Customer Review

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent upgrade from iPhone 3GS/3G, 31 Jan 2012
My previous phone was the 3GS (32GB). Overall it was an excellent phone. It had its flaws - mostly the more fiddly components breaking, such as the vibrate-only button and the power on/off button failing after 2 years. It also struggled with iOS 5 - clearly an operating system designed for the latest phone. However, in comparison to the 3GS, the 4S is much faster, much more responsive and in general a superior experience. This was the phone iOS 5 was meant for.

In this regard, if you're approaching the end of your contract on the older iPhones (and you like the iPhone in general!) then I definitely recommend this phone. The camera is a LOT better (higher resolution, flash, better image quality, better autofocus). The phone has more RAM than the previous generation versions - so no more random closures of Safari or other apps. (This was a more common occurrence with iOS 5 on my 3GS - presumably because it was more resource intensive.)

Battery life seems to be perfectly good - I'm definitely not charging it as frequently as my old phone. I use the internet (both wifi and 3G) quite a lot, and also listen to a lot of music from my phone. I used to have to charge daily to keep up. You can easily stretch out usage to two days with the 4S. The only thing you should make sure is that you disable some of the location services (e.g. automatic time zone checking). These are an unnecessary burden on the battery and I imagine it's because of this some people find the battery longevity unacceptable. You should Google this to read about it.

I have the phone connected to a wireless N router, and the higher speeds make syncing over wifi more feasible - (albeit a battery drain). I would definitely suggest your first sync (when you're bound to be transferring gigabytes of data in one hit) be done via a cable, but after that any incremental changes work fairly quickly over wifi. This was something I had abandoned on my old 3GS - it just wasn't worth the hassle. I believe updates to the OS are now delta-updates - this means that you shouldn't have to download the entire OS for every single update but just the extra bit that you don't have. Again, this makes wifi-sync more friendly too.

The only real grumbles I have with the iPhone are long-standing ones:

(1) Still no Flash support in Safari. It seems crazy now - especially when you can purchase secondary browsers (such as Skyfire) which do work with Flash. Apple's resistance now seems to be solely a reluctance to go back on their original decision. However, like I said for a few pennies you can circumvent this issue.

(2) The cost differences between the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants are nothing short of scandalous. In my particular upgrade deal, the difference between 16GB and 32GB was over 100 pounds, and from 32GB to 64GB another 130 pounds on top of that. Memory does not cost that much! It never has and it likely never will. I was hamstrung by my own finances in this case - I'm sure there are many others out there with an iTunes music/video library into the 50GB+ range now. I'm syncing a lean version of my music to this phone, and I'd rather spend the 100 difference on an actual iPod with plenty more space than any of these phones. If you have a big music collection, don't be duped into the larger versions, just go out and buy an iPod. Most of the time you can take your entire collection with you, and the rest of the time your favourites can be kept on your phone.

Barring these issues, I'm delighted with this phone. The only thing I can't talk to with any real knowledge is how useful an upgrade it is from the 4G, but from the 3G/3GS it is a no-brainer.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Feb 2012 10:56:37 GMT
MystiKaL says:
I think Adobe have conceded when it comes to mobile flash, I think the aim is for many sites, browser and mobile, to aim for HTML5. But in the meantime try out Photon browser if you want, from my experience the best Flash experience on the iPhone. Dont get me wrong its not like what you would get on a top of the range Android, as the Photon browser is slow, the flash content isnt that great (but not bad either), and it can be a buggy. But so far it has fulfilled my streaming needs (live football on a Saturday afternoon :) ).

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2012 11:52:50 GMT
Yeah like I said I use Skyfire, which again has enough Flash support to make it useful. I understand the long term aspirations to move to HTML5, but 99.9% of the web is still Flash at the moment. Hey ho.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Feb 2012 15:21:47 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Feb 2012 09:35:31 GMT
Big Bad Bill says:
Mr Norton, I really can not agree with you. If 99.9% of the web is Flash, why have I so little trouble browsing the web on my iPhone and iPad. The one site that lack of Flash was a nuisance used to be the BBC News web site, but in recent times even that web site now must be using HTML5 as the videos now work in Safari.

Agree about the cost of the 32 and 64GB versions. Like you I bought the 16GB version and still use my 32GB iPod Touch for my music, with only my favourite play list synced to the iPhone. Have to say that is not a major issue as I kind of have never warmed to using my phone as a media player in part due to battery usage and not carrying ear phones with my phone. Still if the 4S holds its value the way the 3GS and the 4 have I should be able to get enough money when I trade the 4S in to pay for a higher capacity model the next time around.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Feb 2012 23:09:48 GMT
I take your point that it's not 99.9% of the web... but it's enough that it constantly impacts on me. And yes, I do appreciate that the move to HTML5 will nullify this issue. But it does remain a niggle for me

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Feb 2012 11:51:47 GMT
MystiKaL says:
Luckily us iPhone users are also getting a lot of quality substitutes in place of Flash sites, meaning the demand for Flash sites are becoming less from the iPhone. Even sites such Veoh, Spreety, Vimeo have joined sites like Veetle, Dailymotion, YouTube etc... to enable us to watch videos in high quality. Obviously there are few sites such as Streamick (which is great) need Adobe Flash, so yeah it would be good to get a decent Flash supported browser as an added option. SkyFire is not bad, Photon is the best in my opinion (despite being a slow browser). But again we are lucky that a lot of websites are now starting to cater in HTML5, so I reckon the demand for Adobe Flash will start to decrease hopefully.

Posted on 28 May 2012 23:22:25 BDT
sea_bear says:
It's worth bearing in mind that you can't just shove more and more flash chips into the phone - there's a limited amount of space available. As a result there's only space for a single chip, and yields on larger sizes go down.

There's still a hefty profit margin on top of the cost, but to suggest that it's simple to add more space is wrong. The iPod Touch can accomodate dual flash chips as the baseband chips aren't required, thus freeing up more space on the mainboard.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 23:44:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jul 2012 22:45:33 BDT
Your point has some merit, but then again the iPhone's competitors have expansion slots for SD memory, so you're not made to choose the total storage space you'll ever have at purchase. Of course, if it were available there'd be no incentive to get the 32GB or 64GB at their current prices... which is why it's not available.
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