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Apple iPhone 4S: What's In It For You vs iPhone 4?

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Apple iPhone 4S: What's In It For You vs iPhone 4?Here it is folks, the iPhone 4S from Apple. It's not the iPhone 5 like so many people were expecting, or at least hoping Apple would unveil. You won't find any outwardly obvious design changes, like a bigger screen or a redesigned chassis. Even the back is still covered with glass, ready to dole out instant punishment to the poor sap who carelessly loses his grip and lets his phone fall to the floor. The iPhone 4S doesn't drive a stake in the heart of Android or Windows Phone 7, and it won't change the world in the same fashion that the original iPhone did back in 2007. These are all the things that the iPhone 4S isn't. The obvious question to ask at this point is, what is the iPhone 4S?

Apple iPhone 4S: What's In It For You vs iPhone 4?

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Although I'm not into Apple, Siri is pretty awesome (which is why Apple bought it).

Here are a few more interesting ones to try

* I need to hide a body

* What are you wearing

* Call me an ambulance

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timaeus replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 11:48 AM

"...it won't change the world in the same fashion that the original iPhone did back in 1997"

Wow, 1997, eh? Heh, I think you got the wrong decade there.

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Dave_HH replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 11:53 AM

yeah, just a small typo there. corrected, sorry

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Aoshi replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 12:29 PM

So is it worth it to pay an extra $100 for the 4s instead of the 4?

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Paul_Lilly replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 12:38 PM

In my opinion, yes. Faster, more capable processor, an improved camera that takes noticeably better photos and videos, and Siri are worth ponying up an extra Benjamin, especially when you consider this is a two-year commitment you're making.

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I think Apple certainly upgraded the hardware in this phone nicely. From what I have heard Siri is super nice at least when it works. I also think their iPhone 5 was not going to be ready in time before they started losing market share and so this is supposed to be an interim fix for them.

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Inspector replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 2:21 PM

It is a nice phone and all, but im still going to get me an S2 :). If ur choosing from 4 and 4s, just go for the 4s.

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News:
 * Editor's Note: This staff at HotHardware does not condone Paul's sinful ways.

"Another top notch review from Paul, love the humor. I'm happy with the review and also looking forward to owning the 4S. Siri is a feature I'm anxiously wanting to try out, and the better photo quality and 1080P recording is must have for me because I admire the do it all type of device thats easy to carry. One thing I don't agree is the 3.5 inch screen being a negative, as I feel its generous, but off course I understand since you were spoiled by the Droid X2 4.3 screen. Great Review." 

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Thanks for the kind words OptimusPrimeTime!

Regarding the screen size, I actually agree that it's not necessarily a negative point, especially in terms of portability. The reason it's listed as one is because there are certain things that benefit from a larger display, like watching Netflix and playing games. It didn't take me long to get used to the 3.5-inch screen, though.

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"Understood, good point as well. Paul a quick question about Siri, is it set up to only recognize the owners voice only or can anyone access it by merely talking to it. I ask because I thought up two situations."

"Lets start on a light note, what if I was sitting next  to a really attractive fine lady on the train and she has the 4S with Siri enabled.  What if i 'm just shy that day or just a jerk, and I apply slick , lowdown move , and ask, her Siri, *What's my phone number , I forgot" boom, Siri lets it out. Could that theoretically happen?"

"Now, a serious situation. What if a person with a young child,  that owns a 4S, gets into a car accident,  and the person driving is knocked unconscious, is in serious trouble, but the child is fine. Can Siri be trained or programmed to recognize other voices that the owner set, thus, enabling the child to say to Siri to *Call 911, Emergency * ."

"Again, two scenarios, one creepy that may infringe on you privacy , the other a life threatening situation . Just curious as to how advance is Siri is, and in a emergency situation , can Siri use the Iphone's GPS capabilities. Think of it as Onstar for Humans."

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First, let me say that Siri isn't designed to help you pick up chicks or act as an emergency service, though she will gladly tell you where the nearest Escort establishments are or remind you to pick up bandaids on your way home from work.

Scenarios aside, Siri works with anyone's voice. She's supposed to learn your nuances and she remembers who your family members are, so you can say something like, "Text my wife and tell her, 'I need you to pick up dinner.'" These subtleties make Siri a better assistant for the iPhone's owner, but she'll respond to anyone.

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AKwyn replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 6:21 PM

Well... I've never owned an iPhone 4 before therefore the iPhone 4S is looking mighty tempting to me. I still don't find the iPhone 4S praise justified though for existing Apple users though...

Glad to know the demonstrated camera is better then the one on the iPhone 4 (since it was one of the features that I didn't like about the iPhone 4.) and it does HDR. I'm wondering, does it take 4 seperate images with different exposures or is it an effect applied to an image?

Again, great review. Glad to see you going in-depth and breaking down the differences, a bigger screen would of been nice but hey, what are you going to do.

 

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"R0FL, thanks for the heads up, and the info, lol. But Seriously, when I read about Siri in this review, I was immediately reminded of JARVIS (Iron Man) and what functionality Siri may or will provide in the future as mobile CPU's  keep on getting faster. Thanks for the feedback."

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It takes three rapid fire shots and layers them together. You can see this by moving the camera in HDR mode when you snap a pic, as the layered image shows a different position than the original (middle photo) that it saves along side the HDR photo.

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bry2k2 replied on Thu, Oct 20 2011 9:54 PM

Your review is flawed, you compared a top of the line apple product to a lower end android product, at least make an attempt to use a higher end Android product such as the Galaxy S2, if you can't obtain one then don't compare them.

Apple has failed to release a product that is able to compete with 90 percent of the Android phones, staying with a small format screen is an instant fail and is most likely done because they can't figure out how to retain their retina resolution on a larger screen. Also it would force all apps to have to be recoded to fit the resolution which is another fail of the IOS platform.

You also did not compare raw cpu power against a top of the line Android product again the S2 running out at 1.5ghz will simply leave the 4s behind. Browsermark is an instant fail for comparing against Android due to the fact that Apple has neglected and shuns an industry standard such as flash so the Iphone simply skips over a benchmark that the Android runs.

Upgraded camera? sorry megapixels prove nothing and you did not include any direct comparison photos between Android phones. 1080P recording? great how many of you hook your phone up to your TV, thats what I thought. Why has it taken Apple this long to embrace the industry standard of Full HD (ie failure to include 1080p on their apple tv gen 2) Why? because they are simply stringing customers along every year with half assed upgrades and making you pay full price all over again.

And yet again your are handcuffed to your itunes if you want to load content onto your phone that your did not obtain from itunes, fail for their proprietary garbage software. Speaking of software, Siri is a major security flaw since you can use it to do almost anyting with the phone locked, so if your phone gets stolen or lost someone can rack up a nice list of long distance charges, care of your wallet.

Secondly, Siri was free and ran just fine on IP4, it was taken away from you and essentially became a 200 dollar app because Apple forced you to buy their new phone to use it. And finally as it has already been found out most of the advanced features will only work in the US, good job Apple.

Im not really sure why your Android feels so sluggish, perhaps you should not load it with every single app you can find, I currently run an HTC Evo 3D and it runs perfectly all the time, 1 GB ram certainly helps... Wonder why apple decided to stay with 512mb, as I used to own an IP4 I was constantly rebooting it due to IOS major memory leak and failure to include a task manager to close background programs chewing up my ram.

As well, the Android OS is actually quite intelligent and will shutdown programs overtime that are not used and are running in memory, in order that the phone will not crash... all by itself I might add.

Just an interesting fact, its quite well known that Motorola has had issues in developing its software for Android phones and no this is not a flaw against Android, its Motorola's choice to make the change. Perhaps you might want to check out more successful builds of Android phones from top manufacturers such as HTC, LG, Samsung and Google themselves.

With the release of ICS for Android it will just further push apple into the background and make IOS 5 look like a mere patch to its already close minded, industry substandard software.

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Paul_Lilly replied on Fri, Oct 21 2011 12:27 AM

"Your review is flawed, you compared a top of the line apple product to a lower end android product, at least make an attempt to use a higher end Android product such as the Galaxy S2, if you can't obtain one then don't compare them."

This wasn't a head-to-head showdown where one device is declared the winner and the other a loser, nor was it a roundup of devices. It's a review of the iPhone 4S and what it brings to the smartphone world, what features Apple got right, and which ones it didn't. The benchmarks are there to give an idea of performance, and compared with other devices to give a little perspective. I don't think it's unfair to post Droid X2 numbers considering it's a recently released dual-core Android phone. It's there as a point of reference only. The takeaway should be that the iPhone 4S is fast, not that it's the fastest handheld mobile device in the world, but certainly fast enough to satisfy smartphone shoppers that either prefer iOS over Android and Windows Phone 7, or who are platform agnostic and are interested in the iPhone 4S.

"Upgraded camera? sorry megapixels prove nothing and you did not include any direct comparison photos between Android phones. 1080P recording? great how many of you hook your phone up to your TV, thats what I thought."

Again, this wasn't a head-to-head against Android, which is why I didn't post side-by-side pics. I'd be happy to upload some though, as I took comparison pics with the Motorola Droid X2 and HTC Droid Incredible 2, and the shots were noticeably better on the iPhone 4S, particularly in less than ideal lighting. And you're right, megapixels alone don't make one camera superior to another, which is something I covered in the write-up. As for 1080p recording, I very much like being able to record Full HD for keepsake videos that I don't intend to store on my phone, and I also like the built-in image stabilization. You're right that Apple could have included 1080p support in previous generation devices, and I'm especially miffed that the cameras on the iPad 2 simply suck. This is part of Apple's unofficial planned obsolescence model. But should I ding the iPhone 4S because it supports 1080p? That would be wacky.

"Im not really sure why your Android feels so sluggish, perhaps you should not load it with every single app you can find"

1) It's laggy because Motorola's Blur overlay is heavy. Not all Android devices feel this way, and I mentioned in the review that even HTC's single-core Incredible 2 is much more snappy. But it's totally dependent on the device. 2) If having too many apps was the the reason the Droid X2 felt sluggish, that would be a point in Apple's favor. I have the iPhone 4S pretty well loaded with apps and it doesn't feel any slower than when it was first taken out of the box. 3) Once again, this isn't a head-to-head with Android. My anecdotal experience with the Droid X2 is there for reference, not a determination against Android. The point is, the iPhone 4S is fast, responsive, and lag free. That is going to be true for anyone who purchases an iPhone 4S.

The bottom line is, the iPhone 4S is a great smartphone based on its own merits. There are also some great Android phones out there, some of which we've reviewed.

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Great review Paul Keep up the good work bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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So not worth an upgrade if you already own the 4 like me. I'll see what the Nexus Prime brings...

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Honestly, I think it would be worth it but barely so and only because of the "built in virtual aid" otherwise known as Siri and because of the increased performance in the camera and high definition videos but if you weren't going to use these things than ultimately the $100 isn't worth it and would be better used on something else. But all in all I think it would be worth it to most people unless they already have an iPhone 4.

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Aoshi replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:51 PM

I got the 4s a few weeks ago. I was upgrading from a dumb-phone so I did pay the extra bucks to get it. Smart? Probably not. Siri is good however. She is pretty helpful. I will take my phone with me on a run and I can answer a call or a text message while running. 

 

I should probably leave my phone at home when I'm doing something like that.....

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Vixencode replied on Tue, Dec 13 2011 10:20 PM

Thanks for the info, its obvious that its fast and all but my problem with it is for a phone that comes with a lot, the battery talk time is kinda low. It should be able to last a lil longer.

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DDeveaux replied on Tue, Dec 20 2011 8:30 PM

Sadly that's true of most smartphones these days.  People are doing so much with their phone that battery technology just isn't keeping up with performance demands.  Sadly, despite some people saying things will get better, I see no reason to believe it.  We've been hearing about better batteries for quite some time (fuel cells anyone?) but nothing's happened yet.

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