iPhone 6S Plus vs. iPhone 6 Plus: Spec Showdown

Apple may have moved on with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but let’s not forget about the smartphones that came before. When announced, the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6S Plus were Apple’s flagship devices. A few years down the line, and they remain quality phones that offer excellent performance for the price.

Having spent enough time with both devices, we now know exactly what made the 6 Plus and 6S Plus notable upgrades for Apple aficionados. To get an idea of what sets the 6S Plus apart from its predecessor, we’ve decided to pit the two against each other in a spec comparison. May the best phone win (spoiler alert: the iPhone 6S Plus wins, though you should just wait for the iPhone 8).

Specs

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

iphone 6s plus vs 6 final

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

iphone 6s plus vs 6 iphone6plus final
Size 6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches 6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches
Weight 6.77 ounces 6.07 ounces
Screen 5.5-inch 5.5-inch
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS iOS 10 iOS 10
Storage 32, 128GB 16, 64, 128GB
SD Card Slot No No
Processor Apple 64-bit, A9 Apple 64-bit, A8
RAM 2GB 1GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, 802.11ac 4G LTE, 802.11ac
Camera 12MP rear, 5MP front 8MP rear, 1.2MP front
Bluetooth 4.2 4.0
Fingerprint sensor Touch ID Touch ID
Battery 24 hours of 3G talk time 24 hours of 3G talk time
Charger Lightning Lightning
Marketplace Apple App Store Apple App Store
Avg. Price $27.05/month for 24 months, or $649 without a contract N/A
Availability AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile No longer available
DT Review 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Design

Apple’s design for the iPhone 6 Plus was beautiful simplicity, wrapping rounded edges into glass in an unassuming style typical of past iPhones. Apple decided not to fix what wasn’t broken, bringing back a nearly identical style for the 6S Plus. However, it did improve the phone’s enclosure, borrowing a page out of the aerospace industry’s book and wrapping it in an alloy of 7000 Series aluminum. In other words, this is the strongest and most durable iPhone yet.

daily app deals ios 6 30 2017 iphone plus 4 1200x0

Aside from the dimensions of the 6S Plus registering one-hundredth of an inch bigger in height, width, and thickness, these two phones are mirror images of each other. Back is the same 5.5-inch screen with the same gorgeous 1920 x 1080 screen resolution owners of the 6 Plus came to know and love. Where the iPhone 6S Plus does diverge a bit from the 6 Plus is its available colors. While the 6 Plus comes in just Space Gray, Silver, and Gold (the Gold has been discontinued), the 6S Plus comes in Space Gray, Silver, Gold, or Rose Gold, giving buyers an even greater opportunity to customize their smartphone.

Power and productivity

The 6S Plus is definitely faster than the 6 Plus. Apple’s A9 chip runs 70-percent faster than the A8, with a GPU that’s a staggering 90-percent faster. The iPhone 6S Plus also features 2GB of RAM, which is double that of the original 6 Plus. Additionally, Touch ID is faster — there’s no lag when you swipe around — and games run more smoothly.

iphone 6s plus vs 6 apple 7837 1500x1000
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

The iPhone 6S Plus also touts what Apple calls 3D Touch, which grants users an extra level of touch sensitivity. Slightly touching an application, for instance, brings up a table that’s similar to the right-click menu you might see on a computer. Apple claims the feature improves productivity and streamlines the smartphone experience when time is at a premium. Although you can get iOS 10 on the 6 Plus, it doesn’t support the 3D Touch feature.

Camera

The one area where the iPhone 6S Plus arguably blows the 6 Plus out of the water concerns its camera functionality. Instead of an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a sub-par 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, the 6S Plus touts a gorgeous 12-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. In other words, Apple continues to make it easy for casual photographers to ditch digital cameras altogether and rely solely on the contraption they have in their pocket. For years, Apple has continuously boasted about the iPhone’s camera prowess, and the iPhone 6S Plus legitimately raises the bar.

iphone 6s plus vs 6 review camera

Packed within the camera’s massive upgrade is also the ability for users to not only shoot HD videos, but incredibly detailed 4K videos. Obviously it’s tough to put much stock in 4K actually mattering on something with a screen as “small” as an iPhone 6S Plus, but videos shot in 4K certainly looked a whole heck of a lot better than anything shot on a 6 Plus. Moreover, with 4K gaining popularity and momentum in the HD community, why not include it if the tech is there?

Availability

As always, the 6S Plus comes in three different storage sizes, each of which carries its own price tag. The 32GB 6S Plus comes in at $649 (or $27.05/month for 24 months), and the 128GB at $749 (or $31.21/month for 24 months). As of 2017, however, the iPhone 6 Plus is no longer being sold by Apple or any of the major carriers. With the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus out now, the iPhone SE is the represents the company’s entry-level model. If you want to buy an iPhone 6 Plus, you’ll have to scour the second-hand market.

Conclusion

As is typically par for the course for Apple, each new line of iPhones is described as the most advanced ever created, when compared to other smartphones available at the time. With a newer processing chip, a much-improved camera, a new operating system, and two extra snazzy colors, the iPhone 6S Plus offers a tangible step up from its predecessor. The 6S Plus has also dropped in price since the 7 Plus was released, making it even more tempting. If you already have a 6 Plus, then skip the 6S Plus, and look at the latest model. But if you’re choosing between a second-hand 6 Plus and a new 6S Plus right now, we’d definitely advise you to go for the 6S Plus. If you’re not in a rush, we recommend wiating for the iPhone 8, which is rumored to arrive in September 2017.

Verizon AT&T Sprint T-Mobile

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Mobile

Avoid scratches and dents with the 20 best iPhone 8 Plus cases

So you've got a new iPhone? Congrats! But with a glass design, and looks to die for, you'd best keep it safe. Not sure about the best case choice? Check out our guide to the best iPhone 8 Plus cases for some great ideas.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.
Deals

Watch Kevin Durant’s ‘The Boardroom’ exclusively on ESPN Plus

ESPN Plus gives users access to a ton of sports content, and it's also the place for exclusive shows like Kevin Durant's 'The Boardroom.' If you’re looking to catch this all-new series, then now’s your chance to take advantage of the…
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

The best Honor View 20 cases to keep your midrange beauty intact

With power to rival flagships, great looks, and a stunning camera, the Honor View 20 is an excellent phone -- but it still needs protection from hazards. Here are some of the best Honor View 20 cases.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Mobile

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.