Note: Apple typically releases new iPhones in September. If you can wait until then, you can get a next-generation model for the same price, or what’s now the current-generation model at a reduced price. If you can’t wait, read on!
Rene Ritchie has been covering Apple and the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editor-in-chief of iMore, executive editor for Mobile Nations, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Snapchat or Twitter @reneritchie.
Best overall: 64 GB iPhone 6s See at Apple
iPhone 6s packs almost all the latest features Apple has to offer into a sleek, powerful package that still fits easily in your pocket or the palm of your hand. That includes a crystal-clear 326ppi display, 12-megapixel camera with the ability to capture animated “Live Photos” and 4K video, a faster Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, an all-new 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen, Apple Pay mobile wallet, and “Hey Siri!” voice activation.
Bottom line: If you want the very latest iPhone, but you still want it to be a phone, you want iPhone 6s.
One more thing: Comes in space gray, silver, gold, and new rose gold finish.
Why is the 64 GB iPhone 6s is the best?
Striking the perfect balance between size, lightness, and power.
Once upon a time Apple only offered one new iPhone a year. Right now the company has three — the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and newly updated iPhone SE. That makes choosing the best — and choosing your next iPhone — more complicated than ever. So why iPhone 6s? One word: Balance.
iPhone 6s isn’t as big as iPhone 6s Plus but it’s also not as bulky or expensive. It’s also not as small as the iPhone SE, but it has even more features, like 3D Touch.
iMore managing editor, Serenity Caldwell, said this in her iPhone 6s review:
This generation of iPhone models is, quite rightfully, Apple’s best yet. They’ve come farther in speed, photography, build quality, and smarts than ever before. The iPhone 6s stands apart from the 6s Plus with its smaller 4.7-inch stature and lack of optical image stabilization, but it’s also easier to carry and use, and still a powerful member of the iPhone line.
Walt Mossberg, writing for The Verge said iPhone 6s kept Apple on top:
The iPhone 6S is the best smartphone out there, period. If you already own last year’s model, you might not find its new features compelling enough to upgrade. But, if you own an older iPhone, or an Android phone you’re ready to ditch, this new iPhone will make you much happier.
What you get is a 4.7-inch Retina HD display. It’s LCD but has in-plane switching and dual-domain pixels, which provide for outstanding color fidelity at maximum viewing angles. The LED backlight is also used to enable the pressure-sensitive Touch ID feature, which lets you pop up shortcuts and preview messages, photos, and more.
The 12-megapixel camera doesn’t have optical image stabilization like the bigger iPhone 6s Plus, but it does have deep trench isolation, which prevents bleed for sharper, more color-accurate imaging. In addition to panoramas and time-lapses, you can also take Live Photos, which look just like regular photos but, when you press on them, animate for 3 seconds to show you your child’s smile, your dog’s spin, the winning play, and your team’s cheer.
With “Hey Siri”, you can activate iPhone 6s with your voice, ask questions about the weather, sports, movies, and dinner reservations, as well as start music playback, make calls, and even controll compatible home automation products, like Hue lights.
iPhone 6s also works with all the music, movies, and TV shows on iTunes, all the ebooks on iBooks, and the over 1.5 million apps and games on the App Store.
It’s available in 16, 64, and 128 GB models, but 64 GB is the sweet spot for most people. It’ll let you store a good amount of apps, music, TV shows, movies, photos, and videos. If all you need is a thin-client for your business apps or portals, or a screen and speakers for music and video streaming, you might be able to get away with 16 GB. If you want to store your media, or not have to worry about how many photos or how much video you take, you’ll need 128 GB.
You can get iPhone 6s in space gray, silver, or gold, but rose gold is the new hotness this year. And you can also get AppleCare+, which means you’re only ever a phone call or Apple Store visit away from any fix you may ever need.
Best for productivity: 128 GB iPhone 6s Plus See at Apple
iPhone 6s Plus is just what the name implies: iPhone 6s ‘plus’ a few extra features. That means it has all the same great features as the regular-sized model, but an even larger, denser 5.5-inch display at 401 pixels per inch. Thanks to the all those pixels, you can see more text, if that’s what you want, or bigger text, if that’s what you need. You can also turn the iPhone 6s Plus sideways to get an iPad-style double-column interface for even greater productivity. Also, while the camera is still 12 megapixels and 4K, it includes optical image stabilization so pictures are sharper and video even smoother. With up to 128 GB, you’ll be able to store a ton of it too.
Bottom-line: If you want a phone that’s also a tiny tablet-style pocket computer, and has the absolute best camera Apple currently offers, you want the iPhone 6s Plus.
One more thing: With the bigger size also comes a bigger battery, which means iPhone 6s Plus will easily last all day, and often more than day. (That is, unless you’re Snapchat-ing 24/7…
Best for pocketability: 64 GB iPhone SE See at Apple
iPhone SE may look like the 2013 iPhone 5s, but inside it’s almost all 2015. It’s got the same power as iPhone 6s and the same 12 megapixel, 4K camera. All wrapped up in a smaller 4-inch chassis that’s easier to use one-handed and fits into even smaller pockets, clutches, and hands. There’s no 3D Touch and the LTE radio isn’t quite as fast, but you can still take Live Photos, use Touch ID and Apple Pay, download
Download Poweramp Music Player (Trial) V2.0.10 APK all the same iTunes and iBooks content, and access all the same App Store apps and games.
Bottom-line: If you want a smaller, less expensive phone, that still has almost all the same features, you want iPhone SE.
One more thing: Don’t think of it as smaller, think of it as super light, like a race car with all the power but without all the weight to slow it down. It flies.
Conclusion: iPhone 6s See at Apple
If you really love the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus but don’t care about 3D Touch or the 12-megapixel, 4K camera, you can get last year’s iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and save a hundred bucks. Otherwise, iPhone 6s remains the best iPhone available today.