iPhone 6S review

Same frame but with a brilliant new touchscreen

iPhone 6S review

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As per usual, the iPhone 6S launched into a saturated market when it comes to top end smartphones. 2016 saw the return to form of Samsung, the same low-cost offering from LG and an impressive option from Sony, all costing the same or less than the iPhone 6S. 

Then there's the iPhone 7 too, which you might also be considering if you're looking at the 6S, and then there are newer handsets, perhaps most notably the iPhone XR, since this is a modern Apple phone but with a less than flagship price, so is the 6S a better bet than the competition?

iPhone XR

Apple's latest flagships are the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max, but while they're successors to the iPhone 6S, they can't really be seen as competition to it, since they're several times more expensive. The iPhone XR though is positioned as a slightly more affordable option.

That said, it's still roughly twice as expensive as the 6S (starting at $749 / £749 / AU$1229 at the time of writing).

But for that you get a more modern design that's closer to the iPhone X than the iPhone 6S, including a notch and a big 6.1-inch screen.

The iPhone XR is also water-resistant, a lot more powerful and packs Face ID in place of Touch ID. It's also going to be updated for longer. It's undoubtedly the better phone, but whether it's worth twice the money is rather more subjective.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Samsung Galaxy S7 wasn't once crowned our best phone in the world for nothing. It's got a larger, higher resolution display, superior camera and even more power packed under the hood.

Its Android Marshmallow OS (updatable to Android Oreo) and TouchWiz overlay may not be as simple and clean as iOS, but it offers a wealth of additional features and controls - plus the always on screen is a handy addition.

Battery life also exceeds the iPhone 6S, with the Galaxy S7 comfortably seeing out a full day on a single charge, and taking heavy lifting tasks in its stride.

The iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S7 are around the same price, so the choice is are you looking for the best of Apple, or the best of Android? If you don't care about OS, the S7 is the greater device, but for iPhone stalwarts it probably doesn't do enough to draw you away from Apple's grasp.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 6S has now been superseded by a number of handsets, but if you're reading this then you're probably not considering the very latest ones, so how about the iPhone 7?

While the iPhone 7 has a few new tricks - a waterproof body, a couple of new shades of black, improved cameras and more internal storage - there really isn't all that much separating it from the 6S.

With the 6S retailing for less than the 7, there's an argument to be made that the 6S is the more attractive proposition. Though handily the iPhone 7 is still sold by Apple itself, while the 6S isn't.

If you want the very latest Apple has to offer, then you'll get the 7 - but for those who are a little more money conscious the 6S isn't a bad shout.



While Apple and Samsung may have played it safe with their latest flagship offerings, LG isn't backwards at coming forwards with new interpretations of the mobile phone.

It gave us buttons on the back with the G3, a leather-clad phone in the G4 and now the G5 boasts modular capabilities.

As well as a large QHD screen with always-on display, plenty of power and dual-cameras on the rear, the G5's real party piece comes to light when you pull its bottom off.

Swap out the bezel piece with the Cam Plus or Hi-Fi Plus modules and you've instantly added extra functionality to the phone. The modules are a little half baked, and the battery life needs improving, but if you're looking for something a bit different from your flagship phone the G5 offers it up.

iPhone 6S Plus

iPhone 6S Plus

The iPhone 6S is great, but what if you fancy something a little bit bigger? The iPhone 6S Plus is an obvious option.

As the name suggests, the iPhone 6S Plus shares many similarities to its smaller brother, but the main point of different is the screen. Here you get a full HD resolution stretched over 5.5 inches - perfect for gaming and movie watching.

The larger dimensions will put some off - and quite right too, this is a beast in the hand - but compare it to similar sized Android devices and apart from the bulky bezels at the top and bottom it shapes up rather nicely.

It's still premium, the interface is still clean, there's a decent slug of power and with a bigger battery crammed inside it'll last a bit longer too.

iPhone SE

iPhone SE

You're looking for the power of the iPhone 6S, you're not fussed about the 3D Touch interface and you're thinking that it's all just a bit too big for you.

Well, Apple's decided that the iPhone SE is the solution you need - it's an identical chassis to the iPhone 5S meaning the handset is really palm-friendly and the 4-inch screen a dream to glide your thumb around. The same powerful A9 chip and 12MP camera are on board too - this really is a bundle of power in a smaller phone.

It's also cheaper too, so if you want all the next-gen features without the added heft, that's when you should be looking at the iPhone SE.

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.