Apple iPhone 4S Review
After 15 months without a word about a new iPhone. Apple unveiled the Apple iPhone 4S at their Cupertino Campus. Many were expecting a brand new iPhone 5 with new body construction, thinner tampered design and bigger screen. Well it’s been 2 weeks since the iPhone 4S launch and has sold well over 4 million devices worldwide. Is it worth to upgrade?
Many were disappointed that Apple used the same physical body as the iPhone 4. Actually the iPhone 4S has the same antena placement as the CDMA iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S has the same dimensions as the previous iPhone 4, its 9.3mm thin. It’s not thick but Apple seems to be behind other manufacturers releasing crazy thin phones(Droid Razr 7.1mm, Samsung Galaxy S II 8.49mm). You get the same beautiful glass front and back display and Stainless Steel banding. At the top you have the 3.5mm headphone jack, sleep/wake button and secondary microphone. The right side is the micro sim tray. At the botom we have the microphone, 30 pin charging/syncing port and speaker, and on the left the mute switch and volume up/down.The front we have the earpiece, the same VGA front camera, and the beautiful 3.5″ Retina Display (Still the highest resolution display on the market ~ 326 ppi), round back we have an 8MP back camera with flash (more on that later). Even after a year old design, the iPhone 4S is still arguably one of the sexiest phones on the market, it uses premium quality material, feels great in the hand, and overal solid construction.
PS. It comes in White and Black on Launch :0
You know the saying that beauty is only skin deep, well the iPhone 4S does not disappoint. It has the same dual core A5 processor found in the iPad 2(under clocked to 800mhz), 512mb of RAM, and all new antena system. The iPhone 4S is a dual band gsm/cdma device, so it can theoretically work on any carrier in the world. Not only is it a world phone but the iPhone 4S has 2 antennas that can intelligently switch between them, even during a call. As for network speeds, the 4S can max out at 14.4 mbs hsdpa download and 5.6 upload. Same as the HTC Inspire 4G , Atrix 4G and Sensation 4G. And of course the brand new 5 optics 8MP camera that can shoot in 1080p video(much more on that later)
The Apple iPhone 4S launches with Apple’s latest iOS 5.0. iOS 5 bring many new and much needed updates to iOS. One of the best features of iOS 5.0 is the new notification system, just pull down from the status bar and a tray of all your notifications are there (reminds me of another OS). There is also a stocks widget and weather widget available. Lock screen notifications have also been updated. Notifications are now listed and you can jump right to the notification you want. That’s not all, double click the home button from the lock screen and you will notice a camera icon. Yes, we now have easy access to your camera. You can also use the camera right away even if you have a password, but of course you can not see any previously taken photos or videos. Other features in iOS 5.0 include PC Free, OTA Software Updates, Reminders, NewsStand, Custom Vibrations, Integrated Twitter (tweet from photos, websites, videos etc.) One last important feature is in the Safari browser, you may notice the reader icon when your on a website article/news story. Hit on that and see all ads/ spam ware disappear. Safari also includes Reading Lists, so if you don’t have the time to read a certain webpage, save it to reading list and get easy access to them later on or on a different iOS Device. The iPhone 4S can also do AirPlay Mirroring just like the iPad. Of course an Apple TV is required but it’s definitely a nice feature that you can use to stream videos, photos and play HD gaming on your TV.
The biggest feature of the iPhone 4S is Siri. Siri is a personal voice assistant application built exclusively for the Apple iPhone 4S. To access Siri just hold the home button and ask it anything. Seriously, you can ask any logical question and Siri will answer it. With Siri you can call, text, set meetings, reminders, alarms, timers, directions, email, get weather information, stocks, contact information, find your friends, write notes, search the web and Siri has integrated Wolfram Alpha and Yelp. With Siri, you do not need to say a command. Siri understands natural language and you can get the same answer by asking multiple ways. Overall Sir has been very fun to use and has been quite useful. I can easily read my text messages and send message while driving. I actually set meetings(which I never did with any other phone). This is all done very easily with just my voice. The only problem I had was the first few days of owning the 4s, but that was probably because Apple’s servers were overloaded, since then I have had no problems with Siri.
Apple has added a microphone button on the keyboard so you can now use voice to text.
The iPhone 4 had arguably one of the best cameras on a smartphone. Apple has now made that camera even better. How you ask? Well Apple has increased it from a 5MP senor to a 8MP Sensor, giving you 80% more pixels. Now MP don’t mean anything without better lenses. Apple is using a new f/2.4 aperture which basically means there is more light coming in, making pictures sharper and more clear. Apple didn’t stop there, they even added an IR filter (infrared filter) which makes harmful sun rays disappear from your photos. There are a total of 5 wide lenes on the iPhone 4S (up from 4 lenses on the iPhone 4) All these features simple make your picture beautiful, clear and vibrant. It’s disappointing that Apple did not increase the quality of the front facing camera, it still sits at VGA quality. Well I hardly ever use the front camera but I don’t see why Apple couldn’t make it at least a 1.3mp like other manufactures.
There is also face detection(up to 10 faces), HDR, Grid and you can now edit your photos right on your iPhone 4S. Now let’s talk video. The iPhone 4S take full 1080p video at 30 frames per second. Apple has including image stabilization, so your videos look smoother than ever. The iPhone 4S has the best camera on a smart phone to date.
Performance, Network and Call Quality
I was a little disappointed when I found out that the iPhone 4S’ dual processor was under clocked. Boy was I wrong. Apple’s A5 chip is one of the fastest and efficient processors on the Market. Don’t believe me? Even though it is under clocked. The A5 processor outperforms Samsung’s Exynos Processor clocked a 1.2Ghz. I have experienced absolutely no lag using the 4S, everything from surfing the web, sending text messages and playing HD gaming like Infinity Blade, the 4S ran without any troubles. I am using an At&t iPhone 4S. Network speeds varied on location and time of day. I averaged about 3.7 mbs and peaks of 5.7mbs -5.9mbs. I can’t say about Verizon’s and Sprint but I would expect speeds around 1-2mbs. Call quality was good, and about the same of the iPhone 4, but I experienced no dropped calls and the 4S pulled in great signal strength compared to other high end smartphones. Did I mention Apple fixed their “Death Grip” issue with the 4S. Battery Life was about the same with the iPhone 4. I wished Apple could of increased it a little bit more. The 4S was easily able to get me through a full day with moderate use.
The iPhone 4S is probably the best smartphone on the market today. Apple took the successful iPhone 4 and made it better, A5 dual core, cameras optics and Siri. Many expected a brand new redesigned iPhone 5 but with LTE chips not efficient enough and LTE not deployed nationwide. Apple has definitely made a great business strategy by releasing the iPhone 4S. The only thing I don’t understand is why did it take so long to release a 4 ‘S’. Whatever the reason is, I have no problem recommending the Apple iPhone 4S. It really is the best iPhone yet.