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September 23, 2017

Apple iPhone 6s and OtterBox Defender iPhone 6s Case REVIEWS

First off… Because I’m sure you’re wondering… WHY would I review the iPhone 6s NOW? The new iPhone 7 is all the rage lately, but in my opinion the 6s is and will remain a better phone for certain consumers. Further, there’s never been a better time to buy the iPhone 6s… as recently as September 2016 the 16GB 6s was retailing for $649, but now under the new pricing structure you can get a 32GB iPhone 6s for just $549 off-contract! The 16GB edition is no longer produced, and I encourage all potential buyers to consider going BIG! 32GB is not much if you are a “never deleter” like me, allowing pictures and videos to build up over time. Your phone will be much faster over its life if you choose more GBs of storage at the outset.

Background:

Ever since the original iPhone launch in 2007, Apple’s smartphone has revolutionized the way we use and think about cellular devices. And every year consumers greatly anticipate the latest iPhone release. The device has evolved substantially over the years, consistently improving its camera, processor, memory, data connection speeds, and with the launch of 6s we have a new next-generation feature: 3d Touch!

Advanced Hardware:

3d Touch is Apple’s latest technological advancement, a pressure-sensing touchscreen feature allowing users to press more firmly to unlock app shortcuts, email previews, and other fancy features. For now 3D Touch is still somewhat of a novelty, as not all apps support 3d touch features. However, I am already using 3D touch to more quickly respond to texts, view emails quicker, and generally enhance my smartphone-using experience. Does it make the 6s a must-have upgrade from the 6? Not necessarily. But is the functionality quite impressive, with potential for the future? Absolutely.

Many users will not care about 3D Touch yet… but, those of us that are always looking for new functionality will dive in head first! I try 3d touching everything, and feel differently about apps that don’t offer this feature yet. Anyone that knows me knows about my Starbucks passion… and a complaint I’ve had for years now is that when using the Starbucks app to pay, there are 3 clicks needed to finally get to the barcode you pay with! This slows things down, which at Starbucks is never a good thing. But, 3D touch offers a solution! When you 3d touch the Starbucks app, you have the option to jump straight to pay! 3D touching the Spotify app shows you recently played songs that you can jump right back to! The ESPN app’s 3D touch features include showing relevant scores of big games and allowing a quick jump to WatchESPN or ESPNradio. 3D touch Facebook? You can quickly write a post, post a photo, or search. Many other apps have 3d touch functionality by now… many others do not.

Another hadrware advancement for the 6s is the material its constructed from. The iPhone 6s is made of 7000 series aluminum, the strongest material ever used in iPhone construction. This seems to be a natural progression from the “Bendgate” story, where many users claimed to experience slight bending in their phones from simple pocket storage. After studies proved that other phones bent worse than iPhones, the fallout still affected Apple.  Their 6s is extremely strong and will not bend.

Comparison to iPhone 7:

We recently learned that the 6s will be the final iPhone iteration to feature a headphone jack! Some users will be happy to utilize strictly Bluetooth tech to connect headphones; however, many headphone purists prefer a manual jack.

7 on left, 6s on right

Further, many new iPhone 7 features hardly justify the increased price point from the 6s…. the 6s can do anything you need a phone to do, and a waterproof headphone-jack-free phone may actually seem like a downgrade to some. With the right case you can make your phone waterproof to the extent that most users desire. The iPhone 7 release led to a reduction in price on the 6s, so is it really worth it to go for the 7? I say no.

The biggest negative about 6s:

Throughout this review I’ve made it pretty clear that I LOVE the iPhone 6s! However, I must share the one drawback; battery life. With casual use throughout the day and only charging overnight, I sometimes find myself in need of a charge halfway through the day. One solution I utilize is Low Power Mode. I find that using low power mode does not slow my phone down at all, but preserves battery big time. If I’m on lower power mode I can get through the day no matter how much I’m using my phone! SO, the biggest drawback has a clear solution! I give the iPhone 6s 4.75/5 stars!

 

Now, on to a quick review of OtterBox Defender series for iPhone 6/6s:

Gunmetal Grey

I bought my iPhone 6s case here.

And to an extent, I regretted it at first. Now that I’m used to the case I do like it, and feel it protects my phone fully. However, the first few weeks had serious hiccups.

The 6/6s Defender series feels much sleeker and streamlined over its 4 and 5 predecessors. It slides in and out of pockets far easier. At first glance it seems like it wouldn’t sufficiently protect the phone… but through many drop tests (both intentional and accidental) I’ve determined it offers every protection. However, using your 6s with this case on takes some serious getting used to.

The first thing I noticed when putting my new 6s in its new OtterBox defender was that suddenly the touch screen was unresponsive! I was able to access my phone only by applying more touch pressure than I was used to. Upon closer examination, there is a tiny bit of space between the case and the phone itself. This is leading to the additional pressure needed. It was a struggle for several days, but eventually I think the case started to “break in.” Either that or it just got used to the size of the phone inside, and worked its way to a better fit. Now the difference is hardly noticeable from case-free. I can access my phone with no touch issues a month later. I don’t want to dissuade anyone from purchasing an OtterBox Defender for their iPhone 6s due to this touch issue… but I want to ensure that users are aware of this introductory issue, and are aware that it will improve through time and use.

 

 

 

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