iPhone 6s and 6s Plus: Top Features

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are pretty deceiving. From a distance, they look the same as their predecessors, but upon close inspection there's a host of differences. The biggest change is the 3D Touch display, which promises to take multi-touch interaction to the next level, but Apple has also updated the processor, camera and more. Here are all the top new features of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which launch in September starting at $199 and $299 on-contract, respectively.

3D Touch Display

The screens on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus can sense pressure, which opens the door for all sorts of time-saving shortcuts. For instance, from the home screen you can launch a selfie shortcut by long-pressing the Camera icon. There are also two new gestures. Pressing lightly enables Peek, which allows you to quickly preview photos, emails and web pages, while pressing deeper lets you Pop straight into content.

The 3D Touch Display also provides haptic feedback, so you'll know whether you're Peeking or Popping via tiny vibrations. This feature will get more exciting as developers take advantage of it for their apps.

More: Apple's Big Announcements: iPhone 6s, Apple TV and More

Sharper 12-MP Camera with Live Photos

The iPhone has lagged behind the competition in terms of camera resolution, but Apple has always prided itself on balancing the megapixel count with overall image quality. That doesn't change with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which bump the resolution to 12 megapixels while also offering a new image signal processor that promises better colors. The new Live Photos feature captures 1.5 seconds of actions before and after the still shot to deliver more animated results. Other highlights include 4K video capture, which is an overdue upgrade.

Faster A9 Processor

70 percent faster CPU performance and up to 90 percent faster graphics. That's what the new A9 chip brings to the table inside the latest iPhones. The new chip promises much better gameplay in such titles as Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade. This mech-action game will run at a blistering 60 fps while also rendering lots of textures and supporting 3D Touch for zooming in and out.

Both new phones also sport a more efficient M9 co-processor, which will let you say "Hey, Siri" whenever you want to activate your personal assistant.

Much Brighter Selfies

How do you get better-looking selfies without a flash? With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple makes the display three times brighter and adds True Tone lighting tech to make your mug look better even in dim environments.

Stronger Designs

Don't expect a Bendgate controversy this time around. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are made of a 7000 series aluminum, which Apple says is the strongest alloy it has ever used. Plus, the Retina HD displays on these devices use much tougher cover glass. The new rose gold finish brings the number of color options to four.

Unfortunately, Apple hasn't stepped up its game when it comes to screen resolution, as the 6s (1334 x570) and 6s Plus (1920 x 1080) have the same pixel count as before.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.