We suppose it shouldn’t really come as a surprise, but Apple has officially announced their latest iPhones: the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. Both phones come with brand new hardware and brand new features, so let’s check it out.
Once again no surprises here. Apple typically refreshes the design of their new iPhones every other year. With Apple announcing a redesigned iPhone last year, this year’s iPhones are pretty much the same. The iPhone 6s will be the smaller of the two with a 4.7-inch display while the iPhone 6s Plus will retain a 5.5-inch display, same as its predecessor.
There is no mention of whether Apple has successfully slimmed down the device, or if the rumors are true and that Apple actually made the devices thicker, although checking the specs page has revealed that both models are thicker by 0.1-inches. We suppose that’s something Apple wouldn’t really want to market. Apple has also introduced a rose gold color option as per the rumors, and have opted for the use of the aluminum 7000 series and an ion-x glass display, both of which should make the phone sturdier.
Just as we suspected, Apple has introduced the A9 processor. According to the Cupertino company, the A9 is 70% faster than the A8 in CPU tasks, and 90% faster in graphics tasks. Apple has also decided that this year, they will be building the M9 co-processor into the chipset itself.
This allows the M9 to be always on, so what does that mean? Like the earlier rumors suggested, this means that features such as “Hey Siri” will always be enabled. This allows users to activate Siri by saying, “Hey Siri” without touching the phone.
One of the new features of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is a feature called 3D touch. While it might be easy to think it is a right-click function for the phone, it’s actually more than that. What 3D touch does is it gives users shortcuts. For example pressing and holding the icon of the phone will bring up the list of contacts you frequently contact.
Another example is the camera app where you can choose to launch the camera regularly, or launch it with the front-facing camera activated. It also works great with emails where you can peek into the contents of emails without marking it as read. Pressing harder, or “deeper” as Apple calls it, will open the message in full.
Now all of this is meant to save time and in terms of emails, we can see how that works. It will also help speed things up with apps such as Facebook where you can post a status without opening the app in full, or like Dropbox where you can upload files directly without having to launch the app as well. However whether or not it will be more efficient for all kinds of apps remains to be seen.
The 3D touch feature might seem like a software feature. However it will be exclusive to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus due to the fact that Apple had to embed special sensors under the display. These sensors will be able to detect the different types of presses you’re making. There will also be tactile feedback courtesy of the taptic engine to let you know what you’ve done.
As expected, Apple has upgraded the cameras on the new iPhones. The rear-facing camera is now of the 12MP variety. However instead of just bumping the resolution, Apple has made changes under the hood as well. Some of the changes includes deep trench isolation. This separates the photodiodes that according to Apple will help maintain more accurate and precise color.
Apple is also boasting improved low-light photography and reduced noise, although we suppose we will have to take it for a spin ourselves to get a better idea. There will also be 4K video recording, and best of all users will be able to edit the videos directly within the iPhone itself.
As for the front-facing camera, Apple has upgraded it to a 5MP sensor. They have also sort of included a front-facing flash. However instead of using a traditional flash unit, Apple has instead turned the iPhone’s display into a flash unit. But will it be bright enough? According to Apple, it will be thanks to special drivers that will boost the display’s brightness by as much as 3x.
Last but not least, Apple has introduced a new feature called Live Photos. This is basically a new feature of the camera app and it records moments 1.5 seconds before and after a photo is taken. By deep pressing on a photo, it will sort of animate it. It will also be able to playback audio. However as Apple points out, these aren’t videos but photos.
Some other features that Apple has announced for the new iPhones includes a second-generation Touch ID sensor. If you think that the current Touch ID sensor is a bit slow, fret not as Apple has promised that the new sensor will be faster than its predecessor. There will also be improved LTE and WiFi connectivity, with Apple promising speeds twice as fast as before, although we suppose this will depend on network coverage and your ISP as well.
Pricing & Availability
The good news is that Apple has not increased the price of its new iPhones. It will be priced exactly the same as its predecessor with the iPhone 6s starting at $199, and the iPhone 6s Plus starting at $299. These are contract prices, but we can only assume the unlocked price will remain the same as well. Apple has also introduced the iPhone Upgrade Program. This lets customers upgrade their iPhone every year. It will require them to pay 24-month installments, but they will get to upgrade yearly.
The new iPhones will be available for pre-order starting this Friday on the 12th of September, and they will be released a couple of weeks later on the 25th of September.