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Deep dive review: The iPhone 6S Plus delivers the goods

Michael deAgonia | Oct. 19, 2015
Top-notch performance, better cameras and the arrival of 3D Touch make it a great choice.

The cause for this much smoother UI could be that this is the first iPhone to ship with 2GB of RAM. This may not seem like much to Android users -- some Android devices ship with 4GB of memory -- but on the iPhone, the additional memory makes a huge difference in real world use and performance.

Speaking of performance, Apple's Touch ID feature has received a hardware update and the result is incredibly fast scanning times. How fast? With the iPhone 6 and 5S, if I wanted to check the time on the lock screen, I would press the Home button to turn on the display. If I wanted to log into the phone, I would leave my thumb on the Home button a split second longer, and within a second from the initial press, the Home Screen would appear. On the iPhone 6S Plus, pressing the Home Button to activate the screen brings up the Home Screen before the display has finished lighting up.

One thing I really like about the Plus is that I don't have to worry about battery life. I'm on my phone more than most throughout the day and the iPhone 6S Plus lasts hours longer than what I became accustomed to with the iPhone 6. For the first time in years -- for the first time since the invention of the smartphone -- I haven't had to worry about battery life. I'm ending my days with 30% battery life or more, when I would run out with the iPhone 6.

Prices

Prices and storage capacities haven't changed. Subsidized service plans with a two-year contract offer the iPhone 6S for $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for the 64GB model and $399 for the 128GB model. The iPhone 6S Plus is priced at $299 for the 16GB model, $399 for the 64GB model, and $499 for the 128GB model, subsidized.

Carriers are shifting gears in an effort to entice smartphone customers to sign up with them, as has Apple. More and more carriers seem to be moving away from subsidized pricing in an effort to keep customers by making it easier to upgrade every year. This can result in a bit of sticker shock -- for example, without a subsidized plan, the iPhone 6S Plus starts at $649 for the 16GB model.

To ease the pain, Apple is offering a new upgrade program it rolled out this year, a move that prompted Samsung to follow suit. The iPhone Upgrade Program starts at $32.41/month over 24 months (though you have the option to turn in the phone for a newer model after 12 payments). The plan also offers AppleCare+ coverage for two years, which includes hardware support, coverage for two incidents of accidental damage and screen replacements.

 

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