Today Apple announced the next generation iPhones – the 4.7″ iPhone 6s and the 5.5″ iPhone 6s Plus. The bigger iPhone 6s Plus utilizes an improved Aluminum 7000 series unibody shell, and brings several novelties on its specs sheet despite looking the same as before.
The iPhone 6s Plus keeps the 5.5″ IPS display of 1080p resolution (400ppi density), but adds 3D Touch technology underneath. This allows new interaction on system-wide level, just like on the Apple Watch. Now the iOS can differentiate the taps from the force presses and trigger different actions for each. This is possible thanks to a new layer of sensors embedded in the back-lightning.
The iPhone 6s Plus also features a new taptic engine capable of more precise haptic feedback for the different gestures.
The next major change is the new A9 chip. According to Apple it offers 80% mode processing and 90% more graphics power than the A8 generation. We can’t yet confirm the exact CPU core count and speed, neither can we shed details on the new GPU and RAM amount just yet. The rumors suggested the RAM remains 1GB though.
There is also a new M9 co-processor, which just like its predecessors is always on and tracks your activity. It also allows for the “Hey Siri” command, which activates Siri immediately.
Finally, the camera department has received a long overdue boost. The main camera now has a 12MP sensor and comes with optical image stabilization. As before, it is accompanied by a dual-LED dual-tone flash.
The camera also got a new option called Live Photos – similar to HTC’s ZOE it lets you record 1.5s of video either side of the moment you press the shutter key, and later produces images that actually move when you press them. You can set up such a picture on your lockscreen and see it go live upon a press.
Thanks to the new higher resolution sensor the iPhone 6s Plus is now capable of capturing 2160p videos.
The front camera finally receives a resolution boost as well – it now uses a 5MP sensor, supports face detection and you can capture 1080p videos, with it. You can also use the display as the so-called Retina Flash. It will light up more than usual and help you take better selfies in the dark as long as you keep the phone close to your face.
The iPhone 6s Plus supports LTE Cat.6 connectivity, NFC for Apple Pay only, faster Wi-Fi 802.11ac with MIMO support and VoLTE.
There is a new second generation Touch ID sensor, which halves the response time.
The rumors about a new color option were correct – in addition to the Silver, Space Gray and Gold paintjobs, we are also getting a Rose Gold flavor.
The Apple iPhone 6s Plus will start at $299 for the 16GB version, while the 64GB and 128GB will retail for $399 and $499, respectively. These prices are with a two-year contract on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint in the US.
The off-contract prices are $749, $849, $949 for the iPhone 6s Plus for 16, 64 and 128GB options. The EU prices begin at €849 (£619 in UK) for the base 16GB version, but prices will quickly rise up if you go for the versions with more storage. €959 (£699) will get you the 64GB version, while the 128GB version will cost €1,069 (£789).
Apple is also introducing a new program called iPhone Upgrade Program. It will be available via the Apple Retail Stores and will allow you to get an unlocked new iPhone every year. It will cost you $32/month and includes Apple Care+.
The iPhone 6s Plus pre-orders commence on September 12 and shipments being on September 25 for Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, UK and the US.