back to article iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz

The latest iThing is the tock in Apple’s two-year hardware cycle, last year’s iPhone 6 and its oversized "Plus" companion having been the tick. Apple iPhone 6s Unspoilt by progress, Apple's iPhone 6s Again, the phone with an "i" on the front gets an "s" on the end, lower-cased in a sub-editor-baiting pseudo-plural. And, as …

  1. macjules Silver badge
    Coat

    And ...

    "Apple iPhone 6s/6s Plus: Harder, faster and they'll give you a buzz" You forgot to add "Hotter", based on one fanboi's experience

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: And ...

      FWIW, my 6s plus doesn't even get warm, let alone hot. There may be some variation between the A9s produced in Samsung's fabs and those in TSMC's fabs, or it is only when playing some really demanding games that I don't play that this can happen.

      I guess there always has to be something that a small number of people complain about with any new iPhone, some new -gate for the press to obsess over.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: And ...

        The guy in question was in California on a "mild" 31 degree dusk....

        What's the temperature where you are?

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: And ...

          Well today is now in the upper teens (celsius) but this weekend it was almost 30 outside, and not far from that inside my house (open windows since I wanted to enjoy the last bit of summer before the inevitable onset of fall begins)

  2. Detective Emil

    Don’t know what I was waiting for

    Maybe you still haven't found what you were looking for — last year an unwanted U2 album, this year a marginally-enthickened iPhone.

  3. Hud Dunlap
    Gimp

    I was going to buy one but...

    Safari doesn't work anymore. It goes blank, won't load web pages, quits, etc. I don't if it the hacking thing people were talking about- and it seems to have disappeared from the press- or something else . I am looking at other options now.

    1. D@v3

      Re: I was going to buy one but...

      If you were going to buy one, but are looking at other options (and there fore didn't buy one), how do you know Safari doesn't work?

      Seems to be working fine to me.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: I was going to buy one but...

        I haven't noticed any difference, other than it being noticeably faster (upgrading all the way from a 5) and easier to read for my aging eyes thanks to the larger screen.

  4. Cynical Shopper
    Joke

    rendering a notional 1242x2208 user interface on a 1920x1080-pixel panel

    That's going to look a tad squished. You would have thought they match the long and short sides.

  5. ScissorHands
    Devil

    So, almost 4 years waiting for a good haptic "click"

    Or maybe not, because I've been enjoying it immensely for all these years on my Nokia N9. Nothing even comes close. I had high hopes for the Taptic Engine, but given the writer's misgiving, my savings account seems to be safe for now...

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: So, almost 4 years waiting for a good haptic "click"

      I have no idea why you're being downvoted.

      State requirement.

      Phone doesn't meet requirement.

      No purchase.

      Downvotes?

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: So, almost 4 years waiting for a good haptic "click"

        I remember reading about haptics years ago and the thing it was supposed to do was vary the vibration location, frequency etc. so your finger would 'feel' buttons on the screen. I guess it turned out that's going to take up way too much space to have vibration motors under the entire screen, for too little benefit.

        I always figured that would be something RIM would do for the BB faithful so when they're typing they could feel the "keys" under the fingers, without having to waste the space required for a physical keyboard. Guess it never could work as well as advertised though.

        1. stucs201

          Re: I remember reading about haptics years ago...

          The first I remember about haptics was actually in relation to mice, not touchscreens. My recollection is that the aim there was also to provide some tactile feedback about the UI elements under the cursor (e.g. a 'bump' on the edge of a window corresponding to the visual bevel) - additional feedback on pressing buttons would be largely pointless on a mouse with a naturally clicky button. Obviously this was back in the days when the visual design of UIs had 3D effects to emphasise edges, rather than everything being flattened like it is now.

    2. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: So, almost 4 years waiting for a good haptic "click"

      @ScissorHands: "given the writer's misgiving"

      Try it yourself in an Apple Store. I did, and I don't have any of the misgivings about it that the reviewer did; it seemed responsive and to do just what I expected. As it's your finger that is pressing in to the screen, the tap feels like it's under that finger. In combination with the blurring / zooming effect when you push, it all works just fine.

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    iPhone 1

    I may be going out on a limb here but if Apple - or anyone else for that matter - re-cycled the original form factor every year I would be as happy as a sandboy. Remember Apple hit the absolute sweet spot with that design : comfortably weighty, smooth edges and corners, glossy frame, not too big, not too small and so on. Memories are short but I would say the physical difference between the first iPhone and its clunky predecessors accounts for at least half the enthusiasm for its take-up and the smartphone era had truly arrived.

    FWIW mine is still working, although I dropped it too many times so the mike is unpredictable. I just plug it into the car's hi-fi.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: iPhone 1

      "not too big, not too small"

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: iPhone 1

        Well rumor has it they will be making a new 4" phone (i.e. same size as the 5/5S, only slightly taller than the original) in the 7 series. Maybe you'll be able to get what you want. Not as heavy/thick as the original, but that's easily fixed with one of those cases that has a built in battery that will add heft and thickness, and as a bonus you'll get crazy long battery life.

  7. Ryan Clark

    Original?

    Isn't Live Photos estensially the same as Lumia Cinemagraph?

    1. David Lawton

      Re: Original?

      More or less, but its on by default and they can be viewed on an iPad, iPhone, Mac and on Facebook via a new API (guessing a lot of people share photos on Facebook). So a better implementation of it.

  8. Shades

    FFS

    "serious 4K editing demands a high-end Mac"

    Of course one could always buy a high-end PC, saving some significant cash, and do some happy 4K editing.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: FFS

      …Probably not saving significant cash. All the comparisons I’ve seen end up with the Mac costing pretty much the same as the PC - if not a little less. True, you can buy a PC for less than a Mac - but only because Apple doesn’t compete in the low-end of the market. In the high-end market, Apple is very competitive…

      …or, at least, it would be if they’d update the damn Mac Pro a little more frequently. Nevertheless, I specced up a Dell to the spec of the 3.5GHz 6 Core model Mac Pro. The Dell came in at $6,080 albeit that ‘instant savings’ were applied to bring the price to $4,560. The Mac came in at $3,999.

      1. Shades

        Re: FFS

        Considering the base model of the 6 Core Mac Pro comes in at £3,299 (in real money) I could purchase a PC with a 10 core Xeon E5 @3.1Ghz, 16Gb of DDR4 RAM, a 240Gb Kingston SSD and a NVIDIA Geforce GTX Titan X with 12Gb of DDR5 all for £3,280 (inc VAT).

        Off course, I could always drop the specs to roughly match that of the Mac Pro (instead of matching the price) and save myself quite a bit of cash... or I could be a bit of a dickhead and spec a PC at Dell! ;) lol

        1. Fitz_

          Re: FFS

          Your weak link there is the SSD. The Mac Pro with it's 4x lane PCIe SSD would kick the ever living shit out of your slow SATA SSD which would be a horrible bottleneck.

          1. Shades

            Re: FFS

            Okay, swap the SATA SSD for a 240Gb Kingston Hyper-X Predator PCIe SSD... which, as well as the speed gains, actually results in a £30 saving.

            Thanks for the tip, but you've not really helped 45RPMs case lol

            1. Fitz_

              Re: FFS

              Well that depends - what MoBo are you planning to use, and how many gigatransfers does it support?

              Does it have Thunderbolt..?

              Does it run OSX in a supported fashion?

              I'm assuming labour and after market support are free..?

              1. Shades

                Re: FFS

                Motherboard? Asus X99-A

                Thunderbolt? Header on motherboard *

                OSX? Err, its PC, not a Mac, so bit of a moot point.

                Labour/Support? Inc. in price/Free ** (by me)

                * Not that I or anyone else I know uses Thunderbolt peripherals.

                ** Maybe I'm lucky but NEVER had a PC need after sales support.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FFS

        But...the problem with speccing it up identically is that it uses a single xeon with ecc ram, both of which are pointlessly expensive. I bought an 8 core 8960x instead of a xeon workstation, with an overclock also making single thread performance way better than any xeon. This is still useful for badly multithreaded old software like after effects. Put in a couple of decent gamer class graphics cards (nvidia, not an option on macs, but more useful for current 3d software because of cuda) and bunch of ssds including a pcie one as the main work drive. And the whole lot came in at just over half the price of a similar spec Mac. (2000ish vs 3500)

        It is sitting in an office next to someone's midrange Mac pro and it is noticeably faster in almost every comparable task (c4d and after effects mostly). Plus I can update bits as and when and ram it full of hard drives and more graphic cards if I like. It's actually more stable as well, believe it or not. The mac pros keep freezing for some reason.

        Now they are looking at buying a load of them with a similar spec and selling the macs.

        You are right about Dell though. Dell specs are similarly overpriced. (we went through a similar comparison setup). Nobody has ever explained to me satisfactorily why I need ecc ram for graphics applications. Or a single xeon rather than an i7. (unless you get one of the many-cored high end ones).

        At least the old Mac pros had dual xeon options which make more sense to me.

        1. Fitz_

          Re: FFS

          "with an overclock also making single thread performance way better than any xeon."

          ...except in floating point where the Xeon will utterly destroy the i7 in performance at 2:1 and in applications where you need more than the 64GB of RAM that the i7 is limited to. (Xeon supports 1.4TB of RAM)...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FFS

            Graphics apps (the applications we are talking about here) generally don't use full floating point. Even 3d rendering software. Look at cinebench results for example.

            http://cbscores.com/

            No *single* xeon on that list beats the overclocked 5960x on that list. All of the higher scores are dual CPUs. (this doesn't include any v3 xeons though, however the price of those things is insane, getting me back to my original point!)

            For science applications then maybe you are right. But the mac pro is not aimed at that market.

            Also x99 supports 128gb RAM not 64. None of the mac pros around me have more than 64 either. I have 64GB and 90% of the renders I do don't get close to pushing that limit (even 5k architectural renders)

  9. Joerg

    3D Touch just a buzz? Are you high?

    Seriously... if you can't feel the 3D Touch on your fingers then you need a doctor. Now.

  10. ecarlseen

    Missed one

    A major thing they fixed was that the fingerprint sensor now seems to work perfectly with damp fingers. Previously if you, say, washed your hands, it would take a few minutes for your skin to get back to a state where the device would recognize you. I haven't yet been able to trip up the 6S on this - even unlocking immediately after stepping out of a long shower.

    The first fingerprint (5S / 6) sensor was very good. The 6S sensor seems to be pretty much perfect.

    1. 404 Silver badge

      Re: Missed one

      Are you raising the possibility of some, or more than a few, iPhone users perhaps may not wash their hands properly in response to some wild claim that the previous generational fingerprint sensor would not just work as designed by The Steve Jobs himself?

      That's BLASPHEME, sir! Downvote!*

      ;)

      *<thinking> Game of Thrones' Sparrows... they creep me out... fanatics of any stripe actually.

    2. arnief

      Re: Missed one

      The fingerprint sensor on my 6 is not very good, it's basically non-functional - and it has nothing to do with wetness. I can train it, and then it will function for up to a day with 80% recognition, Then as time passes, in a week it is totally useless.

  11. Craig Vaughton

    All S Good

    With 2 year contracts, I'd guess most users will be either on a non-S or an S upgrade track, if you get my drift, so I've had 3GS, 4S and latterly 5S. Naturally, my 6S arrived last week and It's a decent step up from the 5S, but as mentioned, 6 users aren't missing much.

    Question is, why do they phones keep getting longer? The 5 & 5S were about right length wise, if they'd make a 5/5S sized phone with the 6/6S rounded shape.....can someone tell them that one size doesn't fit all, or in the case of the Plus, doesn't fit anyone's trouser pocket at all! Cargo pants excepted.

    If they want an idea for the iPhone 7, could they incorporate diopter adjustment in the display? It might be retina display, I might be able to increase the font size, but without glasses on it's still blurred!

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Diopter adjustment?

      How would that work? You'd have to calibrate it for holding a certain distance from your eyes, wouldn't you? I've never seen a display that does that, so either it isn't possible at all or doesn't work nearly as well as wearing glasses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All S Good

      "If they want an idea for the iPhone 7, could they incorporate diopter adjustment in the display?"

      Not in a universe with these physical laws.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All S Good

      I've got fairly large man-hands, but the 6/6s are far too long (tall, whatever) and the edges so rounded that I'm convinced I'm going to drop it. God only knows what the Plus is like.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: All S Good

        I was torn between the regular and plus for this reason, but got the plus figuring I had the free return period Apple offers if I found it too large. It was fairly unwieldy at first but I'm getting used to it already so I think it is probably a keeper. The only thing I have issues with is when typing one handed, it is a bit of an uncomfortable stretch for my thumb to reach the key that switches from letters to numbers & symbols. Wish they replicated that one on the right side.

        I remember when I had the 3gs I liked the rounded edges as it felt like it really fit my hand, and the 4S I replaced it with felt like it was hard to hold because of the flat back. Then I got used to it on that and the 5, but now it is rounded again. I'm sure I'll get used to it, and then the 8 will probably switch back to flat :)

  12. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    Meh.

    (Wipes fingerprint from screen of 2 year-old Samsung phone)

  13. iDavid

    Bloody good review

    Reflects my own experience with 6s so far. Kudos.

  14. Quortney Fortensplibe
    Thumb Up

    Price of Admission

    "...press the on-screen keyboard, for example, and it becomes a trackpad, enabling you to place the text cursor..."

    Forget all the pointless twattery. To me, this alone ^^^ sounds like it's worth the price of admission. I've whinged long and froth-lipped many times before about the absolute arsery that is selecting and manipulating text on touch screens. Whoever came up with the original UX for that needs a right good kicking.

    Now, if only I could find several hundred quid down the back of the sofa, I could finally upgrade my ageing [and increasingly arthritic] 3GS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Price of Admission

      Windows phone 10 does that. Quite well, too!

  15. arnief

    Fingerprint sensor

    There is supposed to be a new fingerprint sensor, and new software for that function. Did you check this out? The sensor on my iPhone 6 is junk, and I have plenty of company!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    16GB?

    If Samsung had launched the S6 Edge or S6 Edge+ with 16GB as the entry level rather than 32GB the press would have crucified it.

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