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Up Close with the iPhone 6s Plus

News by Luke Jones on Wednesday September 09, 2015.

apple iphone 6s plus · apple news · ios news · smartphone news · luke jones

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iPhone 6s Plus
iPhone 6s Plus

What is Apple's flagship device, is it?s the iPhone 6s or the iPhone 6s Plus? Both were launched today by the largest tech company in the world and the answer to the question is that both handsets are flagships. The iPhone 6s is the company's sales driver, the smartphone that most people will buy, but the iPhone 6s Plus is the larger and more potently spec'd of the two.

The handset looks identical to the original launched a year ago, and while some design revision is always welcome it is hardly a problem consider how good looking iPhones always are. The improved hardware under the hood as added a little weight to the Plus, which is now 192g instead of 172g last year, although the overall dimensions remain the same. It's still big, in case you're wondering.

Color options include silver, grey, and gold, while a new color makes its way to the iPhone line up, rose gold. On the surface that might seem terrible, just like when Apple showed off its gold iPhone 5s, but then the results are similar to that launch as the rose gold 6s Plus is stunning... Cupertino knows how to do colors, and by the way stunning does not mean rose gold will be for everyone.

As we have come to expect from iOS products, Touch ID is also on the iPhone 6s Plus, of course serving double duties as the Home button.

The 2014 iPhone 6 Plus was the first Apple smartphone to sport a Full HD screen, which seems a little archaic considering how far ahead Android handsets are in terms of display resolution. However, Apple's Retina Display even in non 1080p form has always been excellent and the Plus merely boosted that appeal with its Full HD shenanigans. In terms of resolution everything is the same as last year, with a pixel density of 401ppi, again well behind leading Android phones, but still hardly to matter.

The big difference in the 5.5-inch panel is the inclusion of a new technology that we thought would be called force touch, but is actually called 3D Touch. This gives the display pressure sensing ability and brings with it myriad features and gestures. Whether this is a gimmick remains to be seen, we will be doing a full report on 3D Touch in the coming days.

In terms of processing power Apple is one of the few companies to avoid engaging in a spec war, the company usually deciding not to really discuss specifics. That?s the case again and it is something we actually like because iPhones always perform well. Do they perform as well as Android device x or Android device y? Arguably not, but we have never had significant problems thanks to the butter smooth experience that is iOS.

Here Apple has employed its new A9x processor (yes, it's built by Samsung) which the company says it a massive 70% faster at CPU tasks and 90% faster at GPU tasks compared to the A8. The A8 chip launched last year, so if Apple's boast is true that is a hell of a performance improvement in the space of twelve months. The chipset is also more power efficient, so much so that Siri can now be left on standby at all times and not impact negatively on battery life or performance.

As is familiar with Apple, the iPhone 6s Plus will come in 16GB (oh why!), 64GB, or 128GB versions. Of course, expandable storage via micro SD card is off the table here, and we still wish Apple would push the base model to 32GB... it is certainly time.

Like all other specs in the iPhone, Apple has confounded convention by offering hardware that the numbers suggest is worse than that on opposition, but yet the iPhone dazzles on almost all counts. Camera has been the prime example of that, Cupertino has used a measly 8 megapixel lens until today yet the iPhone has been widely regarded as one of the best smartphone lenses for some time.

With that in mind we were looking forward to the reported upgrade to a 12 megapixel lens, and while that is still lower than most rivals, it shows again that megapixels are not everything. The company showed off plenty of still that it says are untouched and while they looked amazing for a smartphone, we will of course reserve judgement until the 6s Plus is in our hands.

The tech involved is a little more concrete. The iSight camera comes with a True Tone LED flash, while 4K shooting has been added to the mix. Just like 3D Touch, we will be discussing the new iSight camera at length in the coming days.

Anyone who has seen Apple's pricing for the iPad Pro will now that the company is still playing the margins with eye watering price tags. The iPhone 6s Plus is the most expensive smartphone Cupertino makes, which in Apple terms means it will be expensive, but hey, you'll buy it anyway, right?

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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