iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6: Should You Wait For The iPhone 7?

iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6: Should You Wait For The iPhone 7?
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How Does 2014's iPhone 6 Compare To The Brand New iPhone 6s?

Apple's big 2015 launch saw a repeat of 2014's dual-handset approach with both the iPhone 6 and larger iPhone 6 Plus phablet getting the "S" treatment. In the past, "S" updates have been considered incremental, with boosts to processing power and camera tech taking centre stage, while the BIG overhaul updates to design and features tend to occur with the non-"S" iterations. That said, this year has seen those typical "S" model updates with a much faster processor and heftier camera hardware, but we're also looking at some other big changes too, including a brand new way to interact with the touch display via 3D Touch.

“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything — 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminium, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12-megapixel iSight and 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”

I know. I know -- that sounds like a bunch of marketing fluff. And, for the most part it is. But there are quite a few BIG changes under the hood that users will almost certainly notice. The first is Force Touch, a new type of display technology that allows users to open and preview things from certain (Apple core) apps by pressing on the screen harder.
The second is the camera, now a 12MP setup. This is the biggest update to the iPhone camera we’ve ever seen and the results should be pretty compelling. More detail. Better colour -- both good things. Apple has also added a new feature called Live Photos, which you can read about in our Apple Live Photos primer.
Apple has a very solid reputation for imaging. It all begun with the iPhone 5 and quickly picked up pace since then, but Apple was loathe to join the MP race; instead it refined the technology inside its sensors and the software that powers them. The results were pretty startling: with less than half the MP of some Android handsets, the iPhone, time and time again, surpassed the competition with respect to image quality.
But it’s not just imaging that Apple has updated inside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The display has been modified also and now includes Force Torch technology which allows for things like previews and peaks inside menus based on how hard you press the display. Force Touch is already inside Apple’s new MacBook and the Apple Watch but the technology will really come into its own inside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
One disappointing aspect of both the new iPhones, however, is their display resolution. I say disappointing but this depends on where you’re coming from. If you’re an existing Android user and are used to QHD it might feel like something of a comedown. But if you’re an iPhone 5s user or even an iPhone 6 owner, for that matter, the inclusion and new abilities afforded by Force Touch might -- emphasis on the “might” -- be more than enough to make up for the pixel shortfall.
Under the hood you’re looking at a brand new A9 CPU and double the RAM of previous iPhones. Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus run 2GB of RAM alongside Apple’s breathtakingly fast A9 processor, which is believed to be one of the best SoCs in the business. No mean feat when you consider the power of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 and Samsung’s new Exynos line of chips.
The inclusion of RAM is a huge deal because, for the first time, Apple’s iPhones have more disposable memory than ever -- and memory is integral to processing power, allowing the handset to execute tasks in a quicker, more efficient manner. A lot of the uplift reported about the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is to do with this and, of course, the new A9 chipset.
Apple likes to ekk out as much performance from its hardware as possible before upping to the next level. We’ve seen this with display size, display resolution, camera sensors, RAM and more over the years, while Android devices keeping upping the ante, adding in bigger and better components, specs and hardware.
If reports are to be believed 2016’s iPhone -- the iPhone 7 -- will be the thinnest handset Apple has ever produced. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 7 will be 6mm thick, making it much the same size as Apple’s current iPod Touch model.
Kuo believes Apple will release an update to the iPhone 5c in 2016 as well and reckons it will be called the iPhone 7c. The iPhone 7 Plus will also be the first iPhone EVER to feature 3GB of RAM, according to the analyst. This will be yet another point, alongside imaging capabilities, to differentiate Apple’s standard iPhone and Plus iPhone models.
And so does TrendForce:
"Apple will release the upgraded 4-inch iPhone C series in the second quarter of 2016. The next iPhone (currently dubbed “iPhone 7”) will be introduced in the second half of next year. The major selling points of the next iPhone will be the 3GB memory upgrade for the 5.5-inch model and waterproof feature. Based on TrendForce’s estimation, about 260 million iPhones will be shipped in 2016, representing an annual growth of 12.5% and a market share of 18.5%. With the smartphone market becoming less profitable, iPhone will still have the highest margin next year compared with products from rival vendors."
The report added: "Samsung’s shipments are anticipated to drop 4% annually to 310 million due to Chinese competitors undercutting its prices. Apple is anticipated to significantly narrow its market share gap with Samsung next year as well. TrendForce analysis indicates that Samsung will hold 22% of the global smartphone market in 2016, a decline from 2015. Wu added that Samsung’s flagship devices for this year have hit the ceiling in specs, so the South Korean powerhouse will be straining to bring hardware innovations to its next smartphone release."
So, yeah, it might look similar but actually using the handset and the core experiences you get from it should be quite a departure from what came before.
Let's take a look.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s: Specs

Here’s the specs for the iPhone 6:
  • Display: 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326ppi
  • Dimensions: 138.1mm x 67mm x 6.9mm
  • Weight: 129 grams
  • Storage: 16 or 64
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Processors: A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and M8 motion coprocessor
  • Front camera: FaceTime HD camera. 1.2 MP photos and 720p HD video.
  • Rear camera: iSight camera. 8 MP photos. ƒ/2.2 aperture. 1080p video. True Tone flash.
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours mixed usage
  • Touch ID: 1st generation sensor
  • NFC: yes
  • Colors: Silver or Space Grey
And here’s the specs for the iPhone 6s:
  • Display: 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326ppi, 3DTouch enabled
  • Dimensions: 138.3mm  x 67.1 mm x 7.1 mm
  • Weight: 143 grams
  • Storage: 16, 64, or 128GB
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Processors: A9 chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 motion coprocessor
  • Front camera: FaceTime HD camera. 5 MP photos and 720p HD video. Retina Flash
  • Rear camera: iSight camera. 12 MP photos. ƒ/2.2 aperture. 4k video. True Tone flash.
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours mixed usage
  • Touch ID: 2nd generation sensor
  • NFC: yes
  • Colors: Silver, Space Grey, Gold, or Rose Gold
The storage options for the iPhone 6s have remained the same: you still get 16, 64, or 128 GB. But for the iPhone 6, Apple has now eliminated the 128 GB option–if you want 128 you need to get the 6s. But the big news here is that Apple has FINALLY boosted the RAM in the iPhone to 2 GB for the 6s. That’s a 2x improvement over the iPhone 6–and you should really notice the speed increase across the board.
The other big internal improvement for the iPhone 6s is the A9 chip with the M9 motion coprocessor built-in. The A9 chip is 70% faster than the iPhone 6’s A8 and has an astonishing 90% faster GPU performance. Games are going to fly. Apple has also made a minor tweak to the motion coprocessor, making the new M9 part of the A9 chip.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s: Display & Design

Externally the new iPhone 6s looks much the same as the old iPhone 6. However, due to a new 7000 series aluminum, which should avoid any Bendgate issues, and a new 3DTouch display the iPhone 6s is slightly thicker and wider than the 6–but only by 0.2mm or less, meaning you won’t notice it. What you might notice is in increase in weight, due to the same changes mentioned above. The new 6s comes in a hefty 14 grams heavier.
While Apple will continue to sell the iPhone 6, it’s now only available in Silver or Space Grey. If you want the Gold option, you’ll need to buy the 6s. The iPhone 6s also comes in a beautiful new Rose Gold color.
Of course the killer new feature of the iPhone 6s is its 3DTouch display. This is a new type of touchscreen that senses depth and pressure in addition to touch. That means your iPhone 6s will be able to tell how hard you're pressing it and respond with new actions based on the strength of your touch. Apple calls these actions “Peek” and “Pop” and they work both in-app and on the home screen.
For example, in Messages you can force touch on a message to “peek” into it without needing to navigate into the thread. You can then press a bit harder if you like what you see and “pop” into that thread automatically. Peek and pop also works for calendar events, web URLs, and more.
The 3DTouch display also allows you to jump to sections of a specific app right from the home screen. For example, you can force touch the Phone app to get a popup menu that shows you favorite contacts. Simply touch their name and the call will be made without needing to open the Phone app at all. The 3DTouch display changes the way we interact with iOS, which is why it will feel like a totally different operating system on the iPhone 6s.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s: Cameras

The camera department is another area where the iPhone 6s blows the iPhone 6 out of the water. Let's start with the rear iSight camera. It now boasts a 12 MP sensor. This is something iPhone owners have been waiting for for a looooonnnnnnggggg time. That’s a 50% pixel sensor improvement over the iPhone 6’s 8 MP camera. The other new feature about the rear camera is that it can take what Apple calls “Live Photos”. These are still images that also record 1.5 seconds of video on either side. When you view them on the screen they appear still, but when you force touch on them they jump to life. It’s kind of like those moving newspaper photographs you see in the Harry Potter films.
Another massive improvement is to the iSight camera’s video recording capabilities. It now records 4K video–a huge boost of the iPhone 6’s 1080p video recording.
Moving around to the front FaceTime camera, it received some major boosts as well. For starters it's now a 5 MP sensor–well up from the paltry 1.2 MP sensor found in the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6s also adds Retina Flash to the FaceTime camera: your iPhone 6s’ display will flash 3x brighter when taking a front facing picture–you’ll look better in selfies!

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s: Connectivity, Battery, and Sensors

On the connectivity front, the iPhone 6s adds support for 802.11 ac with MIMO and LTE Advanced. This means your cellular and wireless connections could both be twice as fast (depending on network). Battery life is exactly the same, unfortunately–no improvements there. You’ll get 10-11 hours of general use on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s. Both phones also sport the same sensors and NFC for Apple Pay. However, one area the iPhone 6s does improve upon is the Touch ID. The iPhone 6s uses a second generation Touch ID which reads your prints twice as fast and is better able to read your prints through dirt and water.

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6s: Cost & Verdict

And then there is the cost. The iPhone 6s will cost £539 (16GB), £619 (64GB) and £699 (128GB). Apple has dropped the price of the iPhone 6 to £459 (16GB) and £539 (64 GB). While the cheaper prices might be tempting you to stick with the 6, there are just way too many advantaged for upgrading to the iPhone 6s: the 3D Touch display, double the RAM, a front and rear camera that is over twice as good, double the connectivity speeds, more color options, and an improved Touch ID. In this battle it’s a no-brainer: the iPhone 6s wins hands down.

iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6s Plus: Best New Model For You? 

The odd thing about Apple’s iPhones is that the smaller handset is still A LOT more popular, despite not being quite as good as the Plus model. This is understandable though; most iPhone users aren’t used to phablets, so the switch from 4in to 5.5in is pretty overwhelming for some. I remember when I got my iPhone 6 Plus -- it took me a while to adjust to it, despite using larger Android handsets for years. Apple’s iPhones just feel more slippery in the hand, meaning you WILL need a case.
If battery life is important to you, though, I’d definitely go with the Plus. Yes it is a lot bigger and you will know it is in your pocket at all times, but the battery performance is so good I really don’t care about any of this. Throw in Power Saver Mode and, well, it’s even better. The camera is slightly more feature-packed as well. But for me the iPhone 6s Plus trumps its smaller sibling in two key areas: battery life and display, arguably two of a handset’s most important things.
Both are excellent devices, however, so whichever you go with you will not be disappointed. Nevertheless, if you want best in class battery performance there really is only one choice and it goes by the name of the iPhone 6s Plus. 
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