The recent Apple special event at San Francisco was an Apple fanboy’s dream come true. Packed full of new product updates from the ‘Gigantor’ 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to a refreshed Apple TV and new Apple Watch straps, the 9 September event took over 2 hours to complete and invited many guests to showcase the capabilities of their new products, including Microsoft. But the most important gadget of it all had to be Apple’s latest iPhones – the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
For a lot of people, me included, it is often not a question whether or not to buy the new iPhones but where to buy them. But before you and I both start running out to the stores, online and offline, to hunt for a copy, let’s look at some key updates of the world’s ‘most loved smartphone’ and find out how you get your hands on one.
Key features of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Better known as Force Touch, this pressure-sensitive feature is the most important new feature for the new iPhones. Called 3D Touch, consider this an improvement over Force Touch on Apple Watch and the MacBook. 3D Touch not only senses whether a surface pushed, it further detects two levels of pressure – soft and hard. Pressing softly on an app icon on the home screen launches a contextual menu of shortcuts related to the app and a harder press launches it. For example, applying a ‘lighter’ force to the camera app icon launches a ‘Quick Actions’ menu that includes frequently used options like taking a selfie or recording a video. Pressing harder on the app icon launches the camera. Other uses include writing a message directly to a contact and checking emails. At the event, the demo given by developer Pixeltoys on the Warhammer game was certainly impressive and other developers will certainly be thinking of more creative ways to incorporate 3D Touch in time to come.
The iPhone’s rear camera has been upgraded from 8 to 12 megapixels (finally!) is definitely good news for smartphone photographers like me. A lot of the videos we created on GrateNews are shot entirely with previous models of the iPhones. The front-facing camera has also been upgraded to 5-megapixel and can shoot out flash for a better exposed selfie. You can also shoot panoramic pictures and slow-mo videos with yourself in it now too using the front-facing camera.
Although I am a little disappointed that Apple didn’t offer up a wider aperture lens, it is still a f/2.2 lens, Apple did make it up with a new sensor chip with ‘deep trench isolation’ technology. The technology ensures light captured by one pixel doesn’t interfere with the ones around it. Apple claims that the new sensor will be able to deliver more accurate colour and less noise when shooting in low-light conditions.
Then there is also the odd Live Photos feature. Every picture you take with the new iPhone 6S or 6S Plus becomes a Live Photo that animates when you tap on it. Call it animated GIFs or ultra short video clips, these Live Photos are made possible by the camera app that now captures two additional shots at 1.5 seconds on either side of the actual photo you take to form the animation. And with the new 12-megapixel camera, all I can think of is how much more storage this feature is going to gobble up. That is not good for anyone considering the 16GB model iPhones. Let’s hope that there is a turn it ‘off’ button for this.
Still, I am excited by the new iPhones’ ability to shoot 4k (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) videos.
Nothing much to update here. Both iPhones looked exactly the same as the last generation iPhones. The iPhone 6s comes with a 4.7-inch screen while the iPhone 6s Plus is a 5.5-inch phalet. The phones are however slightly thicker than its predecessors, 0.2mm thicker to be exact. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is built with the 7000-series aluminum found in the Apple Watch. According to Apple, this special aluminium alloy developed by the Apple team is 60% stronger than most aluminium, increasing the strength of the enclosure and keeping it light.
Apple adds a new rose-gold colour to its flagship smaptphones, offering more colour options to the existing gold, silver and space grey. The two new iPhones come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions with the iPhone 6s going for S$1,048 for the 16GB version and the iPhone 6s Plus starting from S$1,218 for the 16GB model in Singapore.
Where you can get it
Pre-orders for the new iPhones starts from 12 September and is expected to arrive in Singapore on 25 September. In some Apple Online stores, the latest iPhone models are already listed as ‘Currently Unavailable’, so the window for you to get your hands on the first shipment of iPhone 6s or 6s Plus in Singapore could be closing fast. But with some luck, you might still be able to be one of the first few (or millions) owners of the spanking new iPhones at the following places.
This is still the most reliable way to order your new smartphones. If you manage to secure a unit through the pre-order link on the website, Apple will ship the phone to your doorstep on 25 September 2015. But be prepare to pay the full price without telco subsidy.
Registration of interest with telcos
All three telcos have started their registration of interest for the iPhones. Similar to previous years, the registration doesn’t guarantee you an iPhone. Here are the links to register you interest with the telcos in Singapore.
Queue at Apple Premium Resellers
Lastly, you can do it the Singaporean way by queuing at one of the many Apple Premium Resellers like Epicentre, Nubox and Infinite as early as you can. In previous years, I have seen snaking queues forming a day before the arrival date of the iPhones at Tampines Mall’s Nubox.
I want my new iPhone 6s but I am not quite ready to spend a day queuing and another 2 days fighting to recover from the exertion. So, whichever way you choose to obtain your new iPhones, I wish you the best of luck!