In September, Apple released the newest versions of the iPhones—the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s+.

Before phone carrier contract discounts, the 6s costs $649 and the 6s+ starts at $749. These new phones have improved specifications and many interesting new features which make for exciting news in the smartphone industry.

There have been few changes to the phones’ exterior. The size of both devices is almost exactly the same as their predecessors. Last year, people quickly figured out that the iPhone 6 had problems with the durability of its frame. The phone could be bent in half directly above the volume rockers which proved to be a major flaw in the device. This time around, Apple made some welcome changes by using a sturdier frame and adding a rubber lining inside which increases the amount of time the iPhone 6s can stay submerged in water without getting damaged. Youtuber TechRax made a video showing the world how long the new iPhone can stay underwater without the phone being affected. In the video, after ten minutes in boiling water, the iPhone 6s was unaffected and surprisingly still fully functional.

[one_third]…after ten minutes in boiling water, the iPhone 6s was unaffected and surprisingly still fully functional.[/one_third]

Hardware wise, Apple has caught up to its competition by upgrading to an A9 processor with two gigabytes of RAM which is also used by the Samsung Galaxy S6. Apple has also incorporated 4K video in the new iPhones, which enables users to create extremely high definition videos in 1080p with 60fps (frames per second.)

In the still picture taking department, the only change Apple really made was an improved front facing camera with flash and an improved proximity sensor. Pictures taken with the front facing camera have always been inferior to ones taken with the rear camera, but the iPhone 6s changes that and balances the two cameras out more.

If the new features mentioned so far don’t impress you, the new IOS—IOS 9—introduces more unique features for the iPhone 6s and 6s+ that makes the new phones tempting to purchase. As iPhone 6 and 5s users know, the Touch ID feature was convenient and easy to use. With the iPhone 6s, the Touch ID is able to sense your finger with increased precision making its performance outstanding and accurate. Alongside that feature, the iPhone 6s introduces a feature called 3D Touch which enables the touchscreen to sense the pressure of the user’s finger, giving him or her a brand new experience. The pressure on the keyboard can be used to quickly select or highlight words or phrases, which is a lot more convenient than using the magnifying glass to try and edit sentences. A new feature that uses the 3D Touch is known as “peek and pop.” This enables you to lightly put pressure on a link or a photo to preview it without opening the entire page. If you decide to open it, even more pressure opens up the page. However, this only works on very few apps and third party ones don’t fully support it yet. This feature could be the one that would convince someone to buy the phone if a wider range of apps supported it. For now, it’s still debatable whether or not the new phones are   worth it.

Another new feature is called live photo which takes multiple frames before and after you take a photo. This makes the photo become a GIF and can be activated by using the 3D Touch method. As cool as this sounds, in reality it’s less useful. The live photos take up double the memory on the phone, so whether or not this is something that is useful or not is questionable.

Even with the introduction of so many new features that seem to make it worth an upgrade, the improvements on the iPhone 6s are more of a gimmick than something worth the price. These upgrades are definitely going to be used in the future when many third party apps incorporate these features but until then, they are  a waste of money. In my opinion, waiting for the newer device is probably the better choice.

The Bottom Line

Pros: 4K video, improved front facing camera, improved touch ID, 3D Touch, better durability, more waterproof

Cons: 3D Touch only supported by Apple apps, live photo uses up too much space