iPhone 4S: More than meets
the eye

WITH iPhone 4S it’s a case of refining an already good smartphone rather than pushing the envelope in every way possible. Apple’s latest smartphone hasn’t landed in the UAE yet, at least not officially, but it’s about time I take a closer look at what it can offer.

Published: Sat 3 Dec 2011, 11:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:02 AM

When I first got my iPhone 4S I was full of excitement and trepidation at the same time. How would it measure up to the iPhone 4 that is still a great smartphone? And with some people being disappointed about it not being redesigned, would it be worth it upgrading to a 4S? I can safely say that upgrading to iPhone 4S was well worth it because Apple has done a remarkable job refining what was already very good.

In terms of design the 4S looks exactly the same as the predecessor so any case and other accessory should work. The 3.2-inch display has the same great resolution and sharpness and there was really no need for Apple to update it. The buttons on the side are the same and the camera lens on the back also looks unchanged. So apart from the added “S” on the back, you can’t really tell the new model apart from the older one.

It’s what’s on the inside that makes the 4S different. There’s a dual-core A5 processor, which makes thing run very snappy and smoothly. Apparently graphics are seven times faster, says Apple. You see the difference in how much faster some apps load and in games. Compared to iPhone 4 the difference in speed is not that noticeable but if you come from an earlier iPhone model you’ll be amazed.

Among the things the faster processing enables we find full HD 1080p recording, faster camera operations, and Siri. The thing most users will notice the most about the updated iPhone is the camera. Still pictures are now 8 megapixel, displaying a big improvement in sharpness and quality. The lens is faster which means you can take sharper and brighter photos in lower light. Camera operations are also a lot faster and you can snap a shot with the volume up button (to be fair, this is an iOS5 thing, not a 4S thing). Video is also greatly improved and full HD video looks quite amazing for being from a smartphone. Apple added video stabilisation which helps create high quality video.

But it’s in Siri, Apple’s voice control system, we see the future. It works surprisingly well, at least for me. If there’s anything revolutionary about the iPhone 4S it’s Siri; one day soon this is how we’ll interact with our computing devices. Your success rate will vary depending on your voice and your accent.

All in all, Apple hit a homerun on most points with the iPhone 4S. Currently it sells from about Dhs 3,200 from various online stores in the UAE. It remains to be seen what the official price will be once launched. In any case, Apple iPhone 4S is a great step up for Apple. If you have an iPhone 4 already it may not be a must-have upgrade, but you’ll certainly benefit from what’s new, most notably Siri and the camera.

Magnus Nystedt @mnystedt

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