After all the speculation and mock prototypes (from aluminium to styrofoam), the smoke has finally settled and the world has been blessed with the new iPhone 5…errr….4S!
We were all waiting for the iPhone 5’s new design. It was supposed to be thinner, lighter, have a 4-inch screen, and possibly LTE, and all we get is an iPhone 4 shell? (<—Insert here: I was waiting for the iPhone 5 and all I got was a 4S?) Where’s the innovation that Apple is known for? Where’s the cutting edge design? Where’s the “wow” factor you experience after each iPhone unveiling?
Apparently, Apple thought that tweaking the iPhone 4’s innards with the same A5 processor found in the iPad 2, and adding an 8MP camera sensor was enough. But can it be enough when you have a new crop of phones like the Galaxy S II with a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM? Did I forget to mention that Apple down clocked the processor to 800 MHz and left the RAM at 512? What about the new kings of Android World: The new Motorola Droid RAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus? How in the world could it compete with these phones? On paper, these Android phones should run circles around the 4S. In reality? …It still reigns supreme.
Anandtech.com’s benchmarks show that the iPhone 4S reigns supreme in every speed performance category for phones. Sure, Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich is supposed to bridge the gap–but frankly–I’m tired of waiting.
I’ve had three Android phones: the original Motorola Droid, Motorola Droid 2 R2-D2 and Motorola Droid 2 Global. I have been a devout Androidian aka PhanDroid since 2009. Even though I’ve owned Apple products in the past, and I even purchased the iPad 2 earlier this year (my first venture into iOS land), I’ve kinda been an Apple hater. What made me want to go out and buy the iPhone 4S? After waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and subsequently seeing Motorola and Verizon announce the Droid RAZR, I was dismayed by the future of Android phones. I reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S II back in August, and I wasn’t impressed with the build quality. I expect a similar build quality from the Galaxy Nexus. But I was blown away by the Droid RAZR’s design with its Kevlar back and all glass front, but not Motoblur and Android 2.3 and having to wait and wait and wait for an OTA update.
In spite, I ventured to my local Verizon store and purchased a new iPhone 4S 64GB. After a few hours of playing with it, I was about to return it. I didn’t feel that magical joy that everyone keeps talking about. I was in the market to get a massive 4.6 inch screen phone like the Galaxy Nexus (bigger is better mentality) and instead I got a 3.5 inch iPhone 4 look-alike?
After a day or so of playing with the phone, taking pictures and seeing the images that this little phone takes, I was sold…
Lets take a closer look at this “magical device”….
Nuts and Bolts
It’s the same dual-core 1GHz processor found in the iPad 2. The iPad 2’s version is clocked at 900 MHz, the 4S is clocked at 800 MHz. Even though it’s down clocked and “slower” than the new crop of phones with 1.5 GHz dual-core and 1.2 GHz dual-core chips, it still the fastest phone on the planet thanks to Apple’s complete access to optimize both hardware and software.
All the new HTC and Motorola phones (including the Motorola Droid RAZR) are coming out with qHD screens with 960x 540 displays. The new Galaxy Nexus has a 1,280 x 720 display. Although the Galaxy Nexus has a higher resolution, it has the same pixel density as the iPhone 4S’s retina display (330ppi).
One word sums up my review of the camera: Fantastical.
This camera…errr…phone takes absolutely amazing pictures. It can definitely replace a point-and-shoot camera any day. The Galaxy S II takes amazing pictures as well, but no where near the quality or detail of the 4S. I suspect the Galaxy Nexus’ picture quality to be the same as the Galaxy S II. The only phone that takes equally, if not better pictures is the HTC Amaze 4G.
- iOS 5
- A5 Processor: Very Fast Performance
- Retina Display
- 16/32/64 GB of Storage
- Camera is Fantastical
- 1080p Full HD Recording
It looks exactly like the iPhone 4. Even though it has last years looks, the build quality can’t be matched. It’s still a very sleek and stylish phone. I could do without the glass back (I have nightmares that it will break into pieces after I drop it, which will eventually happen).
A virtual assistant that actually works (sometimes)! Siri makes life a bit easier if you’re a working professional or have a slight case of senile dementia. You can ask it to wake you up at a certain time, make appointments, even schedule dinner reservations. You can even ask it where to hide a body and where to pick up prostitutes (not that I’ve tried). Siri is all knowing, just be nice to her.
The iPhone 4S offers the combination being the fastest phone on the planet, having the largest ecosystem, and having arguably the best smart phone camera. Not to mention, the ability to take that entire pirated MP3 collection of yours with you at all times. It is indeed a magical device. If you’re an iPhone 4 owner, the 4S simply has a better camera and is almost twice as fast. Worth upgrading (if you can afford it), yes! If you’re a 3GS owner, this is definitely worth the upgrade. For you Anroidians aka PhanDroids, it’s either the 4S, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the Motorola Droid RAZR. I took the former and I think I made the right choice.
I’m not an Apple fanatic like most iPhone owners. I’m just a disgrunted Androidian that decided to make the switch after years of watching Apple set the bar. Google kept chasing Apple, and maybe they finally have with Ice Cream Sandwich, but I’m not going to wait around any longer to find out.
I guess I really have always been a closet Apple fan.
iPhone 4S Pictures