Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Release Day: What Makes These Phones Different

Apple's newest iPhones hit stores today.

ByABC News
September 25, 2015, 10:01 AM

— -- At first glance, Apple's new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus may look no different than their predecessors but the newest devices, which arrive in stores today, boast several internal tweaks.

New gestures made through "3D Touch," allow the devices to distinguish between a quick tap and a long press, opening up a new way to give commands and unlock shortcuts to the actions a user takes most often. An on-stage demo showed that a "little bit of pressure" allows users to get a preview of an email, then return to the inbox. The new devices also have a faster 64-bit A9 processor and a sharper camera.

While the phones will keep their existing sizes, the company also introduced a new kind of "strongest" glass on the screen. The new iPhones are available in four colors, with a new rose gold aluminum finish, silver, gold and space gray.

The new iPhones have a 12-megapixel iSight camera, 50 percent more pixels than before, with the ability to take larger panorama photos and, for the first time, 4K HD video. Apple vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller claims iPhone users can take video with better resolution. There is also a new 5-megapixel FaceTime HD camera for more detailed photos. The flash on the camera offers TrueTone lighting, which matches the light with the ambient lighting.

Using 3D Touch, Schiller introduced "Live Photos," allowing details in the photos to move, such as a moving waterfall with the sound of rushing water. Press on any photo and get a short video, because the camera records 1.5 seconds of video before and after the picture is taken. A new icon on the camera status bar makes it easy to take Live Photos, just as you take traditional photos.

With a contract, the iPhone 6s will start at $199 for 16 GB; $299 for 64 GB and $399 for 128 GB. The iPhone 6s Plus starts at $299 for 16 GB, $399 for 64 GB and $499 for 128 GB. The new pricing moves the iPhone 5s as a free device with a contract, and the iPhone 6 will start at $99. Apple also introduced an iPhone upgrade program that allows customers to pay Apple $32 a month until a new phone is released and you return your old device. The monthly payment for the iPhone 6s is $37 a month.