terms to that.
13. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
And I agree with the "cons"! Kill 16 GB storage, Apple. It's not 2010 anymore. And then Google and Motorola will have no more excuses not to start their offerings at 32.
15. Slowpoke (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Sep 2015)
Speedtest score is wrong. Single core is listed as 1206, dual core 1983. Most sites list 2500/4400
44. TyrionLannister (unregistered)
PA benchmarks are utter crap. I have no idea how they do it. Most of the phones have deviation of 30-40%.
the right way to do is:
1. Kill all apps.
2. Restart phone.
3. Let it cool down to room temperature
4. Now run a benchmark.
5. Wait for few minutes.
6. Run it again and repeat several times.
7. Take the best out of the 4-5 values.
This is how you do it properly. The way PA scores are, I believe they do it casually with 10 apps running in background.
91. combatmedic870 (Posts: 554; Member since: 02 Sep 2015)
Nah...not with the A9!!! It's a beast! Ask Mike!
119. hound.master (Posts: 1044; Member since: 27 Feb 2015)
Battery life reminded the same pa benches are f**ked up
23. roldefol (Posts: 4097; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Hasn't happened in about a decade. And only Nexuses get 9.5/10.
33. Commentator (Posts: 3665; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Yeah, what do you think this is, the Palm Pre? Nothing will EVER touch that score!