Apple’s newly launched iPhone 6S will be available in stores beginning on Friday. And throughout the week reviewers have been sharing their thoughts on the pros and cons of the next generation smartphone. Here are some of the highlights of what’s been circulating the web:
The new iPhone 6S includes a feature called 3D Touch—it allows the screen to react differently based on how much pressure you apply with a finger. Walt Mossberg writes this for The Verge:
This is one of those potentially huge user behaviors—like swiping, or pinching and zooming—that seem odd or minor at first, but which Apple historically is able to make deeply important and useful. And it’s not just a software tweak. It involved serious re-engineering of the display. It’s the kind of thing that’s Apple’s specialty: the company manages to do new things better, apply them broadly, and make them seem natural, because it has control over both the software and hardware platforms on which its products rest. No other big player does.
In addition, Mossberg praised the increased speed of the fingerprint sensor (TouchID) located in the home button. “It’s now so fast that, if you use the button to wake up the phone and authenticate with your fingerprint, the process happens almost instantly. I often didn’t even see the lock screen,” he said.
Siri and artificial intelligence
The New York Times’ praised the new version of Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled “intelligent assistant.” “Together with voice-control initiatives from Google, Amazon, Microsoft and several start-ups, it is poised to change the way we think of computers,” said NYT’s Farhad Manjoo.
The biggest change is that Siri can now be activated by voice, rather than having to physically hold down the home button. Siri also connects to the phone more deeply than before, controlling Apple’s home-automation system and Apple Music.
Manjoo said that Apple, along with other tech companies, could be pushing us into a new era in which computer assistants become ubiquitous. “For years, we’ve had to go to our computers to get things done. Now the computers are all around us, in the air. They’re listening. They’re helping. They’re inescapable,” he wrote.
What it doesn’t deliver
But it’s not all applause and hype. Joanna Stern, writing for The Wall Street Journal, said that “there is no battery improvement over last year’s iPhone 6 models.”
Also—a complaint other reviewers have shared—the new iPhone model has a storage problem, Stern said. “If there were ever an iPhone that needed more storage, it’s this one, yet Apple continues to rip off customers with a 16GB base model ($649 without payment plan/contract), rather than offer a 32GB one.”
The higher-resolution photos and more advanced features drain the phones of both storage and battery life—something Apple hasn’t addressed—she said.