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Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review

Apple iPhone 6s Plus 9.2
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review

Steve Jobs was notoriously known to be staunchly opposed to the idea of making ‘bigger’ sized phones, but in today’s landscape, it’s almost absurd to deny the kind of place that these monster-sized phablets occupy. With Tim Cook at the helm of Apple, though, the company managed to appeased the masses with the introduction of the iPhone 6 Plus last year.

People love big phones, that’s just the undeniable truth, seeing that each year companies are pushing the boundaries by trimming off as much of the fat as possible to still make them somewhat manageable to operate. Apple finally delved into the phablet space with the iPhone 6 Plus, which unsurprisingly enough, has gone on to become one of the most popular smartphones this last year.

Now, being one of those ‘S’ years, 2015 marks the appearance of the 6 Plus's successor – the Apple iPhone 6s Plus. True, the new phone might appear unchanged on the outside, but Apple has cooked up some special goodies to keep its phablet in contention for another year.

Competition has been fierce, even in the last month alone, because of the gravitating pull of the Samsung Galaxy Note5 – the phablet to beat in the space. While Sammy’s prized darling has already gone on to receive acclaim, and also a much-needed boost in its design, the iPhone 6s Plus is on its own journey to be the phablet to beat this holiday season. And that’s not all, as there are several notable 5.5-inch and up smartphones released in the last few months alone that have garnered impressive packages as well. Can the iPhone 6s Plus launch a counter attack to stave off the competition for another year? Let’s find out!

The package contains:

  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
  • Wall charger
  • Lightning cable
  • Earpods
  • Quick start guide
  • Apple decals


Besides the new rose gold color option, this is still the same meticulously crafted, premium smartphone from before.

Being in that ‘S’ year, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to know that the iPhone 6s Plus doesn’t see any major changes with its design – so if we’re to put the two side-by-side, it’d be difficult to tell what’s what. There’s still that legendary premium design from Apple, one that’s accentuated most profoundly by its smooth and balanced aluminum frame. To be fair, though, they’ve gone on to employ an even stronger 7000 Series aluminum to give it greater strength and durability, so for those concerned about another bendgate scandal, don’t count on it.

The Apple iPhone 6s Plus continues to pay homage to last year’s model by sporting rounded edges, the same plastic antenna bands around its rear, and the same button placements from before. It looks good, it feels good – the characteristics that instantly become apparent the moment it’s grasped. Despite its solid construction and svelte profile, it still irks us that they haven’t solved that subtle detractive look with the hump to its camera lens.

Superficially it looks similar to the iPhone 6 Plus before it, but the 6s Plus actually bears some changes with its design. First and foremost, there’s now a new color option that’s available with the phone – rose gold. Frankly, it’s very subtle, because it looks more salmon-pink than rose gold, since it shimmers from its ‘rose gold’ color to silver, and even gold sometimes, depending on the angle we’re viewing it.

Secondly, the iPhone 6s Plus is technically heavier too, tipping the scale at 192 gr – while its predecessor weighed in at 172 gr. The difference isn't immediately noticeable, but it becomes apparent when you hold the two side-by-side. Combining its already wide figure, it makes the iPhone 6s Plus even more substantial to hold, thus, requiring two hands to operate it ideally. Meanwhile, the sturdier 7000 Series aluminum material might assure us that this is a stronger iPhone than what we had with the previous generation, but it still doesn’t prevent us from being precautious about its handling.

Apple’s newest phablet no doubt embodies all the qualities we’d want to find in a premium offering, so there’s little to complain about its recycled design. From its sturdy and new 7000 Series aluminum, all the way to its incredibly svelte construction, it’s indicative of a meticulously made smartphone. However, we’re still wondering how they’re not able to solve that odd protrusion with its camera lens yet. Oh well, there’s always next year!

Going with the recycled design, it means that all of its ports and buttons are situated in the same locations. Therefore, that means the power button is on its right side, along with its nanoSIM slot, and the volume controls with the mute switch are situated on the left. Meanwhile, the top edge is completely clean – whereas with the bottom edge, it’s home to the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, Lightning connector port, and speaker grill.
Apple has improved the Touch ID finger print sensor as well, which of course, is incorporated into the home button. All in all, we can say that Touch ID is slightly more responsive in reading a fingerprint now, but honestly, it's a really small difference.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus
6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm
6.07 oz (172 g)

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
6.03 x 3 x 0.3 inches
153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm
6.03 oz (171 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Motorola Moto X Style
6.06 x 3 x 0.44 inches
153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm
6.31 oz (179 g)

Motorola Moto X Style

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review


The Retina Display sees some iterative improvements, but it’s 3D Touch that’s the star of the show.

Back for round two, the Apple iPhone 6s Plus is fashioned with a 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 Retina Display, one that’s based on IPS-LCD technology, the same one that’s been favored by Apple all this time. Not one to embrace a Quad-HD screen resolution just for the sake of it, the 401 ppi pixel density of the iPhone 6s Plus’ display is more than sufficient in delivering sharp details that are pleasing to the eye.

Apple’s displays have always been accompanied with some fantastic qualities, so it comes to no shock that this latest one follows suit.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
First and foremost, its shines even brighter than its predecessor with its 593 nit luminance, which is more that potent to make it visible under outdoor usage. Secondly, we see improvements to its gamma value and color temperature; while they’re ever so small, they’re nonetheless improvements that make this screen even more favorable. More specifically, we’re presented with a 2.19 gamma value and 7018K color temperature, which are closer to the ideal reference values of 2.2 and 6500K than those of the 6 Plus. Its 7018K color temperature still gives it a slightly cooler tone, but it's well within our zone of tolerance.

Moving onto its accuracy under the sRGB color spectrum chart, the iPhone 6s Plus performs exquisitely by hitting most of the target value marks – giving its colors that true-to-life, realistic tone. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s pretty close to achieving that. And it even manages to exhibit fantastic viewing angles as well, where there’s barely any sort of distortion at varying angles.

3D Touch

Thus far, most manufacturers have mostly focused on improving smartphone displays by simply increasing their resolution. Apple doesn’t seem to believe that this is the best step to take, as they’ve never been the type to boast about having the best of the best specs. Rather, they’re introducing something very different in the form of 3D Touch.

Don’t mistake this for BlackBerry’s crummy SurePress technology; you know, that gimmicky clicking response with the BlackBerry Storm whenever the screen was pressed down on. Apple’s interpretation of depth is far most comprehensive and practical, as it coughs up some new and inviting interactions that we haven’t seen on a phone. Now, for those of you familiar with the Apple Watch’s force touch feature, this is essentially the same technology at work.

Instead of dissecting all of the intricate tech that’s behind it, we’ll focus the review on its purpose. At the core of it all, 3D Touch is classified by Apple as the next generation of multi-touch – one that adds a new dimension of functionality to the mix. While the screen itself isn’t physically manipulated to give off that illusion of tactility, it’s instead achieved by the capacitive sensors on the display to measure microscopic changes in pressure. Adding to that, its all-new Taptic Engine vibration motor enhances the interaction by delivering timely and subtle taps to let us know how firm we’re pressing.

It’s genuinely different, something we haven’t experienced before, and so it’s going to be interesting to see how this new technology is pushed to other things beyond the native apps. Generally speaking, it makes it simple to access things, like a link embedded in an email, without entirely committing to jumping into that particular thing. Well, 3D Touch’s primary functions boil down to these features below.

Peek and Pop: It’s the preview you’ve always craved. Employed in several of the native apps, it allows us to use 3D Touch to peek at a preview of something, like a hyperlink in an email or the body of an email in our inbox, instead of having to fully commit into launching that separate portal.

Quick Actions: Using 3D Touch, we can press down on several of the icons in the homescreen for some quick actions. For example, we have options to take a selfie, record video, record slo-mo, and even snap a photo by pressing down on the camera icon. It saves a few steps in the process, which is useful.

Trackpad: Sometimes it’s a pain precisely trying to place the cursor into a specific spot when typing using the on-screen keyboard. With 3D Touch, however, it eliminates the frustration because we have a finer degree of control adjusting its placement using 3D Touch.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review
3D Touch can be used to switch between two apps or enter the multitasking menu. By pressing into the left side of the interface at any time, we get a quick peek into the multitasking view – where we can swipe all the way to get into the app.

Pressure sensitive drawing: Using the updated Notes app, it similarly attempts to replicate Samsung’s S Note app by providing us with a number to drawing tools – on top of the usual note taking functions. Using 3D Touch, it’s able to register varying degrees of pressure to produce more solid lines using any of the drawing tools. However, the process isn’t as seamless as using the S Pen, due to the degree of resistance when we’re trying to glide on the screen with our finger or stylus.

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 6s Plus 593
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 574
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 470
View all

  • Options

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:09 38

1. wg1234 (Posts: 23; Member since: 09 Sep 2015)

No removable battery, No SD card. Only 1080p.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:13 7

3. phonehome (Posts: 811; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)

Apple can get away with that as has been their model since the original iPhone in 2007. Samsung can NOT as so many expect otherwise (even Samsung themselves have touted such with so many ads).

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:28 15

19. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4290; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Still, it doesn't make sense that Apple markets the iPencil as a separate accessory that has to be bought outside of the box, when it could have been made a proprietary addition. I give Samsung a heads up to that, cause S pen is more functional then an iPencil and it comes for free.
And to me the phone, according to John's own review, was 8.5-9 at best.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:42 3

63. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Well the S-Pen isn't free, but it is included in the price.
But I agree 100% with you. Why advertise the pen with the tablet and not even include it. Guess what would happen if Samsung tried such! The Apple fans boy would be all over it.. But when its Apple, its simply overlook, said it isn't an issue.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:00 2

79. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4290; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Of course, it comes at a price but the S pen is included in the retail package, that is what I meant. And while doing that, they're keeping the price in check at least.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:28 14

22. wg1234 (Posts: 23; Member since: 09 Sep 2015)

Very true, but a negative for one phone should be a negative for another phone in 2015.

Common complaints I've heard about Android phones are not regularly mentioned about Apple phones.

No wireless charging, no quick charge, no usb type c, no stereo speakers (one mono), Siri uses Bing search engine (can this be changed?). No OIS on 6S.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:35 7

60. FrenchGuy (Posts: 134; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)

You know, in this world, Android cons are Iphone pros.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:12 7

86. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

Cry me a river.

You guys act very insecure about these product reviews. Phonearena believes the iPhone 6s Plus is an overall better package than the note 5. This doesn't automatically mean the Note 5 isn't a better choice for you personally.

Get over it.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:46 1

103. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

That is where you are wrong and right. You are right in yes it shouldnt affect my choice. What you are wrong about is, when a review paints one product in an unfair light when the product being review has the exact same cons or similar pros.

posted on 01 Oct 2015, 02:11

156. joey_sfb (Posts: 6540; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Which Android device do you own, SamsungPhanboy? You claim that you can give fair assessment to both Android and iOS.

So far, i only see you praising iOS and putting Android down.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:36 3

96. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

100% agree. Any negative for any device being compared should be equal if another OEM does it. Example, Samsung was criticized for the original Gear being 100% tied to the Galaxy phone and not being a standalone device. Apple wasn't and should have been criticized harder since they released their watch 3 years later and it wasn't any better; especially since Samsung did make a standalone option a year after the very first.

Apple is never criticized for making half-assed upgrades to a newer model, while Samsung is blasted if they do it.

Any review should never be based on bias. It is suppose to be a fair opinion based on available option in the same category. Much like how cars and game consoles are compared an reviewed

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 14:36 2

136. jack11141 (Posts: 60; Member since: 30 Sep 2015)

According to phonearena iphone6s plus is better than note5.?????
Note 5 has bigger and higher resolution display and even better at colour accuracy.
Note 5 is overall smaller. Note5 has better camera. Note 5 has higher ram 4gb vs 2gb. Note 5 has better speaker, faster modem. Note 5's base model has 32gb internal storage vs 16gb. Note 5 is less expensive.
Only thing that iPhone 6s plus have which isn't in Note5 is 3d touch
And there are many things which note5 has and iPhone lacks like S-pen, heart rate moniter, multiwindow, Fast charging, wireless charging even when discounting shortcomings of iOS like no file manager,fake multitaking,No customization, No way to share files like pdf or zip to email natively, No ftp protocol for Bluetooth. No third party web browsers like Firefox or chrome...
Great Job by Phonearena.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:20 1

9. TheJewishMerp (Posts: 12; Member since: 20 Sep 2015)

Is this such a big deal, I personally have NEVER owned an Android or iPhone with a removable battery, and I've never had an issue with it. I would love to have more options for storage however.

Is removable battery that much of a deal breaker?

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:23 10

14. Pattyface (Posts: 1646; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)

The point is that it was a con on the note 5 but here it's not a make against them

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:30 1

25. TheJewishMerp (Posts: 12; Member since: 20 Sep 2015)

Ah, a consistency issue, I understand now. I guess one could make the argument that they have to knock the Note 5 for that because it's predecessor did have an SD card slot, and removable battery, but consistency is more important.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 10:42 5

35. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4290; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Consistently giving consumers options for a 16GB version when ya'll know that 4K video recording is going to tap that space out in less than few hours... Is a consistency consumers don't like. 32GB should've been the base model, for all phones without expandable support, while keeping the price the same... That wouldn't hurt anyone.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:31 1

58. Manyci (Posts: 116; Member since: 03 Aug 2015)

Oh, you are so wrong. It does hurt someone: Apple. Then the profit of each sold unit wouldn't be $450... It's a robbery and that is a shame, that tech sites like this heal these products as they were gods... But I won't say anything after this, just let's see how many ponits did the Mi Note Pro, the MX 5 or even the Note5 get. And then delete your account and never come back to this truth-faker iPhonearena (OK, no one will delete his/her account, but this is ridiculous)

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:36

61. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4290; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Are you being sarcastic? Cause I didn't get it

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:47

104. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:44

101. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

YES!!!!! That is the "PERFECT" word...Apple fans have a consistency issue.

For Apple, I have never criticized them for not having sdcards, I did criticize them for not supporting mass storage and for the money they make, not offering more store at reasonable pricing.

For an OEM like Samsung who has always offered sdcards support, the removable from top phones is a technical issue they cant control and they still offer them on less fancier options. What I did hit them for is not doubling the internal storage to compensate for the change, that was a bad idea for them to do that.

But there are things equal to both Apple and Samsung that Samsung gets blasted for that Apple never does. Like half-ass upgrades. The S5 was blasted as a not so great upgrade over the S4 simply because they shared the same display resolution. Even though the S5 did offer several improvements like a larger battery, IP67 rating, it was an improved 1080p display not the exact same one as the S4, has many gimmicky features which plagued the S4's performance removed and more.

Writers are suppose to be fans, they are suppose to based reviews on being a Consumer, just like Consumer Reports does. They are suppose to be fair, reasonable, objective, as accurate as possible and shouldnt start flame wars with poorly written articles that praise one OEM for one thing and blast another for the exact same.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:22 11

55. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

Holy s**t guys, it SHOULD be a con with the Note 5.

When the note 5 came out, people's pride and joy about the note series were 3 specific things: it was the ultimate productivity flagship, had a micro sd, and removable battery. The loss of micro SD and removable battery AFFECT A TON of note series users, including myself! There are so many people who opted for something other than a note 5 just because of those compromises.

iPhone users have never had the luxury of those features, nor do they want them. Putting that as a con would NOT make any sense at all.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:27 3

57. Pattyface (Posts: 1646; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)

No... It should be a consistent review with all others in its class.. If it's a con in one it should be a con in another.. Hell the 6s looks identical to its predecessor, at least Samsung redesigned their new flagship

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:51 8

69. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

The 6s and iPhones in general always have a top 5 design in the entire mobile sector. Although I prefer android, I and many others, envy the design of the iPhone 6s and wish it ran android.

What's my point? The iPhone's design is a trademark that doesn't need to change much as it carries a timeless look. I can say the same thing about samsungs latest phones. If the design next year for the Note 5 remained the same, it wouldn't be a big deal because it's a GORGEOUS phone, and very timeless.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:54 9

71. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Please. You and I both know that if the Note 6 used the exact same design as the Note 5 it would get a 7 tops.

Only Apple can get away with that bs,

posted on 26 Mar 2016, 00:20

175. runrun395 (Posts: 3; Member since: 26 Mar 2016)

It's an "S" model genius. It's just a refresh like the PlayStation Slim models or when Intel uses the same die size in their next CPU. It's a tick-tock iteration methodology that allows high-tech companies to develop a new platform for the first model and then refine it for the second while they research additional functionality for upcoming ones instead of rushing out new features so you end up with an unpolished high-spec POS (looking at you LG V10)

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:51 4

68. FrenchGuy (Posts: 134; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)

"iPhone users have never had the luxury of those features, nor do they want them. Putting that as a con would NOT make any sense at all."

Really? So if a company has always done stupid thing (like Apple by not including interesting features) it is ok ? But if a company does it once, this is bad ?
You think the wrong way. When we judge a phone, we judge a single phone in the present so we don't give a sh*t about the previous models. So no, no removable battey, no fast charging are cons for the iphone. Whatever you think will not change this fact. Period.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 11:54 3

72. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

What a stupid comment.

So Google is stupid for not putting a sd card slot and removable battery in Nexus devices?

Not having micro SD or removable battery may be "Stupid" to you, but not to most users. And this is exactly why the Note 5 has a con for not including either of the 2.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 13:07 1

112. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 14112; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

Yes, if that is what you epect from them. Yes. Why shoudl it be any different.

What you seem to miss is very simple. A con is a con period.

Just because Apple has NEVER had sdcards and removable battereis, doesnt mean its any less of a con. What isnt a con is the fact Apple has been consistant in not offering these features and we know that they wont.

However, if Apple offer a specific features that is a pro, and no other OEm ever offered it, the are blasted for not offering it.

Example, Apple has been priase for their phone designs. Even though Samsung olders device has a more durable design, they were blasted for not looking as pretty. Now that Samsung has made similar changes they are now being blasted because you say they are copying Apple, yet this is what everyone asked for. using more premium materials means trades off like no removable batteries. Yes you can have removable batteries with a metal body, but the design wont be as thin and pretty. Which that OEM would be blasted for by someone, because the BlackBerry Storm is proof of this

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:16 2

88. tedkord (Posts: 13863; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)

However, by all indications the Note 5 is selling better than the Note 4, so it's a net gain for Samsung.

posted on 30 Sep 2015, 12:25 3

93. SamsungPhanboy (banned) (Posts: 765; Member since: 31 Mar 2015)

There are 2 huge errors with your comment.

1. The worldwide note 5 sales numbers are not even out right now so off the bat, you already are spewing BS

2. Just because a phone sells better doesn't automatically make it a better product. Many like the Note 4 more right now.

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Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
Apple A9, Dual-core, 1840 MHz, Twister processor
Size6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
(158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm)
6.77 oz  (192 g)

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