USA Today’s Baig reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch, great camera add up to tempting upgrade

“Ironclad, two-year subsidized cellular contracts are rapidly becoming a thing of the past tempting you to upgrade your smartphone more frequently,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today. “That temptation has been on the mind of iPhone owners ever since Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the 6S and 6S Plus, even people who sprung for the 6 or 6 Plus models within the last year. Trading up this soon is certainly by no means necessary, but those of you who do will be happy that you did. The odd-year ‘S’ releases of the iPhone sometimes get a bad rap, with people thinking such models are only marginally better. Yet looking back it was the 4s that introduced the iPhone crowd to Siri, while the 5s brought the Touch ID fingerprint scanner.”

“The most significant new feature on the 6S and 6S Plus that I’ve been testing ahead of their arrival Friday is 3D Touch. Similar to the force touch technology on the Apple Watch, 3D Touch builds on multi-touch to sense how hard you press down against the display. 3D Touch is baked throughout the new iOS 9 operating system with the amount of pressure you apply leading to different possible outcomes,” Baig reports. “When I went to my 6 Plus, I missed not having 3D Touch.”

Apple's new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Apple’s new 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus

“The phones have outstanding 12-megapixel rear cameras and 5-megapixel front shooters,” Baig reports. “Meantime, aspiring filmmakers will be jazzed about the ability to shoot 4K video on the phones… A quibble: I wish you could switch from shooting 4K to HD videos directly in the Camera app, rather than have to dig into the phone’s settings. The phone is faster too, including the Touch ID fingerprint reader. Older cases I tried fit fine.”

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we earlier this month: Like Apple Watch, 3D Touch will save users bits of time throughout each day that really add up vs. those with inferior smartphones (yes, that now includes iPhone 6/Plus and older). Those with 3D Touch iPhones will be like those wearing Apple Watches: Faster and more productive than those without.

As we wrote last month: Force Touch will be more important than most people think.

As we wrote last week: Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already. iPhone “S” years usher in hugely significant features, such as oleophobic displays, significant GPU improvements, world phone capability, Siri personal assistant, video stabilization, panorama photos, 64-bit processors, TD-LTE support, Touch ID, and 3D Touch, among other improvements and additions. Each year’s iPhone deserves its own number. By not doing so, Apple is shooting itself in the foot; handicapping iPhones with an “S” every other year. Why Tim Cook or Phil Schiller haven’t put an end to this stupid – yes, stupid – “S” naming is inexplicable. Why don’t you just name it “iPhone No Big Deal This Year,” Tim and Phil?


  1. The name doesn’t seem to be much of a handicap. Millions of people still want to buy them whatever they’re called. It’s only called a minor update by certain reviewers. I’m not sure that Apple has ever explicitly said what the ‘S’ stands for. People seem to make up their own theories.

    However if Apple really were to change the naming/numbering system, the most sensible alternative would be to use the year number – most likely next year’s number like car manufacturers do. On that system, the iPhone 6S released in late 2015 would have been called the iPhone 16.

    Whatever Apple ends up calling them, you can be quite certain that Samsung will adopt an almost identical naming system.

    1. “It’s not about sales figures or the model’s success (as long as “iPhone” is in the name, it will be a success), it’s about setting a tone. In this case, with the “S,” Apple sets a tone that they are just making an incremental update… Why gift the naysayers with the opportunity, Apple?” — MacDailyNews, April 5, 2013

  2. I’ve been on the “S” cycle since the 4S, and am very happy that I am. The “S” version always cleans up issues in the original (antenna-gate, bend-gate), and introduces key improvements (Siri, Touch ID, 3D Touch). The “S” models are always very good, solid iPhones. Admittedly, though, with the demise of the 2-year contract, the “S” designation makes less sense, but any iPhone model term/suffix is going to encounter some issue and criticism. May as well stick with what people know.

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