We now have come to one of the most awaited times of the year for Apple and smartphone enthusiasts out there: the release of a brand new iPhone. As 2015 is an “s” year for the iPhone, this means the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus does not get a huge makeover – though they still come with new features and updated hardware that may prove compelling enough for consumers.
Despite being cosmetically similar, Apple has actually used a much more sturdy material this time around to build the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It comes in the form of 7000 Series aluminium which is much more resistant and less malleable than the previous material used in the iPhone 6, hence proving more effective at withstanding “Bendgate” attempts. Not that I tried to bend these phones myself but both of the new iPhones certainly feel pretty solid.
Aside from having the more powerful A9 processor, another new component within the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is the 12-megapixel sensor for the rear camera, which is an upgrade over last year’s 8-megapixel sensor on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The sensor for the front camera on both devices has also been upgraded to a new 5-megapixel sensor.
In addition to these new sensors, Apple has also introduced a new camera feature called Live Photos which captures a few seconds worth of moments – complete with audio – before and after a photo is taken. It is not something really new in the industry though as this feature has existed on several Android and Windows Phone devices prior to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. However, Live Photos is integrated into the new iPhone’s photo gallery app, making them a lot more visible.
The new iPhones also pack a specific function for the front camera called Retina Flash, which turn the display into a pseudo-flash when taking selfies. Given that I only managed to spend a brief moment with these iPhones at an Apple Store while on assignment in New York recently, we’ll reserve judgment on the new cameras’ performance once we get hold of the product for a longer period.
Another much touted feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is 3D Touch, Apple’s new technology which was adapted from Apple Watch. What this particular feature brings to both devices is actually a combination of several functions, including the ability to preview or “peek” at an email, website, photos, and even Apple Maps’s location before going through them in full view – or “pop” open the app.
3D Touch also allows users to run selected actions through contextual menus, which is also equally new for iPhone. Other than that, users are also able to use it to temporarily switch the phone’s keyboard into a trackpad as well as provide faster access to the phones multitasking view through swipe gesture. It is a neat feature in general but at the same time, it is still something that users might need some time to get used to.
We’ll talk a little more about 3D Touch in a separate article coming very soon.
As far as first impressions are concerned, the tagline – the only thing that’s changed is everything – that Apple used for these new devices is a little bit far-fetched. At first glance, the new iPhones look and feel just like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with the exception of the new Rose Gold colourway. Everything else is hidden within the phone’s software which takes more than the brief moment I spent to discover.
That being said though, the new hardware and features that the company has implemented into these device might be worth your time to experience at Apple resellers in Malaysia starting from tomorrow.