Apple iPhone 4S Review – Incremental Phone Upgrade

Apple iPhone 4S Review: Released in 2011, the Apple iPhone 4S had by now was in the swing of things. Like most Apple products it featured an upgrade roughly every year. This allowed the phone to stay at the cutting edge of the market. The phone was the upgrade to the original Apple iPhone 4. By all rights, this should have been called the Apple iPhone 5. But perhaps with not enough superficially between the models, it was considered a bridge too far to award it another number.

So the 4S stayed exactly the same size as the 4. There was no need to change things here. The iPhone 4 brought in a metallic frame, which was a significant upgrade over the previous model, and it was hard to better that. But despite looking the same, under the hood the phone had gained much power. The processing power doubled to a dual-core system. The camera – long size a lagging part of the phones – also gained an upgrade to 8MP.

The phone also saw a debut for Siri, the voice-based assistant. Much advertising was based around this. Voice recognition was nothing new of course, but the way Siri integrated with applications was. For perhaps the first time, it became something genuinely useful. For instance, you could ask it a question and it would answer. In time, Google would catch this up but for the meantime it was a selling point for the handset.

Full specifications here.

The Apple iPhone 4S was the best selling handset of 2011. By this time it had seen its lead in the smartphone stakes decline, and the Samsung Galaxy S2 was not too far behind it. Unsurprisingly this gave rise to the Apple iPhone 5 which was released the next year.


Apple iPhone 4S Review Pros:

Build quality was top notch. The Galaxy series went for a plastic design to save weight and add a larger screen, but the feel of the iPhone was reassuringly premium.

The display was also best in class. The resolution of the screen was a very detailed 640 x 960, about the highest anywhere. This gave the display an incredible quality to it. To top it off, Gorilla glass was becoming more common which made the screen harder to scratch.

Imaging was well taken care of. The phone featured an 8MP with flash, and also an array of on-board picture and photo editors.

Power was increased as the phone featured a dual-core processor. Applications were smoother and the phone could run the more demanding ones with ease.

Apple iPhone 4S Review Cons:

Many of the cons were passed down through Apple models. As with all Apple devices, there was no microSD card and the OS used a lot of space. Buying a higher capacity model was expensive.

The screen size and resolution was unchanged from the previous model. Here there was significant pressure for screen sizes to increase.

Storage on the phone was mainly locked down to integration with iTunes. File transfers were not possible without it.

Repairs to the phone were either difficult or expensive due to the non-removable back.

Current Price and Future Prospects

Surprisingly these are some of the cheapest iPhones – the original iPhone is much more expensive for example. They have some limited use, although they will not support the latest versions of iOS and hence the latest applications. With these being made in bulk, it should be possible to pick one up cheaply.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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