iPhone 6S

Claiming that “the only thing that changed is everything”, Apple unveiled the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on September 9, 2015. Well, not everything. The 2015 models look just like the 2014 iPhones at first glance, although there is a new rose gold color.

iPhone 6S colorsThe iPhone 6S is a half-ounce heavier than the iPhone 6, although its dimensions are the same. Screen resolution remains 1334 x 750 pixels, but the screen is pressure sensitive like Apple Watch (Apple calls this 3D Touch). Finishes include gold, silver, space gray, and rose gold.

The 2015 iPhones are made of 7000 Series Aluminum, the same material used for the Apple Watch and a step ahead of the iPhone 6.

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

Apple has upgraded front and rear cameras. The iSight camera jumps from 8 MP (megapixels) to 12 MP, and it can record 4k video at 30 fps. Apple is adding a new feature, Live Photos, that will show a few seconds surrounding the photo itself. It can even take 12 MP stills while you are filming 4k video!

The front FaceTime HD camera is 5 MP now, a huge step forward from 1.2 MP, and it can also shoot 720p video. Instead of having the True Tone flash used by the iSight camera, the iPhone 6S uses the entire display as a flash when using the FaceTime camera.

Apple claims the CPU in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is up to 70% more powerful than the one in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – and the graphics 90% faster. Although Apple has not yet released specs, based on Geekbench results, the A9 appears to be a dual-core CPU running at 1.85 GHz with 2 GB of system memory – twice the memory of the iPhone 6.

Combine that with a new storage system that’s easily twice as fast, and you have the most powerful iOS device to date. It will be superseded by the iPad Pro in November. Between a 32% faster clock speed, twice the memory, faster access to storage, and architectural improvements compared to the A8, the iPhone 6S benchmarks 53% higher than the iPhone 6 and 37% ahead of the previous record-holding iPad Air 2 in single-core testing. With its triple-core processor, the iPad Air 2 still has a small edge – about 4.5% – over the iPhone 6S.

For those keeping score, the only current Android device with a higher multi-core Geekbench score is the 8-core 1.5 GHz Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. In single-core tests, nothing can hold a candle to the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the nearest competitor being the 2.5 GHz dual-core HTC Nexus 9 – which the A9 beats by over 30%.

This is the first iPhone to use Bluetooth 4.2.

The iPhone 6S supports even more bands of LTE than previous models, and it can connect to 802.11ac networks for the fastest WiFi in an iPhone to date.

As with the iPhone 6, there is no 32 GB model. Instead, it jumps from the entry-level 16 GB model to 64 GB for an additional $100 in price. It is also has a 128 GB option.

Apple has dropped support for OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, all versions of Windows prior to 7, and iTunes 11. It now requires OS X 10.7.5 Lion or newer, Windows 7 or newer, and iTunes 12.3 or newer.

Hardware Overview

Models

  • Announced: 2015.09.09, preorder 2015.09.12, purchase 2015.09.25 at $199 (16 GB), $299 (64 GB), and $399 (128 GB) with a two-year wireless contract. ($649, $749, and $849 respectively without contract.)
  • Included accessories: earbuds, lightning cable
  • Code names: n71ap, n71map
  • Identifier: iPhone8,1
  • Model number: A1633/A1634, A1688/1687
  • Product numbers

Technology

  • CPU: 1.85 GHz 64-bit dual-core Apple A9
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Architecture: 64-bit
  • Graphics engine: 3-core PowerVR SX6450
  • Display: 4.7″ 750 x 1334 pixel 24-bit multitouch screen at 326 ppi
  • Cameras
    • rear: 12.0 MP autofocus with True Tone LED flash, 4k video
    • front: 5.0 MP FaceTime HD camera includes 720p video
  • Sensors: proximity, ambient light, 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometer, assisted GPS, compass, Nike+iPod

Performance

  • Geekbench, single core: 2488
  • Geekbench, multicore: 4331

Connectivity

  • I/O port: Lightning
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n/ac with MIMO
  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • Networks:
    • A1633/1634 GSM: UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30), TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41), TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    • A1688/1687 CDMA: CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and B (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), UMTS/HSDPA+/CD-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29), TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41), TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
  • Data:
  • GPS:

Power

  • Battery: 1715 mAh lithium ion
  • Charge time:
  • Battery life:
    • Talk: up to 14 hours on 3G
    • Standby: up to 240 hours
    • Internet: up to 10 hours on 3G or LTE, 11 hours on WiFi
    • Video: up to 11 hours
    • Audio: up to 50 hours

Compatibility

  • Original OS: iOS 9
  • Maximum OS: current
  • iTunes Versions: iTunes 12.3 and later.
  • Mac OS Required: OS X 10.7.5 or later
  • Windows Versions Supported: Windows 7 or later

Dimensions and Weight

  • Dimensions: 5.44″ x 2.64″ x 0.27″ (138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm)
  • Weight: 5.04 oz. (143 g)

Further Reading

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