Apple’s latest smartphone is here. The iPhone 6S goes on sale today, the pre-orders will be fulfilled, and the rocket-ship of sales is likely to outpace sales of any previous Apple smartphone. With most consumers locked into two-year contracts, the iPhone 6S is a huge step up from the older iPhone 5S, but the majority of comparisons are going to be with last year’s iPhone 6. Has Apple done enough to make the new iPhone 6S stand out and a make it a must-have purchase? Or is the focus on the ‘magical’ 3D Touch and Live Photos distracting us from the basics of a smartphone? Let’s find out.
The easiest thing to say about the iPhone 6S is that it looks just like last year’s model, the iPhone 6. It takes a close examination to spot the slight expansion in the dimensions, an extra 0.2mm in height and depth, and 0.1 mm thinner in width. It’s not enough to feel noticeable in the hand, but it means that the third-party case industry is going to have to work with a slightly wider tolerance to allow for universal ’6′ cases.
Where it is noticeable is in the weight. The iPhone 6S comes in at 143 g, compared to 129 g for the iPhone 6. For me I prefer that extra heft in my smartphone, the iPhone 6S feels more substantial than last year’s models. I know some people go for thin and light, but for me my smartphone is a day-to-day tool and I want it to feel robust enough to handle life.
The other disappointment in the iPhone 6S sticking to the previous design is the ability to hold the iPhone, or not as the case may be. The smooth metal back of the smartphone might look stylish and clean, but it offers very little friction to get a good grip. This is compounded with the smooth sides and curved edges. Throw another 14 g of weight into the handset and it’s a recipe for more impacts with the floor.