Techradar reacts: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
After months (OK, a whole year) of waiting, Apple has finally announced its latest iPhones, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The handsets are evolutionary iterations over the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but bring a few notable new features to the table.
Still, are the latest iDevices everything we hoped they'd be or do these phones leave us feeling slightly deflated?
We turned to techradar's editorial staff to get their knee-jerk reactions on the new iPhones following Apple's big event. Some are ready to upgrade as soon as the phones come out on September 25, others, less impressed. Read on!
- Catch up on the iPhone 6S launch as it happened!
Patrick Goss, Global Editor-in-Chief
On the iPhone 6S, Force Touch (3D Touch) effectively gives a whole other level of control and I think that's going to be huge going forwards. The camera improvements are cool - but as you'd expect with an "S" year it's probably not going to be enough to tempt in iPhone 6 users. If you love Apple, iOS and you are using an iPhone 5S then this is probably a no-brainer.
Got to admit the tempting phone for me in this generation is the 6S Plus - I'm actually regretting not getting the Plus a year ago and the new features plus my desire for a bigger screen make this the standout phone this year from Apple.
Matt Swider, Editor, Mobile
Apple saved the "S" for last, with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus announcements coming at the tail end of its keynote, but they're more than just the usual small specs upgrades for me.
I'm trading up to the new iPhone 6S because of the camera. I've reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and and tested the Galaxy S6, and both take better photos than my iPhone 6. Apple's iSight camera the 12MP sensor I need to make those "focus pixels" even sharper.
I want clearer photos in low-light conditions, and could care less about Live Photos. Apple's new 3D Touch screen intrigues me, but I want to test it out, along with that speedier A9 chip, before passing judgement. I also want to bend test out of that stronger aluminum to know if I can sit on my phone without it breaking again.
John McCann, Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor
The biggest talking point with the iPhone 6S is the Force Touch technology built into the screen. It's a genuinely exciting piece of technology, but it's going to be a few years before its full potential is realised. It has to start somewhere, but it's going to feel a little half baked on the 6S.
Other than that there's not much else which really stands out. The design is practically a carbon copy of the iPhone 6, and while it has more power under the hood and iOS 9 on its screen, that doesn't really set it apart from last year's handsets.
As for the iPhone 6S Plus, we waited for a big screened iPhone for years, and it looks like Apple is now fully behind the larger form factor with its second generation Plus phone.
Marc Chacksfield, Content Team Lead, Future Tech
Force Touch, sorry, 3D Touch looks really impressive on both the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6S Plus - it will take a while for the technology to really hit home but it has the potential to be a massive game changer for smartphones.
Obviously design-wise they are the same as before, but the rose gold color is really nice. It's what is under the hood that excites me, however. The A9 chip means games can play at 60fps, which is something I am still waiting for my PS4 to do.
I am not an iPhone user but these phones are definitely making me have second thoughts about sticking with Android. If only they improved the battery...
Joe Osborne, Senior Editor
Not to sound hyperbolic, but Apple just introduced smartphones to the "right click." This new 3D Touch feature isn't going to revolutionize how we use our phones like Jony Ive prophesies it will, but it's still pretty damn cool.
However, I wonder how Apple thinks it's going to get the masses to use this new tech. Sure, the power user that actually watches these events will know, but what about your parents? Apple better have some sort clever tutorial in mind, or this hopeful game changer of a feature could fall by the wayside.
James Peckham, Phones and Tablets Writer
On first glance, 3D Touch is the standout feature of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. How we interact with phone screens has barely changed since the first smartphone launched - bringing depth and pressure sensitivity is an interesting new step and if developers jump on board it'll be truly exciting.
Plus "Hey Siri" is a great new feature. One that has been on Android for quite some time, I admit, but it's still impressive to have Siri there on demand without having to even touch a thing. For once Apple has actually got me, a dedicated Android fan, excited about an iPhone.
Nick Pino, Associate Editor, Home Entertainment
Are people still surprised by Apple's iPhone event? Like, c'mon, you knew it would have a better camera, a higher resolution and a faster processor, why are you still surprised? Now, I'm not saying Apple needs to be the one to raise the bar on smartphones or that just because I'm not surprised doesn't mean I'm not going to get one. Apple doesn't need to innovate the iPhone if it doesn't want to. It has a half-dozen other projects to work on. What we saw today was a smart upgrade on an already good device, but it wasn't as revolutionary as Apple made it out to be. (That said, I'm still going to buy one.)
Cameron Faulkner, Assistant Editor
As someone who will be soon in the market for a new smartphone, I'm not too interested in Apple's latest iPhones, the 6S and 6S Plus. Maybe it's because nearly everything about the phones was leaked in advance, or maybe it's because not that much has changed.
I'm still excited to get my hands on the new devices to try out 3D Touch and the updated rear camera and Retina Flash features. But, as it stands today, not enough has changed for me to upgrade.
Kevin Lee, Associate Editor, Laptops
Although it's been less than a year since I upgraded to the iPhone 6, I'm fully onboard with Apple's new upgrade plan. The megapixel bump with the new 12MP camera is just too good to pass up and more so than resolution, I was thoroughly impressed with the sensor's ability to capture more dynamic range from bright highlights to the deep shadows.
3D Touch is the one feature I'm most skeptical about because the advancement of smartphones has always been about making things faster and snappier. Introducing a pseudo-right click to peek at apps and other things seems like it would slow down the tempo of current iPhone users.
Lily Prasuethsut, Associate Editor, Wearables
I'm in dire need of an upgrade and the iPhone 6S is just what I'm looking for. Its 4.7-inch screen will fit nicely in my pocket and in hand opposed to the gigantic iPhone 6 Plus (and now the iPhone 6S Plus). I've never been a fan of phablets but always wanted the power and features that came with them. Thankfully, the 6S is chock-full of new goodies like the A9 chip, 3D Touch and 12MP iSight camera. It'll be a great companion for my freshly updated Apple Watch. Now to pick a color...
Salwa Azar, Social Media Editor - techradar
Loving the 3D Touch gaming in the new iPhones, and the rose gold colour isn't as vomit-inducing as I'd worried it would be.
Also - the new camera will make even the shy photographers out there instant Instagram stars.
Ok. I WANT THAT CAMERA NOW. Will it rival the Fuji X100T for portable detail?
Michelle Fitzsimmons, Managing Editor
Hold the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S next to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, and I'd be hard pressed to tell you the difference between them (unless, of course, the "S" phones are in "champagne" or rose gold).
There are some meaningful upgrades, like 3D Touch, but the new iPhones feel like Apple is spinning its wheels until the next round of major innovation. I know that's expected with S upgrades and who knows, maybe I'll lay my hands on one and decide then and there to upgrade from my 5S. But as of right now, my take is that Apple has done a decent job upgrading, not an extraordinary one.