iPhone 6s Plus Is A Solid Smartphone, But Fails To Give The Usual Apple Thrill

Daryl Deino - Author

Sep. 27 2015, Updated 4:54 a.m. ET

The iPhone 6s Plus, like the iPhone 6 Plus, is a great smartphone. It has a sturdy build, a 1080p screen, and runs iOS 9, the best mobile operating system available. However, for the first time since the iPhone 3GS in 2009, Apple has released a phone that really isn’t worth the upgrade.

The iPhone 6s Plus is identical to the iPhone 6 Plus and even fits in the same body cases. Where you’ll notice the difference is with the internals, but there are no differences with the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution screen that went out of style in 2014. While most other smartphones from Samsung, LG, or even Sony currently have 2560 x 1440 Quad HD resolution displays, Apple is way behind the times. Still, the screen is crisp and displays colors accurately.

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The camera has also improved. This time, the 6s Plus takes 12MP pictures (only 8MP in previous versions) and can take full Ultra HD 4K videos. It’s disappointing that Apple could improve the resolution so much on the video camera, but still only provide a monaural microphone. The videos look great, but beg to be heard in stereo like the videos one can take with the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

There is a noticeable difference in speed, especially when viewing graphics-intensive web pages. The iPhone 6s Plus doesn’t lag anymore when more than three apps are open at the same time. According to the Verge, Apple has also increased the RAM.

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“The first teardowns are in, and now we can see what little secrets lie within the iPhone 6S. Let’s answer that RAM question first: as rumored, the 6S has 2GB of RAM.”

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Apple users have been asking for more RAM for years, given that models from Samsung now have 4GB RAM. The fact that Apple has upgraded the RAM is great, but the iPhone still begs for at least 3GB of RAM. Perhaps Apple will upgrade the RAM again when they release the iPhone 7 in 2016.

The big thrill of the iPhone 6s is supposed to be the new 3D Touch capabilities. MacRumors describes the feature.

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“The standout new feature of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is 3D Touch, which Apple is billing as an evolution of Multi-Touch. The new feature allows the display to sense how much pressure is being applied, opening up new ways for users to interact with their phones.”

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They seem to think it’s really impressive, although it really isn’t. The fact that it only works with eight apps doesn’t bode well right now, but will likely change when third party apps embrace the feature. Perhaps the reason the feature isn’t that exciting is because it was way over-hyped. This isn’t a groundbreaking feature like Siri, which, by the way, works better than ever on the iPhone 6s Plus.

Then, there is battery life. Even though the battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus has always been good, it’s disappointing that Apple decided to use a smaller battery on the iPhone 6s Plus. It does offer the same exact battery life as the 6 Plus, since the A9 processor manages the power better. It’s easy to get through the day with the iPhone 6 Plus, but you’ll probably need to charge the smartphone if you want to use it late at night.

While the iPhone 6s Plus provides a solid experience, one can’t help think that the phone is also a disappointment. Apple is known for providing more than a solid experience, and even “S” upgrades in the past, such as the iPhone 4s, were thrilling. Let’s hope Apple can make up for the lack of enthusiasm when they release the iPhone 7 next year.

[Photos by Daryl Deino]


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