The new iPhones are here. But do you want one?
The iPhone 6s, the new addition to Apple's line-up, is a stunner. But it's an expensive stunner — and how much do its new features justify the cost?
After the 25th, when the phone is released, you’ll have five big options if you’re after an iPhone. Either you can buy the brand new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, last year’s 6 and 6 Plus, or the smaller (and now two-year-old) iPhone 5c.
What do you get with the new phones? Are the new features worth paying for?
The big new features are: a pressure-sensitive, “3D Touch” screen; and a vastly-improved camera.
There are other smaller changes too, like a new camera mode that lets you take moving Live Photos and the option to have motion wallpapers.
It’s also been improved on the inside, with a new processor and bumped-up specs that will help it run much faster.
On the outside they look mostly the same, but the 6s comes with new colour options.
Do you want to be on the tock of the tick-tock cycle?
Since phone contracts tend to last two years, buying now will usually get you set on the “S” part of the cycle. That will mean that, if you renew whenever your contract is up, you’ll get the upgraded phone that comes in the same box, rather than the complete redesign.
That’s good because Apple tends to refine and correct things during the “S” years. As well as the obvious feature upgrades this year, for instance, Apple has strengthened up the metal of the phone to avoid another Bendgate.
But there’s drawbacks, too. Getting locked into the “S” part of the cycle means that you’re stuck for a year with the old form factor, watching those around you get hold of newly-designed — thinner and sleeker — phones. They’re not necessarily better, but they can be more envy-inducing.
Once again, Apple has just brought out a new phone and simply slotted into its old pricing structures, and letting everything else move down one spot. So everything costs the same.
The only advantage is that, as above, if you’re keen on the non-“S” part of the cycle you can do that more cheaply. Picking up a 6 is less expensive now — and you get the same look, and most of the same features. (But of course you won’t be able to get the gold or rose gold handset.)
So what should you do?
It comes down, ultimately, to two things: how much do you have to spend, and how much do you want the new phones?
If you're reading this, then you probably want the new iPhone. So it comes down to this: can you afford it? Do you want to afford it?
The 6s and 6s Plus are stunning, and incredibly up-to-date, but they’re also expensive; you can get the same look with a cheaper iPhone 6. And the 5s is even cheaper as well as keeping the smaller look.
But my crudest (and probably over-simplistic) advice is: if you’ve got a 6, stick with it; if you’ve got a 5s and you’re not unhappy, then probably stick with that too; if you’ve got anything else, want an iPhone and can afford it, get a 6s.
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