iPhone 4S Review

I’m a strong believer that one has to spend a significant amount of time with a product in order to give quality thoughts on it. So that’s what I did before I decided to publish an iPhone 4S review. The iPhone 4S isn’t what was expected, and I wasn’t expecting it either. But now the iPhone 4S is out, and many people love it. It’s honestly the best phone out right now. The question is, is it the right phone for you? Here’s my iPhone 4S Review.

 

iPhone 4S Unboxing

Like all Apple products, unboxing the iPhone 4S is a breeze. The box looks very similar to the iPhone 4. The only noticeable difference is the S in the product name, and an iCloud sticker on the bottom. It looks nice. Inside you’ll find a usb cable to connect to your computer or the outlet adapter that comes with it also. You’ll also find a pair of Apple designed earphones that also work as a fully functioning microphone.

iPhone 4S Design

The iPhone 4S looks identical to its predecessor, the iPhone 4. It’s made out of aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. The screen is 3.5 inches across diagonally, and compared to modern smartphones, that is relatively small. However, its screen size does not interfere with its ease of use. Even if you have big fingers, it’s still easy to interact with the touch screen. Texting in portrait mode (iPhone facing vertically) can sometimes be challenging if you have large fingers, which is one of the reasons why people were really hoping for a larger screen. Maybe will see that with the next iPhone, but for this one, it’s the same size as its predecessors.

iPhone 4S Display

Apple’s retina display (960 x 640) is very nice, although it has not had any improvements over the iPhone 4. It’s easy to see very small text easily, and everything on the screen looks sharp. In fact, it’s one of the best mobile phone displays out right now. However, higher resolution screens are likely to come out soon, so Apple’s retina display may not be as nice compared to phones coming out in upcoming months.

iPhone 4S Camera

A picture of my cat, taken with the iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4 had the first really good camera on a mobile phone. With the iPhone 4S, the camera was turned from something good into something great. The new 8 megapixel camera has an extra lens, and lets in over 70% more light then the iPhone 4. The difference may not be very noticeable on the small iPhone screen, but blow up those pictures on a desktop and you can definitely see the difference. The pictures look crisp and clear, even when zoomed in.

It’s not as good as a point and shoot digital camera, but it’s one of the best cameras on a mobile phone. Most people do not carry a point and shoot camera wherever they go, but a lot of people always have their phone on them, and if you have an iPhone, you’ll be able to take high quality pictures wherever you take it.

And video recording has also gotten great improvements. The camera now shoots 30 frame per second, 1080p video, and it looks very, very nice. There are phones that take slightly better video recordings, but I prefer the iPhone’s camera because it’s quick and easy to use and does exactly what it’s made to do.

 

iPhone 4S Performance

The iPhone 4S uses the same dual core A5 processor that was first introduced in the iPad 2. This is the first time its ever made its way into a phone. The processor is capable of processing things twice as fast as the iPhone 4’s A4 processor, and we’re told is capable of rendering graphics up to seven times faster. These performance improvements are most noticeable when running games that need a powerful processor and gpu. Overall, everything seems to run more smoothly, even when it’s not very noticeable.

 

iPhone 4S Battery Life

The iPhone 4S battery life has not dropped at all, even with the faster processor. The iPhone 4S battery can last for 8 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours of 2g talk time, 6 hours of 3g browsing, 9 hours of wi-fi browsing, 10 hours of video playback, and 40 hours of music playback. This can vary greatly, depending on many factors.

 

iPhone 4S Call Quality/Reception

One of the biggest problems with the iPhone 4 was that it dropped calls if you held it too tightly a.k.a in a “death grip”. Apple has told us that the new iPhone is able to intelligently switch between two antennas that are inside of the phone. So far, I have not had any problems whatsoever with dropped calls (bear in mind I’m on AT&T’s network). If I held the phone at the bottom and top above the antennas where the notches are, I did notice a slight drop in bars, but nobody would normally hold a phone like that, so it isn’t a problem.

Apple has also told us that download speeds on AT&T’s network have been boosted, reaching potential speeds of 14.4 megabytes per second. Unfortunately, at 5 bars, I haven’t been able to get download speeds over 3 megabytes per second (results from Speedtest). It’s not slow at all, but it’s nothing close to 14.4 megabytes per second.

 

Siri

I can’t talk about the iPhone 4S without talking about Siri. Siri is a virtual personal voice assistant, who is exclusive to the iPhone 4S. Siri is able to take what you say and respond to it. Through Siri, you are able to do a variety of useful things such as call people, send messages, write down notes, play music, schedule appointments, check the weather, check the time, set reminders, get directions, find out where a certain type of thing is and much, much more then that. Siri can also answer basic questions, including math problems, using WolframAlpha. When Siri can’t find out something for you, it’ll ask you if you want to do a web search on it.

Siri can also learn and store information about you and other people you know. You can tell Siri who you are, who your relatives and friends are, and more. Although I’m sure some people might think you’re strange walking around asking your phone who you are.

The really cool thing about Siri is that it works, most of the time. Even if it interprets a word or two wrong, it’ll still pull up what it thinks you meant to say. Siri is still in beta mode right now, which means there’s only room for improvement. I truly think Siri is the first step into the next generation of technology.

 

Overall

Overall, I think the iPhone 4S is an amazing device. iOS is amazing, and is not even comparable to any other phone operating system I’ve used. The phone looks and feels great, it takes beautiful pictures, and Siri is very impressive. It’s very fast and is perhaps the worlds best portable gaming device.

But Should You Buy It?

If you have never owned an iPhone and you want to get one, then the iPhone 4S is definitely right for you. If you are using an iPhone 3G or older, an upgrade is absolutely necessary. If you’re an owner of an iPhone 3GS, the choice is up to you. If you are satisfied with your current phone, then that’s fine. But if you’re looking for a new phone, I couldn’t recommend anything other then the iPhone 4S. Finally, if you’re an iPhone 4 owner, I’d only upgrade if your contract is near its end, or you won’t have to pay extra to upgrade.

 

Got Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the iPhone 4S or the iPhone 4, feel free to send me an email at questions@techpopper.com, or post a comment, and I’ll gladly help you out. In addition you may want to check out my iPhone 4S FAQ┬ábecause your question may have already been answered there. Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “iPhone 4S Review”

  1. One slight thing you missed, not huge though, is the battery life. The iPhone 4S battery performed worse than the iPhone 4’s. Just though I’d mention that. Otherwise, amazing article!

  2. Nice to see that you were happy with the screen. But is it much better than the original iPhone 4 screen, no?

    And Jeffery, it’s a well known issue with the iPhone 4S that there’s a battery bug, it’s nothing got to do with a hardware fault though which is good news to new iPhone 4S owners, it’s simply a software issue that should be fixed in the next iOS update.

    1. I think the screen looks nice, I just wish it was a little bigger. I love the retina display. My iPhone battery seems to be ok, but we’ll see if it improves after the iOS update. Thanks for your comment.

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