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Apple iPhone 6s vs iPhone 6: Best new features

Apple’s iPhone 6s boasts some serious improvements over last year’s iPhone 6. Here’s our full comparison review, highlighting the best new features of the iPhone 6s.

Design

The iPhone 6s might not look any different to last year’s iPhone 6 but Apple’s mobile is now made of the same 7000 series aluminum as the Apple Watch, which is 60 percent stronger than standard alloys but also pleasingly light. The screen glass is also even more durable now, so if your old iPhone is covered in nicks, don’t stress; the iPhone 6s can take some punishment without losing its sheen.

You also have an expanded choice of colours, with the new Rose Gold option joining the typical white, gold and ‘space grey’ options. It’s kind of a pinky gold and actually quite nice, standing out from the usual deja-vu designs.

iPhone 6S design - the 6S doesn't look different but it's made of tougher materials.

In an effort to prevent the tiresome Bendgate from recurring, Apple has also strengthened the internal build of the iPhone 6s so it’s less likely to flex under pressure. Good news if you like to sit on your phone, for whatever reason.

Screen and media

Although the iPhone 6s once again packs a 4.7-inch screen like last year’s iPhone 6, Apple has added its 3D Touch tech to make the display pressure sensitive. This means that the iPhone 6s can tell whether you’ve just tapped, prodded or bashed the living crap out of the screen with your fingertip, which makes navigation in and through apps and menus much easier.

Check out our look at actual uses for the 3D Touch screen for more info.

As for resolution, there’s no change. The iPhone 6s still packs a Retina display, cramming 326 pixels into every square inch. That may lag well behind many Androids these days, which are starting to sport Quad HD screens – and don’t get us started on Sony’s insane Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first 4K smartphone – but it still makes for sharp visuals when enjoying high-def video and apps.

iPhone 6S screen & media - resolution and storage options are unchanged .

Media fans may be disappointed to learn that the new iPhone 6s packs the same storage options as the iPhone 6, i.e. 16GB, 64GB and 128GB. That 16GB model may pose problems if you like to carry around a decent media collection or horde apps, especially when it comes time to upgrade to the next version of iOS (which often demands several free gigs of space). And as usual, there’s no memory card slot so you’re stuck with whatever on-board storage you stump up for.

Read next: Our full interactive history of Apple’s iPhone

Performance and battery life

The A8 processor of the iPhone 6 has been updated to Apple’s new A9 chipset (70% faster than the iPhone 6’s A8 processor, with 90% better graphical performance), along with 2GB of RAM. Owners of the iPhone 6 won’t notice an immediate difference, but over time the iPhone 6s will enjoy smoother performance for longer and also prove a more capable multi-tasker.

As for battery life, we’re yet to put the iPhone 6s through our punishing media tests and use the phone as our full-time handset to see how it handles everyday life. However, we’re expecting just over a day of regular use between charges, as we saw on the iPhone 6.

Cameras

Like Sony with its new Xperia Z5 family, Apple chose to focus on camera tech for its latest iPhone. The iPhone 6’s 8-megapixel iSight camera has been boosted to a 12-megapixel snapper for the iPhone 6s, which can shoot incredibly detailed shots and up to 4K resolution video. Of course, to take full advantage of 4K recording, you’ll ideally need an iPhone 6s with plenty of storage, so budding directors should stump up for the 64GB model as a minimum.

iPhone 6S camera - Apple has focused on camera tech with a 12MP camera and the ability to shoot 4K video.

You can also now shoot mini ‘videos’ with every photo, just like HTC’s Zoe mode, which you can play by 3D Touching your screen when browsing your gallery.

The iPhone 6s’ front-facing iSight camera has also been updated to a 5-megapixel lens, compared with last year’s 1.2-megapixel effort. That means you can now shoot your mug in glorious 1080p rather than bog-standard 720p (better slap on an extra bit of make-up then), as well as slow-mo for dramatic reaction shots. And if you want to take a shot in the club, the iPhone 6s can light up your face with a bright white screen so you can show the world exactly how bladdered and red-eyed you are.

Siri

We pretty much never use Siri in everyday life, but that could change now that Siri is always-on. Just say ‘hey, Siri’ at any time and the voice assistant will pop right up to sort you out. That’s great news if you’re driving or otherwise engaged, and need some quick hands-free help.

Other features

Apple’s iPhone 6s now has WiFi that’s twice as fast as the iPhone 6 (according to Apple at least) as well as LTE Advanced support, with 23 different bands.

Verdict

Apple’s iPhone 6s offers some serious improvements over the iPhone 6 – an all-new pair of cameras, improved performance, hardy design and 3D Touch for improved control – making it a worthwhile upgrade even for owners of last year’s Apple mobile.

Check back very soon for our complete guide to iPhone 6s UK prices and best contract deals.

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