Ars Technica reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch and the A9 chip are the stars of the show

“The A9 uses a dual-core ARM CPU based on a custom 64-bit CPU architecture, continuing to refine the 64-bit design in the A7 and A8. Geekbench reports that the CPU runs at 1.84GHz, a significant increase from the 1.4GHz Apple A8 in the iPhone 6 family,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “The A8 wasn’t all that much faster than the A7 — ‘up to 25 percent,’ though in our testing it was often less than that. In Geekbench the A9 is over 50 percent faster than the A8 in both single- and multi-core benchmarks. It’s fast enough that it can match the triple-core A8X in multi-core tests despite having one fewer CPU core, which bodes well for the iPad Pro’s A9X (we still don’t know how many cores that one’s going to use, but three or even four seems plausible).”

“The faster GPU fixes a problem we noticed in the iPhone 6 Plus in our review. It’s rendering a 2208×1242 image and then scaling it to the phone’s 1080p display. The same A8 GPU had to push 1,741,836 more pixels on the 6 Plus than in the 1334×750 display of the 6. As a result, you can catch the occasional stutter or dropped frame even as you navigated around the UI. It’s still visible in iOS 9—jump into the multitasking switcher and you’ll notice it every time,” Cunningham writes. “That’s all gone in the 6S Plus, which is totally fluid in all the places where the 6 Plus drops frames.”

Apple iPhone 6s Plus in Rose Gold anodized 7000 Series aluminum
Apple iPhone 6s Plus in Rose Gold anodized 7000 Series aluminum

“3D Touch in particular feels like it could subtly change the basic smartphone interaction model, at least once we get used to it,” Cunningham writes. “Tt speeds up basic, repetitive tasks well enough that we won’t be surprised if pressure-sensitive touchscreens suddenly become a mainstay feature in the flagship Android phones of 2016… The iPhone 6S is a good buy if you’re coming from a 5 or 5S, but keep your money if you’ve already got a 6 or 6 Plus.”

Tons more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: For us, the myriad improvements the iPhone 6s Plus offers over the iPhone 6 Plus are easily worth upgrading our units. It’s a no-brainer.

John Gruber reviews Apple’s iPhone 6s/Plus: Everything is new – September 23, 2015
Insanely Great: iPhone 6s benchmarks as powerful as the Retina MacBook – September 22, 2015
TechCrunch reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The camera alone is worth the price of admission’ – September 22, 2015
Mossberg reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘The best smartphone, period.’ – September 22, 2015
The Verge reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: ‘You should buy an iPhone 6S Plus’ – September 22, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews iPhone 6s/Plus: 3D Touch, great camera add up to tempting upgrade – September 22, 2015
Apple sees fastest iOS adoption ever with iOS 9 as iPhone 6s/Plus set to arrive on September 25th – September 21, 2015
Apple, enough with the stupid iPhone ‘S’ naming already – September 16, 2015


    1. The pressure is on … in multiple arenas of smart phone performance.

      Samsung is going to have to get cpu, video speeds up or they will lose even more market faster. But can they keep doing this when their top-of-the line model volume is declining.

  1. MacD can justify new gear, its their biz. But as a user im still trying to justify another 1000 in one year for a new phone. Its not a no brainer its a struggle for me to justify that much hard earned moolah. I didnt cancel my order yet but pondered it again this morning.

  2. Anyone on AT&T with the grandfathered unlimited data plan, have success in getting an unlocked iPhone 6s Plus from Apple going on it’s network okay?

    Looking to move from an iPhone 5 to a 6Plus. Can’t remember offhand if the sim cards are the same size.

    Thanks in advance

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