Apple iPhone 4S

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Reviewed by Gansan (Currently owns)

I tend to prefer the last iterations of any product. The final version of most software usually has all the bugs worked out. The final version of a car is usually the most reliable and best performing. Similarly, the 4s feels like the iPhone 4 with nearly all the weaknesses worked out. The final result is a phone that is the most consistently performing, lag-free, slick-UX kind of phone I have ever used.

iOS 5 is fast and responds without delays. The fact it is this fast with the slower clocked CPU in the iPhone is a testament to good frameworks and optimization. The color accuracy of the display and camera combo is quite amazing. You can take a photo and hold the phone up next to the subject and assuming the screen brightness is not adjusted too dim, the colors on the screen are amazingly close to real life. The antenna has no death grip issue whatsoever. Web pages render in a snap over wifi, and still quite fast over 3G.

Siri is an interesting peek into the future. Although not perfect now, it is good enough to be genuinely useful for certain tasks and I use it for those. You can just imagine how good she has the potential to be in a few years. I think raising the phone and talking to Siri works best because then you are using the noise-cancelling mode of the main microphone.

Weaknesses include more battery consumption than the pairing iOS 4.3 + iPhone 4. The 4 would lose 3% of battery over 8 hours while I slept (everything turned on). The 4s lost about 7%, although that seems to be getting better with the recent update--about 5% or less now. The screen is a bit small to my aging eyes, although I fully accept and agree with the downside of further fragmenting the model lineup with odd dpi screens.

Conclusion: An excellent product you can recommend to both techie and non-techie friends. I personally don't care about customizing or tinkering, so I find this phone fits my needs best with a great UX, great camera, the best media ecosystem, and speedy performance.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 9
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 9
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 10
  • Software 9
  • Battery life 7
  • Ecosystem 9
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