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Apple iPhone 4S - Review


Apple iPhone 4S - Review
The Apple iPhone 4S features a 3.5 inch retina touch display, up to 64GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel camera capable of 1080p HD video capture, a secondary camera for Facetime video calls and is powered by Apple's own A5 dual-core processor.
You can read our detailed review of the Apple iPhone 4S below

 PROS
 CONS
  • Improved camera
  • Siri digital assistance
  • Improved performance
  • Same design as iPhone 4
  • No LTE connectivity
 

Introduction

Nearly one and a half years after the release of the Apple iPhone 4, we get a chance to meet its successor in the long awaited Apple iPhone 4s. Just like what we saw with the iPhone 3GS in the past, the iPhone 4S is nothing more than an incremental upgrade, with a near identical design of its predecessor. However it does come with a dual-core processor, upgraded 8 megapixel camera, support for CDMA and GSM connectivity and its innovative digital personal assistant Siri.

With rival manufacturers churning out smartphones in various sizes and specifications, there will be a few who are disappointed that Apple didn't offer more with its newest iPhone. In any case Apple continues to take steps forward now offering its prime handset on three of the four major carriers in the US making it available to even more users.



Hardware

The iPhone 4s much like its predecessor, offers a solid construction and premium feel, but it's essentially the same device users have learned to love (or hate). Apple has however addressed the antennagate issue which plagued the iPhone 4, but the details to it are almost negligible. The internals of the iPhone 4s are neatly sandwiched between two glass plates with a brushed stainless steel band between them. The excess use of glass however will result in a shattered iPhone if you so happen to drop the precious device on to the pavement.

Design

While Apple wowed us last year with the Retina Display on the iPhone 4, we are greeted by the same familiar 3.5 inch face yet again. The IPS panel has a 640 by 960 pixel resolution which results in a decent 326 ppi pixel density. The iPhone 4s display continues to offer the realistic and natural colors that fans have grown to love with its high contrast ratio and wide viewing angles.

The iconic home button remains in tact below the display which is tactile with its response, but it also executes functions to get toggle the multi-tasking pane and activate Siri.

Above the display you will find a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera, seated close to the earpiece to offer us convenient access to FaceTime or for some self portraits.

The left side of the device houses separate volume controls and a dedicated switch for silent/vibrate mode

On the right side you will find the micro SIM card tray, which can be accessed with the provided key

On the top of the device you will find a dedicated power button, the noise cancellation microphone and a 3.5mm universal audio connector.

Below the device you will find its proprietary dock, and speaker grills (only one of which is a speaker).

Turning it over, the other major upgrade to the iPhone 4S is found with its higher 8-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, which features backside illumination and a larger f2.4 aperture. Apple promises that the new camera will offer superior low light photos.

Performance

Apple has outfitted the iPhone 4S with a new dual-core Apple A5 processor which is coupled with the same old 512MB of RAM. The new internals give the latest iPhone a boost of speed compared to its predecessor. While you may not notice the boost as you browse through your home screen, it will come in useful running your apps or other taxing tasks.

The iPhone 4S is a world phone, which means that one and the same version will be available on every carrier. There won't be differences in hardware or software, but you should still keep in mind that call quality, data and battery performance will vary, depending on the carrier. 

Muting things on both ends of the line, we can hear a subtle amount of background noise through the handset’s earpiece – however, it drowns out when we begin conversing. Voices on our side have a tendency to sound choppy, but thanks to its piercing volume output, we're able to recognize voices without much falter. Meanwhile, our callers are happily impressed by the clear audio tones they're presented on their end of the line. Finally, the speakerphone is actually a pleasure to use thanks to the robust and audible tones it’s able to produce.

On another note, we're rather disappointed with the battery level of the iPhone 4S – especially when it was mentioned to offer better battery life than its predecessor. Strangely, we’re able to get a little bit under 7 hours of continuous talk with a full charge, which is less than the 8 hours it’s rated for. In our day-to-day usage, we don’t find its battery life to be any better than the iPhone 4 since we're able to get at least one day of normal usage. However, power users will still want to charge it whenever the opportunity arises to keep it at a good level – though, we'd recommend charging it nightly as well. Who knows if it’s something to do with the dual-core processor or something else, but we were expecting more out of its battery life.

Camera

The Apple iPhone 4s comes with an updated 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, which features backside illumination and a larger f2.4 aperture. Simply,photos taken in plentiful of lighting are filled to the brim with luscious fine details to make even the most distant objects visually elaborate – plus, its realistic color production is on the neutral side to make shots very accurate looking. Bettering itself even more, the iPhone 4S manages to retain a decent amount of clarity with photos take in low lighting. For the most part, shadows are well highlighted in the shot, but the overall shot tends to be on the fuzzy side. Nevertheless, the LED flash is profoundly potent with its output – while maintaining a natural color production. Finally, its shutter speed is extremely quick to allow us to come out of nowhere to snap those candid moments.

Equally as appealing, the iPhone 4S excels in recording 1080p high-definition videos that are gloriously filled with plenty of eye-candy goodness. Showing off its worth, videos are brilliant to watch thanks to their sharp details, gradual exposure, consistent capture of 29 frames per second, natural looking colors, and crystal clear audio recording. We also like the image stabilization, eliminating most of the shaky-hands problems. However, it would've been really awesome to finally see continuous auto-focus thrown in – but alas, we’re only given the typical touch-focus option with the handset. Needless to say, we’re not all that bummed about it since It’s not that bad at all because as it also adjusts the exposure as well.


Software

Just like before, we find the usual suspect of standard applications that we've grown to love by now on the iPhone 4S. Specifically, we find things like the Weather, YouTube, Game Center, iTunes, App Store, Compass, Voice Memos, and Stocks app with the handset. In all honesty, there isn't a whole lot new with any of them, but nevertheless, they function perfectly like what we've seen before. However, it still would've been nice to see some sort of update with them – like some sort of new makeover to their layout and presentation.

The Apple iPhone 4s natively runs iOS 5.0. The newest update to Apple's mobile platform includes features like the Notification Center, iCloud, iMessage, Newsstand, Reminders and much more. You can learn more about iOS 5 and all of its features below

Apple iOS 5.0 - Here's all you need to know
Apple iOS5 is now available as a public download for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices. The latest version of iOS offers more than 200 new features  and improvements. Here's all you need to know about the latest version of Apple's mobile platform


Conclusion

Unless you are a die hard iPhone fan, there is very little that should make you jump to upgrade to the iPhone 4S. There’s no denying that you’ll find the iPhone 4S as the most amazing one yet. Sure we love its faster dual-core processor and improved camera, but the single best feature with the smartphone is found with Siri. Still we think users will benefit more from waiting a year for the next iteration. Our biggest gripe with regards to the iPhone 4S's features is the lack of 4G, which means it will provide slower data connectivity compared to LTE handsets on Verizon, for example. However, it should be noted that the iPhone 4S is just as fast as some 4G-branded smartphones on AT&T and T-Mobile.

If you happen to be an Apple iPhone 4 owner, we really don't see too many reasons why you should upgrade. However, if you have an older iPhone, the iPhone 4S will obviously be an awesome choice, due to its beautiful design, outstanding performance and cool features. If we have to compare it to the top of the line Android handsets of today, we believe the iPhone 4S has what it takes to compete successfully. Of course, whether you should side with it or a high-end Android phone depends entirely on your personal needs.

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