At this point, everyone knows how to get to the emoji keyboard on iOS. But if you prefer a fancy unicode emoticon instead, you’ll need to dig in and enable a different keyboard.
Head into Settings > General > Keyboard. Tap “Add New Keyboard” then scroll down and select Japanese > Romaji. With that keyboard enabled, head back to an app with a keyboard. Tap and hold the world icon, then select the Romaji keyboard. Tap the “123″ button, then the “^_^” icon. Now you can scroll through a ton of new unicode emoticons.