Along with the iPad Pro Apple has announced today the latest generation of its iPhone smartphones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. From a design point of view the new models remain largely unchanged compared to their predecessors, but are made out of stronger aluminum and glass that is claimed to be the most durable in the industry. There have been a number of improvements under the hood as well, including in the camera department.

Sensor resolution has been upped to 12MP and with the total number of pixels the number of phase detection sensors on the chip (the so-called 'focus-pixels) has been increased by 50% as well. Apple has applied various measures to keep image noise and other artifacts at bay with the smaller individual pixels. For example, deep trench isolation technology has been used to reduce cross-talk between photosites. As before the Plus model features an optical image stabilization system while the smaller model has to make do without this feature.

The camera is now also capable of recording 4K video and the FaceTime camera at the front comes with an increased 5MP resolution. Like we've seen on the LG G4 and some new Motorola devices it also uses the display as a light source in low light conditions. For this purpose the screen can light up three times brighter than normal and the color of the emitted light is matched to ambient light sources for natural skin tones and colors. Panorama mode has been improved as well. It can now capture even larger images up to 63MP and as before uses dynamic exposure for avoiding extreme jumps in brightness across the frame.

3D Touch is another new headline feature. The new screen is pressure sensitive, enabling new gestures and ways of navigating content. Pressing the screen lightly gives you a preview of an image, email, or web page, a hard press opens it up fully. 3D Touch is also used for another new imaging feature called Live Photos. By default the camera records 1.5 seconds of video footage before and after a still image. Light pressing the image in the gallery plays the video, giving you a better idea of the scene at the time of capture.

Other than that the new iPhones come with a new and more powerful A9 processor, faster LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi that is twice as fast as on the predecessor and of course the new iOS9 operating system. An optional charging dock is available, too. The new models can be pre-ordered from September 12th and will start shipping on the 25th. Pricing will be the same as on the previous generation. With a 24 month contract the iPhone 6s will start at $199, the Plus model is $100 more expensive. No information on contract-free pricing has been given yet. The previous models remain in the line-up at $99 and $199 respectively.