Hands-on with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Hands-on with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Apple on Wednesday released two new models of the iPhone — the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus. As models in the “S” cycle of Apple’s alternating phone releases, the new phones have more subtle changes and are more focused on polish than dazzle. That said, I had plenty of new features to explore when I nabbed a few moments with the new phones at Apple’s San Francisco event.

When you pick up the newest iPhone models, they feel much the same as their predecessors. In terms of size and shape, Apple’s made no real modifications here as compared to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The screen size for both remains the same, so any pockets that were ready for the bigger phones are still good to go.

Looking at the specs, the new phones are a tad heavier, but the difference wasn’t noticeable in the short time I had them in my hands. In terms of the better processing power, that’s a little difficult to test in a quick hands-on, but I do have to say I was impressed with the overall snappiness of the phones. Snappiness, of course, is not a technical metric. But the phones just seemed smoother and faster than their predecessors.

I also got to look at the rose gold finish on the new iPhone, which is not actually gold but rather an anodized aluminum. The finish, under the bright lights, looked quite pink rather than the more coppery color of actual rose gold. So if you’re going to sporting one of these phones without a case, be aware that you’ll be making quite a statement.

Of course, there were other major changes as well. The biggest of these is probably 3D Touch — Apple’s multilayered gesture system that’s been introduced with these new phone models. By applying a little bit of extra pressure to a tap, users can call up a menu of different options, similar to a right-click on a desktop or a long-press on Android devices. For example, a light push on the camera button brings up the option to “take a selfie,” “shoot in slo-mo,” among other options. That would save you a few moments of tapping time if you really wanted to capture a moment, fast.

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