Apple has updated its flagship smartphones with the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. The handsets have already been well received by the market, shifting a record 13 million units in their opening weekend - although this record is partly down to the inclusion of sales across China.
We've been testing the iPhone 6S and we're a fan of the new version, although it doesn't add that much to the iPhone 6.
The most exciting part of the new iPhone 6S build is its support for 3D Touch, which Apple describes as a pressure sensing technology that reacts to different presses on the display via capacitive sensors. The Taptic Engine means you actually feel the screen responding to a press when you touch down on it.
With the addition of 3D Touch, you can now hold down on an email message, web link or calendar entry, for example, which will then let you ‘peek' at the item by opening up a preview box; then press a bit harder to open or pop into the item. We've been using this regularly on the iPhone 6S and have been really impressed with the new tech. It works smoothly every time and it's great to feel the feedback when pressing down on the screen. We particularly liked how it works in the camera app for previewing photos, letting you ‘peek' at pictures you've taken in almost a full-screen version and then release your finger to be straight back in photo-taking mode; and also the maps mode for previewing an address highlighted in a different app.
We also liked the shortcuts element of 3D Touch. If you hold down certain apps on the homescreen, it will bring up a shortcuts menu letting you quickly and easily perform popular tasks. So if you hold down the Photo icon, you can choose to see your most recent or favourite pictures; click the Camera icon and you can take a selfie or record slo-mo video; from the Calendar icon, you can add a new event and see that day's events; and from the Clock icon you can set an alarm.
3D Touch also lets you access the task switcher by pressing down on the left-hand side of the screen. This lets you quickly switch between two apps, or get a view of all your open apps.
The iPhone 6S sports a 4.7in Retina HD display with 1334x750 pixels, at 326ppi. Apple says that the glass screen is made using a dual ion exchange process, which apparently makes it stronger at a molecular level and "the most durable in the smartphone industry". As iPhone screens are notorious for cracking or picking up nicks and scratches - and then notoriously expensive to replace - it will be interesting to see whether the new display lives up to this claim, or the new model continues to be plagued with complaints about cracked or scratched screens.
So far, we haven't noticed any scratches on the iPhone 6S screen we've been using, but then we have been handling it with kid gloves owing to previous bad experiences.
The screen is an LED-backlit widescreen display with multi touch and in-plane switching, which offers impressive viewing angles whether looking down from the top, up from the bottom, front or side on, or anywhere in between.
The display on the iPhone 6S is certainly impressive. Colours on web pages, games and video were bright and vibrant, even when viewing video from a distance, while text was clean and crisp. Even though the ppi is lower than competing smartphones, we don't have any complaints with the screen, which also displays images and video in a more natural format.
You can also pick between a standard or zoomed view for the iPhone 6S home screens, which both take full advantage of the 4.7in screen. Standard view displays the icons in normal size, so you can fit six icons down each home screen, while zoomed view displays the icons in a larger format. Both still fit four icons across the screens.
The zoomed view will also display text in a larger format, ideal for anyone with less than perfect eyesight, while standard view displays more text on the screen when reading emails or messages, for example.
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