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

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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

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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by jrellegood (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S is a very safe product. Apple took what worked form the iPhone 4 and either copied (exterior design, display) or refined it (camera, processor). Personally I find myself very comfortable with the iPhone 4S, it is a very well rounded phone. But at the same time I cannot declare this phone the ultimate smart phone as I find myself lusting after features and designs that Apple has yet to implement.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by jeremyfranklin (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4s is the best mobile phone I have ever used. The touch sensitivity is the best of any phone on the market and Apple has the best 3rd party app ecosystem. Apps generally feel finished and refined. The camera, display, and industrial design continue to be the best in the industry in my opinion. The battery life in the 4s is known not to be as good as previous iPhones and I would have to agree. I am on AT&T and the call quality is not that great, but I hardly use it as a phone anyways. The data speeds are much faster on this version compared to previous iPhones and the current 4s on Sprint and Verizon thanks to AT&Ts speedier network over 3g. Overall, this should be at the top of anyones buying guide even compared to the Galaxy Nexus with a less than adequate app ecosystem.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by AdamSheikh (Currently owns)

    I've owned every model of iPhone since the first generation. With that being said, it's amazing how far the iPhone has come while remaining true to its origins.

    The iPhone 4 was clearly the most revolutionary and groundbreaking model in the lineup. The retina display, absolutely stunning materials and build quality, great camera, and speedy performance all contributed to its success. The 4S builds on all of that and improves the experience even further.

    The new camera is nearly flawless and is definitely a viable alternative to a dedicated point and shoot. Siri is very innovative (though the appeal does wear off after a few weeks). My only complaint so far has been the battery life (or lack thereof). It is rather disappointing to see the battery percentage drop so rapidly. Hopeful that a future update will address the issue though.

    Bottom line is that Apple took a simple and logical approach to the 4S. If it ain't broke, make it even better.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by smiley (Currently owns)

    Design
    I feel like it's undisputed that the current iPhone model is probably the best looking phone on the market. When someone spends as much as we all do on a phone I think we all want it to at least feel expensive. The iPhone 4S does that. Although the all glass does scare me. I pray I never, ever, ever drop it.
    Display
    The retina display is nice, definitely looks nice. I suppose that is one of those things that when it is done right then you don't really notice it.
    Cameras
    Again, I think it's undisputed that the iPhone is the best in camera quality. I sell cameras, and I frequently think to myself how my phone takes a equally decent picture then some point and shoots. The 4S is the shining example of the future when phones replace point and shoots.
    Reception/Call Quality
    The call quality is good enough, I would like it to be a little louder overall. I have AT&T which is and of itself isn't really the best, but the iPhone definitely keeps up it's end of the bargain on calls.
    Performance
    The 4S works fine, I've owned iOS products before and it works just as good. I've had to restart it for no apparent reasons every once in a while, but overall not a huge deal. Other than that it all works nice and smooth.
    Software
    At this point I've become tired of iOS. It's the oldest mobile OS and it is showing it's age. It lacks a lot of features Android has and the cool UI of WP7. I'm hoping a nice and big improvement for iOS6. With that said, the OS works, it does most everything I want to do but with the competitors showing us what we can do it makes iOS frustrating.
    Battery Life
    Apple products are famous for good battery life, I'm not totally sure if the whole battery problem is effecting me, I assume it is. I usually have to charge my phone every night, although I don't use it too much. I would have to say that I guess I expect a little better battery life from it but that may be because I'm spoiled.
    Ecosystem
    The ecosystem with the 4S and iOS5 is nice, I can finally stay away from iTunes as much as possible which is nice. I enjoy iCloud for this reason. Other than that I haven't tried it with other Apple products. (I own a Windows 7 computer and no tablet)

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 6
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 8
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  • 7.0
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    Reviewed by Donald Karvis (Currently owns)

    Personally not a fan of the iPhone 4 / 4S hardware design. This phone has an amazing display and camera, these two factors alone still make this phone a great device.

    The software and ecosystem seem dated to me. iTunes is still one of the worst experiences ever and is dragging the whole ecosystem down with it. I would give more points for performance, but the iOS application model fakes the real specs of the A5 processor.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 4
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 6
    • Performance 7
    • Software 6
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 6
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by iamandyb (Currently owns)

    What is there to dislike about this phone? It may not have all of the glitz and power as some other phones on the market, but what it lacks in spec it makes up for in precision. Everything may not be exactly the way you like it, but at least everything well thought through and well made.

    It's the newest iPhone, people know it, and people love it. Every phone will be compared to this phone.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by joe has a cat (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S has an identical design of the iPhone 4 and comes with exclusive support for Apple’s new Siri “intelligent assistant” and dictation system. As a global phone, the 4S supports both CDMA and GSM, which allows for easy global roaming. It has an updated camera with a 8-megapixel sensor that offers improved low-light performance and allows 1080p video recording. Additionally, models with 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of storage are available.

    The Breakdown

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

    Brilliant phone. It's a shame to ever put it in a case.
    Nothing compares.

    From the pixel perfect animations and design discipline, to the app store and it's array of the most critically acclaimed and all-around best mobile apps, this phone makes the others I've used look like Kmart next to an Apple store.

    I hope more companies get their heads put of the ground and quit their market research long enough to make phones this excellent.

    I know, if you rate a phone this high, you must be a fanboy.

    I call it sanity and honesty

    Feel free to mock.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 9
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Axxvol (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4s is a good phone. Its not highly customizable like android, but it do the work. So many apps. Also de camera is great, I don't use my point & shoot any more, I have more space in my pocket thank to this guy. Call quality is not that good. The design is the same as the iPhone 4, but the performance is not the same. The A5 processor is fast. If you like iOS, and the way Apple work, I can recommend this. Things just work with the iPhone.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 9
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 7
    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 6
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by cruffenach (Currently owns)

    The iPhone 4S stands as the phone every other product is compared to, and for good reason. It a fantastic refinement of the foundational ideas that have made the iPhone great since its inception and will not disappoint. While battery has suffered a bit, Apple is on top of software with regular (and now over the air) updates that work to address these issues. Put simply, everything you want to do on a phone the iPhone 4S does. It feels fantastic to hold, as a result of the build quality Apple is famous for and continues to look fantastic. The kicker has to be the app store and surrounding ecosystem. Android 4.0 looks great, and I am confident that it will usher in a new era of third party Android applications, but as a whole the Android marketplace shouldn't even be compared to the App Store. If you are looking for the best current mobile experience the iPhone 4S is your answer.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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