X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

15 things you need to know about the new iPhone 6S

Apple's recently unveiled marquee iPhone 6S may look the same as its predecessor, but it does offer plenty of design and feature enhancements. Check out the highlights of Apple's new flagship phone.

carnoy-headshot-2019-2
carnoy-headshot-2019-2
David Carnoy
fd-apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2864.jpg
1 of 16 James Martin/CNET

The Apple iPhone 6S is here

Apple's iPhone 6S looks a lot like its predecessor, with the same 4.7-inch display and starting price tag of $649 (or £540 and AU$1,079) off contract.

But as with any "S" iPhone model, you do get some significant  enhancements. Click on for the design and feature highlights of Apple's new flagship phone.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2859.jpg
2 of 16 James Martin/CNET

Similar, but different

Though it's not exactly the same size, the device feels nearly identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 6. It has a 750p resolution and 326ppi.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2854.jpg
3 of 16 James Martin/CNET

11 percent heavier

The phone measures 5.44 by 2.64 by 0.28 inches (138.3x67.1x 7.1mm) and weighs 5.04 ounces (143g).

It's slightly larger than the iPhone 6 and weighs 11 percent more overall.

apple-a9.jpg
4 of 16 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

More powerful A9 processor

Powering the device is a a proprietary 64-bit A9 chip processor that Apple says offers 70 percent computing performance (CPU) and 90 percent faster graphics performance (GPU).

iphone-6s-plus-rosa.png
5 of 16 James Martin/CNET

New color -- Rose Gold

The iPhone 6S comes in four colors, including the new rose gold.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2856.jpg
6 of 16 James Martin/CNET

New, stronger "aerospace-grade aluminum" chassis

The iPhone 6S has a new aerospace-grade aluminum chassis that will hopefully avoid the "Bendgate" issue from last year. It also has a chemically strengthened glass display to-boot.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2847.jpg
7 of 16 James Martin/CNET

Improved fingerprint scanning

Like the model before, there's a fingerprint scanner built into its home button.

Apple says, "The improved Touch ID sensor detects your fingerprint even faster than the previous generation."

How much faster, you ask? We don't know and Apple is mum on the details.

iphone-6s-battery.jpg
8 of 16 Apple

Smaller battery, same battery life

Apple has equipped the iPhone 6S with a 1,715mAh battery -- a lower capacity than the 1,810mAh version found on last year's iPhone 6. (The "mAh" acronym stands for milliampere-hour, which is a measurement of a battery's power capacity; the higher the number, the better.)

However, Apple says the battery life for the iPhone 6S is identical to the iPhone 6's.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2863.jpg
9 of 16 James Martin/CNET

Come with iOS 9

The handset runs Apple's iOS 9 mobile operating system, which includes the mobile payment system Apple Pay and the digital search and voice assistant Siri.

ios-9-hey-siri-setup-1.jpg
10 of 16 Jason Cipriani

Speaking of Siri

Apple's voice assistant will always be on and you can summon it with a simple phrase. When you say "Hey Siri", the feature will pop-up, just like it does when you hold down the home button.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2872.jpg
11 of 16 James Martin/CNET

3D Touch for more options

A new feature is 3D Touch, which works in conjunction with the pressure-sensitive display. Depending on how hard you press on the glass, you can interact with apps in different ways.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2852.jpg
12 of 16 James Martin/CNET

A rear 12-megapixel camera with 4K video capture

Apple has bumped up the phone's camera specs from eight to 12 megapixels. Users can also shoot ultra high-def (4K) video.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2874.jpg
13 of 16 James Martin/CNET

Dynamic photos that move

A camera feature called Live Photos lets you take animated pictures, allowing objects or people to move for a few seconds within the frame.

front-facing-camera.jpg
14 of 16 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

5-megapixel front-facing camera

Selfie addicts and video chatters can rejoice in the fact that the iPhone 6S has a higher resolution 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

faster-iphone-6s-lte.jpg
15 of 16 Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Faster LTE (4G data), Faster WiFi

The iPhone 6S is equipped with LTE Advanced, which offers higher data rates than standard LTE, and supports up to 23 LTE bands (Apple says the most in any smartphone) for better worldwide roaming. Apple also says that the iPhone 6s is up to twice as fast when you’re connected to WiFi.

apple-event-sept9-2015-iphone6s-2864.jpg
16 of 16 James Martin/CNET

Ready for the fall

The iPhone 6S is available for pre-order now and will launch in retail stores beginning September 25. For more on Apple's recently announced products, check out our coverage here.

More Galleries

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work
iphone 15 in different color from an angled view

Go Inside the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: See How the New iPhones Look and Work

21 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners Reveal Our Stunning Universe
andromeda

Astronomy Photographer of the Year Winners Reveal Our Stunning Universe

16 Photos
I Got an Early Look at Intel's Glass Packaging Tech for Faster Chips
Rahul Manepalli, right, Intel's module engineering leader, shows a glass substrate panel before it's sliced into the small rectangles that will be bonded to the undersides of hundreds of test processors. The technology, shown here at Intel's CH8 facility in Chandler, Arizona, stands to improve performance and power consumption of advanced processors arriving later this decade. Glass substrates should permit physically larger processors comprised of several small "chiplets" for AI and data center work, but Intel expects they'll trickle down to PCs, too.

I Got an Early Look at Intel's Glass Packaging Tech for Faster Chips

20 Photos
Check Out the iPhone 15's New Camera in Action
A photo of a silhouette of buildings on the water taken on the iPhone 15

Check Out the iPhone 15's New Camera in Action

12 Photos
Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)
yamaha01.jpg

Yamaha motorcycle and instrument designers trade jobs (pictures)

16 Photos
CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)
dia-de-los-muertos-3318-001.jpg

CNET's 'Day of the Dead Devices' altar (pictures)

9 Photos