Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: The bigger picture
The bigger picture
The big question for the big one. Even more iPhone goodness in a single package or a phone for the fence-sitters? To loosely quote Apple itself, bigger isn't necessarily better. So, a niche product or the real deal?
The iPhone 6s Plus is a second generation phablet - a breed, which Apple long refused to be associated with. It's an S-model too meaning last season's design and changes mostly under the hood.
The push for ease of use has brought about 3D touch - literally adding a sense of depth to your interaction with the smartphone. And the device's response comes from an all new Taptic engine for unrivaled feedback precision.
It is the former that accounts for the most dramatic changes the 6s Plus brings physically. The hair's breadth increase in dimensions you won't notice, but the added weight is immediately felt. And while the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s is still manageable despite the extra heft, the Plus is pushing the boundaries of portability.
Part of the growing up process is the new camera. Apple is finally catching up with the times and now offers 12MP stills, complete with 4K video recording - the iPhone is no longer the favorite target of mockery from supercharged Android flagships. Double the RAM and a new, more powerful A9 chip round up the list of changes that Apple delivered.
- Metal unibody, 7.3mm slim, 192g of weight
- LTE connectivity (Cat. 6, 300Mbps downlink)
- 5.5" 16M-color LED-backlit IPS LCD of 1,080 x 1,920px resolution, 401ppi
- 3D Touch technology recognizes force, brand new Taptic engine for better feedback
- Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic fingerprint-resistant coating
- Dual-core 1.8 GHz Twister 64-bit CPU, PowerVR GT7600 GPU, 2GB of RAM, Apple A9 SoC
- Apple iOS 9
- 12MP F/2.2 camera with optical image stabilization, True tone LED flash, phase detection auto focus, 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, @60fps and @120fps video recording, 720p video recording @120fps and 240fps
- 5MP F/2.2 front-facing camera with BSI sensor and HDR mode, 1080p@30fps video
- Comes with 16, 64, and 128GB of built-in storage
- Second-gen Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Home button
- Barometer sensor for tracking elevation
- 2,750mAh battery
- No microSD slot
- Pricey memory upgrades, 32GB version should be standard for such an expensive phone
- No user-replaceable battery
- Protruding camera lens makes the phone wobble if you don't have a case on
- NFC functionality limited to Apple Pay
- No wireless charging, an infrared port, or FM radio
- • Mediocre screen-to-body ratio
So not only did Apple make a phablet, but followed up on it, confirming they are committed to the big-screen experience. But who could blame them when the Plus model of the last generation accounted for some 30% of the total iPhone 6 sales in the first 6 months of availability.
And no, this new one isn't radically different. It's not meant to single-handedly herd compact phone users into the phablet camp. However, with public opinion now even in the iOS world gradually warming up to the idea, don't be surprised if the sales numbers of the two iPhone sizes keep converging.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves and leave these figures to the accountants. We'll stick to the review at hand, starting off with the unboxing and hardware overview.
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