Should you upgrade from iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s
Yes! No! We mean, let's not jump to conclusions so easily, shall we? If you've come to this post, it means you're most probably a proud owner of an iPhone 6, and are wondering if making the considerable investment that getting a new iPhone is would be worth it this year. We can imagine this decision gets all the more difficult for users in the years when Apple rolls out the so-called 's' generation iPhones, which do not bring an apparent change in the exterior of the handset, but rather involve a more complex set of improvements taking place on the inside of the smartphone. Still, no worries – we're here to help you make the right decision for you, and the way we're going to do this is by carefully going through and analyzing all the meaningful changes and enhancements coming with the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
OK, this one is pretty obvious, but still, let's get it out of the way. The beautiful exterior design has always been an integral part of each iPhone, and the iPhone 6 was no exception. However, as with each 's' generation before, Apple refrained from touching the design in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The new smartphones look identically to their predecessors, with the only (barely) visible difference being that they have gotten ever so slightly thicker – each of them has put on 0.2 mm of fat since last year, so the iPhone 6s' profile has now become 7.1 mm, and the iPhone 6s Plus' one is 7.3 mm. Yep, still incredibly thin. The extra fat has naturally translated to some extra weight as well, but nothing unbearable. All in all, we'd be surprised if someone could easily tell apart the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus from their predecessors... if not for the new Rose Gold option, which looks decidedly fashionable. Actually, this is by far the biggest visual change: the new Rose Gold color option. And while we have to admit that it's full of sex, it might end up being preferred primarily by female users. We'll see. A Rose Gold variant with a black front would have been so dope, though!
TL;DR: In case Rose Gold doesn't happen to be your favorite color, there's absolutely no reason to replace an iPhone 6 with a 6s.
STEP 2: SCREEN
At first glance, Apple hasn't changed anything with regards to the screen technology of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. That's because both their sizes and resolutions have stayed the exactly the same. However, there is one key difference that actually may have what it takes to change the way we use our smartphones in the future. The new displays on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feature what Apple calls 3D Touch – a set of pressure-sensitive sensors that allow the iPhone to distinguish between a regular, light tap on the display panel, and a harder press. Sounds fancy, right? The new technology will be implemented throughout the system to enable two new types of gestures: Peek and Pop. Most of the time, Peek will be showing you a preview of the selected content, while Pop will be bringing it up to the forefront. The 3D Touch sensors will actually be able to recognize between two different pressure levels: a lighter press on the screen (still harder than a regular tap) will activate Peek, while a harder press will initiate Pop.
For example, on the homescreen, the user will be able to light-press on the Camera app icon, which will bring up a small menu with a options to directly take a selfie, record video, record slow-mo video, or take a regular photo. In the Mail application, light-pressing on an email will display a preview of the message. If you follow this up with a harder press, it'll bring you to the message email itself. What concerns us at this time is if the tech will feel as good and as intuitive as it seems, but we're optimistic. 3D Touch really promises to bring a big change to the most basic levels of interaction with our smartphones (hopefully for the better), so yeah, this is pretty much a killer feature for the iPhone 6s right there!
TL;DR: 3D Touch screen pressure sensitivity seems like a big deal. It may very well turn out to be an integral part of the future of smartphone interaction. If you tend to be a hopeless tech-head such as us, we'd recommend that you explore the capabilities of 3D Touch and consider upgrading.
STEP 3: SPEED
A traditional staple of each iPhone 's' generation is the improved performance, courtesy of a newer, better system chip. The iPhone 6s upgrades the A8 chipset of the iPhone 6 to A9 – an SoC that Apple claims is up to 70% faster in terms of CPU and up to 90% faster when it comes to GPU than its predecessor. Sounds like a furious little beastie to us, though it remains to be seen in how many scenarios we'll be witnessing such great performance boosts over the iPhone 6 and its A8.
TL;DR: The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will most probably be the fastest smartphones around when they launch, but the iPhone 6 is still a speed demon as well. Even if you're looking for the best performance on mobile, or are the biggest nitpicker when it comes to lag, delayed response or animation choppiness, we'd still advise you to stay with the iPhone 6 / 6 Plus, for their system and app performance is still top-class.
STEP 4: CAMERA
Being the most popular consumer camera around, the iPhone series has traditionally excelled with its image-taking capabilities. In the last couple of years, we've seen Apple start losing some of its ground to other industry players, such as Samsung or LG, but now, the company seems to be making the necessary maneuvers to recapture the bases it lost.
It all starts with a resolution bump from 8 to 12 megapixels. The latest iPhone generation had started lacking in the details department, with rivals boldly going for monstrous 16 or even 20 MP cameras, but with their new, 12 MP shooters, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus may close the gap significantly, all the while keeping file sizes in check. Besides the higher resolution, the new cameras also flaunt a new image signal processor, which should help improve the quality. Sensor pixel size has gotten a bit smaller, from 1.5 μm in the iPhone 6 to 1.22 μm in the iPhone 6s. Generally, the bigger pixels, the better, but we'll see how this change will impact the photos the camera produces.
The front/selfie camera has also seen a dramatic overhaul. Resolution has been increased from the modest 1.2 MP to 5 MP, while the screen's backlight will now be usable as a True Tone front flash. Sweet!
In terms of video recording, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will offer 4K footage capture, which will consume quite a bit of space, but is going to look super-fine. A big differentiator from most 4K recording implementations in Android phones is that there won't be a time limit on the iPhone 6s series. Capture as much as you want! Or at least, as long as you have free storage remaining.
Finally, a super-sweet new feature of the iPhone 6s camera is Live Photos. Each time you take a photo, the camera also records a couple of seconds of video before and after the moment of the photos. Then, as you're browsing your photos collection, a hard-press on a certain photo will play that captured moment in video. What's more, these video snippets will be available to use as lockscreen wallpapers. It all looks very cool, at least in Apple's demos.
TL;DR: The iPhone 6 has a spectacular camera, but also one that's been due for an upgrade. The iPhone 6s delivers a substantial improvement in all key camera areas, essentially shaping up as a desirable new smartphone for current iPhone 6 owners.
STEP 5: MAKING THE DECISION
So, we've gone through the major areas where the iPhone 6s is going to leave its biggest mark. And, we saw that except for the new color, the design is the same as before; and while the chipset inside it is newer and better, the iPhone 6's performance is still fantastic. However, the new 3D Touch technology and the features it's going to enable, as well as the vastly improved camera, do make the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus extraordinarily attractive for technology enthusiasts and shutterbugs alike. At the end of the day, it'll also depend on your budget if you should go ahead and make the purchase, but overall, if you can indeed afford getting the new iPhone, and you are passionate about mobile technology, then yes, we believe that the iPhone 6s packs enough value to make it a worthy upgrade over the handset that you bought just a year ago.
Meanwhile, for all the casual users out there who don't necessarily need to experience the latest Apple innovations from day 1, and who are also not too demanding when it comes to the pictures their handset's camera produces, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will continue to be more than adequate in everything that they do.