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iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are here – meet Apple’s best ‘S’ update yet

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:05PM EST
iPhone 6s iPhone 6s Plus Official

Apple on Wednesday finally took the wraps of a variety of new iOS products that will be in stores in the following weeks with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus being the obvious stars of the show. After months of rumors and speculation, Apple finally took the wraps off the new phones, which might just be the company’s best “S” generation ever.

iPhone 6s: The 9 best new features
The 5 worst things about the iPhone 6s
iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus full specs and features
iPhone 6s release date, pricing and preorders: Everything you need to know

Apple has changed everything for these new iPhones, Tim Cook said on stage, saying the new devices are the most advanced iPhones ever, and the most advanced smartphones in the world.

One feature Apple insisted on during the event is the new metal used for making the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. We’re looking at sturdier 7000 Series aluminum, like the one used in the Apple Watch, that’s supposed to prevent future bending. 

There’s also a fourth color for the new iPhone models, and that’s Rose Gold, or pink, which is what some people will refer to.

When it comes to displays, we have the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes, but the screen is protected by even stronger glass covering a brand new Motion background just like on the Apple Watch.

However, there is one new feature coming to the iPhone 6s’ display: Force Touch or 3D Touch as Apple calls it. Basically, the screen is smart enough to tell the difference between a tap, a touch and a pressure touch to offer appropriate responses that should help you navigate faster through menus. 3D Touch Display might not be for everyone, but the feature should surely come in handy to hardcore iOS users looking for shortcuts across the system.

3D Touch works on the home screen but also in apps, with Apple introducing new marketing terms for the new gestures, meet Peek and Pop. A new Taptic engine is found underneath the display, just as the rumors suggested, allowing the device to determine quickly the pressure differences between taps and force touches. Capacitive sensors integrated into the Retina display also help with registering Peeks and Pops.

Peeking lets the user take action in apps without having to open them. Just click on an item on the screen to generate a response on the device from an app, including taking quicker than ever selfies with the camera. These are powerful shortcuts to app that will save you plenty of time.

3D Touch can also be used to bring up the multitasking screen, and navigate between open apps by just swiping the finger across the screen.

The internal components of the new iPhones have also been significantly upgraded. We’re looking at a third-generation A9 chip and an M9 motion coprocessor, to deliver a better, faster and more energy-efficient experience than any previous iPhone. The CPU is 70% faster than the A8, with the new GPU delivering 90% faster performance. No word on RAM but the phones are expected to pack 2GB or memory if certain rumors are accurate.

The M9 coprocessor is now built-in the A9 chip, meaning that it’s always-on.  The Touch ID is even faster than its predecessor.

The cameras of the new iPhone, for the first time, have received major updates when it comes to megapixels. There’s a 12-megapixel iSight camera on the back that has 50% more pixels, better autofocus and a new technology called deep trench isolation. 4K video support is also coming to the iPhone, just as rumors said before the keynote. The front-facing selfie-taking camera has a 5-megapixel sensor, just as rumored, that will use the Retina display as a selfie flash, lighting up three times faster than usual while used as a TrueTone flash.

Live Photos is a new camera feature that lets users 3D Touch a photo to bring it to life via beautiful animation. Live Photos are almost like videos, featuring sound, in addition to animation. Live Photos are on by default, capturing extra 1.5s of extra shots after and before the picture is taken. Live Photos can be then set up as Watch faces on the smartwatch.

Moving on to LTE, the iPhone 6s has 23 bands, now supporting LTE-A networks.

Storage-wise, the iPhone 6s will come in the same three capacities, including 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB, which means pricing are similar. 

Prices will start at $199 for the 16GB iPhone 6s on contract, going all the way up to $399 for the 128GB iPhone 6s. The respective iPhone 6s Plus versions will be $100 more expensive than the iPhone 6s. Obviously, you don’t have to buy the new iPhones on contract, as most U.S. carriers will offer you many installments and rent plans to choose from. And then there’s an official Apple iPhone upgrade program starting at $32 a month.

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will be available for preorder starting September 12th, with in-store sales set to begin on September 25th in a variety of markets, including the U.S. and Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

Looking for more coverage from the Apple iPhone 6s event? Check out our hub!

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.