The iPhone 6S Plus is just as big, but a little better. Apple reinvigorated its phablet without rewriting the playbook thanks to its smart 3D Touch technology and a more power under the hood.

It's not the upgrade some will have been hoping for, and the apparent lack of headline grabbing new features leaves the iPhone 6S Plus open for criticism, so is it a phone that's still worth considering?

If you're after a large-screened iPhone but don't want to spend the big bucks on the iPhone 7 Plus, the 6S Plus is the better option over the older 6 Plus.

iPhone 6S Plus review

We liked

I was a little disappointed to find Apple had stuck with a full HD resolution, but take nothing away from the display on the iPhone 6S Plus. It's bright, clear and vibrant and I had no issues when watching movies and playing games.

The power from the new A9 processor is impressive, and means the 6S Plus can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.

What I really like however is 3D Touch, which is slightly strange to say as it's not yet fully-formed. It's the potential behind the technology which has really got me hooked, and as developers start building it into their apps and games the iPhone 6S Plus is only going to get better and better.

We disliked

Apple's made the iPhone 6S Plus bigger (slightly) and heavier (considerably), meaning it's still a beast to hold and very difficult to use one handed.

For those who walk down the street tapping away on their iPhone with one hand and sipping from a frappe mochachino in their other, the 6S Plus is the wrong phone for you.

You'll also need a small fortune to take one home with you, and while it's certainly not alone in the high-priced stakes, it does price itself into a particular market out of many people's reach.

It's still early days for iOS 9 too, but there are a few small gremlins in the system which result in a slightly jarring experience. It's nothing a software update shouldn't be able to fix, but until Apple rolls it out they could be rather annoying.

The battery life isn't increased over the previous model either, although given the decent performance from 2014's model that's nowhere near as much of an issue as it is with the iPhone 6S.

iPhone 6S Plus review

Verdict

Apple's second generation phablet was always going to be an incremental upgrade, so it's no surprise that a number of comparisons can be drawn between the iPhone 6S Plus and its predecessor.

Side by side they're practically impossible to tell apart, but it's what you can't see that makes the difference.

A combination of excellent power and an exciting new technology in 3D Touch means the iPhone 6S Plus is set up for the future much better than the 6 Plus.

But its merits are hanging on that potential. As it stands, it does very little over the 6 Plus and that makes it really difficult to recommend at this time. That's not to say that the 6S Plus isn't a brilliant phone - it offers the solid, stylish Apple experience and chucks in a higher-res screen and better battery life, which you can't complain about.

For iPhone 6 Plus owners, there's no benefit making the leap to the 6S Plus. You'd be better off looking at the iPhone 7 Plus. Those with older, smaller iPhones looking for their big break however will not be disappointed by the 6S Plus, and with the recent price drop it's now slightly more affordable.

However, the more frugal among us looking for the iPhablet experience won't find a huge amount of difference between the 6S Plus and the 6S (3D Touch aside) and would easily be able to live with the older phone while still getting a top iPhone experience.

If you're not completely sold by the iPhone 6S Plus we've picked out some of its key competition below for you to mull over.

iPhone 6S

iPhone 6S

The smaller brother of the 6S Plus, the iPhone 6S has a screen size more suited to the Apple faithful, but with most of the same features.

It helps that the 6S is cheaper than the Plus, although screen resolution isn't as high and you don't get optical image stabilization on its rear facing 12MP camera. It fits more snugly in the palm, and it's noticeably lighter making the 6S far more portable.

You'll find the same operating system, 3D Touch capabilities and power inside the iPhone 6S and for many it'll be the much more attractive proposition.

That said, the larger, full HD screen on the iPhone 6S Plus is rather lovely, and lets you take full advantage of movies and games.

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6 Plus

If you're looking for the very latest Apple phablet, the 6S Plus ain't it. The iPhone 7 Plus has rode in on its Jet Black horse to steal the show - but it's not all over the the brave 6S Plus.

The 7 Plus does have a number of advantages over its predecessor, including improved cameras, a waterproof body, upgraded power under the hood and slightly better battery life - but it wasn't the overhaul we were hoping for.

That means the 6S Plus is still an excellent option for those looking for a large screen iPhone, and with its price drop since the arrival of the 7 Plus it remains a highly attractive proposition.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

If you're after a big screen and a whole heap of power there's nothing better than the Galaxy S7 Edge. It's currently the best phone in the world, beating even the new iPhone 7 Plus.

There's a brilliant camera, stand-out screen and loads of power under the hood, plus the battery life is also one of the stronger performers currently on the market.

It's slightly more expensive than the 6S Plus, but its price has reduced since its launch which means the gap isn't as big as you may think.

Of course, if you're wedded to iOS you're not going to switch to Android - but if you do, you won't regret the S7 Edge.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

Sony's latest phone is the first to pack a 4K display on such a tiny device. It looks beautiful, but does damage the battery life quite a bit. You're not going to get very good daily charge here at all, but if you want a much clearer image than the iPhone 6S Plus, this is certainly worth a look.

The fingerprint scanner on the Xperia Z5 Premium sits on the side of the phone and works perfectly. But Touch ID is great as well now, so it's not really a big selling point.

The Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a 23MP camera on the back with an ultra-fast auto-focus that can snap moving objects really easily.

It is a big phone, but it's about the same in the hand as the iPhone 6S Plus. This phone is also going to cost you about the same kind of money as an iPhone 6S Plus, so it's a difficult decision. One of the big questions you need to answer is whether you prefer iOS or if you'd like the Android software.

OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2

If you're in the market for a 5.5-inch smartphone but you budget doesn't quite stretch to Apple's or Samsung's asking price you needn't give it.

One option you have is the Force Touch enabled Huawei Mate S, but if you're looking for real bang for your buck you'll want to check out the OnePlus 2.

It has a 6S Plus equaling 5.5-inch full HD, while sporting a body which is smaller and lighter that its fruity rival.

You still get a fingerprint scanner, although it's not as advanced as Touch ID, while the rear facing camera round the back boasts a 13MP lens and optical image stabilization.

Corners have been cut to keep the price down, with no expandable storage, removable battery or NFC present, and when it comes to design the iPhone 6S Plus is light-years ahead.

First reviewed: September 2015