iPhone 6s Plus Hands-On: 10 Best Features - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
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9/30/2015
07:06 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iPhone 6s Plus Hands-On: 10 Best Features

Apple's new iPhone 6s Plus is more than a simple update to last year's phablet. Here's our hands-on look at the smartphone's strongest offerings.
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(Image: Eric Zeman)

(Image: Eric Zeman)

Apple sold 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus smartphones during the first three days of availability. This feat, while impressive, shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone paying attention to Apple's slow progression forward each year. The company may take plodding steps, but the steps are often big ones. This year's iPhone 6s Plus is a good example of how large those forward, plodding steps truly are.

The 6s Plus carries over the design from last year's phablet, but almost everything else has been updated or improved in one way or another. Some of the marquee additions include the A9 processor, 3D Touch display, 12-megapixel camera with 4K video capture, and Touch ID sensor. These and other features make the iPhone 6s Plus the most compelling odd-year update Apple has ever fielded.

Beyond the hardware, iOS 9 adds a handful of refinements to iPhones old and new. Apple released the revised operating system earlier this month, and it has enjoyed swift uptake from the Apple faithful. The iPhone 6s Plus is able to take advantage of iOS 9 in unique ways to control the ever-more-powerful Siri personal assistant and other tools.

[ Make the most of Apple's latest mobile operating system. Read iOS 9: 10 Tips And Tricks. ]

Together, the iPhone 6s Plus and iOS 9 are a formidable threat to Google's Android-powered devices. Backed by iTunes and Apple's broad selection of apps, games, music, and movies, the ecosystem behind the iPhone 6s Plus is stronger than ever.

The iPhone 6s Plus is available in four colors (space gray, silver, gold, rose gold) and three storage variants (16GB, 64GB, and 128GB) this year. Prices start at $749 and top out at $949. Apple's latest smartphone is compatible with the networks operated by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and myriad others.

Is the iPhone 6s Plus for you? Here, InformationWeek explores the 10 best features of the iPhone 6s Plus. After you've reviewed the top features, tell us what you think. Are you planning to buy one? Are your employees already asking to upgrade? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio

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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 9:04:48 AM
New and Improved
Reading your article makes me glad I did not purchase last year's phablet. It sounds like they added many new improvements and elements to the iPhone 6s, but I still have a question. Is the battery life better on this new model?
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 11:15:10 AM
Re: New and Improved
@Angelfuego,

I upgraded to the Iphone 6 from an Iphone 5C and using iOS 9. My wife also has an Iphone 6 but hasn't upgraded to the new OS. I can confirm that the battery life has greatly improved. When I get home in the evening, I'm still at 50% (even after some gaming and heavy web browsing). They've definitly made some great improvements. The new "Low Battery Mode" works really great, it really does extend the life when you're done to 10%.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 11:15:19 AM
Re: New and Improved
@Angelfuego,

I upgraded to the Iphone 6 from an Iphone 5C and using iOS 9. My wife also has an Iphone 6 but hasn't upgraded to the new OS. I can confirm that the battery life has greatly improved. When I get home in the evening, I'm still at 50% (even after some gaming and heavy web browsing). They've definitly made some great improvements. The new "Low Battery Mode" works really great, it really does extend the life when you're done to 10%.
mejiac
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50%
mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 11:15:38 AM
Re: New and Improved
@Angelfuego,

I upgraded to the Iphone 6 from an Iphone 5C and using iOS 9. My wife also has an Iphone 6 but hasn't upgraded to the new OS. I can confirm that the battery life has greatly improved. When I get home in the evening, I'm still at 50% (even after some gaming and heavy web browsing). They've definitly made some great improvements. The new "Low Battery Mode" works really great, it really does extend the life when you're done to 10%.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 11:23:19 AM
New opportunities and avenues
Great article Eric,

 

"These small tools may seem insignificant at first, but their usefulness will grow over time as more third-party apps take advantage of the functionality."

Spot on! Apple is always at the front end when it comes to innovation (even thought sometimes it takes a cycle or two from them to truly output something new and different). The 64 bit processor was a major milestone, and know with the force touch it's oppening the doors to a new experience, and something as you pointed that developers will seek ways to take advantage of it.

It would be interesting to see if further down the road smartphones will be able to provide a certain type of functionality just by the way we grip the phone. Imagine being able to define ways to launch certain applications just by the way we hold our phones...would be cool and a real time saver.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 3:20:07 PM
Re: New opportunities and avenues
Thank you for saving me the time of figuring this out on my own.  I'm exicted to use the 3D touch feature as I've always had issues swiping somewhere by accident.  The camera is outstanding and videos truly look like they are on film, the detail and clarity are truly amazing.  One thing I don't understand though is when you take a picture apparently it also captures moments before and after (kind of like the burst feature).  I'm still not sure how to pick the one I actually want yet.  Does anyone know?
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 5:33:54 PM
Re: New opportunities and avenues
"It would be interesting to see if further down the road smartphones will be able to provide a certain type of functionality just by the way we grip the phone. Imagine being able to define ways to launch certain applications just by the way we hold our phones...would be cool and a real time saver."

@mejiac: That does sound like a cool feature and I don't think it's that difficult to implement. You already have all the sensors in place that can detect. I believe it has to be a combination of touch and motion to give that input command.
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:33:00 PM
Re: New and Improved
@angelfuego- Today all users have the same problem with their smartphone batteries. As phones become more powerful it consumes much battery than we expect. I think its high time for manufactures to stop looking at high processing power and focus on power consumption, until we find a solution to have a longer lasting battery that fits the smartphone. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:36:01 PM
Re: New and Improved
@ mejiac – They do that by restricting your phones background processes which sometimes have an impact on the apps you use. That's fine as long as you save some power when you really need them. 
shakeeb
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shakeeb,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 7:40:50 PM
Re: New opportunities and avenues
@mejiac – Smartphones have come a long way and I am sure we could see some amazing ones in the near future. Manufacturers are forced to be innovative to keep up to the expectations. 
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