by Jim Lynch

AnandTech loves the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Nov 02, 2015

AndandTech reviews the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and gives both phones the coveted Editor's Choice Gold award

Technology junkies love AnandTech’s deep and detailed reviews of Apple products. AnandTech delves into technology like no other site, and today it released a full review of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

When I say that AnandTech’s review of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is deep and detailed, I’m not kidding. Make yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and savor this review slowly because it’s well worth reading.

And did I mention that AnandTech has awarded the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus its coveted Editor’s Choice Gold award? Yup, they liked the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that much after doing the review.

Here are a few thoughts from the conclusion of the review written by Ryan Smith, be sure to click through and read the entire thing though:

…after spending all this time with the iPhone 6s I can’t find anything really wrong with this phone. On the contrary, the A9 SoC is a huge jump in performance even relative to other SoCs on the same process node to give impressive application performance. The storage solution is unlike anything else in mobile that I’ve seen so far.

The camera’s overall user experience is just about the best that you can get on the market. 3D Touch is a big improvement in user experience, while TouchID v2 and always-on Siri are worthwhile improvements in user experience.

The only real issues I can think of are that the iPhone 6s doesn’t have OIS and that the base SKU is still 16GB of storage. To be fair, the 16GB SKU can become a noticeable user experience issue if you’re constantly dealing with the limits of this storage, and the jump from 16 to 64 GB feels like it’s simply designed to encourage buying a more expensive SKU. There are arguments that users that don’t really take a ton of photos or videos and stream all their media will be fine, but it’s still a user experience problem in this day and age. However, despite these issues I would argue that the iPhone 6s’ are the best phones you can buy today.

In light of these factors, I would give the iPhone 6s line the Editors’ Choice Gold award. Looking back on the phone that has received this award in the past, I believe that the criteria for this award is such that a product is not only one of the best in its category and an extremely good product in a vacuum, but pushes the smartphone user experience forward in significant ways. The iPhone 6s isn’t a perfect phone, but to receive the second highest award I don’t believe it’s necessary to make a “perfect” phone. There are areas that could be improved, but nothing that I believe is a significant detriment to the phone.

More at AnandTech

As you might imagine, AnandTech’s readers had a few thoughts of their own to share about the review and there was an interesting exchange between one reader and the writer of the review:

Djsvetijo: ”I admit, I only read the “Final Words” page and it felt like Russian propaganda before 1990. I respect Anandtech for its highly techy and geeky reviews and tests but I am now 100% convinced that anything Apple related is paid (IMO). There aren’t many reviews out there that dare to “the best…” instead of “one of the best…”. ”

Ryan Smith: ”Short of showing you AnandTech’s books and my own personal bank account I am doubtful I could convince you otherwise, but no, we have not and never will accept payment for articles, and not from Apple or anyone else. The opinions you see here are solely those of Josh and myself (more so his than mine, as he’s the primary author), and we are both in agreement that there simply is not another phone out there that can match the 6s at this time. It really is that good.*”

980Ti: ”Technically it trumps everything in benchmarks so it is the best. But I know benchmarks aren’t everything.. The iPhone 6S has the best apps store, best camera, best build quality, a great screen (the note 5 is better), best developer support, best in battery efficiency, and the list goes on. ”

Jjj: ”It’s not even a contender for the best even if you exclude the price. You make Huge efforts to not test or mention at all any missing functionality or area where it performs poorly.

The screen is low res, the SoC benchmarks are all synthetic and dubious (we are not in the 90s anymore, move forward already)., a battery test that has nothing to do with real world usage, the camera resolution s fully ignored, motion blur (the biggest problem for users) has never been tested, the touch is missing a bunch of must have features, LTE is just cat 6, the RAM is very little. And lets not forget signal strength , god forbid you would ever mention how terrible iphones are there.

No microSD, the cost of extra storage, proprietary connections, the limitations of the software all ignored because you got old and fat and sold out tho the marketing hype. 15 years ago you would laugh at people like you, irrational and lazy as you got. You are like the people that used to buy prebuilt gaming PCs at 2-3x the price and thought they were cool and smart.”

Toukale: ”Why would anyone be shocked at this point. And with the iPad Pro around the corner, Apple have cemented themselves at the best mobile design house on the planet. I never though I would be writing those words a few years ago.”

Krumme: ”What about weight?? 6s plus is between a note 5 and 8 inch tab s2! Its a brick. Nokia style. And the little comment about contrast is imo not consistent with real world experience. Wait untill apple gets oled and the tone will shift. Uncritical review.”

iSeptimus: ”Been waiting for this review. Always interesting to see this sites in depth reviews, for any phone. Lot of butt hurt Android users in the comments already. Is it really so bad that it’s a good phone?”

Tipoo: ”Apples SoC lead is almost scary. 3MB L2 and 8MB L3 in a phone is insanity, which they can pull off because they know they’re going to sell a high volume high margin product wrapped around the SoC.”

More at AnandTech

As you can tell from the back and forth in the comments, AnandTech’s review of the iPhone 6s has generated some heated exchanges from those who felt the review was biased or uncritical, and those who agreed strongly with its conclusions.

The iPhone 6s is a great phone, but where’s the 4-inch version?

I wrote a while back about my own experiences with the iPhone 6s, and I was quite blunt about calling it the “best iPhone Apple has ever created.” I stand by those words, and I don’t think anyone who can use a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen could go wrong by buying an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. They really are amazing phones.

However, I’ve also come to realize that I really need a 4-inch version of the iPhone 6s. The 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone 6s makes it very hard to use one-handed because of its width. For some folks that won’t matter, and they’ll love the phone. But for others it can make holding and using the phone difficult.

So if the iPhone 6s has an Achilles Heel, I think it’s the failure of Apple to offer the phone in a smaller size. The company went from one extreme – only creating 4-inch iPhones – to the other extreme – only offering 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch phones. There absolutely should be a third, smaller version of the iPhone 6s available.

As great a phone as the iPhone 6s is, it is simply too big for some users. And until Apple realizes that, the company is going to have a significant subset of its customers holding onto their iPhone 4s and iPhone 5s models. This is something that I wish the AnandTech review had mentioned, and called Apple out on its lack of a 4-inch version of the iPhone 6s.

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