Apple iPhone 6s – full Australian review

4K video
The new sensor also means that you can capture videos with more detail too. 4K recording is supported, which can capture 8 times the detail of full HD videos.

Digital video stabilisation helps smooth out the rough edges of your recordings, and gives you a bit more scope for low light conditions, though you certainly won’t want to film in the dark.

Other help by way of continuous auto-focus and face detection are useful, and you can even take a still image while recording.

When tested, we were impressed by just how much detail could be captured – especially the myriad ripples and sun-sparkles on the water in our Sydney harbour test video.

Keep in mind that 4K videos take up a lot of space and a minute of video will occupy 375 megabytes of memory. You can select lower resolution film modes as well, and use 4K recording sparingly, of course.

Editing and transferring 4K videos can be done right on the phone with the iMovie app. This can even handle editing two streams of 4K video at once, and you can export directly to YouTube or transfer to your computer to be edited by other tools.

And for more fun, there are slow-motion and time-lapse modes. Slo-mo supports full HD (1080p) videos at 120 frames per second, and for that extra Slo-mo effect, there’s a 240fps capture mode in 720p.

Time-lapse creates some stunning and memorable videos of things like a busy harbour, a crowded event, clouds puffing by, busy traffic, walking along a path, sunrises and more. It’s easy to use, and the digital video stabilisation support smooths out shaky hands.

A9 inside
In order to power all of the new imaging features, Apple has included its latest A9 processor. This is a powerful third generation 64-bit processor, similar to those used on desktop computers, and Apple is calling it “…the most advanced chip ever in a smartphone”.

It’s rated to provide 70 percent faster CPU performance than the A8 version in the iPhone 6, and produces 90 percent faster graphics performance.

To add efficiency, the M9 motion co-processor is integrated into the A9, sort of like two-chips in one. The M9 handles things like fitness tracking and enables Siri to be ‘always listening’ for your voice commands.

Faster 4G LTE
In Australia, we benefit from fast mobile data, and the iPhone 6s is a perfect partner for our networks. It supports the latest Category 6 LTE technology, meaning even faster data transfers while we’re out and about.

Compared to the iPhone 6, from our Woolloomooloo offices, we were able to download at a blistering 81 megabits per second, versus 19Mbps. Uploads speeds were 31.5Mbps for the 6s and 17Mbps for the 6.

iPhone 6s speed test
Over 81 megabits per second downloads – that’s almost NBN territory.

We were using Telstra’s 4GX network, but the actual speeds you’ll get depend on where you are and which network you’re operating on.

The iPhone 6s supports up to 23 LTE network bands so it’s a great traveller’s phone with support for most network technologies used around the globe.

On the Wi-Fi front, there is 802.11ac with MIMO support for theoretical speeds up to 866 megabits per second.

Longer life
When originally testing the iPhone 6s, we were experiencing about the same life as an iPhone 6 under general use – about a day and half.

iOS 9 brings improved power efficiency, and is intended to add about an hour to the total battery life, and there’s a new Low Power mode that kicks in when the phone’s charge is around 10 percent to extend on-time by shutting down a number of non-essential features like animations and display brightness.

We ran into some issues when synched with the Apple Watch running Watch OS 2, however, with the phone running out of charge by around 5PM.

This seems to have disappeared with the Watch OS 2 software update, although we’ve only had this running for a day.

Apple has also released some new cases to freshen things up. New leather cases are available in midnight blue, saddle brown, rose gray, brown, and black.

New case colours to choose from.
New case colours to choose from.

The grippy silicon cases now come in white, charcoal gray, stone, antique white, blue, turquoise, midnight blue, lavender, pink and orange.

A (PRODUCT)RED case is also available with a portion of the proceeds going to help fight against the spread of AIDS in Africa.

For charging or synching from your nightstand or desktop, the new Lightning docks are colour coded to your iPhone 6s and available in gold, silver, space gray and rose gold.

The Lightning Dock attaches to an external speaker.
The Lightning Dock attaches to an external speaker.

The docks also include a headphone jack so you can connect to a set of powered speakers.

Last word
Overall, the iPhone 6s is a pleasant surprise when we’ve come to expect an incremental bump from ‘s’ models rather than a lot of new features. The 3D Touch display provides you with a novel and efficient way to interact with your apps.

The camera is a genuinely impressive improvement, and 4K support, a more powerful processor and faster wireless connectivity are welcome additions.

Should you upgrade? Probably not if you have an iPhone 6, however, anything older and you’ll be very happy with your choice.

The 6s has certainly caught up to the specifications found on many competitor’s smartphones, however, instead of rushing to be first out with megapixels, CPU cores and gigahertz, Apple has refined and perfected the 6s to really benefit from the advances, and offer a best-in-class experience.

Available in 4 colours and with up to 128GB of storage.
Available in 4 colours and with up to 128GB of storage.

For Android users, there is a handy app available on the Google Play store that will help you migrate to an iPhone, and is a sign of Apple’s aggressive reach into non-iPhone markets.

The iPhone 6s is available in Apple stores and telco partners across Australia from 8AM AEST on Friday September 25th. Models include Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold. Memory capacity choices are 16, 64 and 128 gigabytes.

In the box, you’ll receive a set of Apple EarPods with Remote and Mic, a Lighting to USB cable and USB power adaptor.

The iPhone 6s also comes with Apple’s latest iOS9 pre-installed.

Australian pricing starts from $1,079 for the 16GB model, $1,229 for the 64GB model and $1,379 for the 128GB model. All prices include GST.


Valens Quinn travelled to San Francisco for the Apple iPhone 6 launch courtesy of Apple Australia.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Great 12 megapixel camera, fun video modes including 4K, 3D Touch, powerful