Mobi Press

Mobi Press

iPhone 4S Review

Posted by Admin Saturday, December 3, 2011

To the surprise of most, the current gen iPhone didn't hit the market as the best hardware in  its category.  If anything, though, Apple has made a fortune in proving that the "biggest, fastest and most powerful" hardware doesn't always make for the most compelling product.  Does the iPhone 4S continue that trend?

Physically, it's indistinguishable from its predecessor.  As such, it's smaller in dimensions and bulkier than today's crop of premium handsets.    That means, it retains the 3.5-inch display size that the iPhone has had since 2007 -- a far smaller screen than the seemingly standard 4 inches of today's high-end smartphones.  To me, that's the biggest gripe.  While the Retina Display remains stunning, so do those Super AMOLED Plus on Samsung's new phones and they're on much larger  panels, too.  Oh yeah, the design now incorporates two antennas, so even if your hands are blocking one (as with the iPhone 4), the other antenna can pick up the slack.
As a phone, the iPhone 4S makes for great calls (tests done on the Sprint network), with excellent quality and volume.  There is occasional buzzing in the background, but it's hardly noticeable.  Those on the other end reported equally good call performance.  Speakerphone is good with plenty of volume, although you'll have to stand a bit close when taking calls in loud places or the mic will struggle to pick you up clearly.  Battery is rated at up to 8 hours of talk time.
There are several notable new features in this next-gen upgrade.  One is the faster, dual-core chipset, which makes for notable bumps in speed performance compared to the iPhone 4.  Next is the 8.0 megapixel optics, which doesn't just bring sharper resolution, but pumps out noticeably better photos, too.  Overall, shots showed brighter colors, sharper focus and better performance even in low light.   And, of course, there is Siri, the electronic voice assistant that's both useful and amusing.
The 4S, of course, brings all the standard features of the previous model, from robust messaging to a wide range of connectivity options.  Bluetooth has been upgraded to 4.0, although Apple still chose to do with neither 4G nor NFC.  And there's still no HDMI port.    You can check our iOS 5 review for the phone's software-centric features.
Everything Android fanboys say about the iPhone 4S is true -- it's no longer the most drool-worthy hardware in the market.  Despite that, we doubt sales will slack and we doubt folks will feel any less satisfied using it.  The phone is available now from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, with prices starting at $199.99 for the 16GB model.

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