Apple iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6

Posted: , posted by Victor H.




The Apple iPhone 6s is probably the biggest ‘s’ cycle upgrade the iPhone series has seen in the eight revisions that we’ve witnessed since the launch of the original iPhone in 2007.

Yet the new iPhone 6s looks practically identical to the iPhone 6 and you can’t recognize which is which from afar.

Unless, you are faced with the ‘rose gold’ version of the new iPhone. And unless, you pick it up: the new iPhone is slightly but noticeably heavier and thicker. You know there are also improvements on the inside: a new Apple A9 system chip that is now built on a new-generation, more efficient manufacturing process, updated cameras: a 12-megapixel main iSight camera, up from 8 megapixels; and maybe even more importantly – a 5-megapixel selfie cam, a huge jump from the 1.2-megapixel front shooter before. You also have 3D Touch and Live Photos.

How does this work out in real life? And should you upgrade from the 6 to the 6s? Read on to find out.


You can’t tell the two apart from afar, but once you hold the 6s you’d notice that it’s slightly heavier and thicker.

With the ‘s’ series of phones, Apple has established a tradition of changing the inside, but not the outside of the phone.

The iPhone 6s is no exception: it looks just like its predecessor, and you won’t be able to tell the two from afar. Except if you don’t happen to have the rose gold version of the new iPhone. Rose gold (pink, maybe?) is the new color, and it’s a subtle shade that appeals to both sexes and is not over the top kitsch.

While you can’t tell the new iPhone 6s from the iPhone 6 from afar, you will be able to tell the difference when you pick up the new phone in your hand. It is slightly, but noticeably heavier and thicker (143g on the 6s vs 129g on the 6, 7.1mm vs 6.9mm). The iPhone 6 was shockingly light and svelte, while the iPhone 6s has a more solid feeling in the hand and some might even prefer that. If you’re curious about the reason behind that added heft, it’s the new 3D Touch functionality that requires a new layer of sensors behind the screen to detect the difference between a hard and a softer touch of the finger.

Apple is now using a much stronger, 7000 series aluminum alloy on the iPhone 6s. You won’t notice the difference in daily use: it’s still the same, good looking aluminum phone, but it is harder to bend now. Bending has not been the huge issue on the smaller iPhone 6 as it was on the 6 Plus, but we imagine that in extreme cases - like when you accidentally forget the phone in your back pocket and sit with it – it should not bend and there are higher chances for it to survive with no scars.

All else has remained the same in terms of design: the round physical home key with the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in it has the same nice click and solid feedback, the metallic lock and volume buttons feel sturdy and well made. Also, the familiar antenna bands on the back and the protruding rear camera are still here. What all of this means is that you can rest assured: the new iPhone 6s will fit in your existing iPhone 6 case (but it's a tight fit).

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


Evolution, rather than revolution: the 4.7” screen on the 6s is very similar to the one on the 6, with slightly better looking colors and slightly lower peak brightness.

The display has also remained largely the same on the iPhone 6s: it’s a 4.7-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels.

This means pixels are packed at a rate of 326 pixels per inch. Yes, this is way below the competition, some of which now happen to come with much sharper pixel densities, reaching 577 pixels per inch at times. In reality, those shocking differences in numbers result in a very modest perceived difference that will be evident when you stare at your phone up close, but that you will hardly notice when you use the phone from anything above ~10” viewing distance. Yes, Apple has some catching up to do, but the perceived difference in sharpness is much less than the aforementioned numbers suggest.

Next, brightness on the iPhone 6s has actually taken a hit: peak brightness now reaches 550 nits, while the iPhone 6 could go up to as high as 600 nits. This will result in some slight differences for outdoor use, where the iPhone 6 would still be a bit more comfortable to read under direct sunlight.

Another important value we measure is the absolute lowest brightness that the iPhone 6s’ display can reach: it’s 6 nits, a slight improvement over the 7 nits that the iPhone 6 got. A lower value here means that the screen can get dimmer, which makes it easier on the eyes at night. 6 nits is a pretty decent value in this regard, though it could have been even better..

It is colors, however, that are without a doubt the most important aspect of a screen. The iPhone 6 featured slightly bluish whites, but for all else was a gorgeous display with good-looking colors , very close to the standard sRGB color space. The iPhone 6s is very similar to it with some very, very slight improvements. It’s still just very slightly bluish (even less so than before), gamma is now even closer to the reference 2.2 value across the whole range, and colors are just a bit more accurate.

The iPhone 6s currently has one of the best-looking screens on any phone: sure, it doesn’t break any records in sharpness, brightness or even color accuracy, but it is well rounded and good- looking in all those aspects when you combine them together.


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