Notebookcheck

Apple iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus First Impressions

Patrick Afschar Kaboli, Daniel Schmidt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 09/25/2015

Touch me harder! This is what the new iPhones are about – the touch. At least in terms of the handling with 3D Touch. The new Apple smartphones are obviously faster, heavier, and thicker. On the other hand, the battery is smaller and the cameras are supposed to be much better. First, a quick check.

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For the original German preview, see here.

The new iPhones from Apple with the number 6S and 6S Plus are the best iPhones that Apple has ever created – it seems that you hear this sentence 50 times at every keynote. However, this is not surprising since we would not need a new device if the latest generation were not better. So why are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus the best of their kind? Like every new generation, Apple uses a new and more powerful SoC. The CPU of the 64-bit chip A9 is supposed to be 70% faster than the predecessor, and the GPU is supposed to be 90% faster. You now also get twice the amount of memory at 2 GB. Still, the performance is not really a problem for the older device even after one year. The new input method, 3D Touch, is significantly more exciting. As well as gestures, the touchscreen now recognizes applied pressure. This is already familiar from the TrackPad with Force Touch, but 3D Touch, can also differentiate between light and harder touches, and launch corresponding actions or open menus.

Apple also claims that they have improved the cameras significantly. At least the technical specifications suggest a clear step forwards. The iSight main camera now uses a 12 MP sensor that can also record videos in 4K. A 5 MP sensor is on the front, which means that Apple no longer ignores the selfie trend and also uses the display as a flash. However, according to Apple the greatest new feature is Live Photo. The camera takes a small video as well as the actual picture, which starts 1.5 seconds before you take the shot and ends 1.5 seconds after. This is supposed to make interactive pictures. We are already familiar with a similar feature from the Lumia 930.

This might actually be necessary when you consider the increased prices. The storage capacities have not changed compared to the iPhone 6 at 16, 64 and 128 GB, but this does not stop Apple from charging a steep price for the 6S. The entry-level model of the 6S now retails for 739 Euros (~$827) and goes all the way up to 949 Euros (~$1062). The prices of the 6S Plus are between 849 and 1069 Euros (~$950 and ~$1197). This means the new devices are 40 to 70 Euros (~$45 to ~$78) more expensive than the predecessors. The Rose Gold color is a new addition, but Space Gray, Silver and Gold are still available.

We want to use this preview to have a quick look at the performance as well as 3D Touch and take some pictures with the new cameras. Apple also claims to have improved the case in terms of stability and scratch-resistance, so we will cover this as well. Finally, we can make initial statements about the power consumption and the expected battery runtimes.

Apple iPhone 6S (iPhone Series)
Processor
Apple A9 1.8 GHz , integrated M9 Motion co-processor
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
4.7 inch 16:9, 1334x750 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 multitouch points, 3D Touch, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe), 64 GB 
, 51.7 GB free
Connections
Audio Connections: combined headphones and microphone jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, 3-axis gyroscope, barometer, digital compass, Lightning port, NFC, GPS, Glonass, iBeacon
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (FDD-bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17-20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; TDD-bands: 38-41), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.1 x 138.3 x 67.1 ( = 0.28 x 5.44 x 2.64 in)
Battery
7 Wh Lithium-Ion, 1715 mAh, 3.82 V, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 14 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 240 h
Operating System
Apple iOS 9
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP FaceTime camera (f/2.2, 720p videos, auto HDR, Retina flash), main camera: 12 MP iSight camera (1.22 µm pixels, True Tone flash, auto HDR, autofocus, f/2.2)
Additional features
Speakers: Monoaural, Keyboard: virtual, Headset, Lightning to USB cable, modular power adaptor, documentation, Siri, AirPlay, AirPrint, iCloud, Wallet, 12 Months Warranty, VoLTE, Head-SAR: 0.87 W/kg, Body-SAR: 0.97 W/kg, fanless
Weight
143 g ( = 5.04 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 45 g ( = 1.59 oz / 0.1 pounds)
Price
849 Euro

 

Apple iPhone 6S Plus (iPhone Series)
Processor
Apple A9 1.8 GHz , integrated M9 Motion co-processor
Memory
2048 MB 
, 2048
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 multitouch points, 3DTouch, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe), 64 GB 
, 51.4 GB free
Connections
Audio Connections: combined headphones and microphone jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, 3-axis gyroscope, barometer, digital compass, Lightning port, NFC, GPS, Glonass, iBeacon
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (FDD-bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17-20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; TDD-bands: 38-41)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.3 x 158.2 x 77.9 ( = 0.29 x 6.23 x 3.07 in)
Battery
10 Wh, 2750 mAh Lithium-Ion, 3.8 V, 2750 mAh, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 24 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 348 h
Operating System
Apple iOS 9
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP FaceTime camera (f/2.2, 720p videos, auto HDR, Retina flash), main camera: 12 MP iSight camera (1.22 µm pixels, OIS, True Tone flash, auto HDR, autofocus, f/2.2)
Additional features
Speakers: Monoaural, Keyboard: virtual, Headset, Lightning to USB cable, modular power adaptor, documentation, Siri, AirPlay, AirPrint, iCloud, Wallet, 12 Months Warranty, VoLTE, Head-SAR: 0.93 W/kg, Body-SAR: 0.91 W/kg
Weight
192 g ( = 6.77 oz / 0.42 pounds), Power Supply: 45 g ( = 1.59 oz / 0.1 pounds)
Price
959 Euro

 

First Impressions

The new iPhones are slightly thicker, wider and longer than before. However, the changes are hardly noticeable, only the heavier weight is immediately perceptible in a direct comparison. iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are now 14 and 20 grams (~0.5 and 0.7 oz), respectively, heavier than their predecessors. This means that the 5.5-inch Plus in particular is now quite heavy; a similarly sized LG G4s is almost 40 grams (~1.4 oz) lighter. The additional weight is mainly caused by the necessary technology and the realization of 3D Touch. This includes capacitive sensors in the backlight layer and the so-called Taptic Engine, which creates a tactile feedback for the new touch functions Peek and Pop.

Apple now uses 7000 series aluminum for the unibody construction, which is also supposed to be used in the aerospace sector. It is ultimately an aluminum alloy with zinc as a main alloy element. The aerospace sector is just one of many fields of application for 7000 series aluminum. Sport devices, bicycles and airplanes in particular, use this alloy. It is characterized by a very high strength of 220 up to 700 Nm/mm² depending on the composition of the alloy. The Ion-X-glass at the front is also supposed to be much more robust than before. Apple even claims it is the strongest glass in the smartphone sector. The development was necessary when we look at our 12-month old iPhone 6. There are numerous scratches on the display and we can see clear signs of wear at the back as well. We still have an iPhone 5 in our editorial office, which is three years old and looks almost new in comparison. By the way, a quick bending test was not an issue for the iPhone 6S Plus. If you bend the new iPhone, then it is on purpose. However, apart from the materials, the weight and the dimensions, there are no changes. The design of the new generation is identical to the predecessors.

Apple has also updated the communication modules. The 4G module now supports LTE Advanced Cat. 6 with 23 bands and a theoretical transfer rate of up to 300 Mbps (downstream). The Wi-Fi module is also slightly improved and now reaches up to 866 Mbps thanks to the MIMO technology. Bluetooth is fully up to date with version 4.2, and NFC is still not usable for third-party apps. The fingerprint scanner Touch ID is also supposed to be faster.

Handling

Quick Actions
Quick Actions
3D Touch settings
3D Touch settings

The main focus of the optimized control concept of the new iPhones is 3D Touch. The touchscreen does not only recognize taps and swipe gestures, it now also recognizes pressure – in different intensities. Apple calls the corresponding actions Peek and Pop. Compatible apps also show some kind of context menu on the home screen. Apple calls this Quick Actions. You definitely have to get used to the new concept, but it does not take very long. We internalized the Quick Actions after a couple of hours, but we have to use the smartphone for a longer period for Peek and Pop – especially since there are even more new functions like pressing and swiping from the side, which can be used to switch between opened apps.

Cameras

Apple has put a lot of work into the cameras and delivered a long overdue update, which finally includes a higher resolution and Ultra HD video. The front sensor now has 5 MP (instead of just 1.2 MP). The main camera gets four more MP to a total of 12 MP. Unfortunately, the optical image stabilizer is still reserved for the larger iPhone 6S Plus.

We took some sample pictures right away and so far, they leave a very good impression. Daylight pictures in particular, are razor-sharp and have great colors. The sensor of the iPhones has some issues with backlight and the automatic HDR feature cannot compensate for it as well as the LG G4 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 (Edge). We would like to see a higher dynamic range.

The quality of close-ups with the iPhone 6S (Plus) are good. You can see some blur towards the edges, but this is not unusual for a smartphone camera.

We took the low-light picture under subdued lighting. You can already see some frayed edges and isolated fragments, but the noise is very limited. Once again, the first impression is decent, but we can already say that the new iPhone cameras will not be able to keep up with the high-end models from the competition.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Front camera
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Front camera
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera backlight
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera backlight
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera sun from the side
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera sun from the side
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera close-up
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera close-up
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera flower
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera flower
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera low-light
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Main camera low-light

Display

The display is one of the few aspects where the new iPhones do not look any different from their predecessors. This is also the reason that Phil Schiller hardly mentioned it during the keynote, and why we only have a brief look at it in the preview as well. The 4.7-inch display of the iPhone 6S still has 1334x750 pixels (326 ppi), while the 5.5-inch iPhone 6S Plus still uses FHD (1920x1080 pixels). The measurement results of the current models are close to their predecessors, but we cannot yet confirm that Apple uses identical displays. There are some deviations. The iPhone 6S Plus, for example, is around 10% brighter than its direct predecessor with a maximum of 583 cd/m². Black value and contrast are improved as well. However, the new iPhones are still not on par with the top smartphones from Samsung with Super AMOLED screens. Still, the screens of the new iPhones are undoubtedly among the best on the market.

Nothing has really changed in terms of picture quality. The deviations of the grayscale and the colors are not usually visible to the human eye. The subjective picture quality is also very convincing, only the black areas appear a bit too pale at high luminance settings.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Grayscale
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Grayscale
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Colorspace
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Colorspace
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Stauration Sweeps
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: Stauration Sweeps
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: ColorChecker
Apple iPhone 6S Plus: ColorChecker

Brightness Distribution iPhone 6S

537
cd/m²
551
cd/m²
576
cd/m²
534
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
586
cd/m²
508
cd/m²
532
cd/m²
568
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 586 cd/m² Average: 549.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 552 cd/m²
Contrast: 1415:1 (Black: 0.39 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.4 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.16 | - Ø
95.93% sRGB (Argyll) 62.18% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.21

Brightness Distribution iPhone 6S Plus

533
cd/m²
550
cd/m²
573
cd/m²
544
cd/m²
583
cd/m²
575
cd/m²
539
cd/m²
568
cd/m²
572
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 583 cd/m² Average: 559.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 583 cd/m²
Contrast: 1267:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.55 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 3.88 | - Ø
92.8% sRGB (Argyll) 59.05% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.2
Apple iPhone 6S
A9 / PowerVR GT7600, A9, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
Apple iPhone 6
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 128 GB eMMC Flash
OnePlus 2
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 64 GB eMMC Flash
LG G4
Adreno 418, 808 MSM8992, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Mali-T760 MP8, 7420 Octa, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
Huawei P8
Mali-T628 MP4, Kirin 930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3+
Adreno 430, 810 MSM8994, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-20%
-1%
-20%
18%
-2%
-43%
Brightness
549
511
-7%
446
-19%
536
-2%
338
-38%
439
-20%
601
9%
Brightness Distribution
87
88
1%
90
3%
90
3%
94
8%
91
5%
92
6%
Black Level *
0.39
0.61
-56%
0.3
23%
0.47
-21%
0.28
28%
0.53
-36%
Contrast
1415
852
-40%
1503
6%
1204
-15%
1618
14%
1142
-19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.4
3.92
-15%
3.84
-13%
6.17
-81%
2.2
35%
4.7
-38%
9.24
-172%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.16
4.33
-4%
3.97
5%
6.26
-50%
2.37
43%
5.03
-21%
10.01
-141%
Gamma
2.21 109%
2.46 98%
2.46 98%
2.48 97%
2.41 100%
2.27 106%
2.22 108%
CCT
7288 89%
7384 88%
7283 89%
8171 80%
6425 101%
7439 87%
10343 63%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.18
58.07
-7%
65.48
5%
87.77
41%
72.04
16%
65.65
6%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95.93
90.14
-6%
98.63
3%
97.1
1%

* ... smaller is better

Performance

Both the iPhone 6S as well as its larger sibling iPhone 6S Plus use the new Apple A9 SoC. Once again, it is a 64-bit dual-core processor, which is supported by 2 GB of RAM this time. This is actually twice as much as before. Apple uses LPDDR4-RAM. According to Apple, the performance of the new CPU is up to 70% higher than the iPhone 6 .

The performance of the graphics unit is supposed to be 90% faster. The GPU is currently provided by Imagination, and they certainly provide their fastest chip for Apple’s devices. Even though there are no specifics yet, it is very likely that it is a GPU from the PowerVR Series7XT family, probably the fastest chip GT7600.

The performance in the initial benchmarks is impressive and easily beats the competition. The CPU is almost 70% faster than the Galaxy S6 (Edge) in Geekbench 3, but the dual-core falls behind devices with the Exynos 7420 and Snapdragon 810 when all cores can be utilized.

The SoC is not that important in the system benchmarks like AnTuTu v5, where the Samsung flagship benefits particularly from its fast storage. However, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus manage very good results. It will be a tough task to beat the graphics performance of the new iPhones, where the advantage over the competition varies between 14 (Adreno 430) and 78% (ARM Mali-T760 MP8).

We will evaluate the strong performance of the new S models in more detail in our in-depth reviews. We will have a closer look at the stability of the performance in particular.

Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
4422 Points ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5619 Points ∼17% +27%
LG G4
3556 Points ∼11% -20%
OnePlus 2
4804 Points ∼15% +9%
HTC One M9 (Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
3835 Points ∼12% -13%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
3949 Points ∼12% -11%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
2539 Points ∼53%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
1503 Points ∼32% -41%
LG G4
1107 Points ∼23% -56%
OnePlus 2
1140 Points ∼24% -55%
HTC One M9 (Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
1275 Points ∼27% -50%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
1298 Points ∼27% -49%
AnTuTu Benchmark v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
59084 Points ∼73%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
50360 Points ∼62% -15%
Apple iPhone 6
49093 Points ∼61% -17%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
72094 Points ∼89% +22%
LG G4
49941 Points ∼62% -15%
OnePlus 2
58535 Points ∼73% -1%
HTC One M9
55374 Points ∼69% -6%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761
54095 Points ∼67% -8%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
56412 Points ∼70% -5%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
79.6 fps ∼6%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
44.8 fps ∼3% -44%
Apple iPhone 6
42.6 fps ∼3% -46%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
53 fps ∼4% -33%
LG G4
33.7 fps ∼3% -58%
OnePlus 2
48 fps ∼4% -40%
HTC One M9
49 fps ∼4% -38%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761
65 fps ∼5% -18%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
54 fps ∼4% -32%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
59.1 fps ∼5%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
52.4 fps ∼5% -11%
Apple iPhone 6
51.9 fps ∼5% -12%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
32 fps ∼3% -46%
LG G4
24.9 fps ∼2% -58%
OnePlus 2
47 fps ∼4% -20%
HTC One M9
50 fps ∼5% -15%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761
56 fps ∼5% -5%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
37 fps ∼3% -37%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
13097 Points ∼19%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
9473 Points ∼14% -28%
Apple iPhone 6
9137 Points ∼13% -30%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
19260 Points ∼28% +47%
LG G4
11178 Points ∼16% -15%
OnePlus 2
10985 Points ∼16% -16%
HTC One M9
10432 (min: 10432) Points ∼15% -20%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
11189 Points ∼16% -15%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
42686 Points ∼9%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
23937 Points ∼5% -44%
Apple iPhone 6
22509 Points ∼5% -47%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
23954 Points ∼5% -44%
LG G4
23390 Points ∼5% -45%
OnePlus 2
31858 Points ∼7% -25%
HTC One M9
34429 (min: 34429) Points ∼8% -19%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
37312 Points ∼8% -13%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
28419 Points ∼14%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
17873 Points ∼9% -37%
Apple iPhone 6
16985 Points ∼9% -40%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
22723 Points ∼12% -20%
LG G4
18821 Points ∼10% -34%
OnePlus 2
22400 Points ∼11% -21%
HTC One M9
22783 (min: 22783) Points ∼12% -20%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
24566 Points ∼12% -14%
Basemark ES 3.1 / Metal - offscreen Overall Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S
887 Points ∼47%
OnePlus 2 (7.6 fps offscreen)
427 Points ∼23% -52%
HTC One M9 (5.3 fps offscreen)
300 Points ∼16% -66%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761 (11.8 fps offscreen)
665 Points ∼36% -25%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S (Safari Mobile 9.01)
16200 Points ∼33%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus (Safari 8.0 Mobile)
7276 Points ∼15% -55%
Apple iPhone 6 (Safari 8.0 Mobile)
7478 Points ∼15% -54%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (Samsung Browser 3.0)
8650 Points ∼17% -47%
LG G4 (Android 5.0 Lollipop Stock-Browser)
7832 (min: 6791) Points ∼16% -52%
OnePlus 2 (Chrome 44)
6955 Points ∼14% -57%
HTC One M9 (Chrome 41)
6493 Points ∼13% -60%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (Chrome 39)
7790 Points ∼16% -52%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S (Safari Mobile 9.01)
118.6 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (Chrome 44)
49.193 Points ∼0% -59%
LG G4 (Chrome 44)
43.118 Points ∼0% -64%
OnePlus 2 (Chrome 44)
44.286 Points ∼0% -63%
HTC One M9 (Chrome 44)
26.852 Points ∼0% -77%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Apple iPhone 6S (Safari Mobile 9.01)
187 Points ∼33%
LG G4 (Android 5.0 Lollipop Stock-Browser)
82 Points ∼14% -56%
OnePlus 2 (Chrome 44)
80 Points ∼14% -57%
HTC One M9 (Chrome 49)
72 Points ∼13% -61%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761 (Chrome 42)
106 Points ∼18% -43%
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (Chrome 39)
93 Points ∼16% -50%

Legend

 
Apple iPhone 6S Apple A9, Apple A9 / PowerVR GT7600, Apple AP0064K (iPhone NVMe)
 
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa, ARM Mali-T760 MP8, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
LG G4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 MSM8992, Qualcomm Adreno 418, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M9 Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
NVIDIA Shield Tablet LTE P1761 Nvidia Tegra K1, NVIDIA Tegra K1 Kepler GPU, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994, Qualcomm Adreno 430, 32 GB eMMC Flash

Energy & Battery Runtime

3D Touch or the new Taptic Engine, respectively, needs space – which affect the battery capacity. While the battery of the iPhone 6 still provided 6.91 Wh, the latest generation only gets a 6.55 Wh module. This is combined with a significant performance increase, slightly brighter display and new control methods. Apple still promises a runtime similar to the predecessor. Our initial measurements of the power consumption are just a small indicator of the runtimes, but it seems that the S models are slightly more frugal than the older models. We are eager to see the results.

Preliminary Verdict

In Review: Apple iPhones 6S and 6S Plus.
In Review: Apple iPhones 6S and 6S Plus.

The S models from Apple are usually just a gentle update of the iPhones in combination with a significant performance increase. However, the Americans have put more effort into this generation compared to previous S models. 3D Touch is not a revolutionary control concept – notebooks have used this for a while – but the handling of the smartphones does change quite a bit, especially since Apple includes a number of useful features. Apple has also improved the cameras significantly. The additional pixels of the main camera are more noticeable in the specifications than in practice, but 4K videos and a decent selfie camera were long overdue. The use of more robust materials certainly does not hurt, either. The predecessors were at least pretty prone to micro scratches.

The new generation of iPhones is once again the most powerful, what a surprise. However, what the A9 chip is actually capable of is really impressive. We have to wait and see if the good initial impression is confirmed in the in-depth review. We will also see whether the A9 chip can maintain its performance under load or if it tends to throttle.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Apple iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus First Impressions
Patrick Afschar Kaboli, Daniel Schmidt, 2015-09-25 (Update: 2015-10- 2)