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...

Read the full review

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

No recent discussions about Apple iPhone 4S.

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.

Login in order to review this product.

  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by rgritt (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is by far one of the best phones on the market right now, and there isn't much to complain about. I will say however, data speeds are less than ideal on sprint with the iPhone 4S and it's not just sprint's service because I had faster speeds with the HTC Hero (3G). The battery life isn't great, but if managed correctly it can easily last all day. All in all, the iPhone 4S is a spectacular that I think woud make a spectacular mobile companion for anyone.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 7
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Aaron Souppouris (Currently owns)

    Ah, my trusty iPhone... I love you, I love you not.... If this "user review" is a mess of contradictions, it's because that's exactly how I feel about the phone.

    I bought the iPhone4 pretty much at launch, and enjoyed it thoroughly until April 2011 when I decided to upsticks and move over to Android and the Samsung Galaxy S II. You can read my thoughts on that device here.

    The 4s, like the 4 before it, is a beautiful piece of design, and with the symmetry of the new antenna system, it's actually more pleasing to look at. Yes, the glass is fragile, and it's not exactly ergonomically sound, but it just looks so good.

    iOS5 is a huge improvement on iOS4, bringing a notification area, and the additions of iMessage and Siri. iOS5 is close to parity with Android in terms of functionality, but I have issues with the basic concept of the OS.

    iOS is a static grid of icons. Jump into an app, jump out. There is no synergy, no sense that you're using a product that can truly multitask - and how hard would it be for Apple to write a 'share' API that every app could hook up to?

    While the main camera is the best shooter on the market, the front facing camera is still one of the grainier sensors around. The screen, whilst still the most pixel-perfect screen on any device anywhere, is too small for my tastes, and I find myself typing infinitely slower than on my GSII.

    Battery life is also sub-par in comparison to both it's predecessor and the S II, I can't go anywhere without taking my charger, and regularly get to around 3pm with a critical battery level.

    So why do I persist? Apps, apps apps. The ecosystem of iOS is just miles ahead of Android. They're just not on the same level. You get a level of higher level of quality, real consistency, and a much wider range of Apps than on Google's OS.

    Whilst I was in love with my iPhone 4, the 4S hasn't quite touched me in the same way. I find myself thinking about my next phone continuously, and I think the SII is to blame. After using a large-screened Android device, I feel locked in by iOS and its restrictions.

    Assuming i'll continue to dual-wield smartphones, Apple will have work hard for me to upgrade to the iPhone 6. Android is going from strength to strength, and WindowsPhone7 is close to becoming a viable choice. At the moment, it's looking like a next-gen Nokia WindowsPhone and the GS III will be my next devices.

    But every time I say I wont upgrade, Apple pull something special out of the bag, and I hope they don't buck that trend with their next device.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Tyler Gold (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is easily the best smartphone I've ever used. Despite that, it's got a few somewhat glaring flaws.

    Even after being around for so long, the design is still nothing short of breathtaking. You already know that the 4S is as thin as the 4, and that it also unfortunately shares its older brother's fragile glass back. Despite this, I've still managed to drop mine (on concrete, no less) and not suffer any major cosmetic damage- but I clearly was lucky. In the beauty department, it gets a 10. Durability is a 6.

    The Retina display is still amazing. No words to describe how great it is. I've actually gotten used to the small size, and like it quite a bit. 3.7 or 4-inches would be nice, though.

    Camera is wonderful. Best smartphone camera I've ever used.

    Call quality is fine, but reception is surprisingly bad. I regularly lose 3G, even when I'm in an area I know is blanketed in Verizon's radiowaves. I've also noticed that the Verizon iPhone doesn't pick up service in spots that AT&T 4s' do- odd, to say the least.

    Performance is great. Everything is snappy, and there are few, if any, instances of lag or crashes.

    iOS 5 is great as ever, but there are still some things that could be better. For one, I'd like to have the option to have widgets from apps in the notification pulldown- like stocks or weather, but maybe with tweet or my Facebook news feed instead. Multitasking is smooth. The OS is just getting a little boring- but the thing is, it's boring because it consistently works. Of course, Siri is cool. Maybe I can't properly speak English, but she tends to have some difficulty understanding me when I throw more complex phrases at her, like "Send a text to Mike saying 'yeah, that sounds great'," thinking I want my message to read "saying yeah that sounds great." She's absolutely great for setting alarms or simple reminders, though. Siri is definitely beta, but she's totally awesome nonetheless. I'm also a little disturbed by the fact I treat her as a person.

    Battery life isn't nearly what Apple advertises. 3G browsing seems to really kill the battery, and standby seems to be better some days than others- it's a little odd, really.

    The App Store offers a veritable smorgasbord of incredibly high quality apps. Instapaper, Reeder, Jetpack Joyride, Infinity Blade, Canabalt, Flipboard, Instagram, and Tweetbot are a few standouts.

    While it may not be my favorite smartphone ever (the OG Droid holds that title), the iPhone 4S is the best smartphone I've ever used. In typical Apple style, everything just works- and in a beautiful package with a legendary app ecosystem.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 6
    • Performance 9
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by slatorella (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4s is the best phone on the planet right now. It is far from perfect, but when compared to a phone like googles flagship product, the nexus it just blows it away. The nexus software and raw processing power is little better then the iPhone , but the build quality of that product is terrible. I wouldn't even give it to my son to play with as a toy phone. The iPhone on the other hand is just solid from the build all the way down. Anybody can pick up a iPhone and learn to use it fairly quickly and most people would feel li,e they have a sort of treasure in their pocket. No phone right now even comes close. I wish something did but nothing has.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by Canucker2 (Currently owns)

    Upgraded from 3GS and so was a major improvement all around. Display is superb. Size (3.5") is a love it or leave issue. Personally, I like the size. The software is stable and slick but slightly dinged for Siri still being in beta. Is admittedly catching up to Android in notifications but both ecosystems are learning from each other (this is good). Camera is superb (as is editing software). Battery life is better than my old 3GS was when new but I am careful in switching off unnecessary things like location-based iAds which helps maximize battery.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by per.schulte (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4s replaced my old iPhone 3G. I really needed that upgrade.

    This is why I love my new iPhone:
    - The new camera is a blast
    - Great display
    - Very solid performance, no false promises
    - The reception is better than before. I can even get a working internet connection from within a fast moving train (250km/h)
    - Apple is still the only manufacturer which uses decent materials for their products. The haptic performance is the best in the industry for almost all of apple's products in my opinion.

    This is why I sometimes wish for a different phone:
    - The current iPhone design feels a bit smaller than all the other iPhones before. This might be a good thing for some people but for me with relatively big hands its kind of annoying. I think if the phone's dimensions would be a little bit bigger, it would just fit perfectly in my hands. And the "edgy" industrial design isn't helping here at all.
    - Battery life is a problem and I really hope this gets solved soon.
    - Google product integration could be better. (i.e. gmail)
    - Siri, for me, is a disappointment. I live in Germany and most features that seem to be useful are currently disabled over here (Wolfram alpha and location based information) The only time I find it useful is when I have to set a timer or the alarm. But I am looking forward how Siri develops over time.
    - I do understand why Apple isn't changing its UI design for the most parts... but the UI slowly feels really old and I would love to see some changes from somebody as gifted as Matias Duarte.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by kimfranken (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is a really great phone, the software is great and runs without problems. However since Apple also launched their new iCloud services, battery life is quite poor for an Apple device. That said, it still is better than most Android phones. The battery gets me through the day, but I often find myself coming home and having under 10% battery left. I do not like that.

    Except the battery issues this phone is perfect. If you previously had an iPhone 3GS or lower you should upgrade. If you already have an iPhone 4 I would not recommend upgrading.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by hl2run (Currently owns)

    I switched from the first iPhone. I used the 1st gen iPad for about a year, but when I bought this thing the iPad just sits at home alone and sad. Same thing with my iMac 27". I stopped using it during the day because the 4S allows me to be onthego and take care of everything during the day.

    The only problem I have is the battery life :(. I use the thing constantly so it's constantly runnin out out of juice… Kinda my bad, but it's so awesome that it forces you to use it all the time, hence killing the battery.

    Using it on Orange, Slovakia, 6Mbit down 1Mbit up 3G connection, fantastic speeds. Dropped calls – about 1 a week which is cool.

    Giving it 9 just because the battery, but I know it's kinda my fault :)

    BTW, Siri is the future, I use it constantly during the day and I was really pissed off during the 23rd, the 24th and the 25th of dec when she was overloaded and I could not use it.

    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by amurillo (Currently owns)

    To say the iPhone didn't revolutionize the mobile industry would be like saying the automobile didn't revolutionize transportation. It happened. Accept it. The question is, how does this generation of iPhone compare to the slew of handsets that have since then been released? Does it hold it's lead in this industry dominated by smartphones looking to compete by differentiating, and sometimes, innovating in ways the iPhone has yet to do? Or is the iPhone 4S still the phone the beat? In this user's humble opinion, the answer is the latter.

    Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of times I've seen features on other smartphones and said to myself, "I kinda wish I had that". Yet that thought abruptly dissipates once I'm reminded how gorgeous this device looks and feels. The luxury build of this device is constantly made clear whenever I hold another smartphone. Whether it's asking my brother if I can see his Galaxy Nexus for a bit, or when I find myself browsing a carrier's retail store checking out what else is out there- that thought never seems to go away. Though my phobia of dropping this phone is as strong as ever, the iPhone 4S is still the pinnacle of design. Which says a lot considering the design hasn't really changed since the iPhone 4 was released. All that time, and the industry has yet to catch up. My opinion in regards to the display and camera of the iPhone 4S are just as strong. Granted, I haven't used every smartphone camera in the world, nor have I seen every other smartphone display, I've never felt the need or desire to. But not all is perfect with the iPhone 4S.

    I've come to the realization that if I plan on spending the day in NYC (to attend a taping of On The Verge, of course) I better have some way to charge my iPhone. I also wouldn't mind a little more of what I like to call "obvious additions" to iOS 5. I mean really, how hard is it to add a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth toggle to the notification drop-down window?

    Still, no matter how much nit-picks one may find in iOS, the reality is there isn't another mobile OS that can compare to both the power and ease-of-use of iOS. And that's without yet mentioning Siri. The stand-alone feature of the iPhone 4S, though in Beta, really is another game-changer. Add in the fact the App Store has never been at it's strongest and you have more than enough reasons why the iPhone 4S is still the smartphone to beat.

    The pros of the iPhone 4S ridiculously outweigh the cons. It's because of this I have no doubt or hesitation in saying the iPhone 4S is the king of smartphones.

    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by calebd (Currently owns)

    Upgraded from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 4S (two-year contract on AT&T). I've had it for about 4 weeks.

    The only complaint I have is the lower battery life compared to my experience with the iPhone 4. I have to charge the iPhone 4S every night (and maybe even in the evening). I could get by 1.5 - 2 days on the iPhone 4. (Note: I do have firmware 1.0.1).

    Everything else is absolutely wonderful. The DESIGN is top notch. It feels great in my hand, it looks great everywhere. I don't use a case. I love the DISPLAY and the auto-brightness controls tend to be spot on. It has the best CAMERA I've ever used on a smartphone. Even when they are blown-up on my 27" monitor they look good (certainly not DSLR quality, though).

    I didn't give RECEPTION/CALL QUALITY a 10 because I have had dropped calls. This is most likely because I'm on AT&T, Central Texas area. Certainly no worse than any other phone I've had in the past.

    Have nothing bad to say about PERFORMANCE. I do not recall any crashes or even lag (except when I open Newsstand when it's already in a folder - but that's my bad). SOFTWARE is great. I love iOS5.

    Siri is a great feature but certainly not 100% up to Apple's usual seamlessness. When looking for places to eat or drink, I use Siri exclusively now.

    Last but not least, I think we can all agree that the iOS ECOSYSTEM deserves a 10. App Store has everything.

    The Breakdown

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5345_tracker