Earlier this month, Apple unveiled the long-expected iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, descending the world into madness and harboring in a new age of consumer confusion. While the iPhone 6 revolutionized Apple’s now-eight-year-old smartphone line, the 6s doesn’t appear to be much different from its predecessor – on the outside, at least. What you may not know is that the next iteration of the globally-beloved iPhone actually packs quite a few new features, which may or may not influence your decision about whether or not to pick one up come release day (like that’s possible). However, despite its slew of new goodies, they still may not be enough to warrant you shelling out a few hundred for what is essentially the iPhone 6 all over again.
So, are the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus worth considering? Well, like all (or, I guess, most) things in life, it all depends on you: the buyer. Let’s take a look at a couple of possible scenarios:
You already own an iPhone 6/6 Plus
As mentioned before, the 6s and 6s Plus look pretty much identical to their year-old ancestors. In fact, the only way anyone would be able to tell if you owned one of the newer models is if they a.) took a look at the little “S” tramp stamp on the back or b.) notice your phone is the Rose Gold model – the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus-exclusive color.
But while the new devices feature nothing truly new aesthetic-wise, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are actually built from a different material than the 6 and 6 Plus: Series 7000 Aluminum, which Apple Watch owners may recognize as the same stuff that makes up their wearable. Designed to be more durable, these new builds will hopefully prevent another “Bendgate” controversy.
Another thing your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus doesn’t have is “3D Touch” technology. By “hard-pressing” on the 6s/6s Plus touch screen, you can bring up new options that otherwise weren’t available. For example, by hard-pressing on a link sent to you through Messages, you can quickly get a “Peek” of what’s on the linked web page without actually going to it. 3D Touch is also handy on the home screen, on which you can hard-press on app icons to get quick shortcuts to features. Imagine being able to swiftly take a selfie by hard-pressing your Camera icon or update your Facebook status by doing the same to the Facebook icon.
In addition to many of the device’s upgraded internals, the 6s and 6s Plus’s cameras are both seeing a boost. With 12 megapixel lenses on their back cameras and 5 megapixels on their fronts, taking photos and selfies with an iPhone will be better than ever. Additionally, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are capable of taking 4K video, which may not mean much to the typical smartphone user, but is very exciting for iOS videographers.
So if you already have an iPhone 6 sitting in your pocket, is it really worth the upgrade? Personally, I would say no. While the 3D Touch stuff is cool and a better camera is always nice, neither are truly must-haves, particularly since the camera on the original 6 and 6 Plus is plenty fine on its own. Unless you absolutely must have either or both of these things (or simply want a Rose Gold iPhone), it might be smarter to just wait for the inevitable iPhone 7 next year, which should bring in some real innovation both internally and externally.
You have an iPhone 5S, 5, 5C, or an earlier model
If you have any iPhone model other than a 6 or a 6 Plus and you’re eligible for an upgrade (or have the money), then absolutely consider upgrading! Bearing in mind the leap the 6 was from the 5 series (in more ways than just screen size), the 6s and 6s Plus will be an even greater improvement to anyone with an older device.
You have a non-iOS smartphone
Is your Android, Windows, or (shudder) Blackberry phone serving you well? Does it run efficiently? Are you happy with it? If yes, then I’d stick with the device you have now. If no, then why not? The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are due to be great phones, and if you’re willing to make the jump to iOS, you should definitely consider them.
You have no smartphone
What year are you living in, dude? Get it together.