Apple’s new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus devices go on sale Friday, and Apple has let a few reporters play with them before they launch.
The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch display, and the 6S Plus has a 5.5-inch display. The company is offering a new “rose gold” model that uses a different kind of aluminum from that of prior phones.
With contracts, the 6S starts at $199 for 16GB, and the 6S Plus starts at $299. Preorders started on September 12.
In general, critics have said the new iPhone is much faster than the iPhone 6. The camera is a lot better, too.
But some reviewers, such as The New York Times’ Brian X. Chen, recommended upgrading to the iPhone 6S only if you have an older model. If you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, the improvements might not seem substantial enough to justify the purchase.
Here’s what critics have to say about the new iPhones:
- 3D Touch will be a game changer. The Verge’s Nilay Patel calls it “by far the most aggressive and interesting step in this direction anyone has ever taken.” Patel also calls the iPhone 6S Plus the “best iPhone ever made.” But while itgenerally works well, there’s a little confusion at first with 3D Touch, and it takes some getting used to. Bloomberg’s Sam Grobart says: “If you don’t press hard enough, you activate the old-fashioned ‘jiggle mode’ whereby your apps shake, inviting you to move them around the home screen. But Apple has added haptic feedback to guide your actions. Press until you feel a crisp click under your finger, and you’ll know you’ve done it right. The iPhone 6S’ Live Photos feature is “enjoyable,” though it has its setbacks. You take a photo as regular, but Apple captures 1 1/2 seconds of additional content on either side. So even though it doesn’t take up as much space as a regular video, you’re essentially getting little videos, so you can make your photos animate. The Times’ Chen says Live Photos “quickly became an enjoyable, integral part of shooting photos with an iPhone,” though he didn’t like 3D Touch. The iPhone 6S’ camera is phenomenal. TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino says the new model has “the most impressive camera and image processing feats in a smartphone, ever.” He says the iPhone 6S’ 4K video mode is its “crown jewel.” The new iPhones are more durable. They are made from higher-grade, stronger aluminum alloy and have new glass for the screens, which Apple says is the strongest used in smartphones these days. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern says she felt “far less flex” than with the iPhone 6, so you hopefully won’t have to worry about another Bendgate. The new iPhones are a lot faster, too, but you still get only 16GB of storage with the base model. The Verge’s Walt Mossberg said the new iPhone 6S was speedier than the previous model without compromising battery life. He even called itthe “best version ever of the best smartphone on the market.” It’s not just that the phone runs more smoothly, Mossberg said TouchID was faster too. He did, however, say Apple should have increased the amount of storage in the base model of the iPhone 6S. The new iPhone, like Apple’s previous phones, starts with 16GB, while competitors double the amount of storage in their entry-level models.