REVIEW: iPhone 6s Plus - Why Apple has a phablet that can compete
- 06 October, 2015 06:17
When Apple first launched the iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, many were disappointed to find a larger version of the iPhone 6.
Fast forward twelve months however, and is this version any different?
A week on from its global launch, the iPhone 6s Plus has found its own identity with the inclusion of 3D Touch and 4K video, but visually it’s the same big brother of the iPhone 6s.
Design wise, the device measures in at 15.8 cm long, just under 7.8 cm wide and 192 grams.
Apple’s first introduction of pressure sensitive interactions were unveiled in the newest versions of the MacBook portfolio and in the Apple Watch as various shortcuts, but this feature has now been refined and renamed 3D Touch on the new smartphone models.
The first thing users will notice is the ability to quickly view emails and messages through the 3D Touch feature, with a slightly harder touch taking you into the selected message and a slightly longer press will bringing up a menu of options to launch actions without hesitation.
Already, many people have commented on having the ability to customise the list of options and interactions, so time will tell if Apple introduce this feature in a later operating system update.
3D Touch also provides a new level of convenience to users, with navigating through an older iPhone laboured compared to the faster, smoother and more responsive iPhone 6s Plus.
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are the only handsets to incorporate this technology into their handsets, which helps when the 6s Plus comes with stylus compatibility, but still does not provide one with their handsets.
Users can also press and hold the keyboard and this will transform into a trackpad, so you can edit your typing with more accuracy.
Apple will be hoping to get more developers involved with 3D Touch and integrating the technology into their apps, and with giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox already incorporating this into their apps, other developers will not be far behind.
Another positive of the 6s Plus is its 1920x1080 display, which is truly great for watching Full HD video or anybody who watches a lot of Lightbox or Neon on the go.
The screen is not all positive news however, as the clarity comes in at 401ppi, which leaves it lagging behind the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
That said, another positive aspect of the 6s Plus is the construction of the device as it now incorporates 7000 series aluminium, which should prevent the bending issues of the original 6 Plus devices - although such claims still lack evidence.
Small handed people should be warned that the device is arge and you will need to use both hands at the same time in order to operate the device properly.
The added weight of the new pressure sensitive glass means that the 6s Plus always feels secure in your hands. However, if you like skinny jeans, this device will be clearly visible in your pockets - if you can get it in your pocket in the first place.
The battery is another area where the 6s Plus has improved over its older brother. This time around Apple has managed to fit a smaller 2750 mAh battery into the device, but thanks to the new found efficiency of the A9 processor and iOS 9’s Low Power Mode, the device outlasts the 6s, despite its larger screen.
Apple still refuses to incorporate quick charge technology meaning a daily overnight charge will be required on most days. However, the 6s Plus easily lasts eight hours while watching 4K videos, gaming and general daily tasks.
The device is also rumoured to include 2GB of RAM, which would be a significant improvement over all other past devices. What this translates to in real life is the ability to answer a call, send an email or switch back to your favourite mobile game without experiencing the slightest bit of lag.
Camera enthusiasts may feel hard done by however, as there does not appear to be a great difference in image quality over the 6 Plus.
But Apple has introduced some new features such as Live Photos, which adds an extra dimension to photo bursts when capturing an event as it unfolds.
Samsung and Nokia have used this technology previously, but Apple’s integration and ‘always on’ means you can view your moving image with one hard press, allowing the whole captured moment to come to life.
Furthermore, 4K video is another welcome bonus on the 6s Plus and with Apple’s large user base this could finally be the time for 4K videos to become mainstream and become default recording resolution, but users will need plenty of natural light to make those 4K videos really come to life.
As with most Apple products, this phablet does not come cheap and with Apple’s decision to omit 32GB as a storage amount, you will need to decide between, 16GB, 64GB and 128GB which starts retailing for $1799.
After extended use and the introduction of 4K video many users will find 16GB will not cut it for their storage needs.
Almost everything the 6s Plus does comes across as an upgrade and not necessarily a new device, but that doesn’t mean it should be seen as a negative.
In truth, Apple raised the bar with the introduction of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s Plus takes all of these positives and improves on them in almost every way, whilst introducing some new features.
This Apple now has some relatively future-proof hardware and has a camera that can compete with its competition.
Also, the introduction and improvements of iOS 9 and bonuses such as always-on ‘Hey Siri’ make the whole user experience more enjoyable.
For people with an iPhone 6 Plus, this device might not have provided the leap you were looking for in Apple’s newest phablet.
But for those of you who have held out for a more competitive phablet offering from the tech giant, this could be the perfect time to take the plunge as Apple now has a device that can stand up to the competition.