What size iPhone should you get: iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus?

Like last year, you have the choice of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6s or a 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. One offers more utility, the other is easier to use. Which one you get depends entirely on what you want to do with it. Is it maximum portability and pocket ability or pure size and photo prowess? We'll break it down!

Screen size

The iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch 1334x750 screen at 326ppi. The iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch 1920x1080 screen at 401ppi. For some people bigger will be better: more pixels, more density, more utility. For others, worse: harder to hold, harder to pocket, harder to use.

Holding an iPhone 6s, it doesn't feel much different than an iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s. The roundness, thinness, and lightness mitigate the difference in size. Not for everyone, certainly, but for a lot of people. Holding an iPhone 6s Plus is different. It's noticeably bigger. It fills your hand more, your pocket more. It's as much tiny tablet as big phone.

3D Touch, namely peek and pop, help mitigate the size difference somewhat, putting context-appropriate controls literally at your fingertips, but it's still a bigger phone.

If the iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s are already big for you, you'll want to stick to the iPhone 6s. If the iPhone 6s simply isn't big enough, you'll want to go for the iPhone 6s Plus.


In landscape mode the iPhone 6s Plus is treated like a small iPad. Mail goes from one column to two columns. So does Messages, Notes, and a host of other apps. Safari gets tabs and the rest of the tablet treatment. It may not sound like much but it's a huge boon for productivity.

If you like the iPhone the way it is, you'll like the iPhone 6s. If you like the idea of having an iPhone in portrait and an iPad in landscape, you'll like the iPhone 6s Plus.


Both the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus have the same 12 megapixel iSight camera. The iPhone 6s Plus, however, has optical image stabilization (OIS) for both photos and video. With OIS, the lens is essentially isolated from the body so that if your hand shakes the lens does not. That means it can stay open longer and drink in more light without introducing blurring and other distortions. Photos that were previously too dark will be noticeably brighter and better.

If you're not a camera enthusiast and don't need low-light photography, you'll be thrilled with the iPhone 6s. If you're a photographer and really want OIS, you'll really want the iPhone 6s Plus.

Battery life

The iPhone 6s gets as good or better great battery life as previous iPhones. That's up to 14 ours of talk, 10 days standby, 10 to 11 hours of web browsing and video playback, and 50 hours of audio.

The iPhone 6s Plus gets crazy good battery life. Up to 24 hours of talk, 16 days of standby, 12 hours of web browsing, 14 hours of video, and 80 hours of audio.

If good battery life is good enough for you, the iPhone 6s will suit you well. If great battery life is what you want, the iPhone 6s Plus will give it to you.

Who should get the iPhone 6s?

If you want an iPhone that's bigger but doesn't really feel bigger, that has almost all the great new features but still fits easily into your hand and pocket, then you should go for the iPhone 6s.

You won't get the iPad-style landscape layout in Apple's apps, you won't get the optical image stabilization or the longer battery life, but you will get something incredibly sleek, incredibly comfortable, and incredibly easy to handle.

If you want an iPhone that's still primarily a phone, go with the iPhone 6s.

Who should get the iPhone 6s Plus?

If you want an iPhone that's much bigger and feels it, that has absolutely every one of the new features even if it doesn't fit as easily in your hand or your skinny hipster jean pocket, you should go for the iPhone 6s Plus.

You'll get the iPad-style layout in landscape, the optical image stabilization for better low light photos, and the longer battery life. What you won't get is something as sleek and easy to handle as past iPhones.

If you want an iPhone that doubles as a tiny tablet, go with the iPhone 6s Plus.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about which to get between the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus, jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.

Bottom line, your iPhone will be one of the most often-used, most important possessions in your life. Get the one that will fit your needs the best!

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • I only hope for iphone 6s from imore
  • I prefer the 6S. I will be upgrading from the 5S. I was not due until August, so I waited until 6S was announced. The 5S has been a good phone, but time to upgrade. I do not think iOS9 will run as well as iOS 8.x has been on the 5S, and I really would like to use Apple Pay. Sent from the iMore App
  • "In landscape mode the iPhone 6s is treated like a small iPad"
    The plus is missing.
  • Think I am going to go with the 6s+ this time around. 6 felt kind of small, and going with a smaller battery on the 6s than the 6 when the 6 already had pretty meh battery life makes me weary, even with the less power hungry processor.
  • Dunno....they're awful heavy now aren't they, Renee? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • After using an iPhone 6 plus for a year, I am now convinced that 4.7 inch is the best screen size of them all.
    Ya, the plus is bigger, but most of the time, it is not the better experience. Videos, games and Browsing are the places where the plus really shines over the 6, but its still not enough. I often end up picking the iPad for games/videos and the mac for browsing/videos. If someone wants one and only one computer and thats got to be a pocketable, then 5.5 inch is the best. But for anybody who owns a laptop/tablet, the 4.7 is the better choice. The plus is not a tablet replacement by a long shot.
  • I'm in the same boat, downgrading from the 6 Plus to the 6S. At first I thought I'd never go back to a smaller phone, but it's become cumbersome. I never realized how much I'd miss being able to do everything on the iPhone with one hand. The one thing that I'm super bummed to give up is OIS. That capability is no joke.
  • Same here, I've had the 6 Plus and realize the overall experience throughout the year was more important than having a bigger screen. I mostly text/web chat/email and for the most part sure I can do two hands to type however there are many times when I have to use one hand and I feel like I have to do a dance/balance act on my hand to ensure the phone doesn't tip over and drop. It gets tiring after awhile. I'm going with the 6S Space Grey this time as I had the white/gold, and even white/silver last time getting tired of white so trying black/grey this time around.
  • I absolutely agree.
  • Do you get paid for each one of these you do what color should I get what storage size should I get what's screen size should I get Sent from the iMore App
  • That's generally the idea lol
  • I will keep my 6, I am just not impressed enough with the S models to pay for them.
  • Those battery usage ratings are highly optimistic and unrealistic. It's a shame Apple chose not to give their customers a bigger battery. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • How could you possibly know that, especially since Apple has a known history of actually being very conservative with their battery ratings? Sounds like a troll to me.... Sent from the iMore App
  • Note the "Posted via the iMore App _for Android_"...
  • Not a troll at all. I'm a fan of Apple's products but they continually sell their customers short. A smaller battery than last year? Please. My coworker who owns an iPhone 6 is always charging his iPhone. Just a little "I'll believe it when I see it" skepticism. Also if you go to PhoneArena where they praise everything iPhone, even in their battery rundown tests, every iPhone model sucks. Facts. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Totalt agree, the numbers are just not valid, my iPhone 6 goes down like crazy when I surf or just Flipboard. I'm lucky if it lasts for 2-3 hours surfing and video. I have no clue how they get those numbers. I did my 6 in the hope 6s would get a better battery but now apple even reduced it. Sucks really. I might go with the 6s+ just for the sake of battery. Hopefully I won't regret it due to size.
  • I'm going big. Hell, might as well when you're coming form the smallest of them, like my rotary dial iPhone 4 :) I'm looking forward to the plus, more cushion for pushing ;)
  • Wish I could get a 5 inch 6s with a bigger battery and OIS. But that's just me. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Plus for me. Coming from an Android 1080p 5 incher I don't think I want a smaller screen and less resolution, even though the screens on the iPhone are better. Plus OIS. Hopefully that makes it into the smaller iPhone on the iPhone 7 Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Phone mimicking tablet = iPhone 6s+
    Phone being phone = iPhone 6s Sent from the iMore App
  • Nah, "iPhone being phone" (in other words being closest to the traditional functions and format of mobile phones), is clearly the iPhone 4s. 3.5" or 4" phones are a lot closer to being generic "phones" than any of the larger tablet varieties.
  • I'm gonna stay with my 5S for now. What's all this fuss with big phones anyway... I would like a lot to have an iPhone 6 or 6s mini. Sent from the iMore App
  • Indeed. Apple badly needs a 4" phone in it's lineup. This year all they have is two year old technology which is kind of insulting, but next year it won't cut it at all. It will be interesting to see what happens next year. Will Apple get rid of 4" phones altogether? I can't see why on earth they would.
  • LOL is that why it beats every phone in performance!
  • Funny how 8 months changes everything...enter the SE :-) I actually just bought a 6s yesterday at the Apple Store, coming from a 6+. I actually tried out the SE and it was quite nostalgic. I ultimately had to go with a bit bigger for me, but so happy it's out there for folks who need it.
  • Went space gray again but kicked it up to the 6s Plus and 128gb.
  • I feel that 4.7" is the perfect size for an all-around phone. I have a 6+ and think that 5.5" is too big everyday activities. That said I still need the larger screen size so I would still get the 6S + next.
  • my 5s served me well for the last two years, with one reservations: its battery life just isn't enough for me. I'm so fed up with the daily 3pm-low-battery-warning. I'm ready to trade portability for long lasting battery life, 6s plus!! Sent from the iMore App
  • iPhone 6s Plus is more pro efficient due to the fact that it is a combination of an iPad and iPhone. Sent from the iMore App
  • Only a 6S plus in 128GB will suffice for me. I currently have the 6 plus in 128GB so I know what I need. Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm going for the iPhone 5c this time around. It's the only one they make that actually fits in my hand.
  • And the 5S doesn't??
  • The 6+ is so big it's ridiculous. The screen size is great to use but If you're a guy who puts his phone in his pants pocket it looks ridiculous. The 6 is a great size and if you have med/large hands for a guy you can still use it 1 handed.
  • I went with the 6s 128 gb in space gray through AT&T. I moved from Android devices for a few reasons one being the large screen race that OEM's seem to be in. I personally prefer the 4x7 screen size. Sent from the iMore App
  • Go big or go home! Ha haaaaaaaaa!
  • Im a big man with big hands... Gotta have the plus... If they made a 256GB I would have bought that instead of the 128...
  • Im actually torn between the two... Upgraded to the 6 plus from the 5s last year. was shell shocked at first and ended up loving the size and all its features. But i really miss the ergonomics of a smaller phone. especially when I'm making phone calls or typing and my other hand is occupied. but on the other hand i watch a lot of videos and media on my phone. i have an iPad but don't always want to carry it around. i reserved both phones in space grey 128gb. ill make up my mind on launch day
  • I went with the 6s plus rose gold 64 gb from apple store picking up on 9/25,just hope i can handle it ok. now i need a good case and screen protector
  • I was a 6Plus user who came back to 5S. My take on current situation: Those who will use 6s Plus for the first time will realise how bulky and uncomfortable that phone will get and will mostly come back to a 6S size iPhone 7 next year. Those who got iP6 last year will probably try a 6S Plus only to realise later that it's not very practical for daily use. I have been seen many people ordering a 6S while they have a 6Plus from last year.
  • I would take a 6s or 6s+. I have a 5c now:(
  • I'm curious... does a 6+ (and this the new 6S+), fit in a normal front pocket on guys pants? Not skinny jeans, but a regular jeans/pants pocket? I'm considering moving from the combination of a 6 and iPad Mini 2 to a 6S+ and the one thing that stops me is that I carry my phone in my front pocket when I'm not wearing a jacket (~6 months of the year at least).
  • It does for me. I generally wear American Eagle straight cut jeans and even when I put my 6+ in a Speck candyshell grip case (mid-range in terms of case bulk) I can keep it in my pocket. Two things worth noting:
    When the phone is cased and I'm sitting down, it can be especially difficult to get back out of my pocket. Basically I'm going to have to stand up to retrieve the phone. This is particularly inconvenient when driving. Without a case, it's manageable. I do have some Old Navy shorts where the pocket fits all but one corner of the phone. I've had the phone slip out of the pocket of those shorts when sitting if it's not in the case (the grips on the case keeps it put). Hope that helps.
  • It does thanks
  • I got rid of my Mini and got a 6+ last year...bad move for me. I'm only upgrading, or downgrading, to a 4.7" 6s to get a better everyday phone experience and will be getting another iPad. I don't feel that the 6+ replaces the Mini and I also feel the 6+ can't be used & carried about all the time comfortably. See my comments further down.
  • This is helpful thanks as that was something I was considering doing!
  • Yes it does fit in normal pants
  • The size doesnt really matter to me as long as i have one. But unfortunately i dont. Cant afford it :(( but i hope imore would give me one hah Sent from the iMore App
  • I went with the iPhone 6S. The Plus is just too big for me. I'm a petite woman, 5'3" and have long fingers but small hands. The biggest phone I've ever owned is the HTC One M7, so I think the 6S is just perfect.
  • If the iPhone 6s had OIS, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. I love what it does for my iPhone 6 Plus. I have been very underwhelmed with landscape mode on the iPhone 6 Plus., I would have thought by one year out they would have added some real functionality to landscape mode, but it seems like little software really stretches out there to make it the "mini-tablet" that you mention beyond the built in apps.
  • Easy choice for me, 6S. Tired of the big phones Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Is this where u can win a free iPhone 6 . I hope so. Because i really need a new phone, I just lost my job and my suxks. If so can some one email me at joynelle.lavant@gmail.com
  • I'm moving down to a 4.7" 6s from the 5.5" 6+. The 6+ requires too much finger gymnastics to operate, it slides out of the pockets of shorts, it bulges too much (for my liking) in straight or slim (not skinny) pants, weighs down the inside breast pocket of jackets and sportcoats, and bounces around too much in my running shorts.
    I originally thought the 6+ would provide larger text, and thus a more comfortable viewing experience but, with text scaling and display zoom that can be experienced on the 4.7" screen size.
    I'm near a charger most days so, I'm hoping I don't miss the battery too much.
  • Thanks for the display zoom idea!
  • Look I went with the 6 plus s this year had the 6 but I found with work that it was a little hard to use so I decided to switch it is fine in your pocket and is very practice I run with it do daily activities I understand not for everyone but please don't use the excuse it won't fit in pockets it looks weird people do not see the phone
  • I hope one I can earn enough money to buy I phones ..because I really love it