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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  • Outdated contacts menu

The iPhone 4S has the same range of calling options as before, and the contacts menu has barely changed in the latest version of iOS, but it's an easy system and one that people will pick up with little fuss.

Contacts

The contacts system is one that makes simple sense: you hit the phone section, and are presented with many options, be it calling one of your favourite contacts list, seeing your missed or dialled calls, accessing the dial pad or just seeing the phone book in its entirety.

iPhone 4s review

It's as easy as you could imagine to add in a contact on the iPhone 4S, with a phone number entry presenting an option to save the number to a new or existing contact without a problem.

However, and this is a gripe we've had about the iPhone contacts' system for years - it's pretty basic and doesn't really add in a lot of functionality.

iPhone 4s review

You can add in some basic information, like a photo, address or instant messaging handle, but it pales in comparison to the super linked-up options present on the likes of the Android range.

There's no social networking integration, or message history present in the phonebook, which would surely be a pretty cool thing for Apple to add in.

Calling

You may have noticed that the iPhone 4 had a few... issues with its antenna. It was blown way out of proportion by many, as it was a slight attenuation issue present in a few handsets, but Apple is keen to make sure no such attack can be levied at it again.

We've already covered the new antenna system, and we're happy to tell you that it works just fine - no problem with signal quality no matter how you hold the phone.

iPhone 4s review

Call quality itself was top drawer throughout our test, with absolutely no drops no matter where we were. We've used other phones on O2 regularly around London, and the iPhone 4S showed itself to have more bars of signal in areas that have been notoriously dodgy before.

We did notice a number of times where the 3G signal would drop to Edge and take a little while to jump back to the fully fledged signal level. It would also be nice if we could see when the iPhone 4S is running on the super-speedy HSDPA 14.4Mbps connection speeds, but it seems Apple only thinks the masses needs to know when things are 3G or not.

iPhone 4s review

One thing we would have liked to see is smart dialling included, i.e. being able to type in a number and see the right name come up - surely that's something Apple is looking to include in the future?

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
Operating System VersioniOS 5
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), SMS (Short Message Service), Email, iMessage
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density326 ppi
Height114.3 mm
Width58.7 mm
Depth9.4 mm
Radio TunerNo
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.