Apple iPhone 6S Review : Powerful and pink

Apple iPhone 6S Review : Powerful and pink

They say an iPhone is supposed to be expensive, and Apple fans will never question that. There’s no denying that the iPhone 6S is a good phone, but there’s also no denying that it’s an incremental update over the iPhone 6. It’s really powerful and the performance is to die for, but if this was an Android phone, we would all have been criticising it.

I recently wrote about how Android is closer to iOS than it ever was, and the fact is that there are just too many OEMs out there with smartphones running on Google's OS. So, Apple has to hold on to its global market share, which currently, is being threatened by these OEMs. It’s brute force that needs to be reckoned with, and while last year’s 4.7 inch display was an acknowledgement, this year’s 12MP camera is acceptance.

So, does the iPhone 6S do what it’s meant to do? Is everything as ‘rosy’ for Apple as it needs to be? Let’s find out

Build and Design

What you see is what you get here, unless you’re an iPhone 6 user. The iPhone 6S looks exactly like its predecessor. I gave the phone to three iPhone 6 users and they swore they could feel the difference in both thickness and weight. In fact, the fact that it’s heavier is more apparent, but what you feel more is the new alloy that Apple has used to avoid bendgate issues. The iPhone 6S feels sturdier than the iPhone 6, and less prone to damage. Also, the phone doesn’t feel as slippery as the iPhone 6 did, meaning you can do without a cover for this one.

The size overall is just right for a phone, and leaves Apple as one of the few OEMs that still makes flagship phones this size.


I said this last year, in the iPhone 6 review, that the 4.7 inch 750×1334 pixel display, just works for the iPhone and it remains the same this year. The display is good for all intents and purposes. No app will look bad and images look as good as they are supposed to be.

Frankly speaking, a high resolution QHD display holds nothing over this Retina display, but there’s still a problem. And that is, that you can feel a difference now. It’s not that the QHD displays on the Galaxy S6 and LG G4 are better, it’s just that they feel really different. The warmth of those displays may be loved by many. If you like true to source colours though, Apple’s displays are still amongst the best, and there’s no denying that.


3D Touch

The elephant in the room for the iPhone 6S is this new tech that Apple has put in. 3D Touch has potential, there’s no denying that, but at the moment, the feature is absolutely useless on the iPhone 6S. It’s been a whole week now, and I haven’t used the feature for anything more than showing people how it works.


The fact is that earlier I had to press the camera icon, press the change to front camera button and then press the shutter button to take a selfie. Now I have to long press the camera icon, press take a selfie, and then press the shutter button. So, nothing changes, I have to go through three steps to take a selfie, just as I did before. The feature will become useful when developers make good use of it.

What’s worth appreciating is that apps like Zomato, PayTM, Facebook, WhatsApp etc. are already using the feature. So, it’s just a matter of time before a developer makes really innovative use of this. That’s when the true potential of this feature will come to the forefront.


There’s not much that can justify a 60k+ price tag, but Apple’s new A9 processor along with the PowerVR GPU may just justify that. On GFX Bench 3.0, the Manhattan OnScreen test achieves V-Sync. Why? Because the frame rates churned out by the processor are higher than what the display is capable of showing. That’s not something any Android OEM can boast at the moment.

Imagine this with OpenGL support, where a developer can use the GPU’s power to run additional image processing algorithms for the camera. That’s something worth looking forward to. All of that, combined with Apple’s Metal APIs makes for the perfect phone for gamers. And in the real world it’s evident considering that games like Marvel: Contest of Champions, which use the GPU and the router together, can still run without lag. Moreover, they have added graphical elements as well.

For all other purpose, the A9 processor is more powerful than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, but that won’t make a difference to the regular user. The marriage between hardware and software (Apple’s vertical integration), has always aided its phones in delivering good performance, and that continues here. The iPhone 6S is faster than the iPhone 6, and it’s a performance beast. Period!

Note: My unit froze often when opening the camera, but considering that never happened anywhere else, I think that’s a software issue. One that should be fixed by Apple soon enough.


Coming to the biggest change in the iPhone 6S – the 12MP camera is the second time Apple has changed its philosophy. The camera is better than many, but having just used the Galaxy Note 5, LG G4 and also the Galaxy S6, I have to say those cameras were better. Before you start questioning that, hear me out.

Apple iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S’ camera, like the iPhone 6 before it, is true to source, which is a good thing. The fact though is that those 16MP cameras and their image processing software are superior in a lot of ways. They outshine the iPhone 6S in low light conditions, and like the display, they add vibrance to your images, which is something many like. For the iPhone 6S, images taken in sunlight, are amazing, and the phone can do wonders in those conditions, but for everything else, there’s still room for improvement.


Apple may have brought down the battery capacity on the iPhone 6S, but the battery life is the same. I, and many of my tech brethren, yearn for the day when smartphones deliver more than a day’s battery life, but sadly, that’s the best you can get today. The 1715 mAh battery on the iPhone 6S runs for about a full day, on regular usage.

With 12 phone calls, uploading 25 photos to Facebook and lots of messages on WhatsApp, and 10 minutes of gaming, the phone ran for 16 hours. With the low power mode on, the phone can go an hour or two over a day. So, for all general purposes, the iPhone 6S can run for a full day. What’s worth appreciating is how well iOS manages battery drop during idle hours. The iPhone drops less than 2% battery over 8 idle hours every night.


They say an iPhone is supposed to be expensive, and Apple fans will never question that. There’s no denying that the iPhone 6S is a good phone, but there’s also no denying that it’s an incremental update over the iPhone 6. It’s really powerful and the performance is to die for, but if this was an Android phone, we would all have been criticising it.

Prasid Banerjee

Prasid Banerjee

Trying to explain technology to my parents. Failing miserably. View Full Profile

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