With 3D Touch, a rose gold color option and new camera features, Apple's iPhone 6s (starting at $648, or $199 on a two year contract) improves on a predecessor which we gave 4 out of 5 stars last year. What matters more, though, is how the new handset stacks up against Samsung's premiere device, the Galaxy S6.
The Galaxy S6, which came out last spring, is less expensive weighs .14 ounces less than the 6s. The S6 also boasts a much higher-resolution screen than the iPhone at 2560 x 1440 pixels versus just 1344 x 750 for the iPhone. What the S6's screen can't do is recognize the amount of pressure you're applying, which enables the iPhone 6s to activate all sorts of shortcuts
While Apple can tout the 6s's lens' ability to record Live Photos (essentially GIFs), the rear-facing shooter on Samsung's S6 is 16 megapixels, more than you'll find on the 6s (12MP). Still, resolution is only one measure of camera performance. We'll have to snap pics side by side with both phones to see which one comes out on top.
Unfortunately for Apple users on a budget, the entry-level iPhone 6s only gives you 16GB of storage, just like its predecessors. This will bump many users up to the mid-level 64GB model, which sells for $299 on a two-year contract. However, Samsung's phone starts with a more-reasonable 32GB. Neither phone has a microSD card slot.
Where the iPhone 6s could stand taller is battery life. It has a rated 10 hours of runtime over LTE, compared to about 8.5 hours for the Galaxy S6. But we'll have to see how well the iPhone does on our battery test to know for sure.
The A9 chip inside the iPhone could help Apple leapfrog the Galaxy S6' octa-core Exynos CPU, but again only various benchmarks will give us the answer.
Overall, the Galaxy S6 is still a very compelling value, as you get a sharper screen in a lighter body with twice as much storage. It will be up to Apple to convince shoppers that its 3D Touch display, improved camera and zippier A9 chip are worth the premium.
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