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Apple iPhone 6s Plus review

9/10 AVG.
RATING



9/10
Informr score
The Apple iPhone 6s Plus currently has an Informr score of 9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 31 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Vibrant and sharp display with good viewing angles and contrast
  • Optical image stabilization for clearer shots in all lighting situations
  • 3D touch adds extra dimension to navigation
  • New
  • Fast processing speed

What's bad

  • Curved design makes it difficult to grip
  • No obvious difference in image quality between 6S Plus and 6 Plus
  • Some slow down when opening and closing apps
  • Learning curve for 3D touch
  • Live Photos takes a lot of space

With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple finally gave consumers what they wanted – a larger screen. The 6S Plus range takes the same screen size of its predecessor and adds a few bells and whistles not found on any other iPhone. Most of these new features are not obvious at a glance. In fact, experts note the general appearance is practically identical to the 6 Plus from its rounded body to premium build quality. It is, however, slightly thicker and a bit heavier at 192 grams. This is due in part to the new aluminum alloy used for the body and frame. Apple touts it as stronger and more durable than previous versions. When put to the test, experts did not notice any issues with bending. With that said, the larger size and rounded corners did make it difficult for reviewers to grasp with many adding a case is almost necessary for a better grip.

The 5.5-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution. While this might sound low, especially in comparison to the quad HD resolutions of the Galaxy Note 5 and LG G4, experts were overall impressed with the clarity and natural colors of the 6S Plus. Stuff.TV adds, "Unless you've got laser sharp vision and put the iPhone 6s Plus next to its Android competition, you shouldn't notice the difference…" Experts also noticed a couple other subtle upgrades to the display including a new polarizer for better sunlight legibility, increased contrast and wider viewing angles. Perhaps the biggest improvement they noticed was the thinness of the display stack. The Verge states, "…it looks more like you're touching pixels directly than ever before. It's like the screen is painted on."

Most consumers likely won't notice these minute changes in the iPhone 6 Plus. The biggest reason change, however, comes with the introduction of 3D Touch. Apple has actually introduced 3D touch by a different name – Force Touch – in the Apple Watch and latest MacBook Pro . In essence, it's an additional navigational layer that utilizes pressure in addition to regular taps and swipes. Apple has broken up 3D Touch into two functions dubbed Peek and Pop. In use, critics have found it extremely useful especially when viewing emails. A forceful hold on an email expands a preview bubble on the screen allowing them to "peek" at the contents. When they increased pressure even further they were able to "pop" the message to full screen. This isn't a completely intuitive experience as Tech Radar points out, "…it's a feature you really need to work at in order to make it a natural experience."

The 6s Plus is armed with Apple's own A9 processor, which Apple claims to be 70 percent faster than its predessor in CPU tasks and 90 percent better in GPU (graphics processing). Despite these claims, reviewers didn't notice too much of a difference in speed. They had the same fluid performance when navigating the home screen and only ran into a slight slowdown when opening and closing apps. Gaming was similarly smooth with no frame rate drops or lag even when play graphically-intensive titles. In terms of battery-life, most experts were able to get a full day's worth of average use while heavy usage led to around 6-8 hours.

Another big upgrade for Apple is its jump to a 12MP main camera and 5MP front camera. Included with the 6s Plus is optical image stabilization technology (missing from the standard 6s). Despite the 4MP jump, experts were hard-pressed to see any huge improvements between the 6 Plus and 6s Plus. This isn't a bad thing as they were able to take highly detailed photos with natural colors and tones. They only started noticing difference when zooming in very closely. In low light settings, the optical image stabilization allowed them to take images with very little noise. A new feature of the S series is the ability to take Live Photos. When this feature is on, it records about 1.5 seconds before and after the picture without any additional input from users. This then creates a short "gif" of the moment as well as audio. While a nice idea, many reviewers ended up turning it off as the file sizes were massive and the videos often came out choppy or blurry. The front camera also comes with a huge upgrade – flash. Rather than a separate LED flash, Apple has turned the phone screen into a sort of flash. When the shutter is pressed, the phone will see how much light is needed then adjust the white hue as necessary. In general, experts were able to take amazingly clear selfies even in low light situations. Besides taking excellent images, the main camera can also record 4K video at 30 frames per second.

In general reviewers highly recommend the iPhone 6s Plus for those upgrading from an older iPhone. Digital Trends states, "If you have an iPhone 6 Plus, you should probably hold out for the iPhone 7. If you're living with an iPhone 5S, 5, or an iPhone 4S, the iPhone 6S Plus is well worth the upgrade." The Verge adds, "…it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple…it could really be my main computer."


Operating system
iOS
Processor
1.84 GHz
Screen Size
5.5"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Know Your Mobile

While not as good as the iPhone 7 with its dual lens camera, the iPhone 6s Plus is the best S-series upgrade ever. The 3D Touch display, the pure speed of the device, and the major improvements to the camera and Touch ID–every single thing is leagues better than the iPhone 6.

- Michael Grothaus, Know Your Mobile
Tools & Toys

A remarkable piece of technology: a computer, a camera, a personal assistant, a notebook, a communication omnitool, a game console, a media player, a library, and yes—if you insist—a phone.

- Marius Masalar, Tools & Toys
iPhone Hacks

Despite being a long time Android user and iOS 9 not really being my cup of tea, I came away impressed with the iPhone 6s Plus and could actually see myself using one as my daily driver.If you are already using an iPhone 6 Plus, I really don’t see any reason for you to upgrade to the iPhone 6s...

- Rajesh Pandey, iPhone Hacks
The Inquirer

The iPhone 6S Plus offers a large, good quality screen and great performance, while 3D Touch is an impressive piece of tech and a useful addition. The 6S Plus is a great choice of handset for anyone looking for a phablet with a premium build, although the cost could prove prohibitive.

- Madeline Bennett, The Inquirer
Reviewed

If you've already decided you want an iPhone 6s Plus, it's probably because you want a big iPhone. And this—or last year's iPhone 6 Plus—is the only way you're going to get that. After all, its two most defining characteristics—its namesake and its size—also happen to be the...

- Reviewed.com staff, Reviewed


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.5"

The Apple iPhone 6s Plus's screen size is 5.5 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.84 GHz

There is a Apple A9 1.84 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the iOS 9 (Update Available: 12) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
16/64/128 GB

Internal memory is 16/64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1440mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1440 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 1440 minutes, 720 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone 6s Plus Specs

Overview
Release date September 25, 2014
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
variations
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2300 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
variations
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
variations
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 9 (Update Available: 12)

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple A9 1.84 GHz
Internal Storage 16/64/128 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.91 W/kg
Body: 1.14 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headset, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1440 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 720 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 720 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1440 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 14 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors SIlver, Gold, Space Gray, Rose Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.8 x 7.8 x 0.7 cm (6.2 x 3.1 x 0.3 in)
Weight 192 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 401 pixels
Size 5.5 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Retina display, 3D Touch
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HID, HFP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Multi-shot, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
HD (1280 x 720 pixels)
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AIFF, Apple Lossless, eAAC+, MP3, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types RTF, PPT, PPTX, JPG, TIFF, GIF, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
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