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  • AuDioFreaK39 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Such a huge disappointment. The only noteworthy hardware upgrade is official support for 3G HSPA+ data speeds; as if the iPhone 4 couldn't already support them. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I believe the different is the iPhone 4 used HSDPA 7.2 while the iPhone 4S doubles things to HSDPA 14.4. Realistically though, I think top end speeds are fast enough. The bigger issue now is consistent coverage to always maintain those speeds and data caps that discourage their use. Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    The iPad2 wipes the floor, with it's A5, over the Tegra2 and Exynos SoC, and now it's in the iPhone 4S... why wouldn't you be excited about that? Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Because other phones and tablets will get superior SoCs in a few months. Reply
  • inplainview - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    And in a few months they will be outdated. Are you 12? Circle of life and all that. Seems like you need something to whine about. Reply
  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    inplainview: Just snorted my soda. If voting were enabled for comments, you would win.

    AuDioFreaK39: All of these hardware upgrades make a great phone better. I know it's easy to be distracted by shiny objects, but also remember that the iOS is also getting an upgrade, and I look forward to playing with the voice control / dictation features. If they open up those APIs, that would be even better - I hope to see a whole new generation of voice-enabled apps beyond what Google has cooked up thus far.
  • FATCamaro - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I'm up for renewal and will be picking up two. Just what I need. Don't need LTE although 4" would be nice. Reply
  • tayb - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I was waiting to get a new phone because I wanted to see what Apple had to offer with the iphone 5. I'm currently rocking a Droid X. I was expecting multiple versions, bigger screen options, faster hardware, LTE, etc. This is just pathetic. There are dozens of superior options available right now.

    The OS looks awesome though. It can't compensate for the lack of a new/better hardware.

    Major fail on Apple.
  • inplainview - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Hmmmm.... Let's see....

    iPhone 3 ---> iPhone 3Gs (same body style, different insides)

    iPhone 4 ---> iPhone 4G2 (same body style, radically different insides)

    You mean, you really couldn't figure this out? Was it that hard really? Stick with your Droid. Critical thinking not required.
  • tayb - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Let's see.

    iPhone -> iPhone 3G
    iPhone 3G -> iPhone 3GS
    iPhone 3GS -> iPhone 4

    Pardon my lack of critical thinking but I see four products, three upgrades, and only one of which was an "iterative" upgrade as opposed to a major upgrade. That one iterative upgrade was sandwiched in between two major upgrades. Hardly evidence at all that a precedent of iterative upgrades has been set.

    Alas, I'll leave the critical thinking to you as your conclusions are obviously vastly superior. After all, you saw this coming MILES away!
  • Ushio01 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    It does have new hardware it replaces a single cortex A8 CPU with a dual core cortex A9 CPU a PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU and an 8MP camera with 1080P recording. Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    The insides are pretty good, and I'm interested to see how the backlit camera performs. However the screen is still one of the most important aspects in a smartphone, and I was really hoping for a 4" display. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Compare a 16:10 android phone with a 4" display to an iPhone, and you'll see the difference is barely noticeable. The only part that's larger is the length. Width is the same.

    It isn't worth the trade off with the app fragmentation.
  • deV14nt - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Why 4"? That's tiny! That's like an old Atrix.

    Recent high-end phones are 4.3" to 4.5". Mainstream will probably stabilize at around 4.3". Guys with bigger hands will go for 4.5" or 4.65". Women might go as low as 4".

    I'm not sure what group of people I could say the iPhones are for....tiny people?
  • ryguy206 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    some men don't use purses and "european handbags" and therefore don't want a 5 inch phone

    u want a 5 inch phone, buy a shitty samsung phone for fucks sake

    a 5 inch phone probably compensates for your 2 inch penis
  • tayb - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    New internals is fine but that power isn't even necessary I'm rocking a single core Droid X and I could not possible need something faster. What Apple needed to release was a version with a bigger screen. Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Though subjective, I'd say there aren't dozens of superior options available right now. None of them come with iOS 5, for example.

    Everything you listed has a massive downside.
    -Bigger screen = harder to use one-handed, fits less pockets, lower PPI.
    -LTE = battery drain, not widely-available, only a real possibility on Verizon right now.

    And the 4S *does* have much faster hardware.
  • tayb - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I agree. iOS 5 looks awesome.

    The things I listed do have downsides but I am willing to live with those downsides. Millions and millions of peopled have voted with their wallets that they are willing to live with those downsides.

    Apple should have released a 4S and a 4SL.
  • tag12171 - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    That is the reason I stick with iPhone. The OS just works. A screen at about 3.8 inches would be nice but that is about all I want.

    You can criticize the iPhone but, in the end it does what a phone is supposed to do well. If you want an iPhone 4s just get one but, if you are happy with Android, I don't know why you ever considered apple from the beginning :)
  • kylewat - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I'll be shelling out $399 for my 64GB one on Friday. Reply
  • wpwoodjr - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Brian will we ever see the full Bionic review? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Absolutely, actually today most likely, no joke. :)

  • bhazard541 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    It's a nice upgrade, but quite a letdown. If a 4G iPhone 5 comes out early next year, it will be an even bigger slap in the face.

    I admit the dual core processor and camera is a nice upgrade, but it is still missing so much compared to the competition.

    No LTE for Verizon while you are locked in for the next 2 years? 3.5 inch screen when 4.5 720p is about to debut? No SD card as usual. Still no Flash?

    If the new HTC or Samsung android phones come in at $199 with 16gb internal and 16gb sd, they would be a much better value compared to this. 4S is a nice phone no doubt, but it feels like it will be dated very soon.
  • steven75 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Did you really just bring up Flash in October 2011? Even Adobe has given up that battle.

    Managing 2 storage volumes is a value?
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Of course. You can wipe your phone and keep everything on the external storage. There's nothing to manage really, apps take care of whether they write to the external or internal storage. Reply
  • solipsism - Saturday, October 08, 2011 - link

    SD NAND is very slow compared to the NAND in the iPhone. I certainly don't want the downside of a 32GB micro-SD card at Class-2 speeds. Reply
  • rangerdavid - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    I keep reading this "bigger is better" stuff about screen size. I just don't get it. For me, I wish there was a smaller version of the iPhone. My current cellphone is tiny, lasts for days on a battery charge, and works great. All these smartphones are mammoths by comparison.

    Remember how much pocket space that Razr used? Not much. My old LG is even smaller. Different strokes for different folks. I think the iPhone is pretty good.
  • mooncancook - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    Razr? yes, small is good back in the days when a cell phone is nothing but just a phone to make a call. Reply
  • seamonkey79 - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    If Apple wins their suits against HTC and Samsung, Verizon will probably stop their already slow 4G rollout, and at that point it won't matter that the iPhone X doesn't have 4G in it, because Apple will have once again slowed the drive of technology simply because they can't keep up the pace. Reply
  • ryguy206 - Friday, October 07, 2011 - link

    have fun with LTE and the super short battery life Reply
  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    So they say that it will be available on Sprint on Oct 14, but they don't go into any other detail, at all.

    Still possible for a surprise "Sprint-only iPhone 5"?

    Either way, if Sprint continues to offer truly-unlimited data, I'm likely to switch my wife and I over to Sprint on this. Also, VERY interestingly, the original iPhone 4 will be available on Sprint, too. For $100, we'll see if my wife feels like adding Siri... (aka: I'll be getting a 4S, she'll get either a 4 or 4S. We're both on a 3G right now - both with cracked screens.)
  • starkcs - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    OK, the radio supports CDMA and GSM networks - but does that mean the user can use the phone on either? If I have a 4S from Verizon, can I use it with a local prepaid GSM SIM card when I'm traveling in Europe, or is it locked by Verizon so as to make that impossible? Reply
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    If you buy it on contract, I'd expect it to be locked, just like every other phone. Reply
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    If you are a Verizon customer and in good standing credit you can get the phone unlocked. That applies to other world phones though and generally the unlocking won't unlock the code to use US GSM networks. Not sure if this iPhone will use a standard SIM slot to facilitate in the usage of prepaid SIMs overseas. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    There's this interesting little line at the bottom of the iPhone 4S tech specs page:

    "CDMA available only if iPhone 4S is sold and activated for use on a CDMA network."

    We'll be investigating that for sure :)

  • CharonPDX - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 - link

    So if I buy the Sprint version (they make a point of mentioning that CDMA is only available if you buy a phone specifically for a CDMA carrier,) can I put an AT&T SIM in the SIM slot and use Sprint for voice and AT&T for data? Reply
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    These are the kinds of edge cases I'm interested in exploring as well. I have no doubt however that if you buy a subsidized phone on one carrier that it will be locked to working on that one carrier. We'll just have to find out when the time comes :)

  • littleszocske - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link


    My question is .. if my kin will buy a new iphone 4s for me in usa.. and she sends it to me to romania.. i will be able to use it at our gsm network?
  • goofy1958 - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 - link

    Brian, so I just talked with my local AT&T store, and they said that the new iPhone 4S does not support the newer HSPA+, only HSDPA. I have a 3GS that I use as a tether for my PC (I live in a rural area with very limited internet), and the store said that the 4S will not be any faster at all. I usually get 2.5-3MB download speeds via I have an AT&T Shockwave USB Card for my work laptop that connects great with the HSPA+ available at my house, and is much faster, usually 4-4.5MB downloads.

    What is the truth? Will the 4S be any better than my 3GS for internet? Thanks!
  • lurker22 - Sunday, October 09, 2011 - link

    The truth, part 1, look at the specs listed at Apple or here as to support.

    The truth, part 2, only when AT&T supports the faster speed capabilties will you see it and then there is the theoretical speed versus reality. 3gs theoretically has DL of 8.2, i see at most 2.5Mps.

    I dont get why people even bother asking the morons in cell phone stores anything...
  • tag12171 - Friday, December 23, 2011 - link

    They completely change the insides but go through a lot of effort to keep the outside the same. Is this so your current accessories will work or so the current iPhone 4 owners won't feel so bad? Reply
  • Rizi - Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - link

    The iPhone 4S is part of an interesting tale. It was the device thought to come in addition to a new iPhone 5. The 4S was supposed to incrementally increase the specs found on the iPhone 4 and offer a lower price point, while the iPhone 5 would provide a huge jump in design and power. When Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S with no iPhone 5, it was clear that for at least the next ten or twelve months, it would be considered Apple’s flagship phone. While many were disappointed, the iPhone 4S has gone on to be one of the best selling phones of all time in just a few weeks. But with more choices than ever for smartphone shoppers, does the iPhone 4S still have a place as a premium device? Unboxing the iPhone 4S is no different than unboxing an iPhone 4. You get the same accessories (a wall charger, USB cable, and white ear buds) in virtually the same box. The only point of differentiation is the “S” branding (reused from the days of the iPhone 3GS) plus an iCloud logo. The <a href=" 4s</a> is powered by the A5 dual-core 1GHz chip found in the iPad 2, though our guess is that the chip might not run at the full peak 1GHz speed, and instead probably cap out at 800MHz. Apple claims that the A5 provides 2x the CPU speed and 7x the graphics prowess than the iPhone 4 (take a look at our comparison video below to see whether this is true). Beyond that, the iPhone 4S has 512MB of RAM, 16/32/64GB of storage, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, a digital compass, gyroscope, cellular data provided by HSPA+, HSDPA, or EVDO Rev-A (depending on whether you version you choose). The screen is unchanged–it is 3.5? with 960×640 resolution, providing a 326ppi pixel density, which is still unrivaled by any other phone on the market right now. Powering everything is a battery that is slightly larger than the iPhone 4, providing 8 hours talk time. More on battery life later. From day one, the iPhone 4S is available in white, unlike the iPhone 4 where it took many months for the white version to start shipping. Why choose white over black? It’s a matter of personal preference, but white does a better job at hiding finger prints. While the iPhone 4S has the same design as the iPhone of last year, it’s still a handsome device thanks to colored glass that opposes the metal bands of the antenna configuration. New to the iPhone 4S is an improved dual-antenna system: no more “grip of death”. Apple says the camera optics of the 4S are vastly improved over the 4. We agree. It has a larger f/2.4 apperature to allow more light into the sensor, providing improved performance in low light situations. The iPhone 4S ships with iOS 5, which brings forth a lot of new features. Chief among them is a new notification system, iCloud, Siri, iMessage, Reminders, improvements to the photo app, and some other goodies. Let’s dissect each of these new features in more detail. Previously, notifications in iOS were very disruptive. They’d come in as pop-ups that would interrupt you from what you were doing. Now, notifications have three ways of being customized. First, you can choose whether a notification pops in as a banner, a pop up, or you can turn them off completely for a given app. The banners are great except that they obscure UI elements when they appear as shown above. And because you can’t “wipe” them away like in Windows Phone 7, you have to wait until they disappear, which takes several seconds. As you can see in the screenshot above, the notification is covering up the “Messages” back button. Very annoying. Update: after some experimentation, we found a way to dismiss banner notifications in iOS 5. Second, you can utilize the Android-like Notification Center to manage all of your notifications which is accessible if you swipe down from the top. The trouble with this is that you cannot selectively remove notifications. Rather, you can only clear entire categories of notifications with the tiny X button. I didn’t find the notification center particularly useful, so I left it turned off by selectively entering the Notification setting for each program, and turning Notification Center to off. Third, you can have notifications appear on your lockscreen. Not only that, but the program’s icon becomes a slider so that you can instantly enter the program that has sent you a notification. This is very useful, but if you’re streaming a lot of notifications, this area might become cluttered. Reply

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