iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6 – is it worth upgrading?

Apple’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus have been revealed to the world, along with a new Apple TV and a large-screen iPad Pro.

South African smartphone owners have already started assessing whether the 6S is a device they should add to the Christmas list – with local retailers expecting the new iPhone to arrive in the country around November/December.

Among the ranks of smartphone owners assessing the new Apple devices are iPhone 6 owners, many of whom will ask: Should I upgrade to the S version?

Below is a comparison between the iPhone 6 and 6S – looking at where the latest version improves on its predecessor, and where it does not.

iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6

Processor and graphics

Apple A9 chip

The iPhone 6S is powered by Apple’s third-generation 64-bit A9 processor, which is a claimed 70% faster than the A8 in the iPhone 6, while graphics are 90% faster in the 6S compared to the 6.

The iPhone 6S also features the new M9 motion processor, which will provide more accurate tracking of a user’s movements.

While the iPhone 6S seems a big step up in terms of processing power from the iPhone 6, it will reportedly have a smaller battery – 1,715mAh compared to its predecessor’s 1,810mAh unit.

Reports state that the 6S will be more power-efficient, though, negating the drop in battery capacity.

Display

Apple iPhone 6S

The visual aspect of the displays on the 6 and 6S are identical on paper – 4.7″ Retina HD with a resolution of 1,334 x 750.

The difference arrives when looking at how you can interact with the screen, thanks to the introduction of 3D Touch on the 6S.

3D Touch allows users to apply varying degrees of pressure to the screen to select different actions. Vibration feedback is given to the user through a taptic engine, depending on the strength of the screen push.

In terms of the physical size of the phones, they are virtually identical. The iPhone 6S is slightly bigger, measuring 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm – while the 6 measures 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm.

The 6S is made from stronger 7000 series aluminum, which means less chance of damage to the unit compared to the 6, while the new model sports Ion-X glass – the best in the industry, according to Apple – over the display.

Camera

Apple camera

An area where the 6S excels over the 6 is in the camera department.

The 6 captures images using an 8MP iSight camera on the rear and a 1.2MP unit on the front. The 6S will sport a 12MP iSight camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front.

This allows the 6S to shoot 4K video, which the 6 cannot. Slow-mo support options for the two phones are the same, though.

The 6S also introduces Retina Flash for the front-facing camera, which uses a custom display chip to light the phone’s screen up to three times its usual brightness – providing light for the photo.

Pricing, connectivity, and specifications

Apple said LTE connections will be twice as fast on the new iPhone, with support for 23 LTE bands, while Wi-Fi will also double in speed compared to the previous model.

Pricing of the 6S is expected to be similar to launch prices of the 6, with US pricing having followed similar lines.

US pricing for the Apple iPhone 6S is as follows

  • 16GB – $649
  • 64GB – $749
  • 128GB – $849

The specifications of the two models are detailed below.

Specifications iPhone 6S iPhone 6
Dimensions 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm 138.1 x 67 x 6.9 mm
Weight 143g 129g
Display 4.7″ Retina HD (1,334 x 750) 4.7″ Retina HD (1,334 x 750)
Rear camera 12MP iSight 8MP iSight
Front camera 5MP 1.2MP
Storage 16GB/64GB/128GB 16GB/64GB/128GB
Processor A9 64-bit A8 dual-core 1.4GHz Cyclone (ARM v8-based)
RAM Not disclosed 1GB DDR3
Battery 1,715mAh 1,810mAh
Network LTE / HSPA LTE / HSPA
SIM Nano-SIM Nano-SIM

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iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6 – is it worth upgrading?