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Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Now Available

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus smartphones

Overall Rating

Senior Friendly Features

Cool Factor

10

Wireless Interface :

Bluetooth

Speakerphone :

Yes

Accessability Features :

Hearing aid compatible

Accessability Features :

Vibrating alert

Accessability Features :

Voice control capability

Quick Specs

Service Provider: 
Verizon
OS Provided: 
iOS
+ See more specifications

Apple’s much anticipated, and much predicted iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were announced earlier in the month and are available today. There are long lines outside Apple stores and carrier stores for them, and many customers pre-ordered them.

Apple follows their usual timeline of one new set of phones per year. Also, they change the form factor every two years. This year was a year they stayed with the same sizes and form factor of the iPhone 6 and larger 6 Plus. So what’s changed? A lot.

The new iPhones are available in the same colors (Silver, Gold, Space Grey), plus a new option; rose gold. The processor is faster, A9 (2.2 GHz dual-core) vs A8 (1.4 GHz dual-core), both with 64-bit processors and motion coprocessors. It also has double the RAM of the iPhone 6, 2 GB vs 1 GB. The result is a phone that is 70% faster, with graphics that are 90% faster. Capacities are the same, 16, 64 and 128 GB. The iPhone 6s ships with iOS 9.

The camera is now 12 MP for the rear-facing camera and 5 MP in the front, for higher-resolution FaceTime and Skype chats when your connection allows. There is an LED light on the back to help light rear-facing photos and videos, and they now take advantage of the screen to help light FaceTime videos. Video can be shot at incredible 4K resolution.

Another big change is called Live Photos. When you shoot a photo, the phone is (by default, you can change this) set to record a second or so of video and audio before and after the photo was shot, and it can now be shown on the phone and in the Photos app with motion. A great way to remember a moment.

The 6s supports wider LTE bands for greater speeds and connectivity, with faster Wi-Fi as well.

Do you need it? That all depends. If you always like to have the latest and greatest, you will definitely want this. If you already have an iPhone 5 or newer and you’re happy with it, possibly not. As with all Apple products, eventually they will stop supporting it and stop making updates for it. If you want a larger screen, the 6s Plus is fantastic. It all but eliminates the need for a tablet, and the large, retina display makes text extremely readable.

Apple can now finance your phone for as little as $32.41 a month, and after paying on it for a year, they will let you upgrade to what is new for the same price, just by turning in your old iPhone. Major US carriers are doing the same, offering financing to supplant their old subsidy programs. Most will also let you now upgrade yearly.

If you’re thinking about the 16 GB phone to save money, don’t. By the time you factor in how much of that is used by the OS, your contacts, a few photos and a few apps, you’ve run out of room. Apple offers the 16 GB version as a marketing tool, to have one phone that is reasonably priced. It’s well worth the extra money for the 64 GB version. That one should be enough for you to have all your favorite apps, some music/podcasts/audiobooks, an album of favorite photos and even some videos.

Should you stand in line at the Apple Store today? I wouldn’t. If you aren’t already there, they’ll likely sell out of their stock before you get there. You can call your local carrier store (e.g. Verizon) and see if they have any in stock. Best Buy often has them in stock, and they can check local stores in the area for you. Sadly, Apple will not check other stores, but today they definitely won’t have time. If you don’t mind waiting a couple of days, you can order from Amazon.com. If you’re a prime member and they have them in stock, you can often have them shipped overnight.

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