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When Size Matters: iPhone 6S Versus iPhone 6S Plus

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When Apple only offered one size of iPhone, deciding which model to buy was a much simpler choice. Now with both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus available, it’s a much tougher decision. 

There’s more to the choice than just picking the bigger phone; for some people the 6S Plus will be better, whilst for others the smaller model will be preferred. In this tutorial I’ll look at some of the reasons you might choose one over the other.

As is immediately apparent, at a glance, the 6S Plus is a lot bigger than the 6S. It comes with a 5.5-inch screen while its smaller sibling comes with a 4.7-inch screen. The extra inches also translate to more pixels. The 6S Plus has a screen resolution of 1920x1080 pixels versus 1334x750 pixels for the 6S.

Screen size is only the most obvious difference between the 6S and the 6S Plus. The extra internal space of the 6S Plus leaves room for a larger battery and an optical stabiliser for the lens.

Storage Space Matters

While the colour you choose doesn’t really matter, the storage capacity does. Apple offers 16, 64 and 128 gigabyte models of both the 6S and the 6S Plus. 

Nine years into the reign of the iPhone, it’s a bit ridiculous that Apple still sells a 16GB model. For most people, 16GB is nowhere near enough storage space for all their media.

storage iphone
The storage on my iPhone. You can see how easy it is to fill 16GB.

As iPhone cameras have improved, the file size of photos has increased. With a 16GB iPhone you’re unlikely to be able to hold all your pictures. On the other hand, there are very few people who are going to shoot enough images or store enough movies that they need 128GB of storage. The sweet spot is 64GB.

If you’re on a budget, the 64GB iPhone 6S costs the same as the 16GB iPhone 6s Plus. For almost everyone, the 64GB 6S is going to be the better bet. 

Unless you really need the extra features of the Plus, the extra storage will have a far bigger impact on how you use the iPhone.

The Size that Works for You

The 6S Plus is a really, really big phone. It’s shocking how large it is the first time you pick one up. The iPhone 6S, however, is still a pretty big phone. Older models look puny next to either of Apple’s latest.

While it was possible to use an iPhone 4 or iPhone 5 one-handed without too much difficulty, unless you’ve large hands even the smaller of the two new iPhones is almost impossible to manage with just one hand. 

This was the deciding factor that made me buy the 6S Plus; if I needed two hands to use whichever phone I bought, I was going to go all in and get the benefits of the massive screen.

two iphones
The two iPhone models side-by-side.

Hand size is only one consideration though. The size of your pockets or handbag also matters. I’ve big legs so the 6S Plus fits in the front pocket of most of my trousers. If you wear skinny jeans that won’t be the case. 

Women who carry handbags—or men with man bags, for that matter—have an advantage when it comes to size; if you’re carrying the iPhone in a bag it doesn’t really matter which model it is.

Unless you’re certain the size of the 6S Plus won’t cause problems, then the 6S is the safer option. You’re far more likely to regret getting a phone that’s too big than one that isn’t.

You Do a Lot of Photography

If you use an iPhone as a camera more than anything else, the 6S Plus has a number of advantages over the 6S.

First, the camera in the 6S Plus has built-in optical image stabilisation. This means that the camera is able to compensate for small amounts of movement while you take photos. In low light situations, this can make a huge difference. Your photos will be significantly less blurry when using lower shutter speeds.

photo iphone
An image captured with my iPhone.

Second, the extra screen real estate makes post processing images a lot easier. Apps like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop Fix and Pixelmator rival their desktop counterparts. 

It’s now possible to get professional level image editing on an iPhone. While the 6S is perfectly suitable for small amounts of editing, if you’re going to be spending a lot of time doing it the 6S Plus will make life a lot easier.

You Frequently Travel

One area where the 6S Plus really shines is battery life. Mine can last for 36-hours between charges without much difficulty; the 5S that I had before would be lucky to make it sixteen. I

f you travel a lot this extra battery life is incredible. A 6S Plus won’t need to be charged in the middle of a transatlantic flight.

On the other hand, if you work in an office and keep a charger at your desk, the extra battery life will rarely be noticeable. 

Compared to older iPhones, the 6S has great battery life. It’ll need to be plugged in a little more often than a 6S Plus but it still has more than enough juice to last a day.

The further off the grid you go, the more useful the 6S Plus’s extra battery life will be. For most people, the 6S should be more than sufficient but if you travel a lot or work somewhere you can’t easily charge your phone if the battery gets low, the 6S Plus might be the way to go.

Wrapping Up

Apple’s latest iPhones are their best yet. The difference between the 6S and 6S Plus is really a matter of personal preference. While the 6S Plus has a larger screen, better battery life and optical image stabilisation, it can be a nightmare to carry. 

Unless you know you’re really going to use the extra features of the 6S Plus, the regular 6S is just as good a phone.

I hope this tutorial has made deciding which iPhone to buy a little easier. If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments.

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