Apple is an effective marketer and it also happens to make great products which offer a superlative experience than other products in the market; This justifies the higher price for apple products, at least to apple fans, which happen to be in millions. So, apple iPhones come out every year but a major upgrade comes every alternate year which is followed by a subtle ‘s’ upgrade. This is the year for the ‘subtle’ iPhone 6s .
Having said that, you should not be disappointed to find out that there are not that many major upgrades in this year’s iPhone, it has better cameras , advanced processor , tougher aluminum chassis and 3D touch and a few other minor additions .
The iPhone 6 was plagued with the ‘bendgate’ at least that was what the media had reported but official apple spokesperson revealed that only a handful phones had bent under normal circumstances. Apple didn’t want to take any chances this year so they went ahead and used a stronger and sturdier chassis, which is made up of 7000 Series aluminium. Apple says it’s the strongest alloy they have ever used in an iPhone. 7000 series aluminum has more concentration of Zinc along with traces of magnesium, the bicycle used by professional cyclists is also made up of a similar alloy. Hope fully no phones will bend this year.
The new iPhone 6s does feel sturdier than the iPhone 6, The side buttons don’t wobble anymore, the phone is heavier by 14 Gms and 0.02 MM thicker than its predecessor. The difference here is not noticeable unless you hold both the phones together in your hands. Because of the round edges this iPhone is also slippery and using a back cover is recommended.
Apple has used the brand new A9 processor which clocks 1.84 GHz for both its cores, ‘6s’ also has a co-processor ( PowerVR GT7600) for gaming and other GPU intensive tasks.
The GT7600 coprocessor measures motion data from three different points and this makes the following possible.
- Motion sensor can be on all the time without putting much strain on the battery.
- Which means it can measure the pace without the need of GPS.
- Virtual Assistant SIRI can remain always receptive.
- So essentially the ‘6s’ can capture more user data through its sensors without draining the battery a lot.
But here is something you should also know, apple has used two different vendors to manufacture its processors .Yes, you read that correctly. Two iPhones bought from the market can have processors manufactured by different companies. The difference doesn’t end only with the manufacturing company, for e.g. TSMC made processor is 104.5 mm and Samsung made processor is 96 mm in size ; in the world of processors bigger is always the better.
So how different are the two processors?
GeekBench did a couple of tests to compare both the processors and found that the TSMC(bigger) processor is more battery efficient than Samsung processor. But having that in mind I would like to tell you that the GeekBench test doesn’t really simulate real life scenario because the test essentially puts the processor on max usage for the entire duration. In real life usage the processor doesn’t stay statically on max usage and wobbles between low-medium-max. So how much is the difference in reality? Well! Apple says in a real life scenario the difference between both the processors will be around 2-3 % , which is not much and there is no way you can find out which processor your iPhone has unless you install third-party apps. So it’s pretty much random.
The model I used for this review had the Samsung processor and I did not notice any kind of issue. Games like Asphalt were snappy , web browsing was smooth as ever , apps close and open really smoothly. Now, this all doesn’t surprise me because the A9 processor is practically desktop class. Both the cores clock ~ 2Ghz, the co-processor handles GPU related tasks and with 2GB of RAM the performance on the new iPhone 6s is the snappiest ever.
The difference between iPhone 6 and 6s is not much in terms of design as the overall structure is same but slightly thicker, wider. On the front of the phone there is a new blazingly fast touch id sensor which looks the same but performs faster than the previous one. In terms of looks there is hardly any difference between iPhone 6 and ‘6s’, the only visible difference is the presence of ‘S’ on the back of the phone. There is no improvement in design in the ‘6s’ but there wasn’t any need for it in the first place, so even with absolutely same looks as the processor the iPhone ‘6s’ looks as beautiful as ever.
The reason I have given 3D touch a separate segment is because I feel the addition of this feature has a lot of potential to change the way we interact with our devices .So what exactly is 3D touch?
Almost all the touch screen today take inputs from the user based on the capacitance which means the sensors on the phone are able to detect changes in the electrical charge flowing through the circuit. This change in electrical charge happens when a human finger touches the screen. In layman terms the touch sensors in the display of our phones are capable of measuring the displacement across X and Y-axis through change in capacitance. Now, 3D touch expands the capability of the existing touch sensor by enabling it to measure distance between the glass screen and an additional capacitive sensor placed on the backlight of the display. This capacitive sensor is able to measure the microscopic difference in the distance between the glass screen and the sensor on the backlight, which in turn means that when a person touches the screen the screen bends by microscopic units. The sensing of this microscopic bending is called 3-D touch.
Now lets see what apple has been able to do with this new dimension of user input.
Peek & Pop – Pressing hard on email or apps opens up a quick preview of shortcuts available for a particular item, pressing harder goes in pop mode and open the preview completely. This feature is also available on web pages where peek on a link will open the preview and pressing harder will open the link a full tab. This feature makes using the iPhone extremely smooth but it might take a while to getting used the pressure required play around with 3D touch.
Quick Actions – Pressing hard on applications such as messages open an array of shortcuts for e.g. The camera app gives you the option to go in selfie mode or pressing harder on the instagram icon give you the option to create a new post directly from the home screen.
Although all third-party apps can access the data of the 3D touch they will require an update from the developers. This is definitely one the experimental technologies from apple and it would not be wrong to say that even they don’t know how the full potential for 3D touch can be realized. When third-party developers around the world start using this technology in their own creative ways only then can we truly realize what this is capable of. Until then this is a good to have feature with immense future potential.
The front-facing Face Time lens has jumped from 1.2MP to 5MP, while the rear-facing iSight lens is now 12MP, up from 8MP. Focus Pixels helps the iPhone 6S focus faster and better, to go with its ƒ/2.2 aperture. The iPhone 6s auto focus is definitely faster than its processor. Overall it’s the camera where the ‘6S’ has got its major boost in this release.
The front camera is a great improvement over the last year’s model because
- It has bumped to 5 MP
- The sensor analyses the light condition and uses the phones display as a flash. This really results in better looking selfies .
You can also shoot 4K video on the iPhone 6S in 3840×2160 resolution at 30fps, as well as 1080p HD video at 30/60fps and 720p at 30fps. The camera can also take 8MP shots while filming in 4K mode, so you can capture a single moment, or live photo, while recording.
I tried playing around with Live photos but did not find it very useful or fun because
- Live photos only work on Apple devices, so it can’t be shared with everyone in the friend circle.
- Most of the live photos end with you looking at your shoes
- It’s just a gimmick. Yes that’s true, we have seen similar features in camera software in phones made by HTC. Nobody knows about it because those features failed to capture user attention .Why? Because it has no use unless and until the entire ecosystem can play those files. Which includes social media. Remember Harry Potter?
Overall the camera has some major upgrade in the iPhone 6s and those changes make the iPhone camera the best available in mobile phones. The camera shoots good low light photos, great landscapes with stunning colours and contrast.
The only thing missing with the iPhone 6s camera is the Optical Image Stabilization, which is available only in the 6s plus.
Look at some of the sample shots below.
Though the battery in the new iPhone 6s may appear same but it is actually smaller than its predecessor. The iPhone has a 1715 mAh as compared to 1810 mAh on the older one. But is there any difference between the two at ground level? The answer is no. The battery backup is roughly the same but because of the new ‘Low Battery Feature’ of IOS 9 the newer iPhones is able to last longer than the iPhone 6.
But having said that, the apple certainly needs to find a way to accommodate a bigger battery. The average usage of a smart phone is increasing everyday as the user gets more addicted to the digital world .We definitely need a bigger battery, Apple can you hear the woes of a user whose phone dies at the end of the day?
To Buy or not to Buy
Though this was the year of ‘subtle’ upgrade apple has added a faster processor, way better rear cameras and has introduced the fantastic 3D touch. All those additions make the iPhone 6s a solid device which still has the best camera and processor in a smart phone. Having said that, if you have a iPhone 6 the upgrade is not worth the money, others can definitely go at it. iPhone 6s is undoubtedly a stellar performer.