Spotting the Differences in iPhone 6s Models


With the release of iPhone 7, it is expected that market prices of iPhone 6s will go down in the weeks to come. This means that people are more likely to go for the more affordable model. Do not get us wrong. The iPhone 7 is the hottest smartphone at the moment, but the absence of headphone jacks will surely rub many in the wrong way.

The iPhone 6s series was one of the most powerful smartphone generations, at the time of its release. We also saw Apple’s departure from its usual 4-inch box type smartphones, as it went for superior, larger models in 2015. First, the screen size was noticeably larger, with 4.7 inches for iPhone 6s and 5.5 inches for iPhone 6s Plus. We also got upgrades, like a 12-MP camera, 3D Touch and faster GPU performance. The software also received an update, with the iOS 10 rolling out this September. Lastly, we got 23 supported LTE bands, versus 20 from the iPhone 6. We enjoyed a faster internet experience as well, since these models support 700 MHz spectrums in LTE. To be honest, the iPhone 6s is not a bad deal at all, if you are not hot with the iPhone 7.

Thankfully, there are less options in the iPhone 6s series than in the iPhone 6, which released eight models. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have only six different models, which have the same hardware specifications, regardless of the model number. However, not all iPhone 6s devices are created equal, and things begin to differ in terms of mobile connectivity and your network provider. Also, check these models’ compatibility with other SIM-cards, especially if you frequently travel abroad.

The Unlocked Versions (iPhone 6s 1633 and iPhone 6s Plus 1634)


These are the SIM-free versions of iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Both came up at the same price in units that have contract carriers. It is an open line smartphone, so you can buy nano-SIM cards from any supported carrier worldwide. If you live in the US, it is available in AT&T and other mobile companies. This is perfect for frequent overseas travelers or for those who want a commitment-free smartphone. The 1633 and 1634 support the latest LTE bands, thus becoming the most comprehensive iPhone 6s smartphones. LTE band 30 in particular, has a download speed up to 300 mbps and voice-over-LTE. However, only AT&T supports this at the moment. Meanwhile, the iPhone 6s Plus 1634 also boasts strong signal that beats even Samsung Galaxy S6. It works great regardless of the carrier you subscribe to.

A SIM-free smartphone sounds great for users who are not keen on postpaid mobile plans. However, it also means you have to pay the full price upon owning these units. These are initially sold in Apple Stores, but were also made available on major outlets.

The Global Models (iPhone 6s 1687 and iPhone 6s Plus 1688)


These are considered Apple’s world phones, as they work on both GSM and CDMA carriers. The iPhone 6s 1687 and iPhone 6s Plus 1688 almost have the same band as their SIM-free counterparts, except for LTE band 30. These models are sold in every major carrier in the US (T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint), Europe and Asia. You may purchase this unit with or without contract. It goes on without saying that you pay the full price of the phone, if you opt for the latter.

This model also becomes available when you take advantage of Apple’s iPhone upgrade program. You will get an unlocked 16GB models of iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus. The program allows a user to get the newest iPhone by paying in installments. Participating buyers are required to pay $32 – $36 monthly and they will receive the iPhone 7 this year, without cost. While more expensive than what US carriers offer, the program offers more perks iPhone-loving users will appreciate. You are also covered by AppleCare+, which means your phone will somehow be insured against natural accidents, twice. You can avail this with other carriers, except for AT&T.

The Mainland China Versions (iPhone 6s A1700 and iPhone 6s 1699)


These models have the same specs as 1687/1688, only that they are exclusively sold in China. The iPhone 6s A1700 and iPhone 6s 1699 are compatible with China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. Remember, these phones are meant to be used only in China. If you are using one of these models and intend to go abroad, ask your carrier about roaming services. On the other hand, you can use iPhone 6s A1700 inside China, regardless of the place of purchase. You will see ‘enable 3G’ option despite choosing LTE, though.

Other Considerations


You might wonder why some iPhone 6s models are getting sold faster than others. Perhaps you think the popularity of body colors is the main reason for this. However, you should be more discerning by now, since you already knew about the existence of different iPhone 6s models. Your satisfaction from beastly internet connection now ranks high in your priorities, as we are getting more wired these days. For easier references, simply visit Apple’s website, to see which models support the LTE band of your choice. You will also get information on what LTE networks these phones are compatible to.

If you want the easiest way to buy an unlocked unit, order directly from Apple. In addition, you get an option to pursue Apple’s Upgrade Program. Having an unlocked unit with carriers is not possible until you pay the full price. This is not automatic, and you will have to send a request for unlocking.

Or, maybe just buy the iPhone 7 for an upgrade in features. The newest Apple smartphone is water resistant and houses the most powerful smartphone processor on the market right now. Lastly, the internal memory expanded to a whopping 256 GB. You will have to wait if you planned to get a Jet Black one, as these are already sold out. You won’t get much visually from the phone, though.

What’s your experience with iPhone 6s so far? Share your thoughts in the comment box!



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