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Apple iPhone 6s review: Solid and compelling performance (UPDATED REVIEW)

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday October 13 2015

Mobile Review
Overview | iPhone 6s Photo sub-scores (comparison) | iPhone 6s Video sub-scores (comparison) | Apple iPhone 6s vs competition
DxOMark Mobile
82

Overview

UPDATE: We have updated the color shading measurement of the iPhone 6s after we found an error due to an invalid exposure lock during shooting in our lab. The review has been updated accordingly: the DxOMark Mobile Photo's color score is improved by 2 points, while the DxOMark Mobile score remains the same.

Apple’s various iPhone iterations have always impressed us with their photo and video performance, but with mobile devices from other established players firmly occupying the top slots in our database, let’s see how well the iPhone 6s performs.

Although the latest iteration of the bestselling iPhone scores in many aspects almost identically to its predecessor, there is actually a lot that’s different on the inside. For a start, it has a new and more powerful A9 chip and 4.7-inch Retina HD (1334 x750 pixel) 326 ppi screen, now with the company’s intuitive pressure-sensitive Force Touch navigation. Furthermore, it is the launch-pad for the company’s latest and most advanced operating system to date, iOS 9.

The recently available model retains the similar, slick aluminum chassis and has a new 5-Mpix higher res front facing camera (up from 1.2-Mpix).

More relevant to our tests, as mobile photographers will be interested to hear, is that the rearward iSight camera has the same lens and field of view as the iPhone 6, but it features a new 12-Mpix, BSI 1/3”- type sensor, which Apple claims improves noise reduction over its predecessor. There’s still no room for optical stabilization in this model, but thanks to that new A9 processor the Cupertino juggernaut has upped resolution in video from HD to 4K (UHD) and added a new model option with a 128GB memory.

Photo

DxOMark Mobile Photo
83
Exposure and contrast
90
Color
85
Autofocus
92
Texture
73
Noise
73
Artifacts
85
Flash
84

Pros

- Very good exposure overall.

- Fast and generally accurate autofocus in all test conditions.

- Reliable and pleasant white balance in most conditions.

- Good detail preservation in bright light.

Cons

- Some luminance noise visible, especially in low light.

- Slightly yellow cast visible in outdoor conditions.

- Occasional ghosting and other artifacts.

Video

DxOMark Mobile Video
80
Exposure and contrast
80
Color
86
Autofocus
87
Texture
82
Noise
76
Artifacts
85
Stabilization
60

Pros

- Fast, accurate and smooth autofocus in all conditions.

- Good overall exposure and white balance.

- Effective stabilization in good lighting conditions

Cons

- Noise noticeable in low light conditions, especially in image corners.

- Slight color shading visible in low light conditions.