Should you upgrade to the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus from your current iPhone?

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 12 Sep 2015

iPhone 6s

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are being marketed under the slogan “The only thing that’s changed is everything” and that is an apt description of this year’s changes. Unlike previous years where the “S” model offered only a small bump in the hardware, the iPhone 6s, and 6s Plus bring a lot to the table.

New features include an innovative 3D Touch-enabled display, 12-megapixel iSight camera, improved Touch ID and almost twice the performance. If you own an older iPhone model, you may be tempted to upgrade. With pre-orders going live September 12th, we will help you decide if you should upgrade from your current iPhone to the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.

What is new in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus?

3D Touch

iPhone 6s 3D Touch

With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple introduced 3D Touch, a hardware and software feature that changes how you interact with your phone. Apple called 3D Touch the next generation of multi-touch and took an incredible amount of engineering to pull it off. On the hardware side, 3D Touch embeds sensors in the display that are capable of detecting the amount of force applied to the screen. Think force touch on the Apple Watch for the best comparison. The user can apply pressure on the display to activate two new gestures — Peek and Pop — that allow users to preview content on their phone without losing their existing place. 3D Touch also provides access to Quick Actions, which enable you to perform routine tasks with a few simple taps.

Read more: Everything you need to know about 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Camera improvements

iPhone 6s cameras

Apple has made several significant improvements to the camera in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The rear camera is now 12-megapixels and capable of recording 4K video while the front FaceTime HD camera is 5-megapizels and includes a retina flash. The new cameras also capture Live Photos, which are 12‑megapixel photos that include the movement and sound from just before and after the picture was taken. You can view these short snippets simply by touching the photo when browsing through them on your iPhone or iPad.

Read more: The new camera features of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

A9 and M9 Processor


The 64-bit A9 processor is a powerhouse, delivering game console-class performance. According to Apple, the A9 improves CPU performance by up to 70 percent and graphics performance by 90 percent when compared to the previous generation chip. That’s an incredible improvement across a single model. Apple also updated the M9 motion coprocessor, which is integrated directly into the A9. The M9 connects to the accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, and barometer for a wide range of fitness tracking capabilities.

Always On Siri

Due to the efficiency of the A9 processor and embedded M9 coprocessor, Apple now is able to leave Siri on all the time in the background, waiting for your commands. Instead of holding down the home button, you can say “Hey Siri” as any time to activate the personal assistant.

Other Changes

Apple also made several smaller improvement to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, including a housing made of stronger 7000 Series aluminum and a Retina HD displays made from the strongest cover glass on any smartphone to date. There’s also an improved Touch ID sensor, support for Voice over LTE calling, and an optimized landscape view on the iPhone 6s Plus. Connectivity speeds get a boost with support for up to 23 total LTE bands, new LTE-Advanced (up to 300 Mbps), and improved WiFi that’ll allow for up to 866Mbps.

Should you upgrade?

Upgrading a phone is a very personal decision. It depends on your personality, your finances, your level of happiness with your phone and more. Below, we will look at the hardware as we consider whether you should upgrade and you need to fill in the rest before you make a final decision.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are only one-year-old and far from being outdated. They both offer reliable performance, an excellent camera and excellent battery life. They also will run iOS 9 like a champ. If you purchased the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus with a contract, then you still have one year left on the agreement and will have to break the contract to upgrade. This will cost you a significant amount of money in early termination fees. Is it worth paying this price to get the faster processor, 3D Touch and improved camera in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus? That’s a call only you can make.

For an even more detailed comparison, check out our spec shootout between the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 6 Plus.


Compare iPhones

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 5s?

The iPhone 5s is now two-years-old and if you bought it under contract, then you are coming to the end of your agreement. The changes in the iPhone over the past two years are significant — bigger screen, improved TouchID, better camera, and faster performance. And now with plans that allow you to pay for a phone over time with no money down, there is little reason not to upgrade.

For an even more detailed comparison, check out our spec shootout between the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone 5s.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5c?

The iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c are very similar under the hood with the colorful casings of the 5c as the distinguishing feature. The improvements of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus over these two devices are quite significant. If you are out of contract or your contract is coming to an end, then it might be a good decision to buy the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. You’ll get a bigger and better screen, Touch ID, improved front and rear cameras, Apple Pay, faster connectivity speeds, faster performance and more.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 4s or iPhone 4?

The iPhone 4 and 4s are both several years old and long in the tooth. If you’ve completed your two-year contract with your carrier, then the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus will be a fantastic upgrade for you. You’ll get so many new features in one phone that you will be over the moon.


The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus go on sale September 25 with preorders starting September 12 at 12:01 AM PDT. If you are not interested in the iPhone 6s series or just want to save some money, you also can choose the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or the iPhone 5s.

Let us know if you’ll be upgrading to the iPhone 6s or the 6s Plus in the comments below.