Apple iPhone 6S has officially been unveiled in San Francisco and it looks like a corker - but what do the world's tech experts think? We find out...
The wait is over for another year. Apple has officially announced two new smartphones – iPhone 6S and 6S Plus – in front of a packed house of the world’s tech press, and thousands more via live stream.
iPhone 6s arrives with some serious new additions to its already stellar stat-sheet. The brand new A9 processor provides boatloads of power for intensive jobs like multitasking, which comes to iPhone as part of iOS 9. Not to mention the upgraded cameras on front and back, tougher 7000-series aluminium body, and a brand new 3D Touch display that brings up different options with harder or softer taps of the screen. And both iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are available to pre-order right now!
Sounds good, right? But the real question is, what do the experts think? We sat down with a few of the lucky ones who have already been hands-on with Apple’s latest and greatest smartphones.
Apple iPhone 6S & 6S Plus
“The new 3D Touch, upgraded camera and improved speeds really offer tangible benefits, and combined with a solid upgrade to iOS 9 and the impressive build, Apple’s made a very decent phone.
“The main difference 3D Touch brings is the ability to interact with on-screen instructions in different ways. Imagine it’s like right-clicking the mouse to get a secondary menu, and you’re pretty much there. It’s a cool new feature, although one that app developers will need to work with for a while to really get the best out of.
“The expected upgrade from the iPhone 6’s camera has arrived too: the iPhone 6S has a 12MP snapper and it looks like it’ll deliver in spades. While we’ve only tested the new camera briefly, there’s no doubt that it’s an upgrade. It still retains the speed of snapping I’ve come to expect from an iPhone while the clarity is there to see too.”
“3D Touch takes a little mental rejigging: I’m used to thinking in terms of “long-press” not “firm-press”. Once you’re familiar, though, it’s clear to see this could be the iPhone 6s’ most enduring feature. Being able to 3D Touch on the Mail app and summon a specific mailbox or start a new message will shape up to be a true time-saver.
“As for the camera, 12-megapixels is plenty, though I’ll need to spend some time with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus out in the wild to see if Apple’s boasts of keeping accurate lighting and color despite the resolution climb holds true. The front-facing 5-megapixel selfie camera works surprisingly well with the Retina Flash, which briefly turns the display into a flash that color-matches to the tone of the surroundings.
“All in all, for an off-season upgrade there’s plenty to like about the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Those already fans of iPhone will love the tweaked hardware and boosted performance, and 3D Touch could do to capacitive touchscreens what multitouch did to resistive ones.”
“The new iPhones feel, well, like iPhones. They have the same basic look as last year and still feel remarkably light. Apple claims that it has a new aluminium body and stronger glass on the front — but neither affects the basic textures of these devices.
“Apple has always produced excellent, industry-leading smartphone cameras — but it’s also insisted on keeping the megapixel count locked to 8. Well, it’s a 12-megapixel sensor now, with the ability to shoot 4K video. I’ve only had the chance to shoot photos in the hands-on area, so I can’t really say too much about quality. What I can say is that the cameras are fast — very fast — and super forgiving of my always-shaky hands.
“Apple has always produced excellent, industry-leading smartphone cameras”
“I have always been deeply ambivalent — if not outright skeptical — about this hardware feature (3D Touch) on iPhone. But there’s a consistent use case for 3D Touch: “peeking” into the thing that’s being linked. So you can peek in camera functions from the camera icon, you can peek at an email without opening it from your inbox, and you can peek at a website when somebody sends you a link.
“I expected that 3D Touch would be a slew of hidden menus and options, but so far Apple is always giving you hints about what you’ll get: a peek into whatever it is you’re pressing on. Smart. If you need a new iPhone, get this one.”
“If you never use it (3D Touch), your iPhone will work as it always has. But when you discover it, everything feels faster, more direct—it makes the iPhone a less like a collection of apps and more like a single, cohesive thing. The other big upgrade seems to be the camera, as per usual. The new 12-megapixel camera and 4K video recording are hard to measure in any useful way inside this gigantic demo room. But the photos and videos I’ve seen look insane. Like, incredible.
“You’re getting a lot more power, a few new ways to go about using your device, and a couple of small things that make the phone more fun.”
“On the outside, everything looks the same, except for a new colour addition to the line-up – the blushy Rose Gold. But take a look under the hood and it’s all different. The iPhone 6s comes with a new A9 chip with the new M9 motion-co-processor embedded within to make your daily swipes flow even more smoothly.
“Everything checks out well on paper. And what’s probably the best loved feature on the iPhone – the camera gets interesting upgrades. If you’re packing an iPhone 6, changing up for a 6s might not make sense. But if you have an iPhone 5s or earlier, the iPhone 6s is worth checking out, especially since 3D Touch will probably get more and more use case scenarios.”
“By far the biggest new feature however is 3D Touch. It’s another layer of control to how you use the iPhone (and the one that is going to have the biggest impact on daily use). The new “peek and pop” feature, as Apple call it, lets you peek into an email so you can see what it says without fully opening it, while the pop element is a longer press that then opens the email you’ve been peeking into. It’s clever. Like, really clever.
“Our time with the new phone was brief, but it is clear that the iPhone 6s features enough elements to continue the momentum of what the iPhone 6 started. There is plenty here to entice you to sign on the dotted line, and it’s the most excited we’ve been about an “s” model for a long time.”
Apple of your eye: Is Apple’s iPhone 6S or 6S Plus the phone for you? Head over to vodafone.co.uk to pre-order yours now!