Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: The bigger picture

The bigger picture

GSMArena team, 5 October, 2015.

Beautiful FullHD 5.5-incher

The Apple iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1,080x1,920 pixels resolution for a 401ppi density - well above Retina.

Our microscope shot brings no surprises and reveals a standard RGB matrix with an equal number of red, green and blue pixels.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

The iPhone 6s Plus has an even brighter display than the iPhone 6s but due to the slightly brighter blacks, the contrast ratio on both devices is quite similar 1382:1 for the iPhone 6s Plus vs. 1481:1 for the iPhone 6s. The screen is not as bright at its maximum setting as the iPhone 6 Plus but the contrast ratio is about the same as the blacks are deeper in comparison.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Apple iPhone 6s 0.10 148 1542 0.36 536 1481
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 0.10 150 1563 0.43 590 1382
Apple iPhone 6 0.17 207 1230 0.61 740 1213
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
Samsung Galaxy Note5 0.00 183 - 439
Samsung Galaxy Note5 max auto - - - - 620 -
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ 0.00 172 - 410
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ max auto - - - - 540 -
LG G4 0.09 108 1240 0.43 532 1238
Sony Xperia Z3+ - - - 0.68 789 1158
Samsung Galaxy A8 0.00 169 0.00 367
Samsung Galaxy A8 max auto 0.00 - - 0.00 560
Motorola Nexus 6 0.00 149 0.00 372
HTC One E9+ 0.14 205 1435 0.29 487 1657
OnePlus Two 0.16 180 1139 0.30 399 1334


Much like with the Apple iPhone 6s, the color rendition of the screen is generally accurate with a pretty low average deltaE of 4.1 (for the primary colors plus black and white), and it's the reds and magentas that show a higher than average deviation. The white is slightly on the cooler bluish side, but nothing major and certainly not noticeable without a reference.

As usual, display colors are a matter of personal taste and perception so if you don't need calibrated color output, you will probably be quite happy with the Apple iPhone 6s Plus screen as it is out-of-the-box.

There's a significant improvement in terms of sunlight legibility compared to the old model. The smaller models, both new and old, are still comfortably ahead. Even so, the iPhone 6s Plus has one of the highest ranking LCD panels in this test.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy E7
    4.485
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Motorola Nexus 6
    3.543
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • vivo X5Max
    3.472
  • LG G Flex2
    3.465
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Sony Xperia Z3+
    2.824
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • vivo Xshot
    2.465
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • HTC One M9
    2.334
  • LG G4
    2.317
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo R1x
    2.281
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML
    2.149
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • ZTE Blade S6
    1.927
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Acer Liquid Jade S
    1.734
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Microsoft Lumia 532
    1.615
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Microsoft Lumia 435
    1.598
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Sony Xperia E4
    1.467
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Apple iPhone 6s Plus battery life

The battery inside the iPhone 6s Plus has a 2,750mAh capacity, a modest decrease from the 2,915mAh of last year's model. Apple's claim is that the new model will last as long as the old one, and that's as specific as it gets.

We're a lot more into precise numbers and subjected the 6s Plus to the usual battery of tests and it actually performed better than the old Plus, though with the notable exception of 3G call times. The smartphone would die on us after 16 hours, two thirds of the iPhone 6 Plus' time.

Use the phone with the display on and it scores substantially better. A full 14 hours of video playback is nothing short of exemplary, and means that when the 6 Plus calls it quits, the 6s Plus can go on for another 2 and half hours. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ lasts 4 minutes shorter in this test, well within the margin of error.

Moving on to web browsing, we witness a 2 hours and forty-some minutes better longevity for this year's model, but more importantly an hour and a half of an advantage over the Galaxy S6 edge+.

Overall, the iPhone 6s Plus scores a combined endurance rating of 85 hours. Compare that to the 79 hours of the iPhone 6 Plus and you'll see that, indeed, the decrease in capacity hasn't adversely affected the battery life.

If anything, you'll actually get a better longevity with the new model if your usage is geared more towards surfing the web and watching videos rather than voice calls. Compared to the Galaxy S6 edge+, the differences in screen-on usage are smaller, though noticeable especially in web browsing. However, the Samsung phablet can last twice as long on voice calls, which obviously you should consider if that's your predominant use case.

If you've been paying attention, you'd have noticed that at half brightness (which is the setting we carry our battery tests on) the 6s Plus puts out less nits than the 6 Plus. That certainly helps its case, though it can't make all the difference, and improved efficiency has to account for a large part of the improvement. The phone is also perfectly usable at this setting thanks to its excellent contrast, and there's really no need to crank it up any higher unless you're outdoors in bright daylight.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Connectivity

The Apple iPhone 6s Plus comes with a host of wireless connectivity features. It supports faster LTE Cat. 6 (up to 300Mpbs down, 50Mbps up) and has even wider LTE coverage. Regular 2G and 3G connectivity is all safely covered as well with a multitude of supported network bands.

The iPhone 6s Plus also supports the latest Voice over LTE (VoLTE), HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling protocols, but those are carrier dependent features so not everyone will enjoy them.

Compared to the iPhone 6, the 6s now upgraded Wi-Fi functionality too - it supports all the current Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac standards but doubles the theoretical speeds thanks to the use of a 2x2 MIMO antenna. AirPlay is the only way to wirelessly cast your screen's contents to an HDTV, but you'd need to have an Apple TV for that.

Additional local connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.2 LE. There is also support for NFC, but its functionality is only limited to Apple's region-restricted Apple Pay.

The iPhone 6s Plus uses a proprietary Lightning connector for wired data transfers and charging. There is no support for USB On-the-go or USB host but you can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the phone should you need this sort of peripheral. At least the 3.5mm jack is standard.

Reader comments

  • Bemah

Please as compared to iPhone 6s plus and huawei Y9 Prime which one is good.please help me out

  • Anonymous

in Iphone 6s plus OTG support or not..?

  • AnonD-720622

Look how that CON tab was made by Android Fan boy guy... just said what everything already know... no microsd... no external battery... and that kind of stuff just to make " disadvantages" grow... Heavy celphone makes it steady at you hand, no one li...