Why should you upgrade from iPhone 6 or Older?

Newer iPhones cast a shadow on the iPhone 6S and older

Apple introduces a new iPhone each year, around September time. Each new iPhone comes with a revision in the on board hardware they have that typically improves battery life, camera capabilities, the performance of the processor, and so on. Simply put, over time, iPhones get better.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone XS?

The iPhone 6S was brought to market by Apple in 2015, 3 years ago now. Things have changed a little since the product was brought to market. At the time, the average iPhone user upgraded their phone once every 2 years, typically in line with their 24 month contract cycle. Now, owners are holding on to their phone for longer – that average has increased to a gap of 2.5 years between purchase and upgrade. That means there are a lot of iPhone 6S users out there wondering what their options are, and how they can make the best use of the money they’re spending their money on a new device.

If you own an iPhone 6S or older, it’s our view that it’s time to upgrade to a newer version. Here’s what you’d get if you upgraded to one of the latest iPhones.

Dealing with the basics

Most iPhone users have an iPhone because they want to have the best smartphone product available.

Things have changed a lot since the 6 Series released. Apple’s latest features are all about security, speed, and convenience, attributes that make life so much easier. Here are some examples of functionality you’ll get from Apple’s newer phones.

  • Face ID: The latest iPhones - iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR – feature Apple’s facial recognition software that unlocks your phone by scanning your face.

  • Wireless charging: Forget the wires. Latest iPhones can charged on a wireless charging pad if you want that capability. This feature is available on the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS and XS Max, and iPhone XR.

  • Increased storage: Apple's newer devices often come with more storage. For instance, the iPhone XS offers as much as 512 GB of storage.

Advanced camera capabilities

The first question is – should you upgrade to the most recent iPhone releases?

The latest iPhones - iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max - show significant camera improvements, both on a hardware and software level, over and above what you’re used to on your 6S. The camera sensor in these latest iPhones has deeper and larger pixels that capture more light, leading to better low-light shots.

Additionally, the new camera comes with a Smart HDR (High Dynamic Range) feature that automatically takes nine photos - with different exposures - immediately after you tap the shutter button. Apple’s software then picks the best of the bunch and presents it to you as the image you took.

In reality, Apple’s camera, as shown by this effect alone, acts differently to the way cameras used to operate. iPhones now capture all the data available to the lenses so it can be ‘played with’ later. Take, for example, ‘Portrait’ mode offered on newer devices. Users can add a blurry background effect, after taking a photograph, with either the front or rear camera. To obtain results such as those demonstrated with the background effect in portrait mode, the camera captures all of the information available to it when the shutter is pressed – and lets the user decide for themselves later on, what to do with it.

Longer-lasting battery life

Alongside camera improvements, battery life is one of the most significant improvements you’ll get moving from an older 6S unit to newer iPhones.

iPhone Model

Talk Time (hrs)

Video Playback (hrs)

Internet Use (hrs)

iPhone 6S




iPhone XS




iPhone XS Max




iPhone XR




Your iPhone 6S (depending on the version) could offer anywhere from 10 to 14 hours use. Remember though, those were the manufacturers specifications when you bought that iPhone. Now you’ve had it for 3 years and the battery life of your phone is likely to have deteriorated since then.

The iPhone XS, on the other hand, comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X and substantially longer than the 6S. The larger iPhone XS Max gets a major boost in battery life, boasting an additional 2hours more than the iPhone 6S for internet use.

Much of the improvement comes from the efficiency introduced by newer processors, with more cores, some designed to deliver efficiency. (See next section.)

Faster processor = better performance

The iPhone 6S, was equipped with Apple’s own core microprocessor, the A9 chip. The A9 chip is a 64-bit ARM-based system-on-chip (SoC) that, of course, pales in comparison on benchmarking, to newer models. Apple’s latest iPhones feature an advanced A12 Bionic chip.

Most Apple users are familiar with a bit of ‘lag’ as their device gets older. Software ‘bloating’ in IOS is most often blamed. Viewed side by side then, with newer rivals, comparatively, iPhone 6S’ performance will be sluggish at times when opening apps, switching between pages, deleting emails, sending pictures – all of the usual ways you’d use your phone.

The latest iPhones’ A12 Bionic chip, on the other hand, speeds through these tasks. One of the key ways the new processor has been designed, is to include a ‘Neural Engine’ – in the time since you bought your iPhone 6S. The Neural Engine name is what makes the chip ‘Bionic’ and it’s one of the ways Apple has improved power management facilities - and the battery life – on their phones.

Additionally, with this much faster Bionic Process, this chip offers the ability to deliver a Augmented Reality experiences along with other new, useful features.

“All-screen” design

There has been a great deal of progress in the design stakes, too, since the iPhone 6S was originally launched. Previous iPhones (i.e the 6S and others launched both before and after it) looked similar for several years. However, later versions, starting last year in 2017, brought a new look with new manufacturing techniques allowing black and metallic exteriors, round Home buttons, and (controversially) a ‘notch’ at the top of the screen in some devices – to house the camera and other sensors.

This year, Apple has all but eliminated bezels on its 2018 iPhones The latest designs result in even more stylish and trendy iPhones.

The other side of the same coin, however, is that these striking design changes make it easier to spot the older iPhone 6 in the presence of newer versions. Another reason to upgrade.

The latest iPhones use more data than the older versions

Final Words

The iPhone family of devices has been steadily growing along two axis – screen size and price points – for 5 years or more now. In some senses, Apple is a victim of it’s own success. It has grown incredibly fast, buoyed by it’s iPhone range. Unfortunately, now, we have reached ‘peak smartphone’ (the point at which everyone in the country has as many phones as they want)

If you can afford it, it’s probably the right time to be upgrading your iPhone 6S. The move to a more current iPhone (for example this year’s iPhone XS) will give you some genuinely useful improvements to the camera, battery life, design and useful new features like Face ID. Just make sure you manage the mobile data allowance you have in your phone plan.

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