Yesterday, we saw Apple’s special event in San Francisco with a number of products and updates being announced over the two hour presentation. Apple says the iPhone 6 line up was their most popular smartphone to date. Tim Cook asked how they could beat that and the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus is their answer.
If you look at both devices, you probably won’t see any difference between the new model and iPhone 6 models. That said, the aluminium casing has changed and is much stronger, using the same grade of aluminium as used in the aerospace industry. I’m sure we’ll soon see some videos of people trying to bend them after “Bendgate” with the iPhone 6! Apple also say that the front glass is the strongest and most durable in any smartphone. The new models are available in the usual colours of Silver, Space Grey, Gold and a new Rose Gold finish has been added to the line up. The new models are slightly heaver than the older models with the iPhone 6S Plus being 20 grams heavier and the 6S is 14 grams heavier.
The internals have also been upgraded with a new A9 64-Bit processor which is 70% faster than the A8 chip used in the last model plus the graphics performance is also up a whopping 90% too. There is also an updated co-processor, the M9 that connects to the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and barometer for a wide range of fitness tracking capabilities. You can now say “Hey Siri” to ask it a question without it being plugged in for power due to better battery efficiency it now has to run this service.
The cameras have also been updated. As expected, there is a new 12MP rear iSight camera capable of 4K video capture. From the sample pictures shown at the event, this looks like it could be one of the best cameras on any smartphone and looks to perform brilliantly in the most varied and extreme lighting conditions. On the front of the phone, there is a 5MP FaceTime HD camera and instead of having a dedicated front flash like some competitors have added, Apple have chosen to use the phone’s display to deliver a true tone flash that matches the ambient light. Apple dub this the Retina Flash!
Touch ID has also been updated and is now two times faster. In terms of connectivity, Wi-Fi is now twice as fast as the previous models and the new models also include the LTE Advance chip-set that supports up to 23 LTE bands which is great for worldwide roaming.
With the new hardware comes new features. The phone will of course ship with the new operating system, iOS9 but there are also some new features to come with the handsets. Apple feel they have brought the next advancement in multi touch and they call it 3D Touch. This is where you can press on the screen using varied levels of force to invoke options. You can press and hold down on app icons such as Safari and get the option to open your bookmarks or launch a private browsing session. You can also use what they call Peek and Pop, for instance, you can be in your text messages and see a message from a friend asking if you are free at a certain time or date. You can then press and hold down on this time or date and it will peak into you calendar. Press a little bit harder down and it will take you into the calendar app. You can also use it to preview emails without going in and marking as read. Sometimes you can open and email briefly when you are on the road and then forget about it. With this feature, you have a quick look at the email while keeping its unread status for when you get home. I’m sure 3D Touch will be used more and more by developers in the future.
A feature called Live Photos has also been included. You can take a picture as normal and when you go into your gallery to look at it, you can press and hold it and the picture comes to life. No need to do anything different, just take a picture as normal and it automatically takes a second and a half of video either side of the picture being taken and apparently it doesn’t take up much room either.
Overall, I think Apple has delivered pretty much what everyone expected along with some nice features like 3D Touch and Live photos. The phones are available to pre order from 12th September 2015 and prices start at £539 for 6S and £619 for the 6S Plus.
Link: Apple.com – iPhone 6S