The new 12-megapixel camera captures surprisingly similar images to the 8 MP iPhone 6 snapper. For the most part, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. 4K video, however, is a game changer.

The new iPhone 6s comes with a bump in resolution: it now features a 12-megapixel iSight camera, up from the 8-megapixel rear shooter on the 6. Both are identical in size, 1/3" sensors, with f/2.2 lenses. The larger pixel size, however, has forced Apple to use smaller pixels: 1.22μm on the 6s, down from 1.5μm on the 6. Just in case you were wondering, neither the iPhone 6s, nor the iPhone 6 have optical stabilization. Looking at the front, there’s an even bigger upgrade in the selfie camera: it goes from just 1.2-megapixels to 5-megapixels.

Before we look at the actual images, let’s take a look at the camera app itself and its features. No surprises here: the camera apps on the 6s and the 6 are practically identical save for the Live Photos feature and 4K video recording that are only possible on the 6s. In terms of manual controls, you have a convenient slider to easily control the exposure of an image – make it brighter or darker. If you want a full-on manual ride, though – with control over ISO, white balance temperature, and shutter speeds – you’d need to use a third-party application from the App Store.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6s 1.7
Apple iPhone 6 1.9

So is there any huge difference in the quality of the pictures? To put it simply, not really. We took heaps of images with both phones and pictures mostly look… the same. Starting with the colors, dynamic range, sharpness, everything just seems identical. You can even look up close, hunting for differences and you’d be hard pressed to find anything. If you do look at minute details, though, you will notice that the 6s looks sharper at the edges, where the iPhone 6 has slightly softer detail.

Then there is 4K video. You may wonder whether it makes a difference; after all, most of us still have 1080p monitors and TVs. It does. And it looks excellent. 4K video appears much sharper and much better defined than 1080p, even when you look at the footage on a 1080p screen. It’s a difference that’s immediately clear: no need to peek and look into fine details to see it. Also, it retains the super fast continuous auto-focus speeds that you are used to from before, no issues in this regard.

At the same time, 4K is also crazy big in terms of file size. A minute of 4K video takes up 375MB of storage space, so you can record less than 30 minutes 4K total on the 16GB iPhone 6s. In comparison, 1080p at 30 fps on both the iPhone 6 and 6s takes an average of around 130MB, nearly three times less. All video is recorded using the H.264 codec.

However, if you are a video enthusiast, it makes sense you'd want to record in 4K. And in that case you might want to get a 64GB or even a 128GB iPhone 6s.


With Apple Music now part of the Music app, the media apps look better than ever on both phones. The iPhone 6s, however, shines with a brilliant new speaker.

With Apple Music, Apple is trying to move into the future of music, which is clearly streaming. Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 support the app and it’s working mostly great. Yes, it has some shortcomings when compared to rival Spotify, but Apple has quickly moved to address most of them and it has the important advantage of having Apple Music as part of the first-party Music app that is seamlessly integrated in the iOS ecosystem. This will win a lot of users over. The interface and functionality is straightforward, with large and good-looking image art and nice categorization and playlists.

Then, the Photos app. It is largely the same affair on both phones, simple and easy to use. What’s annoying on the iPhone 6s gallery, particularly in the grid view, is that there is no indication which of your images are Live Photos and which are just static, so you have to manually 3D Touch each one to see. Bummer!

The videos app is also simple and straightforward on both phones: it’s great for looking through your own videos and has simple sharing options.

Finally, the loudspeaker. Both phones have a single, bottom-firing speaker but it’s improved in the iPhone 6s, with a bit more depth and clarity to it than on the 6. It’s one of the best sounding speakers we’ve tested.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6s 0.986
Apple iPhone 6 1.017
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPhone 6s 69.6
Apple iPhone 6 74.5



1. arsenaljimenez

Posts: 198; Member since: May 03, 2012

Why is this even an article?

8. xdza1979

Posts: 296; Member since: Aug 08, 2015

5$ for each Apple article by AOL..

9. vishalaestro

Posts: 81; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

i still didn't understand how phonearena said Apple 6s has better life than others or even iphone 6 ?

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

They probably got a call from their corporate overlords to stop highlighting the iPhone's problems. Almost every site including Apple pro sites have reported the same if not less battery life but that never stopped PA.

2. SirYar

Posts: 351; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Overpriced phone vs big overpriced phone.

3. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

This article tho...conclusion gonna be like: everyone wins!

18. edutechs

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 15, 2014 , states a better conclusion than this.


Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Umm am I the only one that notice PhoneArena on a roll with showing just how good Apple is? Like I'm not an apple hater, I'm a windows phone user by the way shout out to bill gates. Lumia 930 upgrading 950xl, but did Apple pay phonearena to post articles on some today?


Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

The messiah has spoken


Posts: 411; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Even the article rating Sony the best camera is still gone. Replace with iPhone at 4k spanks a 1080p dslr. The messiah has spoken


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Both iPhones are crap.......the year is 2015 the iPhone 6s does not even have a Full HD screen.......what a faillure for that price!

13. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

based on your logic. Galaxy S6 barely wins single-core performance over iPhone 5S from 2013. what a crap.

15. skips

Posts: 479; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

but it destroys it in multi-core performance. and guess what - android is optimized for >4-core cpu's. it's not 2012 anymore. eat dirt.

16. skips

Posts: 479; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

also, talk to me when iPhone 5S lasts more than a half day. that's what you get for high-powered 2 cores and a crap tiny battery.

11. hound.master

Posts: 1044; Member since: Feb 27, 2015

yeah battrey life bench of yours is f**ked up how many times i should say that just check the gsmarena wtf!?

12. niteiknight

Posts: 77; Member since: Aug 02, 2012

"The iPhone 6s is no exception: it looks just like its predecessor, and you won’t be able to tell the two from afar." Am I the only one who noticed the S on the back of the 6s? Really? Sloppy reporting, let me tell you...

14. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Since iPhone 6 i find Apple phone interesting, this is what i need large screen, camera bump, more ram, great ecosystem (both Android & iOS was). Doesn't mean this phone has no flaw i think 16gb storage was pathetic... It's like being forced to buy 64gb model when 16gb alone is so damn expesive. Anyway it doesn't change the fact it's the fastest phone ever, i see how fast their fingerprint sensor can identify their user (it doesn't even give chance for using camera shortcut).

19. edutechs

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 15, 2014

For a better conclusion :​le-iphone-6-plus-vs-apple-iphone-6s-plus/

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