iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6: What's Changed Since Last Year?

By Tom Pritchard on at

Well would you look at that, Apple has only gone and announced a brand new iPhone that's going to be up for pre-order from 12th September. You could go over to our announcement post and see what Apple has in store for us with the iPhone 6S, or you could be sensible and see how it compares to the phone Apple threw at us a mere 12 months ago.

Is it worth shelling out the money for an upgrade if you're already the proud owner of an iPhone 6? Let's have a look at how it compares to the one that Apple just announced.


Steve Jobs was always very adamant that large phones were a stupid idea, but Apple has clearly abandoned that philosophy in recent years. The iPhone 6 was noticeably larger than the iPhone 5, coming bundled with a 4.7-inch screen. As for the resolution, the 6 had a 720p display. That's pretty disappointing for a premium smartphone, and those of you who were hoping that the iPhone 6S would break free of the shackles of less-than-Full HD resolution are out of luck, because the display is exactly the same as last year. Same size and same resolution.


In typical Apple style the iPhone 6 shed some weight and came with a slimmer physique than previous models. It weighed a mere 129 grams and was a wafer-thin 6.9mm thick. As for the iPhone 6S? Well, it's thicker and heavier weighing in 143 grams and measuring 7.1mm thick. Not great if you're really fussy about those sorts of things, but it's not that noticeable a difference.


If you directly comparing the iPhone 6 with other premium smartphones, something looks a bit off. It came with considerably less memory than its competitors, and the processor specs made it look considerably less powerful. While iOS is a totally different OS to Android, it still looks somewhat lackluster in comparison. Does the iPhone 6S help to fight back against the waves of Android fanboys? Sadly we don't really know yet.

All Apple revealed about the internal guts was that the iPhone 6S will be running on Apple's new A9 processor. According to Apple the memory bandwidth and storage performance are twice as fast as the A8, and is more powerful than 90% of the portable PCs sold in the past year. Unfortunately we don't have any detailed specs or benchmarks to verify this. We also don't know hos much RAM the 6S has, so it's reasonable to assume that it's the same 1GB that's included in the iPhone 6.


Storage is a bit of a sore subject with the iPhone, primarily because Apple insisted on shipping the iPhone 6 with a mere 16GB of unexpandable storage. At least people had the option of bumping that up to 128GB, but that isn't exactly suitable for the more frugal iPhone lovers out there. So has anything changed with the iPhone 6S? Nope. It comes in exactly the same storage iterations as last year, including the much loathed 16GB version.

The Camera

Virtually everyone agrees that the iPhone 6 takes some fantastic photos, proving that you shouldn't just focus on resolution. The iPhone 6S has a 12MP rear camera and 5MP front camera this time around. Apple did mention that increasing the resolution of the camera can have a detrimental effect on the final photo, which is why the 6S now has 'deep trench isolation' which ensures better colour accuracy, less noise, and superior low-light performance.

The 6S also films videos in 4K, and the pictures can be shot as strange GIF-like things that play a short animation when you tap them.

The Rest

As for the rest of the fancy new features? Well the 6S has the brand new 3D Touch feature that you can read all about how that works here. In short, it's a long-press/right-click hybrid that senses touch strength. The 6S doesn't miss out on Apple's famous TouchID system either, and the firm promises that the 6S's TouchID will be twice as fast as its predecessor.

Finally, the iPhone 6S has been made from brand new materials that improve the strength of the phone. The screen is made from Ion-X glass, like the Apple Watch, and the chassis is made from Apple's 7000-series aluminium alloy. Will it protect from drops and bending in pockets, though? We'll have to wait and see.

Looking for more news from the iPhone 6S "Hey Siri!" launch event? Find a tonne of news in our Apple event hub.