The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were a raging success because they took care of so many of the complaints users had about the iPhone. We finally got bigger, better screens, a great camera and an easy way to pay wirelessly, all in a sleek aluminum design. In fact, the 6S has felt almost like the perfect smartphone. Hundreds of people online and in person shared with me what annoys them most about their smartphones, and what they’d want most in their next ones.
Coming up to the Battery Level , 4.7-inch 6S will get you through the day, but you’ll struggle to make it til bedtime with moderate to heavy use. And it seemed to drain even faster than my 6 when used the new processor-intensive camera features like Live Photos. The bigger 5.5-inch 6s Plus lasted longer and is the best choice if you’re a heavy user and want some juice left over at the end of the day. (Of course, battery life on any smartphone generally degrades over time.)
The iPhone 6S new A9 processor and 2GB of RAM result in a noticeable boost—even over the iPhone 6. Exporting an HD video was three times as fast, scrolling through Facebook and Web pages was smoother and jumping between tons of open apps felt noticeably quicker.
Unlocking your phone is also much speedier. The new Touch ID fingerprint sensor is at least twice as fast. You barely place your finger on the button and you’re in. The 6S most innovative hardware feature also speeds up your phone navigation. But it’s still a bit mysterious.
The GPU improvements are made possible by new 14mm process technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Underneath the hood of Apple’s new iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus models is a new custom designed System-on-Chip (SoC) that Apple has dubbed its A9 processor. It’s a 64-bit chip that, according to Apple, is the most advanced ever built for any smartphone.
Apple is also claiming a level of gaming performance on par with dedicated game consoles and with a graphics engine that’s 90 percent faster than the previous generation. For compute chores, Apple says the A9 chip improves overall CPU performance by up to 70 percent. These performance promises come without divulging too much about the physical makeup of the A9, though Apple did say it’s using a new transistor architecture that’s optimized for real-world use.