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.