iPhone 6s unveiled with 3D Touch, new colors, 12MP camera and more

by Todd Haselton | September 9, 2015

Apple just announced the iPhone 6s during its huge press conference in California on Wednesday. The device has long been expected and was preceded by plenty of rumors that revealed plenty of details around the smartphone. Still, Apple managed to squeeze in a few surprises. “The only thing that’s changed is everything,” Tim Cook said.

It features, as rumors said, four metal finishes, including silver, gold, space gray and rose gold, and is made out of series 7000 aluminum that’s stronger than last year’s aluminum. The iPhone 6s has the same size 4.7-inch screen as last year, but it features a new “3D Touch” element, which sounds similar to Force Touch. Apple says it’s adding a “new dimension” into the iPhone, that it calls “the next generation of multitouch.” Like Force Touch, it recognizes force for “peek” and “pop.”

If you press lightly, you’ll see a “peek” of content. If you press harder, you’ll get a “pop” message with more options, like a brand new menu. It’s “deeply integrated into iOS 9,” Apple said. The tech is integrated into the backlight of the display, Apple said, and it is capable of measuring microscopic changes in each touch. Hold on the Messages icon on the homescreen, for example, and you might get a menu to quickly text or call a specific contact.

The new iPhone 6s is powered by a new A9 chip, the fastest Apple has ever offered. Graphics are 90 percent faster than last year, and CPU performance is 70 percent faster. It also has a new always-on M9 processor, which is built right into the A9 processor this time around.

Other features include second-generation Touch ID and a brand new 12-megapixel iSight camera, which has 50 percent more pixels than before, Apple said, noting that it focused on skin tone and color accuracy. It also supports 4K video, a feature fans have been waiting for. Up front, Apple added a new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera with a True Tone Retina flash, which will actually take advantage of the display instead of a standalone LED flash.

Another new feature on the camera is called “Live Photos,” and it allows you to take a normal photo as always. But there’s now a default option that records 1.5 seconds on each side of the photo, providing an animated capture moment when you tap each photo that’s been snapped with this. It’s supported across devices, too, including the iPad, Macs and the apple Watch.

For data, LTE speeds are twice as fast as before with 23 bands of LTE support. Wi-Fi supports up to 866Mbps, up to twice as fast as the iPhone 6.

Pre-orders start on September 12 and the phones will ship on September 25. Pricing with a new two-year contract starts at $199 for the 16GB iPhone 6s and $299 for the 16GB iPhone 6s Plus with a two-year contract.



Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...