Being a hard core Android fan and user, I was quite surprised when the TechAdvisor.lk team decided that I was to do the hands-on review of the new iPhone 6s. But I figured this was an interesting opportunity to answer the age old question, would I (an Android fan) switch to the new iPhone 6s? So I picked up the review unit provided to us by our friends at Dialog GSM and used it as my daily driver for seven days.
A small disclaimer at the outset. The testing was done to determine what made the iPhone 6s better than the iPhone 6. (So we won’t be focusing too much on the features that were already in the iPhone 6) So here are my thoughts on the phone. (FYI, I have close contact with an iPhone 6 user, so I’m quite familiar with it.)
The review unit that I received was a Rose Gold iPhone 6s which in it self was something new with this newest phone by Apple. Although Rose Gold would not be my preference for a phone, I personally know of quite a few people who would like it. Other than that nothing much has changed aesthetically with the iPhone 6s when compared to the iPhone 6. Most importantly the screen size remains the same as the iPhone 6 at 4.7 inches which I am a fan of. In an era when most smartphone manufacturers are adamant on creating gigantic phones which are impossible to fit in a pocket, Apple has shown some restraint (in this edition at least) and maintained the same screen size.
So does the user experience live up to Apple’s tag line that “the only thing that’s changed is everything?”
One of the first things that I tried out was the new 3D touch feature which was new to the iPhone 6s (and which was the feature Apple had aggressively promoted in their advertising). It was fascinating at first to be able to peek into apps and to carry out different functions with the varying pressure exerted on the screen. But while it was interesting for about half an hour, after that I hardly used it.
There were several reasons for this. Firstly the 3D touch feature only works with a handful of apps. Mainly Apple’s homegrown apps. Most of the third party apps that I used day-to-day did not support this feature yet. I realise that this problem may be fixed in the months to come with more and more developers integrating the feature into their apps.
But the second and the more significant reason why I didn’t like using 3D touch was that the pressure required to trigger the different functions were difficult to gauge. I found myself pressing on an app to open up the 3D touch functions but not triggering it. It was especially difficult to trigger it instinctively on the go, without consciously making an effort to trigger it. And I found it easier just to use the app the normal way and get to the feature I want, which came more naturally, rather than fiddling around with 3D touch.
The other significant improvement Apple promoted was the new camera. It was a 12MP rear camera which promised amazing pictures. Which for the most part it did. The camera on Apple phones have traditionally been great. This was no exception. Coming from an Android phone-user it was a nice change of pace to use a simple camera which did its job well – take great pictures.
But again I didn’t see much of a difference between the camera on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s. There was the added feature of live photos. It was pretty cool to take a picture and have the picture move when you pressed on it. Again, it was interesting for a few minutes. But how often are you going to use that in day to day use? I never did. And the other interesting feature was the selfie camera that now uses the entire screen as a flash. It flashes ever so slightly when you take a selfie which helps to illuminate the picture in darker environments.
In addition to those two major changes there was a bunch of performance improvements with the new processor in the iPhone 6s. But we really didn’t have any complaints about the performance of the iPhone 6 so this didn’t strike us as a major improvement. To an average user, you would hardly notice any improvement in performance. To me the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s performed equally fast.
The other change a lot of people may not have noticed is the fact that the new battery on the iPhone 6s is a little smaller than the battery on the iPhone 6. It was a very minor difference from 1810mAh to 1715mAh which didn’t really affect the battery life too much. But the battery on the iPhones were never great to start with, and the iPhone 6s was no different.
So what’s the overall verdict? Well, although it was hyped that “everything had changed” in the new iPhone 6s, I beg to differ. I didn’t notice enough change from the iPhone 6 to convince me to buy the new iPhone 6s (if I already had an iPhone 6). But if you have an iPhone 5 or 5s I can understand the urge to upgrade to an iPhone 6s.
All in all, from an Android users point of view, I loved the smooth performance of the iPhone 6s. There was hardly any lag, where as Android often has a few bugs. And the camera was a welcome change. It was nice to use a simple camera which just got the job done. And the fingerprint reader was outstanding compared to my Android device (Oneplus Two fyi).
But the iPhone 6s still lacks some of the features that I love about Android (especially the lack of proper widgets). So I don’t see myself being convinced to buy an iPhone 6s. But who knows there’s always the iPhone 7!
Note from the Editor: The iPhone 6s is available at all Dialog Showrooms.
The iPhone 6s (16GB) is priced at Rs.119,990 and comes in Gold, Space Grey, Silver, and Rose Gold.
The iPhone 6s (64GB) is Rs. 137,990 and comes in Gold, Space Grey and Silver.
The iPhone 6s Plus (16GB) is Rs.137,990 and comes in Gold and Space Grey.