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Hard to resist

gadgets Updated: Mar 26, 2012 16:16 IST
Shruti Dargan
iphone 4s


When the world was waiting for iPhone 5, Apple came out with an iPhone 4S. A new spin on iPhone 4, this one comes with better, although not many new features. We tested it to see what’s in store and if one should upgrade to this new version.

Looks the same!
The design hasn’t changed much, and the screen size is the same as iPhone 4. In fact, it’s a few grams heavier than its predecessor. The two built-in antennas on the side panels are new. Hardly noticeable in design, but they avoid call drops that are an issue with iPhone 4. The 4S supports a MicroSIM card only, so go for this SIM type, or the Indian ‘jugaad’ would be to get your usual SIM card cut to that size from an expert.

Performance matters
Better speed, better features, better sound and better pics — that’s what you get with 4S. It has an A5 dual-core processor, a 512MB RAM (same as iPhone 4), but the storage has been expanded to 64GB, adding to the 16GB and 32GB versions. The screen (3.5-inch display) may not be as big as some phones in the market, but its 640 x 960 pixels of resolution, and great display colours make up for the loss.

While the battery life is almost the same as iPhone4, the camera quality has really improved. An upgrade from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels, a f/2.4 lens, backside illuminated sensor, autofocus, face detection and flash enable you to take snaps faster with accurate colour and better detail. You can also record 1080p HD video with digital image stabilisation. Since click-worthy moments happen unexpectedly, Apple has added a camera shortcut to the lock screen. The front-facing camera, however, still has a VGA resolution.

The sound is louder and clearer, and provides a great music experience. Apps too, work smoother and quicker on 4S as compared to iPhone4.

A new operating system
iPhone 4S comes preinstalled with latest iOS 5. And, it has brought with it Siri — an artificial intelligence software that runs on voice commands and can do everything from sending texts and emails, finding restaurants (though it hardly finds that in India) and giving weather predictions to getting directions from one place to another. All it requires is a 3G or WiFi connection, and you can keep your hands free and get your work done. But there’s a problem for its Indian owners — Siri does not easily understand Indian accents.

Some other new features include the notifications on the lock screen that help you jump straight to an app, even when the phone is locked; iMessage that helps you text free of cost, through the internet with other iphone and iPad users; Newsstand that allows you to get new issues magazines or newspapers downloaded to your device; and iCloud that helps store music, photos, apps, calendars, documents, etc, and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.

Point to note: You can download iOS 5 on iPhone 4 as well, and enjoy many of the above-mentioned ‘new’ features, barring Siri (it’ only available in iPhone 4S).

The iPhone 4S has not really changed much as compared to its predecessor. Many smartphones in the market may boast of a few better features, but 4S doesn’t provide anything less than the best smartphone experience. So going ahead and buying one is not a bad idea. The iPhone4 users, however, could skip an upgrade as the iPhone4S is more of an improvised version. But if Siri and the new features have already blown your mind away, iPhone 4S won’t disappoint you.