PREMIUM SMARTPHONES Apple iPhone 6s Plus
The high-end smartphone category is one of the most competitive consumer markets out there. It’s the place manufacturers showcase their latest and greatest developments, plus the most luxurious designs. We’ve rounded up five flagships to find out which is
The iPhone 6s Plus is the larger of Apple’s two flagship smartphones, and looks essentially the same as last year’s 6 Plus. It’s a fraction of a millimeter wider, longer and thicker, but you won’t be able to tell the difference. It is 20g heavier than the 6 Plus though, due to the new 3D Touch sensors and the haptic feedback engine under the display.
The 6s Plus is made from 7000-series aluminum - the same material Apple uses on the Apple Watch Sport. It is tougher than last year, but is otherwise indistinguishable. The glass covering the screen is made using a dual-ion exchange process that makes it less prone to shattering and more resistant to scratches too.
The rear iSight camera has been upgraded to 12MP with optical image stabilization that now works for both videos and photos. The front camera has also been upgraded to 5MP. Besides hardware, Apple introduced Live Photos, a mode that records 1.5 seconds of video before and after hitting the shutter button. Press and hold a Live Photo when viewing and it will turn into a three-second looping video complete with audio. It’s really clever and adds a bit of fun and context to your pictures. Live Photos works with both the front- and rear-facing camera.
While display resolution is identical to its predecessor – 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401ppi) – the game changer is a new feature that lets it register varying levels of pressure; Apple calls this 3D Touch. On the homescreen, press harder than normal on an app, and a Quick Actions menu will appear with shortcuts related to that app - like taking a selfie with the camera, or calling one of your favorite contacts. Within an app, you can hard-press on web URLs, messages, maps or images to create a ‘Peek’ window that lets you preview that content. Press harder a second time to ‘Pop’ that content open in its related app. 3D Touch is a revolutionary addition to the touchscreen interface that creates a new way to interact with your phone. It makes everything more efficient and convenient.
Powering all this is a new, more powerful 1.8GHz A9 processor. It’s still a dual-core chip, but with an integrated M9 motion co-processor, making it much more power efficient. Another benefit is the ability to listen for a ‘Hey Siri’ prompt at all times, not just when the phone plugged-in like with older models. The 6s Plus also benefits from 2GB RAM, twice as much as the 6 Plus. According to Apple, this results in a 70-percent faster CPU, and 90-percent faster GPU.