It’s been ten months since Apple announced the iPhone 6s Plus. The high-end option in Apple’s phone lineup, which now consists of the iPhone SE, 6s and 6s Plus, was always meant to deliver the best experience while offering a few upgrades over its little brothers. In recent months, Samsung, HTC and OnePlus have released major flagships that warrant a look, and pretty soon it’ll be time for Apple to announce its next flagship. But before we cast aside the 6s Plus, let’s take a look at Apple’s latest and greatest phablet and see how it holds up after nearly a year on the market.
The name of the iPhone 6s Plus gives away that it is an “s” model, which means its design is nearly two years old. It also means the ugly antenna bands have tormented consumers for nearly twenty-four months. Apple probably has the worst antenna design on the market; contrast that with HTC or OnePlus devices, which featured understated antenna designs with a thin print and dark color scheme. Still, count me in the minority, but I’ve grown to love the awkward lines on the back of the phone. So too returns the slight curved glass display, round aluminum edges that make dropping your phone way too easy and camera hump that everybody likes to complain about.
Apple likes to keep the same design for two generations, instead opting to give the “s” model a stand-out feature. Whether it’s Siri, Touch ID or in this case, 3D Touch, Apple’s marketing team needs something new to sell other than a stale design and it has figured out how to combat this issue with relative ease. First introduced as Force Touch on the Apple Watch, and then rebranded as 3D Touch, it made its way to the iPhone and served as the selling point for the new phone.
While the concept proved potentially groundbreaking, adding a new layer of interaction with your phone, it was quickly forgotten by most users since it only added a few new options of interaction. It wasn’t until the introduction of iOS 10 that much more practical and pervasive applications of 3D Touch throughout the operating system were added, but that won’t come to the masses until September at the earliest.
One area where the phone really did improve over the 6 Plus was the camera. Bumping up the megapixel count from 8 to 12 with the ability to record 4K video, the difference is quite notable. Apple has long been a leader in phone photography and the iPhone 6s Plus was no different. The front-facing, or selfie camera, also got a much-needed bump from 1.2MP to 5MP. No more grainy Snapchat stories.
There were some other minor upgrades like the 7000 series aluminum, addition of Rose Gold color option and upgraded Touch ID sensor along with the usual internal upgrades. The iPhone 6s Plus is still a great phone to this day and holds up relatively well, but it’s quickly getting pushed down the list of best flagships with all the great smartphones that have already been released this year. If you’re contemplating getting a new iPhone, it’s probably best you hold off until September and see what Apple has up its sleeve for the iPhone 7.
Check out the video above to see how Jon feels about the iPhone 6s Plus.