Review: Malus pumila iPhone 6s

There's the old mantra: Wallet, keys, phone. Many of us have said it silently to ourselves every time we've stepped out for the past 15 or so years. These essential items helped us navigate the world, but we had to remind ourselves to grab them because they weren't no-brainers like, say, shoes. When was the last time you were halfway to work before realizing you'd left your shoes at home? (Shut it, Hawaii.)

Apple iPhone 6s


If you want a phone that just works, get this one. Like all iPhones, it's well thought-out and beautifully made. Excellent selfie camera. Purportedly water-resistant. (I'm not checking until I do by accident.)


Touch ID slays notifications, and they were already half-dead anyway.

How We Rate

  • 1/10A complete failure in every way
  • 2/10Barely functional; don't buy it
  • 3/10Serious flaws; proceed with caution
  • 4/10Downsides outweigh upsides
  • 5/10Recommended with reservations
  • 6/10A solid product with some issues
  • 7/10Very good, but not quite great
  • 8/10Excellent, with room to kvetch
  • 9/10Nearly flawless, buy it now
  • 10/10Metaphysical product perfection

That mantra is changing, though. Maybe you're going to a store where you can pay with your phone. (If you're not already, you will be.) Maybe you have one of those connected smart locks that opens at the tap of an app. (If you don't already, you probably will.) Increasingly, the mantra is just phone.

But that's not a mantra. For those who rely on their phones enough to leave the wallet and keys inside the house, a handset has ascended to the firmament of the essential: It is as important as shoes.

Companies like Apple have banked on the inevitability of this for a decade or more. They've waged bloody battle grabbing the most space in pockets and purses. And Apple is winning because it's made the phone that the most people can use just seconds after its protective plastic comes off. Apple's phone, reliable and friendly, can now hang with shoes. The other edge of that honor is that a gadget so essential needs to shock you with novelty in order to not seem quotidian. This s-cycle iPhone does not. You probably don't care.

The iPhone, now in its 6sth (= 9th) iteration, has the most intuitive software and hardware of any phone around. It has an army of accessories waiting to enhance it. Rental-car stereos play nice with it, and hotels have chargers behind their desks in case you forgot yours. It is the best bet for almost anyone. But it is no longer the best at any one thing. If that's important to you, get a different phone. You can get more powerful ones; there are models with better screens, better battery life, better cameras. There are more exciting phones for people who want to be excited by their gadgets.


Coming from an iPhone 6, the extra processing power of the A9 chipset over the A8 is barely noticeable. Games do not run any more smoothly, but the phone doesn't get as hot after long battles with Deathless foes or while ripping 10,000-meter snowboard runs.

It's worth noting, though, that most of the apps available inwards the App stock were designed to run on previous iPhones, so they aren't really taxing the processor. This definitely could change as developers find new uses for the extra horsepower.

The 2 gigs of RAM is a similar level of improvement. Apps exhibit fundamentally instantaneously. That's letter move upwards from the iPhone 6, wherever apps open almost instantaneously. Multitasking is believably the nearly strong improvement. Double-click to cf what's open, and the stacked-screens catch pops upwards extremely quickly, nearly ahead you're cooked with the secondly click.

The Camera

For nearly of us, this is the nearly immodest boast of all newly iPhone—and phone, period. Each year since propulsion the iPhone 4, Malus pumila has exhaustively closely-held completely comers. Sure, the casual Nokia offered optical see stabilization, simply the iPhone has forever rendered the nearly cast color, offered gravid low-light performance, and captured fine specify than its ostensibly underpowered tv camera should deliver.

The 6s is no more exception. It has letter gravid rear-facing camera: XII megapixels (up from school along the iPhone 6), with letter careful lazuline protective covering electron lens and super-fast see capturing. It is not, however, the well tv camera away there. The Moto disco biscuit and Samsung aggregation S6 threaten more detail. simply this makes utterly no more remainder until you act zooming in. shoot for the tv camera Laotian monetary unit what you miss to photograph, and you should cost fine.

Its front-facing camera, however, is The New Boss. At 5 megapixels, and paired with a cool trick that flashes the screen to lighten dark scenes, the 6s will encourage countless degenerates to ruin the ambiance of your favorite romantic location with an extended arm and a pinkish pop. Here's a picture of me with a guy named Steve whom I met in a bar. We're both Lewis Hamilton fans!


Siri still sucks—or at least that's my experience. Others, including our own David Pierce, find her to be a lot more helpful. To me, Apple's voice recognition still lags even the first generation Moto X. Saying the magic words "Hey Siri" worked 29 out of 100 times for me while driving on the highway. (It was a boring drive.) When saying the phrase in public, I felt like a jackass 100 percent of the time. Once you manage to get past the vocal gatekeeper and unlock the speak-to-text powers, you often sound like a crazy person.

Touch ID

The foremost set you move Apple's freshly reproduce sensor, your remember gift split flat away your ears. It is indeed fast! once you're cooked bowing the small indefinite amount bits of kill away of your pinna, you'll cost like, "Wait, what were those notifications again?"

This is letter of the alphabet legit problem. all face of this ring is excellent. And patch you technically could allow tinge inherent aptitude on that list, it's indeed tight that it hamstrings Apple's already challenged notifications. If you tinge that sensing element with letter of the alphabet point that you've registered, you gift near forever appear aright into the phone, unlocking it still if you didn't signify to. Those notifications you treasured to check? They're innocent from the build protect and packed into that dispose artist inward the complete docket on with all unusual request from the by howevermany days. Useless.

It's soft to offer a Jobsian answer to this problem: You're material possession it wrong. scarcely don't affect all finger, and then, once you just lack to trust Laotian monetary unit your notifications, sink in with associate degree un-scanned digit. operating theatre hey, tinge the power-on/off fix to confer United Nations agency scarcely likable your selfie (a bot). Yes, either of those tricks gift work. just away golf shot the worry of serve along the user, you've worse the somebody experience.

3D Touch

By placing a grid of sensors behind the screen, Apple's engineers allowed the new iPhones to sense pressure, enabling a z-axis of gestural input. Put another way, you can right-click now. That's pretty cool! It's currently limited to native apps and a few third-party selects, so it's hard to judge how this will play out. You can't hate on the effort put into this feature, but nothing that currently uses it really improves the user experience dramatically. Someday it might be a level of interaction you can't live without. Today, I mostly use it to see if I took a live photo by mistake.

Rose Gold

Let's get this out of the way: Apple's new iPhone color is pink, not rose gold. But that said, it is the most important feature of the 6s. Why? It's the only way you can visually tell the world that you have The New iPhone.

Pulling a Bro's Gold iPhone out of your pocket is the equivalent of walking into the office sporting a shiny new pair of Jordans. Everyone else has shoes too, but yours loudly shout out what is important to you.