Hands-on with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

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The iPhones 3GS, 4S and 5s were all rather dull com­pared to the phones that launched in the years ei­ther side of them. That’s be­cause there’s usu­ally very lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the ‘s’ mod­els from their pre­de­ces­sors, mak­ing it ­hard to get ex­cited about them.

This time around it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent: the 6s is a great up­grade for those ‘stuck’ on a 5s, and it’s a de­cent phone in its own right. If you’re ready for an up­grade from the old de­sign and keen to stick with Ap­ple, this is a great time to go for it.

De­sign

The same stick that some use to beat iPhone fans still ex­ists: yes, the 6s and 6s Plus look al­most iden­ti­cal to last year’s mod­els, with the same ce­ramic feel and slightly pro­trud­ing cam­era; placed side by side with that model, you won’t re­ally no­tice the dif­fer­ence. The only mar­ginal change is the ad­di­tional thick­ness, likely to fa­cil­i­tate the new 3D Touch tech­nol­ogy and hope­fully a larger bat­tery, although there’s no word on that from Ap­ple.

Com­pared to other phones avail­able, the latest iPhones still man­age to mix that feel­ing of pre­mium build with a light and thin body that’s a joy to hold. Ap­ple’s nod to the im­proved build as hav­ing re­in­forced 7000 Se­ries alu­minium is clearly a di­rect re­sult of the iPhone 6’s ‘Bendgate’ con­tro­versy, where some be­lieved the phone was slightly prone to chang­ing shape if pres­sure was ap­plied. Though Ap­ple doesn’t need sym­pa­thy, it was still a bit harsh that it got sin­gled out for this when many other hand­sets could also bend if you tried hard enough. Ei­ther way it’s now much less prone to bending.

Of course, the 6s Plus needs a big­ger bat­tery than the 6s, but the 5.5-inch dis­play feels so much more swamped by the iPhone’s frame com­pared to other phones, such as LG’s G4. Ap­ple’s largest phone is still very light and easy to hold, but you can’t for­get it’s a ph­ablet. If you’re com­ing at this from the iPhone 5s, you’re go­ing to be blown away by how gar­gan­tuan it is to hold, and even Reach­a­bil­ity (dou­ble-click­ing the Home but­ton to bring the top of the screen down within reach) doesn’t re­ally help. How­ever, you’re buy­ing a ph­ablet, not a mini phone, and the big­ger screen and bat­tery that such a phone of­fers – and that comes with com­pro­mises.

3D Touch, but the same screen

Now onto the big­gest change in this year’s iPhone: 3D Touch. This changes ev­ery­thing about us­ing iOS, and while it’s not enough of a rea­son to up­grade from the pre­vi­ous

The re­in­forced 7000 Se­ries alu­minium is clearly a di­rect re­sult of the iPhone 6’s Bendgate con­tro­versy

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