Apple iPhone 6s (from £540)
Having first launched eight months ago, the iPhone 6s is officially getting on a bit. Well, in smartphone terms anyway. Fear not, iFans. Thanks to its 3D Touch tech, Apple’s flagship has actually improved with age.
That’s because more app developers are supporting this feature, so its use isn’t restricted to quickfire access to emails, web pages, and creating GIF-like Live Photos. Now you only have to press firmly on the 6s’s homescreen to get directions home from Google Maps, pen a Facebook status or Shazam a song on the office stereo. This kind of nifty innovation is only achievable thanks to Apple’s all-encompassing control over its App Store.
In comparison, the 6s’s Android competition has to bend to Google’s will when it comes to software. That means they’re all stuck waiting for Google Pay to launch in the UK, when nearly every iPhone with a fingerprint scanner has had wireless payment since July 2015. When you’ve survived an entire night out on Apple Pay – including the 3am Uber home – going back to cash feels seriously old-fashioned.
So iOS is what gives the 6s its edge, but this phone is no slouch on the hardware side. Apple’s A9 processor absolutely flies through any app you throw at it, while new-found battery efficiency ensures this handset will see you through most days without having to scramble for a socket. More than the sum of its parts, the 6s is still a superb phone.
Unless you’re rocking a Rose Gold (pink) model, putting your new one next to a mate’s old one could spark a case of mistaken identity. The 6s retains the iPhone 6’s ultra-slim 7.1mm design and you’ll struggle to spot the difference. Unlike Samsung’s S7 Edge, the iPhone 6s isn’t water-resistant; but its internals are coated with a special material to help them survive an accidental dunk.
The iPhone 6s sports the same 4.7in Retina display as its predecessor so it’ll only do 720p, not the Full HD you’d expect. Regardless of its make up, the display is crisp and clear. Blacks are deep, colours are vibrant… but not Willy Wonka over-exuberant.
The 6s’s camera sensor is Apple’s first to benefit from a resolution jump from 8MP to 12MP. Alas, it still lacks the optical image stabilisation and laser focusing from other smartphones that help you take sharper shots. Despite this, it still takes a great photo.
OS and apps 10/10
In many ways, iOS is the iPhone 6s’s saving grace. Apple’s operating system trumps Android for simplicity, and it gets the latest apps first. Often in a superior configuration. Granted, Google’s OS has caught up in recent years, but a chasm remains between the two.