WSJ reviews the iPhone 6s: great performance, fine camera, but no battery life improvement

WSJ reviews the iPhone 6s: great performance, fine camera, but no battery life improvement
As the iPhone 6s review embargo fell, crashed, and burned, the authoritative Wall Street Journal published its review of Apple's new flagship smartphone. Things seem perfectly peachy for the 6s, as expected from an iterative upgrade over an already successful product, but author Joanna Stern did land some righteous punches at Apple's historically stubborn noggin!

According to her, not only is there no battery life improvement over last year's model, but the iPhone 6s Plus lasted only 20 minutes longer than the 6s, despite carrying a higher capacity unit. We cannot comment on the publication's proprietary battery test procedures, so stay tuned for our opinion once we've put the iPhone 6s through our own test's paces!

Despite battery life remaining at iPhone 6 levels, the iPhone 6s’s new A9 processor and 2GB of RAM result in a noticeable speed boost. Ms. Stern says that exporting an HD video is "three times as fast", while browsing was smoother and multitasking feels noticeably quicker. Unlocking the phone is also much faster, with the new Touch ID fingerprint sensor being "at least twice as fast". Right on, Apple!And finally, a word about the improved camera. The new 12MP sensor does deliver a bit more fine detail that's available for cropping, but image quality remains essentialy unchanged from the iPhone 6, meaning that daytime shots are superb, but low light ones leave something to be desired. However, 4K video recordings are "very crisp", but also take up "six times the space of a typical 720p video", which means those buying the 16GB base model are at quite the disadvantage. Also, Joanna Stern and other reviewers seem to universally agree that Live Photos is pretty cool, for a gimmick.

Overall, the iPhone 6s feels like a slightly better iPhone 6 according to the WSJ, which pretty much comes as expected. Alright, then! Stay tuned for PhoneArena's review of the iPhone 6s! It's in the oven.


source: Wall Streeet Journal 1, 2

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A9 APL0898, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1715 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x

FEATURED VIDEO

101 Comments

115. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

2 more days. The Beast shall be released.

106. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I knew the crammed pixels in the smaller sensor would cost them. The iverge is still trying to claim otherwise though when all the other reviews says it's worse in low light than the iphone 6. haha

83. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Haha! The year old Galaxy S5 still takes a better low light shot vs the iPhone. The Note 5 pictures color still looks better and less washed out. Here is what is amazing. The Note 5 has a 3000Mah battery vs the Note 4 that has a 3200Mah battery and yet it gained over an hour of extra usage time vs the previous model. iPhone gets a smaller battery and well, nothing changed. Question - How does a company with 200BN in cash, not be able to make a phone equal or better than their nearest rival?

116. mrochester

Posts: 1050; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

They do. The iPhone is easily better than the Note 5. The question is, how is Samsung, with all it's resources, not able to make a decent operating system for it's devices like iOS?

78. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

A9 > Exynos 7420 it looks like. Note 5 got pwnt hard in Ice Storm Unlimited.

85. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol that isn't owned. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the meizu with 1080p beats that score.

89. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Oh Taters :( You're showing your ignorance again. Ice Storm Unlimited has nothing to do with screen resolution. You should know better than this brosephine. Also keep in mind that these are scores from the first run. Imagine if we're recording the scores after the 5th or so run when the Exynos 7420 is already throttled by 40%+...LOL.

94. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Lol Nothing as ignorant as taking very close scores and trying to sell it as lopsided. Lol very Apple of you I must say broseph.

95. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Bottom line is that Samsung didn't feel the need to update the Exynos for the Note 5 judging from manufacturing the A9. They knew that the crap 750p display, poor camera, and weak was more than enough to sink the iPhone without them trying. Lol

96. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Well..that didn't happen did it? The only thing that's sinking is Samsung's profits and sales. Samsung moved their Note 5/Edge+ a few weeks in advance hoping to attract some iPhone users to switch. It ended up being one of the biggest disappointments in history when they removed features of the Note series. Oh when did 24K become close to 28K?

105. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

107. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

"pwnt hard" with only 15% higher score, while the Note 5 renders a lot more pixels. If that's hard, what was the Exynos GPU victory called over the iPhone 6 with a 51% higher score?

109. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Getting tired of this :( Once again, ice storm unlimited has nothing to do with the phone's native resolution.

72. Evan_C

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 15, 2014

Friday can't come any sooner

73. darkkjedii

Posts: 31809; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I hate it have 2 days of work left. I'm ready now lol.

70. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Mobilesyrup has a review out with benchmarks. Miket is going to cry when he sees them because with a super low resolution and weak ass software it barely beat the Note 5 in multicore geekbench score. No wonder Samsung didn't bother with a new Exynos chip for the Note 5. Apples 80 percent and 90 percent increase on the A8 are pure lies.

67. mrochester

Posts: 1050; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

Looking forward to getting my 6S on Friday morning. Sold my 6 last week and I'm having to use an Android phone in the interim which just highlights how poor Android is in comparison to iOS. Can't wait to get back to a decent operating system.

76. LionStone

Posts: 1048; Member since: Dec 10, 2010

They only thing you highlighted is that you like a simple, restricted UI, nothing wrong with that...have fun changing your wallpaper :-)

66. darkkjedii

Posts: 31809; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Friday can't get here fast enough. I can't wait to get this phone, and do some comparisons with the note 5.

58. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

The A9 and related PowerVR GPU + the low resolution screen will give the iPhone 6S the best frame rates in the industry by a mile. This means that even as games continue to become more complex and demanding, the iPhone 6S will be able to keep up. This is the most future proof hardware that Apple has ever released. And as long as you don't plan on attaching it to your face, the resolution is still adequate.

60. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Then explain why the A8 on the 6 Plus outperforms many phones with 1080p resolutions.

62. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Truth spoken. Painful to some I know.

71. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Keep on telling yourself that the resolution is fine because it's not. Lol

36. Michael.Parker

Posts: 273; Member since: Aug 22, 2015

So they just threw extra pixels at it and made no improvements to picture quality? Sounds like Apple are cost cutting.

35. Nathillien unregistered

The Blue on Note 5 is actually Blue The iPhone 6S pictures tend to be tad yellowish.

100. Macready

Posts: 1832; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

Similar to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, probably to fake "golden hours" for almost every daylight shot. That was ok in 2005 (hello Sony R1), not in the age of calibration.

28. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I just cancelled my preorder yesterday. The Canadian dollar is so low that i cannot justify the price even on contract for a 64gb version. My 6 64gb has proven bullet proof in all aspects so Ill wait for the 7.

42. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

The price in Canada cannot be justified by canadian dollar only. there was an article thats explained this somewhere on a tech website. Apple just like to milk some idiot market more than others.

22. mariow2015

Posts: 49; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

Damn, I expected much more...

15. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

no battery life improvement + no fast charging = no no. I'll stick with my s6. Probably will get the note5 on November (i want the silver one and it's not available right now).

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless