The last generation of Apple iPhones sport big screens, pressure-sensitive touchscreens, and a host of improvements from the old iPhone 6. But is it still worth getting? We say yes.
It's probably no surprise to hear that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are very good phones. Apple's not exactly in the habit of releasing rubbish handsets after all. But that consistency means it's easy to become blasé about the whole thing. "New iPhone's out? Yeah, s'cool."
But you know what? It really is cool - even though it's not the latest model any more - and that's something worth acknowledging. Because while it's not a monumental leap forward over the iPhone 6, the new iPhone 6S is improved in almost every respect... and even has a couple of advantages over the newer iPhone 7.
In this guide, we'll look at some of the 6S and 6S Plus' most exciting features, and the most affordable ways to get hold of it.
What are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus like?
In truth, it isn't a massive leap forward from the 'old' iPhone 6, so if you're holding your breath for some ummediately revolutionary new features just exhale now. That said, there are improvements across the board, so rest assured it is Apple's best phone yet.
Neither the iPhone 6S or the iPhone 6S Plus look dramatically different from their predecessors. As before, the standard 6S sports a 4.7in screen and the chunky 6S Plus has a 5.5in display.
For a long time, Apple's focused on making its phones thinner, but the new iPhone 6S is actually ever so slightly thicker than its predecessor at 7.1mm. Likewise, the iPhone 6S is also a couple of millimetres thicker at 7.3mm.
The elegant aluminium shell is back from the old 6 too, though Apple says it's stronger and less prone to bending than before. You can also get it in some new colours, including 'rose gold', which is Apple-talk for pink. Personally, I still think silver is sexiest, but it's nice to have options.
Power and battery life
Apple's fitted these iPhones with one of its fastest mobile processors - the A9. This, according to the company at least, offers 70% better overall performance than the iPhone 6. It's particularly good for games too, as it's 90% faster for graphics. Of course, the iPhone 7's A10 chip is an extra step up from that, but rest assured the 6S is still incredibly slick.
Even better, the chip - in conjunction with iOS 9 operating system - results in significantly improved battery life. For those of us slaves to previous iPhones' limited battery life, that's the best news of all.
3D Touch features
The biggest new feature in the iPhone 6S family was pressure-sensitive touchscreens, technology that Apple calls 3D Touch. The idea is that pressing the screen in different ways can yield different results. For example, a little tap could open an app, while a dramatic prod could open a menu.
For example, touching an email opens it, but hard pressing it lets you preview its contents without marking it as read. Another example: touching the Apple Maps icon opens the app, but a hard press gives you shortcuts to your location, directions home, and search functionality.
Both front and rear cameras have seen a big boost for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Gone is the old 8 megapixel (MP) camera of iPhones past and in is a new 12MP sensor. That means images look even sharper, and brings the iPhone closer to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G5's admirable photo capabilities.
It can also record 4K video. That's about as sharp as you get right now, and you can even edit films right there on your phone with Apple's iMovie app.
The front camera has seen a big overhaul. It's now 5MP instead of 1.2MP, so selfies should see a big improvement.
How much do the iPhone 6 and 6S cost?
Some truths you can always rely on: the ocean is wet, Phillip Schofield is a silver fox, and the iPhone is eye-wateringly expensive. And sure enough, at full price the iPhone is a sizeable investment.
- iPhone 6S 32GB: £499
- iPhone 6S 128GB: £599
The iPhone 6S Plus has a bigger body and a bigger price tag to match.
- iPhone 6S Plus 32GB: £599
- iPhone 6S Plus 128GB: £699
But there are ways to get your hands on an iPhone without resorting to selling a kidney. Most networks offer the new iPhone for reduced cost upfront with a pay monthly contract. This spreads the cost over 18-24 months, making it much more immediately affordable.
If you buy the handset outright, you should consider a SIM-only deal. These typically give you a generous amount of minutes, texts and data - and because they don't include the cost of a phone, they're much cheaper than pay monthly contracts, even if you get unlimited data.
Which networks offer iPhone 6S plans?
The iPhone is the biggest of big deals in the mobile world, so most of the major networks offer plans, including these chaps:
If you want an easy way to see the best iPhone 6 deals each has to offer, our mobile comparison service is just the thing. We'll just leave the link over here...