All About the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Hardware & Software

iPhone 6S Series
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Apple Inc.

Apple has a well-established pattern with the iPhone: the first model of the series number introduces major changes, the second generation adds an "S" to its name and refines the original model with mostly subtle (but still significant) improvements. The company's been following that pattern since the iPhone 3G was replaced by the 3GS, and it hasn't changed course with the 6 series.

The iPhone 6S is a lot like the iPhone 6 that preceded it but makes a number of key under-the-hood improvements that should take what's already the best smartphone on the market and make it even better.

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are virtually identical except for screen size, weight, and battery life. All the key features are available on both phones.

Important New Features of the iPhone 6S

Key changes introduced on the iPhone 6S include:

  • 3D Touch support: The 6S's screen supports 3D Touch, a feature introduced on the Apple Watch that allows the device to behave differently based on whether the screen is tapped or pressed for a longer period of time 
  • Improved cameras: Both cameras on the 6S are substantially improved over the 6. The back camera jumps from 8 megapixels to 12 and can now shoot video at 4K HD resolution. The user-facing camera goes from 1.2 megapixels to 5 and can use the screen of the iPhone as a flash. Also supported are Live Photos, an animated photo that can be activated using 3D Touch
  • Better internals: The phone is built around Apple's A9 processor and M9 motion coprocessor (the 6 series used the A8 and M8), and sports new chips for speedier connections to cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

Want to protect the important data stored on your iPhone 6S? Check out How to Backup iPhone 6S to Your Computer or the Cloud.

iPhone 6S & 6S Plus Software Features

  • 3D Touch support built into iOS and apps
  • Live Photos 
  • Support for all existing iPhone features like FaceTime, Siri, GPS, AirPlay, App Store, Apple Pay, etc.

iPhone 6S Hardware Features

  • Improved cameras, as detailed above
  • Improved internals, as detailed above
  • 3D Touch support, as detailed above
  • 2nd generation Touch ID fingerprint reader
  • Taptic Engine, a force-feedback device that provides vibration as feedback for various interface actions on the phone
  • Support for existing iPhone hardware features like GPS, the Lightning connector, photo and video capture, etc.

Screen

  iPhone 6S iPhone 6S Plus
Inches 4.7 5.5
Pixels 1334 x 750 1920 x 1080

Cameras

  • iPhone 6S
    • Back camera: 12 megapixels, digital zoom up 5x
    • User-facing camera: 5 megapixels
  • iPhone 6S Plus
    • Back camera: 12-megapixels, digital zoom to 5x
    • User-facing camera: 7 megapixels

Panoramic photos: up to 63 megapixel

Video: 4K HD at 30 frames/second; 1080p at 120 frames/second slo-mo; 720p at 240 frames/second super slow-mo

Battery Life

  iPhone 6S iPhone 6S Plus
Talk time 14 24
Internet time (4G/Wi-Fi) 11/10 12/12
Audio time 50 80
Video time 13 14
Standby time 10 16

all times in hours

Sensors

  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Barometer
  • Touch ID
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • 3D Touch screen
  • Taptic Engine for feedback

Colors

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Space Gray

US Phone Carriers

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon

Size and Weight

  iPhone 6S iPhone 6S Plus
Size 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches 6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
Weight 5.04 ounces 6.77 ounces

Capacity

  • 16 GB
  • 32 GB
  • 64 GB
  • 128 GB

Introduced: Sept. 9, 2015
Discontinued: Sept. 12, 2018

Previous Models

In past years when Apple has released new iPhones, it has kept the previous models around at lower prices. The same is true this year (all prices assume two-year phone contracts):

  • The iPhone 6 Plus will be available in 16GB and 64GB models for $199 and $299
  • The iPhone 6 will also offer 16GB and 64GB models for $99 and $199
  • The iPhone 5S will remain in a 16GB and 32GB version for free and $49.