Apple iPhone 4S

Verge Review

Reviewing the iPhone 4S is in many ways a lot like reviewing the original iPhone 4, except that it's not. The device, which was just announced at a special event on Apple's campus, is very much the same phone the company released in June of 2010 — but it's also something completely new. While much of that sameness comes from an identical physical appearance, and nearly identical specs (in some places), there's much that's fresh here. Besides packing the successor to Apple's custom A4 CPU...

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 0.31 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 3.5 inches
Carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T
Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 5.0

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iPhone 4S.

Recent Discussions

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 4.5 inches
Width 2.31 inches
Thickness 0.37 inches
Weight 0.31 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color Black, White
Loudspeaker Yes
Noise cancellation Hardware (multi-mic)

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 3.5 inches
Technology IPS LCD
Pixel arrangement RGB
Resolution (Y) 960 px
Resolution (X) 640 px
PPI 330
Touchscreen type Capacitive

Connectivity

Carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T
CDMA Yes
CDMA frequencies supported 1900, 800 / 850
GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1900, 850
Max WWAN downlink speed 14.4 Mbps
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
802.11n frequencies 2.4GHz
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.0
Tethering / mobile hotspot Yes
Media streaming AirPlay

Processor

Manufacturer Apple
Model A5
Clock speed 800 MHz
Number of cores 2

Memory

RAM size 512 MB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB
External No

Front Camera

Resolution 0.3 megapixels
Video resolution VGA
Video framerate 30

Rear Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Flash LED
Focus type Autofocus
Video resolution 1080p
Video framerate 30

Software

Operating system iOS
Launch OS version 5.0

Interface

Video out Yes
Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports iPod

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Accelerometer

Battery

Removable No

Recent News

No recent news about Apple iPhone 4S.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Apple iPhone 4S.

8.9

Average User Review

of 83 total reviews
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  • Design 9
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 10
  • Reception / call quality 8
  • Performance 9
  • Software 9
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 10

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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by gariel22 (Currently owns)

    Still a great phone, even by todays standards.
    the camera is amazing, even for action shooting.
    the major drawback of the iphone is the ios, that is starting to show its age.
    siri is great, but its not enough, there are many hopes for IOS7.
    the size is perfect, though a bit small for hard core gaming, and it feels as deluxe as ever.

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    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Ido-TDW (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is a great-looking device, but the glass back makes me hide that gorgeous design with a case just to make sure it doesn't shatter. The display is very sharp and crisp with good contrast and viewing angles, but it's small - tiny by today's standards; the iPhone 5's display is better, though it's still a bit too small. The rear-facing camera is fantastic, even for printing pictures for an album, but the front-facing camera did not impress me. I haven't had any problems with reception and call quality; every once in a while, I do make a phone call, and it works well enough even inside my house, which is notorious for awful signal; there is no LTE in my country, so that doesn't matter to me at all. Performance is very good; it's no slouch, it runs games like Real Racing 3 very smoothly. iOS is very easy to use, but I do wish it was more complex - without JailBreaking, of course. Battery life is generally okay - I can get through a 7:00-15:00 day of moderate-to-heavy usage with around 40% left, but on the rare occasions that I'm far from a charger until 19:00 or later, I make using it a major inconvenience - turning off WiFi, 3G, GPS, turning down the brightness, etc. As usual with Apple products, the ecosystem is great, both hardware and software, with the huge iTunes media-store and App Store, as well as the infinite amount of accessories available.

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    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by notMordecai (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is undeniably one of the most beautiful phones (and, in general, devices) manufactured. With this glass front and back, it's amazing built in camera, and sleek monolithic look, the iPhone is simply stunning to look at, albeit sometimes feeling a little too fragile when you first get it.

    With the iPhone 4S's jump to iOS 6, one of the most powerful phones on the planet gets a little better... and a little worse. Siri has gotten a tad bit better, although it has a long way to go. Passbook is still a feature that has yet to be fleshed out, and Maps... well... Maps has a lot of work to do. With the addition of handy tools such as Do Not Disturb, and the ability to text calls you mute purposely, the iPhone 4S almost becomes a valuable tool to not only let you speak to your friends and family, but also covet your personal time.

    If you wish to save a bit of money by choosing this rather than the $100 extra iPhone 5 (and don't need public transportation information) definitely make this phone -your- phone.

    The Breakdown

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    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by alexandrehmaebi (Currently owns)

    The phone is great overall, and I wouldn't consider switching to another device. However, what bothers me - a lot - is the poor battery life. Sometimes, I have to stop using its features to save battery in order to be reachable until the end of the day. Not only, the fact that I can't turn the phone off whilst having a pre-set alarm kills a part of the battery - even when in Airplane Mode. To add up, the battery life easily drowns due to no reason sometimes. At first I thought it was a problem with my particular phone, but I have asked people who own iPhones if they were experiencing the same problem and 100% of them - literally - agreed.

    The Breakdown

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    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 5
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by Demonic16 (Currently owns)

    I think iPhone is best phone ever in every single generation.........i can't see any other product could beat this one.........iOS is perfect & stable.........hardware works properly & software integrated in a best way.........iOS-OS X ecosystem is the optimal for the user which doesn't want to set up his phone four hours before start of using it.........

    The Breakdown

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    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by W. Cardwell (Currently owns)

    I was late to the game when I got an iPhone 4s. I was coming off an EVO 4G that I had for almost two years but the early upgrade in May was too tempting to resist. Learning that the newest iPhone may not come out into the fall meant I was going to have to keep the EVO for an additional six months, 5 months longer than I wanted. Overall, I think I've made a future proof choice given the latest info on iOS 6. The phone is solid and I've loved the form factor since seeing the iPhone 4 launch. My only knocks are that my call quality isn't as good as it was on my EVO and I've yet to take pictures that outperform my EVO's camera, neither of which are deal breakers. All the apps I used on Android and some are present and I don't miss the 4+ inch screen real estate. The launching of the newest iPhone may result in me selling this one to pick up the latest addition to iOS but for the moment, I'm content with my choice even if the phone was 6 months old when I got it.

    The Breakdown

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    • Camera(s) 8
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    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by schroederrock (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is the most disappointing hardware release for a phone. I worked in Apple's retail chain at the time this phone was announced and all I could think of was "what the heck is this crap?" The 4S is not a bad phone, but it's Apple's cheap shot at keeping frenzied must-have appleytes from diving into Android or the rising Windows Phone. I was a modest fan of Apple for a while, but all the terrible PR strategies to position Apple products as the holy grail of each of their respective categories is just ridiculous. Apple is evolutionary, not revolutionary. They apparently cannot come out with a new exciting technology to showcase vision anymore, and with Steve Jobs out of the picture, Apple is likely facing a slide into reality. Microsoft has much cooler stuff going on with their software and hardware right now and the press and consumers are slowly catching on to that. If you're a must-have-iPhone person, you're getting this phone no matter what. If you're on the fence DON'T BUY IT. The iPhone 5 will certainly be much more worth a wait than a 4S is. At least the 5 will probably bring a screen size at or close to 4", which is the minimum I'd ever buy on a smartphone these days. 3.5" is a joke.

    The Breakdown

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    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 8
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 7
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  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by Anish_N (Currently owns)

    Amazing phone if your looking for a sturdy phone that is capable of doing of everything you want. The iphone is always the safe choice. But honestly the restriction in the UI tend get boring. The UI is amazingly fast and the performance is stellar. Camera is the best ive seen on a smartphone. Battery life was enough anbd after 5.1 update is even better. I dont own a mac, but i do own an ipad and the ecosystem is pretty great.

    This being said a few months after buying this phone i regretted not getting the galaxy nexus. I realised that i am an android person. I want the ability of customizing and changing everything on my phone. I guess that's more of a personal choice. So if you are a nerd who likes to mess around with gadgets and experiment and modify what you want on your phone. Id go for the galaxy nexus

    Cheers :)

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    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by drwitwicki (Currently owns)

    There's not much I can say about the 4S that isn't glowing praise. It has very few flaws (aside from somewhat fragile material construction), and great attention to detail. The camera is best in class, and I get reception in places I never managed before. In a world of ballooning smartphones, the size is refreshingly human, and very usable. Great choice

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    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by chreriksen (Currently owns)

    Best smartphone I've ever had. The competition isn't even real competition, the iPhone has completely set a new standard of which I have yet to see anyone else come even close. The only thing I notice while using this device in my daily life is its batterylife. But the battery itself isn't that bad, it's actually pretty good. My problem is that I use my iPhone so many hours a day that would kill other smartphones just by breakfast. Don't hesitate to get yourself one.

    The Breakdown

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    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
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