Apple iPhone 6s Plus Review: More Of A Good Thing

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Battery Life

As it turns out, Apple dual sources production of the custom A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The two companies making these chips are Samsung and TSMC, and though they're working with the same design put forward by Apple, there have been reports that performance and battery life differ between the two, sometimes significantly.

Comparisons on the web point to the TSMC version as being better in both regards, particularly battery life. Apple acknowledges there's a discrepancy, but says that online benchmarks exaggerate the difference in battery life because they fully stress the processor for an extended period of time. Battery life is much more comparable when looking at real-world usage, Apple claims.

The iPhone 6s Plus model reviewed here has a TSMC-built A9 processor inside.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus Battery

Our web browsing test consists of periodically refreshing a webpage with the display brightness set at about 50 percent (you have to eyeball the setting on the iPhone 6s Plus). We also left other features on, including background activities like pulling mail and receiving notifications for Facebook and Twitter.

The iPhone 6s Plus stayed running for 11 hours and 8 minutes, tying Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 for the top spot. Apple's decision to downgrade battery capacity from 2,915 mAh in the iPhone 6 Plus to 2,750 mAh in the iPhone 6s Plus is without ill effect, at least for our TSMC-based model (the Galaxy Note 5 uses a 3,000 mAh battery).

We should also point out that at 50 percent brightness, the display on the iPhone 6s Plus has a high level of illumination. We often saw the slider set to around 33 percent when letting the iPhone auto-detect the appropriate level of brightness.

As for so-called real-world usage, we routinely were able to use the iPhone 6s Plus for around two days before needing to feed it another dose of electricity. That's based on frequent emailing, checking and posting to Facebook and Twitter, surfing the web, and streaming music for several hours. Naturally, your mileage will vary based on usage, with tasks like gaming draining the battery faster than more lightweight uses.

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