What Makes the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus Different?

With so many similarities between the two models, you may wonder exactly what makes the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus different? Truth is, they're not that different. In fact, almost every major element of the phones is the same.

But there are a few differences—some subtle, some very obvious—that set the two models apart. If you're trying to decide which one is best for you, read on to discover the 5 subtle things that make them different.

Screen Size & Resolution

iPhone 6S Series
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. image credit: Apple Inc.

The first and least subtle difference between the models is their screens:

  • Physical size: The iPhone 6S has a 4.7-inch screen, while the iPhone 6S Plus has a 5.5-inch screen (this is the same set of screen sizes as on the iPhone 6, 7, and 8-series models that preceded and succeeded them). 
  • Resolution: Along with the difference in the screens' physical size, they have different resolutions, too: 1334 x 750 pixels for the 6S vs. 1920 x 1080 for the 6S Plus.

A bigger screen may seem appealing, but the 6S Plus is a very large device (more on that in a minute). If you're considering the two iPhone 6S series models, but aren't sure which is right for you, make sure to see them in person. You should know pretty quickly whether the 6S Plus will be too big for your pockets and hands.

Camera Image Stabilization

Woman testing out the iphone 6s camera at the Apple Store
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If you only compare the specs of the cameras on the two models, they'll seem identical. And they are, except for one crucial difference: The 6S Plus offers optical image stabilization. 

The quality of the photos and videos we take is affected by the shaking of the camera—either from our hands or other environmental factors (such as riding in a car while taking the photo). The image stabilization feature is designed to reduce that shaking and deliver better photos.

The 6S achieves its image stabilization through software. That's good but not as good as image stabilization delivered by hardware built into the camera itself. It's this—also called optical image stabilization—that makes the 6S Plus different.

Size and Weight

iPhone 6S
image credit Apple Inc.

Given the difference in screen sizes, it should come as no surprise that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus also differ in their size and weight.

  • The iPhone 6S measures 5.04 inches wide x 2.64 tall x 0.28 deep.
  • The iPhone 6S Plus is 6.23 inches wide x 3.07 tall x 0.29 deep.

The difference in size is driven almost entirely by the screen sizes of the two models. Those differences also affect the weight of the phones.

  • The iPhone 6S weighs 5.04 ounces.
  • The iPhone 6S Plus weighs 6.77 ounces.

The weight probably won't be too much of a factor for most people—1.73 ounces is fairly light—but the physical size of the phones is a big difference when holding one in your hand and carrying it in a purse or pocket.

Battery Life

Battery life

Apple takes advantage of that room by giving the 6S Plus a bigger battery that delivers longer battery life. Battery life for the two models breaks down this way:

iPhone 6S

  • 14 hours talk time
  • 10 hours Internet use (Wi-Fi)/11 hours 4G LTE
  • 11 hours video
  • 50 hours audio
  • 10 days standby

iPhone 6S Plus

  • 24 hours talk time
  • 12 hours Internet use (Wi-Fi)/12 hours 4G LTE
  • 14 hours video
  • 80 hours audio
  • 16 days standby

Needless to say, the extra battery will keep you from having to recharge as often, but the 6S Plus's bigger screen also consumes more power. 

Price

Making a purchase at the Apple Store
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The last, and perhaps most important, difference between the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus is the price. To get the bigger screen and battery, and better camera, you'll pay a bit more.