Apple iPhone 6S Plus: A true big brother to the iPhone 6S
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus, a bigger screen sibling of the iPhone 6S, is a much-expected smartphone for both Apple loyalists and other users alike considering the fact that it offers the 3D Touch functionality along with the iOS 9 operating system. We were eager to check out the Apple iPhone 6S Plus as we had used the iPhone 6S earlier. Our enthusiasm resulted in a review of the larger iPhone 6S Plus by subjecting the handset to multiple tests.
Design and Display
Apple iPhone 6S Plus is bulkier than the iPhone 6S; the former weighs in at 192 grams and this extra weight is due to the comparatively large 5.5-inch display of the iPhone 6S Plus. The bulkiness is also the result of customized 3D Touch sensors that power the 3D Touch functionality.
On the outside, the outer body comprises of hardened Aluminum to give off the soft edges feel.At the rear end, the camera module can distinctly be observed as it is more protruding and looks similar to the iPhone 6S. Due to its metallic outer frame and the soft edge feel, the iPhone 6S Plus seems slippery but still sits pretty in the hand and does not slip off easily. As far as the actual display is concerned, the Apple iPhone 6S Plus features a 5.5-inch screen pressure sensitive touchscreen which offers 3D Touch capabilities. Apple has not wrapped the 3D Touch touchscreen within the Sapphire crystal, but instead within an Ion-strengthened glass with oleophobic coating to protect from scratches.
During our testing, we activated the phone’s maximum brightness level, and the iPhone 6S Plus did not disappoint; we were able to clearly read the contents on the screen even in full sunlit conditions. The images on the screen are rendered well, with full emphasis given to essential colors, even graphics are clearly visible to the eyes. The Apple iPhone 6S Plus has a LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen that has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with pixel density of 401 ppi.
Processor and Memory
We found the Apple A9 processor to be relatively powerful considering the fact that 4K video streaming was comparatively quick, apps also opened-up relatively fast; however, multitasking was not impressive which is a drawback with most iPhones.
Apple has packed a 1.84 GHz dual-core CPU within the A9 chipset of the iPhone 6S Plus. Under-the-hood, there is also a 2 GB RAM which is a welcome addition as far as better instruction processing is concerned. During our testing, we could not detect performance lags, especially in situations which warranted movie watching, video streaming, and running games. For memory, the 16 GB variant is still sold commercially by Apple alongside the 64 GB and 128 GB editions of the Apple iPhone 6S Plus. Like always, there is no microSD card slot. New/first-time buyers could ignore the 16 GB edition.
On the rear of the iPhone 6S Plus, Apple has incorporated a 12 MP rear camera that is capable of recording 4K videos. However, the rear camera does not offer Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) image stabilization feature. An important feature, as far as images are concerned, is the Live Photos which adds animations to captured pictures in a bid to make these lively. During our testing, the captured images came out with near perfect white balance and exposure. Low-light photography, via the rear camera, is also impressive. What is important here is the iPhone 6S Plus also comes with a 5 MP front camera which is a notable aspect when compared to all of Apple’s earlier iPhones. The selfie obsessed get to capture selfies by turning the screen into the flash unit.
We compared the captured selfies, both indoors and outdoors, and found out the indoor selfies to be rich compared to the outer ones. However, low-light selfies still need a lot of improvement as far as external noise and white balance are concerned. Overall, Apple has packed in fairly good cameras to aid amateur photographers and those interested in photography of natural scenery.
Software and apps
Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus runs the relatively newer iOS 9 operating platform, out of the box. This is upgradeable to iOS 9.3.2 OS update. The overall user interface, like in the case with all Apple iPhones, is impressive. Navigation between apps works like breeze. On upgrading to iOS 9.3, users get the Night Shift Mode. We tested this out, and found it working up to the claimed level.
Basically, the Night Shift Mode uses the iPhone 6S Plus’ device clock and geolocation to determine sunset and thereby adjusts colors. The next morning, these settings are undone and factory settings are restored automatically. Apple has packed in apps with the Health application, Maps, News and Car Play Music being the most important ones.
Peek and Pop introduced by 3D Touch is the best aspect that emerged out of our testing. We could avoid opening the Inbox while still looking at emails, via the Peek functionality (as part of 3D Touch). By pressing on an email hard enough, the email actually popped to present us with more details. As far as photos are concerned, the old images taken at a particular image came to the fore well to hint us what type of photo to capture and how to capture this. Accessing of the camera/launching it is much easier on the iPhone 6S Plus comparison to older Apple iPhone variants.
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus is powered by a fixed 2750 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery. We extensively checked-out video streaming, gaming and movie watching and found that the battery-life drained out by almost 10% per hour. The smartphone easily lasted for more than a day when usage was restricted to only calls, messaging and moderate internet usage (via the Safari browser).
After our usage, we are of the opinion that the Apple iPhone 6S Plus is best suited for new users, rather than for those choosing to upgrade from older iPhones. The most interesting aspects of the iPhone 6S Plus are the 3D Touch and the new Apple iOS operating platform.
In the UAE, Apple iPhone 6S Plus has a starting price tag of AED 2,395. The price tag is undoubtedly exorbitant.