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iPhone 4S review

Same shape, different brain - is it enough of a change?

Our Verdict

The iPhone 4S is Apple's best yet, and keeps the Cupertino brand front and centre in the minds of the prospective smartphone user.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 14 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 640 x 960

View full specification

For

  • Great camera
  • Fast processor
  • Superb graphics and screen
  • Slick OS
  • Solid feel in the hand
  • Siri voice recognition

Against

  • Costly
  • No flash integration
  • Outdated contacts menu

Updated: Our camera team has spent some professional time with the iPhone 4S, so check out our in-depth findings of the snapper.

The iPhone 4S caught many by surprise, with Apple expected to release the iPhone 5 - but instead we got an iPhone 4 with overhauled innards.

While the masses were initially disappointed, the iPhone 4S features a glut of top-end tech that is designed to put it on a par with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 - but does it manage to do that?

The changes to the iPhone 4S are easy to document - the camera has been upgraded to 8MP (with an improved aperture ratio), the CPU is now the same dual-core A5 processor as seen in the iPad 2, and a seven time increase in graphical processing power.

Check out our video of the iPhone 4S in action - is it the phone for you?

Also we've got Siri, Apple's voice recognition service - will this be a game changer for mobile phones or will it be nothing more than a gimmick?

iPhone 4s review

As we've mentioned, the iPhone 4S is almost identical in outward design to the iPhone 4, which might irk those that like to show that they've got the most up to date device from Apple when out and about with friends.

However, the flip side of this is that things like the plethora of iPhone 4 covers on the market at the moment will still fit.

iPhone 4s review

Apple has slightly changed the design of the iPhone 4S somewhat though, by changing to a dual-band aerial design, making sure it doesn't encounter an embarrassing repeat of antenna-gate we had to endure with the iPhone 4.

See how the retina display compares to the new iPad, and the newly released retina-ready MacBook Pro 2012 in our close-up comparison video:

For all those that haven't seen the older version of the phone, we'll take you on a tour of the new handset: the top of the iPhone 4S houses the power/lock button, as well as the headphone jack, plus a microphone for noise cancellation.

The right-hand side of the phone is devoid of any buttons, but holds the slot for the micro SIM card, which pops out using the included tool (or a paperclip).

iPhone 4s review

The bottom of the phone is pretty standard, with the Apple connector and dual speakers which pump out the (actually quite decent) sound.

The left-hand side of the phone sees the rounded volume keys, with the top one of these also acting as the camera shutter button to make it easy to snap with the new iPhone. We've also got the silencer switch too, which has been slightly moved upwards from the previous iteration.

iPhone 4s review

As you can see, Apple has altered its antenna band technology to move the gaps that plagued the iPhone 4's reception to a less-touchable location.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderAT&T
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBNo
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, EVDO
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyiPhone 4S
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, CDMA 800, CDMA 1900, CDMA2000 1X
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemiOS
Brand NameApple
Battery Talk Time14 Hour
Product ModelMC918LL/A
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution640 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)138.9 g
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerApple
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersioniOS 5
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), SMS (Short Message Service), Email, iMessage
Pixel Density326 ppi
Height114.3 mm
Width58.7 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time200 Hour
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPhone 4S 16GB Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Product LineiPhone 4S
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberMC918LL/A
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

Picking up where amazing left off.

The dual-core A5 chip delivers even more power. The 8MP camera with all-new optics also shoots 1080p HD video. And with Siri, iPhone 4S does what you ask. Talk about amazing.