iPhone 6S review

Same frame but with a brilliant new touchscreen

iPhone 6S review

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The iPhone is still one of the better devices out there for watching films on, but mostly because the integration with the iTunes store is so strong.

While Google Play is getting to a similar level, there's something about the ease with which one can download a whole array of films or fill in missing TV series that makes me drawn to Apple's option when it comes to getting the latest movies.

And watching them on the iPhone 6S is pretty darn good too, thanks to the aforementioned laminated glass. The resolution might not be top notch on the screen, but the overall quality when watching downloaded or streamed content (either from the iTunes Store, Netflix or even YouTube) is really something to behold.

iPhone 6S review

Thanks to the lightweight chassis that Apple's hell-bent on adding into every device it makes, the experience of holding the iPhone 6S for an extended period isn't a horrid one. The screen feels a touch small, but that's just all about perception.

There was a time not that long ago where a 4.7-inch display would have been the perfect size for watching movies on, but now we've been spoilt by both tablets and the larger-screened phablets, and the 750p resolution on something of this size just feels a little too dinky for slurping down too many series in a row.

However, it's a great trade off when it comes to getting a phone that you can toss in a pocket and not think about sticking out the end, so unless you're desperate to improve your commute with the entire James Bond series (which I would doff my cap to you for) then this phone will probably suit you just fine.

It's interesting that the 3D Touch system hasn't been integrated into the movie watching experience - on the MacBook you can use Force Touch (which is pretty much the same thing, but likely with fewer sensors) to decide the level of scrubbing speed depending on the pressure you apply.

It's not a big deal, but it's something that would have been nice to see on the new iPhone.

Music - well, Apple Music

The audio capabilities of the iPhone 6S are, once again, really rather brilliant - and as loathe as I am to admit it, really augmented by Apple Music. I only say loathe because I'm getting tired with the amount of streaming services available at the moment, not because it's a poor service.

I'm yet to be convinced by Beats 1 as a radio station (I've got loads I'm already into based on specific genres, rather than the pick 'n' mix attitude of Zane Lowe and chums) but the range and catalogue on offer is strong from Apple. The curated playlists perhaps aren't in the same league as Spotify, but it's when you use Siri to get you some tunes that things really start to pick up.

Saying 'Siri, I want to hear the latest EDM tunes ' will result in the voice-powered asisstant popping off to the Apple Music app for you and starting something playing instantly (although in this case, it gave me the Spiderman 2 theme).

iPhone 6S review

It's great for when you're out running and want to change the genre, or fancy a certain song suddenly, and takes away the horrible choice of having to stop and look at your phone or carry on and try to do it on the fly.

In terms of the actual music player itself, well, Apple Music has made it a little confusing. Yes, your own MP3s are stored there just fine, but they're tucked away in the corner, with things like Artists you can follow being shoved down your throat beforehand.

I feel almost guilty for disliking that - there's part of me that can't help but buy into any service that plays on how cool liking music is, and as someone who's really, really into Girls Aloud and Basshunter, I've never really felt like part of the crew. I wonder if following artst will make things feel a little bit cooler, that I might start getting into Motown or Jazz from 1950s... but there's something about terrible dance pop that keeps drawing me back in.

At least Apple still caters for me.

I can't see myself stepping too far from my Spotify subscription though when the Apple Music trial ends - with so many playlists and the excellent Discover Weekly on the go, I prefer to get my music from there, and the quality through a decent pair of headphones on the iPhone is superb.

Speaking of headphones, there's a new feature of iOS that I'm really into: when you connect a pair of wired or wireless headphones, the lock screen will show you your favourite music app so you can get the most out of your music.

What's impressive is how intelligent this service is - working out that Bluetooth headphones mean running and thus I want Spotify, while wired options will generally see me listening to my favourite podcasts.

That's the kind of smarts I want to see from my phones, and it's good to see Apple matching Google Now in terms of helping you save a few taps on your phone's screen.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.