Apple iPhone 4S review

Apple iPhone 4S review

T3 5
  • Apple iPhone 4S review

    Love

    • Faster processor
    • Siri
    • 64GB storage

    Hate

    • Still expensive
    • No iTunes in the Cloud (yet)
    title: iPhone 4S review: Antenna / url: antenna

    The Apple iPhone 4S Review: Antenna

    Antennagate rocked Apple's world for the wrong reasons after the launch of the iPhone 4, so we were keen to see how the new design 'improves call quality' and 'reduces risk of dropout'.

    Both the 4S's antennas, which run around the top of the phone, can transmit and receive data, allowing for faster 3G connections. Apple claims that maximum download speed over HSDPA is 14.4Mbps – twice as fast as the iPhone 4.

    In the few days we've been testing, we haven't noticed an improvement in call quality and didn't experience any dropouts. But we have definitely seen faster download speeds over 3G and quicker  web page loading. T3.com took an average of 5 seconds to load on the iPhone 4S, compared to an average of 8 on the iPhone 4.

    We also ran the SpeedTest app (on O2-UK network) and got an average of 3.34Mbps download and 1.45Mbps upload. On the older iPhone 4, on the same network in the same location, we achieved average results of 2.32Mbps download and 1.31Mbps upload.

    We also tried the death grip (for old times' sake) and didn't see any signal bars dropping off a cliff. Hurrah.

    The Apple iPhone 4S Review: Camera

     

    The camera's had a major overhaul, now capable of taking eight-megapixel stills and recording 1080p video. Apple claims upgrades to the optics allow for more light, better colours and improved white-balancing. We didn't dismantle the 4S to find out, but did take a range of shots in a variety of conditions to test the assertion.

    Photos are crisper, no question, but it can't compete with traditional cameras with bigger lenses in low light. You can now choose to have a grid on the screen when taking shots, perform basic image-editing within the Camera Roll and jump straight to the camera function via a shortcut.

    Log into Twitter and you can post photos from the Camera Roll directly to your feed. It's quick and makes a cute tweet sound when sent into cyberspace. Anti-cutes can, however, switch off this slice of audible joy before tucking into their sour-faced sandwiches.

    iOS 5 brings with it the option to use the '+'  button as shutter when taking landscape shots. Face detection is also an upgrade and works well.

    The 1080p, 30fps camera is impressive. Clarity and detail are excellent and the A5 processor allows for image stabilisation of the go. Shaky hand, be gone. We played back footage on our 47-inch TV and, even in full screen, video quality was great. We can hear the home camcorder industry wincing from here.

    Sound quality is limited due to the small in-built microphones, but good enough for most things, especially YouTube where videos can be uploaded directly from the 4S. Which leads us onto a point of compromise; with an upgrade in image quality comes an increase in file size and it's no wonder Apple needed to launch a 64Gb version. You'll also want to do more uploading and sending over wi-fi as not to upset your network operator and/or bank balance.

    Apple iPhone 4S: 10 things to do first video

     

     

  • Check out T3's Apple iPhone 4S review for our run down of the best Apple iPhone 4S features, specs, some info on the iPhone 4S design and processor, and to find out if Siri really works

    Apple iPhone 4S review

    Love

    • Faster processor
    • Siri
    • 64GB storage

    Hate

    • Still expensive
    • No iTunes in the Cloud (yet)
     

    1. Apple iPhone 4S: Processor

    On the outside, it looks, feels and smells like an iPhone 4. That's because it is. On the inside, however, is where the S magic really happens. The faster A5 processor makes operating the device noticeably quicker when launching and re-launching apps and when using power-draining applications such as iMovie.

     

    2. Apple iPhone 4S: Design

    The plain fact that it looks like an iPhone 4 will be a hammer blow to those who have waited patiently for a freshly designed, potentially cooler-loooking iPhone 5. This tweet from @crossan_phil sums it up: “glad the 5 didn't come out. Gives me more time to use my 24mth contract with the 4!!”

     

    3. The iPhone 4S: Gaming

    The improved graphics are amazing. While the version we used didn't have Infinity Blade 2 installed, we tried Real Racing 2 which, to us, looked smoother than our iPhone 4 version. The keynote demo of Infinity Blade 2 was mind-blowing considering it was running on a bloomin' phone. It wowed the room. A room full of cynical hacks. PSP Vita, eat your heart out

     

    4. The iPhone 4S: 8-megapixel camera

    The 8-megapixel camera shoots great photos (and macro shots). Although we were inside the Covent Garden Apple store with strip lighting a reflections-a-go-go, the resulting shots were nice and sharp, employing some of that new camera tech built into the iPhone 4S. However, the real star of the vision upgrade is...

     

    5. Apple iPhone 4S: 1080p video camera

    The difference in quality is instantly noticeable. We were very impressed. Will it nail the coffin shut on the dwindling camcorder industry? It's a great upgrade regardless of whether you really need it. Well, cinema pirates might.

     

    6. Apple iPhone 4S: iOS 5

    You all know what it's like, the 200+ features it brings plus the iCloud. However, getting hands on with Notifications, Newsstand, iMessage and Reminders demonstrated to us just how much of a step up from iOS 4 it is.

     

    7. Apple iPhone 4S: Price

    Apple has announced entry level UK pricing of £499. We think this is for the 16Gb version, which could put the brand new 64Gb model at a whopping £699 (going by the US pricing structure). We need to confirm that though. Orange and T-Mobile have confirmed that they will be selling the iPhone 4S come October 14, presumably on a two-year contract.

     

    8. Apple iPhone 4S: Speech

    Siri is the most interesting feature of the 4S. We asked it the weather in London, and then San Francisco. We gave it a multiplication query. We asked who the prime minister of the UK was. We asked it the meaning of life ('to answer questions like these' was the retort). It answered them all.
     

    Some of the replies were even funny. From a damn robot. It also got a few things wrong and we think that, in a real-world environment surrounded by lots of noise, it may struggle. Especially as it's still in beta. We're looking forward to testing it further (watch this space). Our long-suffering partners, however, aren't.

     

    9. Apple iPhone 4S: Antenna

    It's the big question for many thinking of upgrading – will it still fall foul of the reported drop call/signal issue? Apple claims that switching between the dual antennas will improve call quality and reduce dropouts. We didn't have enough time to try this out, but are looking to putting that and the 2x download speed claim to the test as soon as we possibly can.

     

    10. Apple iPhone 4S: Alternatives

    Many smartphones already sport a lot of these features already. And for those who were hoping for a brand-new iPhone 5 today might just now consider a top-drawer Android. They'll be cheaper, too.

     

     

    In your ultimate guide to all things Apple iPhone 4S related, we've got an Apple iPhone 4S review, a look inside to see what's packed in with your new iPhone in our iPhone 4S unboxing, a video rundown of the best iOS 5 features and 10 Things to do first with your iPhone 4S. But that's not all, we have also pulled together an iPhone 4S versus iPhone 4 video plus we see how the new Apple smartphone shapes against T3's Phone of the Year as we pit the iPhone 4S against the Samsung Galaxy S2.

     

    • iPhone 4S Siri Demo video
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ap/xs_Apple_iPhone_4S_boxed_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ap/xs_Apple_iPhone_4S_box_iCloud_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone4S2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ap/xs_Apple_iPhone_4S_overlay_sid-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ip/xs_iPhone4S_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ap/xs_Apple_iPhone_4S_Twitter_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ap/xs_Apple_iPhone_4S_setup_624.jpg
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  • Apple iPhone 4S

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