WIRED'S IPHONE 6S REVIEW
There’s the old mantra: “Wallet, keys, phone.” Now, maybe you can pay with your phone. Or you have one of those connected smart locks that opens at the tap of an app. Increasingly, the mantra is just “phone.” The iPhone has the most intuitive software and hardware of any phone around. But it is no longer the best at any one thing.
- •POWER: The extra processing power of the A9 chipset over the A8 is barely noticeable. Games don't run any more smoothly, but the phone doesn’t get as hot. With 2GB of RAM, apps open essentially instantaneously. Multitasking is probably the most noticeable improvement. Double-click to see what’s open, and the stacked-screens view pops up quickly.
- •CAMERA: It has a great rear-facing camera: 12 megapixels (up from eight on the iPhone 6), with a protective sapphire crystal lens and super-fast image capturing. It is not, however, the best camera out there. Its front-facing camera, however, is The New Boss. It’s 5 megapixels and has a cool trick that flashes the screen to lighten dark scenes.
- •SIRI: To us, Apple’s voice recognition still lags even the first generation Moto X. Saying the magic words “Hey Siri” worked 29 out of 100 times when we tested it while driving on the highway. (It was a boring drive.) When saying the phrase in public, we feel like jackasses 100 percent of the time.
- •TOUCH ID: When you use Apple’s new fingerprint sensor, your mind will blow straight out your ears. It is so fast! But then you’ll be like, “Wait, what were those notifications again?” It’s easy to offer a Jobsian answer to this problem: You’re holding it wrong. But by putting the onus of function on the user, you’ve worsened the user experience.
- •3D TOUCH: By placing a grid of sensors behind the screen, Apple’s engineers enabled a gestural input z-axis. Put another way, you can right-click now. It’s currently limited to native apps and a few third-party selects, but someday it might be a level of interaction you can’t live without. We mostly use it to see if we took a live photo by mistake.
- •ROSE GOLD: Let’s get this out of the way: Apple’s new iPhone color is pink, not rose gold. But that said, it is the most important feature of the 6s. Why? It’s the only way you can visually tell the world that you have The New iPhone.
- •OUR 6S PLUS RATING: 8/10. WIRED: Everything great about the iPhone is even greater here, because big screens rule. 4K video looks incredible. 3D Touch is going to be transformative. #rosegold, y'all. TIRED: 16GB is not enough storage. Battery life is fine, but only that. Touch ID kind of ruins the lockscreen.