Tech: iPhone 4S – Brilliant Or Bogus?
It was always going to be this way, wasn’t it? Apple was never going to radically redesign the iPhone, not a year (or so) after the release of the iPhone 4. That would prove that maybe, possibly, Apple were wrong. Apple is never wrong. So, here we are with the iPhone 4S.
It looks exactly the same. That’s the point. Apple, Jonny Ive, have designed something beautiful, something they are rightly proud of. If you own an iPhone 4 you know how it feels in your hand. Smooth and solid, it’s quite unlike any other gadget I’ve owned. Yes, you constantly worry about dropping it and shattering the glass, but it’s not plasticky, not flimsy, it never at any point feels like it was built at the lowest possible cost. It is a product of a genuine quality and that is a rarity these days. So, yes, I love the design of the iPhone 4, antennagate included, and I for one am pleased we keep it for another year (at least).
What is different about the iPhone 4S is the innards. Oh yes. It has the dual-core A5 chip seen in the iPad 2. Twice the power of the iPhone 4 and up to seven times the graphical prowess, and along with a yet-to-be-confirmed 1GB of RAM, this phone will sing. It features a new 8 megapixel camera that allows for 1080p video recording, improved battery life (don’t they all), and you can get your 4S with up to 64GB of storage, so if you’re like me, you can finally carry your entire music collection around in your pocket for the first time since you owned an iPod classic. Something I can’t use, though, is the bump in HSPDA download speeds from 7.2mbs to 14mbs. Sounds great, but doubt we’ll see anything like it in real world situations.
On the software side, we’ve heard all about iOS 5. It’ll finally sort out notifications, introduce the BB Messenger-like iMessage service, feature Twitter integration, introduce a Reminders app, refresh Safari, and make the iPhone PC-free. iCloud is coming too with iTunes in The Cloud, Photo Stream, and introduced today – Find My Friends. A feature where you can see where all your iOS owning friends are on a map. Hm. This is all neat rather than inspiring. The real stand out piece of software is Siri.
Siri is the iPhone 4S’s ace in the hole. It is a sophisticated piece of voice recognition/AI software that act as a personal assistant. Ask it the weather and it’ll tell you. Wanna dictate a text? You can. Schedule meetings, set reminders, ask directions, you can do it all with a hold of the home button and the words from your mouth. All of which sounds spectacular but the software is still in Beta so it’s a long way off perfect, but initial reports are very favourable. Also I’ve had people voicing their concerns about talking TO their phone. A bit of self-conscious reality sneaking its way into the situation.
So, it’s not an iPhone 5. It’s not the slimmer design and bigger screen we’d been teased by the those case designers. Does this matter? Must the iPhone’s exterior always be constantly changing? I wonder how much of the complaining is down to ego. I mean, if you put the iPhone 4 next to a 4S, could you tell the difference? If you’ve spent a small fortune buying one, wouldn’t you want everyone to know? Tying your self-esteem into branded goods is not something I’m gonna get into here, but I have a feeling if Apple released a re-designed phone with the same insides and software as the 4S, a lot of people would be raving instead of ranting.
Final question – Will I be getting one? I said to myself way before the talk of a new iPhone that if a 64GB version was offered, I would get it. So yeah, I am. BUT if I wasn’t such a storage-whore, would these features be enough to get me to upgrade? I dunno if they would. Let me know your feelings below.
More Tech News: