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Customer Review

71 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best smart phone to date, but not worth it as an upgrade unless you have an iPhone 3G or older, 26 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Apple Iphone 4s 16GB White Sim Free (Wireless Phone Accessory)
The first thing I need to say is that the Apple iPhone 4S is the best smart phone in the market at present, and unless something radical happens will probably be the best smart phone until the iPhone 5 is released. I am not going to labour all the features, these have been well covered in the description and the previous reviews. However I will say that this phone is definitely not worth upgrading to from the iPhone 4 and even if you have an iPhone 3GS I would say it would be better to wait until the next generation iPhone comes out. The reason I say this is that this phone has really only two differences from the iPhone 4 - Siri and a higher resolution camera. I will discuss these first.

Siri - this is a novelty, it is worth a few minutes of fun when you just get the phone, but like all computer speech recognition I have tried, it really does not work. No matter how often I tried to get it to set a reminder it insisted I was saying remainder. I asked it to phone Alison Allen and it thought I said phone Linda Robinson! Strangely it did understand when I asked it to open the pod bay doors!

Camera - Great much much better than any other mobile phone camera I have used, better even than the camera on my old Nokia N95 and N97 phones which were head and shoulders the best phone cameras at the time those phones came out. This is a clear advantage over the iPhone 3GS, but in truth the iPhone 4 camera is also very good. More mega pixels is not the be all for digital cameras. Until they build in an optical zoom lens all I would ever see the phone camera as being for is taking a snap to use as the wall paper for the phone, and for this the 4S camera is no better than that on the 4. It is however faster which could allow you to get a picture of a dog or child that tends not to stay still for too long.

Processor Speed - the 4S is faster than the 4, but you only see it with the very biggest apps. Pages opens noticeably faster on my iPhone 4S than on my wife's iPhone 4, as does the novelty app Talking Tom. However with smaller apps it is very hard to notice any differences. Once running I can see no differences in any app (other than the camera) in terms of speed. Therefore I would conclude that in terms of speed it would not be worth upgrading from an iPhone 4. May be from the 3GS, but I also compared the speed of my 4S against my 3rd Gen iPod Touch which has a similar processor to the 3GS and again for most apps there is no obvious advantage speed wise. Therefore I am not convinced that in terms of speed this is worth upgrading to even from the 3GS.

However this is my first iPhone, and as such I am delighted with it. If they had kept the iPhone 4 16GB model I may however have opted to get it (due to cost) rather than the 4S, but now the iPhone 4 is only available in 8GB it was not an option for me. If Apple had released the phone starting at the same price with a 4 inch screen (biggest that is practical based on playing with a few Android large screen phones) and a starting capacity of 32GB then I would have said that it was worth upgrading to even from the iPhone 4.

A few points about the battery performance. There has been a lot on the internet and even the BBC website about the iPhone 4S draining its battery very quickly. To a certain extent this is true. My 4S goes through its battery faster than any phone I have used in the past with the exception of my Samsung Galxay Ace (Android). However this is mostly to do with the default settings. The iPhone 4S running iOS5 is set to do a lot of reporting back to Apple, to use the iCloud and to keep a very close eye on its physical location. A lot of this adds useful functionality to the phone but for many users it is not needed. Spend a few minutes checking the settings for iCloud and Location services, turn blue tooth off etc and you will find the 4S battery will last at least as long as rivals if not quite as long as the iPhone 4 (I get almost two days,from 100% at 6am on one day to 10pm on the next day, compared with about 2 and a half days for my wife's iPhone 4). We all want super battery performance but the increased functionality with the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 does come with a power use cost. In comparison to get my Samsung's battery to last from morning to evening I have had to disable all communications other than the basic connection to the cell network, I have had to keep the screen dim to the point of being difficult to read and have the screen go black so quickly that any pause in using the phone necessitates you reawakening it. So yes there is a slight battery issue with the iPhone 4S, but it has been blown up out of proportion by those who seek to exaggerate every issue with this Apple device. I do wish they would implement a useful feature my BlackBerry had - the ability for the phone to automatically shut down at a set time at night and to reawaken at a set time in the morning or earlier if an alarm was set. That allowed me to get 3 to 3.5 days on a charge with the BlackBerry and also stopped emails and texts disturbing my sleep if I was using the phone as my alarm clock.

UPDATE. The first update to iOS 5 (5.01) came through on Friday. My phone was mid charge at the time. I fully charged it overnight so that it was at 100% at 7am on Saturday morning when I disconnected it from the charger. At the time of typing it is 52 hours 40 minutes since the phone was last on charge and I have still got 40% battery life left. This is excellent for such a high spec smart phone.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Feb 2012 11:22:59 GMT
heartface says:
Looking to buy one of these, and your review contained just the sort of information I wanted to read about. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2012 00:07:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Mar 2012 00:09:43 GMT
C Thompson says:
I think a valid point regarding batteries which seems to be overlooked is the importance of completely running the battery down after its first ever charge. This allows for a really effective battery life. It's good to do this periodically as well.
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