iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6S comparison preview

The new iPhone 6S goes up for pre-order tomorrow but should you upgrade? We take a look at how the new generation iPhone is different from its predecessor in our iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6S comparison preview including price, specs and new features. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2015

As is traditional with an 's' model of iPhone, the new generation looks essentially the same but has a few upgrades here and there. For this reason, we've split this article up into two sections to explain what is different and what it the same – rather than going through the different aspects one at a time.

The iPhone 6S launched alongside the iPhone 6S Plus, iPad mini 4, iPad Pro and new Apple TV as part of a bumper Apple announcement this week. Read: iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6s Plus comparison review.

Also see: iPHONE 6s PLUS COMPLETE GUIDE; iOS 9 COMPLETE GUIDE

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6S

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6S: What's different?

As you might expect, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S are priced differently so this will have an impact on your choice whether you're looking to upgrade or trying to choose between the two. In true Apple style, the iPhone 6S retains the same pricing structure as the iPhone 6 so starts at £539 while the iPhone 6 has dropped to £459. See the table below for the full price comparison of all models. See: Best iPhone 6S deals.

With an £80 difference if you're buying one new from Apple, let's take a look at the key difference between the new and old iPhones. Also see: Best MiFi 2016.

See also: iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6S Plus comparison preview.

Design

On the design front, the new iPhone 6S comes in a fourth colour option which is Rose Gold – the iPhone 6 is now limited to Silver and Space Grey. That might be enough to tempt you but it has got thicker and heavier at 7.1mm and 143g compared to 6.9 and 129g.

The new model also uses 7000 Series aluminium and the strongest glass ever used on a smartphone – presumably to avoid another bend-gate situation.

Processor

Inside the iPhone 6S is a new processor, the A9 64-bit chip with M9 motion co-processor. Apple says this is up to 70 percent faster than the A8 found in the iPhone 6 on the CPU front and up to 90 percent for graphics. The M9 chip means you can now measure your running or walking pace in addition to your steps.

Storage

Despite various rumours, Apple is sticking to a 16GB base model for the iPhone 6S with 64- and 128GB still the other two capacity options. It pretty much goes without saying that there isn't a Micro-SD card slot.

Although the iPhone 6 is still on sale, Apple now only sells it in 16- or 64GB models, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you want the largest.

3D Touch

Following Force Touch on the MacBook, Apple has introduced 3D Touch to the display of the iPhone 6S and this is the headline feature of the new phone. This can detect how much pressure you put on the display so you can do more things with it. It works alongside the new Taptic Engine which provides shorter and more precise vibration feedback.

Apple has introduces Peek and Pop so you can do things like preview an email with a light touch, a Peek, then go further into with by pressing harder, a Pop. It also means you can easily switch to your last used app by pushing harder at the left side of the screen and swiping right.

iPhone 6S 3D Touch

Quick Actions will also help you out so you can press harder on an icon to do things like send a message to a favourite contact, check-in on Facebook or open the front camera to take a selfie – all directly from the homescreen.

Cameras

The iPhone 6S still doesn't have optical image stabilisation (you'll need the Plus model for that) but Apple has upgraded the 8Mp rear camera to a new 12Mp iSight camera. As well as more resolution, the new camera can shoot video in 4K, offers improved noise reduction and has tap to focus with Focus Pixels. Live Photos is a new feature which records video for 1.5 seconds before and after a photo so you can watch it as a short video like a Gif.

The front camera has also been upgraded to 5Mp from 1.2Mp and the iPhone 6S has a Retina Flash which means it uses the display to light you up for those selfies in darker conditions.

Touch ID second-generation

It's not a huge deal but the iPhone 6S comes with the second generation of Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Apple says it's twice as fast as before so should save you a few milliseconds when unlocking the device.

LTE Advanced

With the right network (EE will be offering LTE Advanced for iPhone 6S users) and the right location, the iPhone 6S will provide up to 300Mbps download speeds. It also supports a total of 23 LTE bands for better roaming.

iPhone 6S Rose Gold

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6S: What's the same?

There are quite a few changes when it comes to the iPhone 6S so apart from everything above, the following things are the same no matter which generation you pick.

For starters, the screen is still 4.7in and uses a 1334x750 resolution resulting in the classic Retina 326ppi pixel density. There's NFC (still for Apple Pay only) and other wireless such as 11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS. Nano-SIM and the Lightning connector are also shared specs.

The iPhone 6S comes with iOS 9 and the iPhone 6 is upgradable from 16 September and Apple's battery life figures are the same for both models.

iPhone 6S: Specs

  • iOS 9
  • 4.7in Retina HD display wth 3D Touch
  • A9 processor with M9 motion co-processor
  • 16/64/128GB storage
  • 12Mp iSight rear camera
  • 5Mp FaceTime HD front camera
  • Touch ID
  • 7.1mm
  • 143g
  • iOS 9
  • 4.7in Retina HD display wth 3D Touch
  • A9 processor with M9 motion co-processor
  • 16/64/128GB storage
  • 12Mp iSight rear camera
  • 5Mp FaceTime HD front camera
  • Touch ID
  • 7.1mm
  • 143g

OUR VERDICT

For an 's' model, there are actually quite a few reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 6S, or pick it over the iPhone 6 if you don't have one. You'll benefit from the 3D Touch display and new front and rear cameras but other upgrades are also welcome including a faster Touch ID fingerprint sensor, A9 processor, LTE-Advances and the stronger design in Rose Gold. The iPhone 6 remains a good choice at the new lower price, though, if you're not feeling flush.

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