Apple iPhone 4S review
- Faster processor
- 64GB storage
- Still expensive
- No iTunes in the Cloud (yet)
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