Apple iPhone 4S Malaysia Review
Apple introduced the iPhone 4S today (4-10-2011). The news was underwhelming and disappointing to many who were also expecting an iPhone 5. There's also the fact that the iPhone 4S looks almost identical to the iPhone 4. However, there's more than meets the eye, as Apple made a number of changes under the hood to improve on performance, including a faster processor, a more advanced camera, and a new antenna design. In addition, Apple expanded its family to include Sprint and a 64GB model.
iPhone 4S: Processor and Battery Life
The iPhone 4S features Apple's A5 dual-core 1GHz processor along with a dual-core GPU. Apple says the new chipset will make the iPhone 4S twice as fast and offer graphics performance that is seven times faster than the iPhone 4's. Despite the more powerful processor, the company claims the smartphone will be able to provide 8 hours of talk time over 3G, 14 hours over 2G, 6 hours of browsing over 3G, 9 hours via Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback, and 40 hours of music playback.
iPhone 4S: Performance
During our brief demonstration of the iPhone 4S, the handset did operate smoothly and speedily. We weren't able to test it against the iPhone 4 in a side-by-side comparison to notice exactly how much of a boost the new A5 chip offers, but a change for the better is definitely there.
iPhone 4S: Siri
The feature that Apple touted most during the event was the new voice assistant called Siri. It doesn't completely replace the current Voice Control feature, but it certainly does a whole lot more. Basically, Siri is designed to deliver information or follow commands that you give it. For example, you can check the weather, ask for a contact's address, set up a reminder, get directions, and ask for obscure trivia like the height of Mount Everest. You speak with a robotic female voice (you can't change her identity) and access the feature by holding down the Home button.
Despite the omission, it's a fun and useful feature that we imagine many people will like. The challenge for Apple will be to fully integrate hands-free technology. You will be able to activate Siri with a Bluetooth headset (no word on if you can do it with a wired headset), but we understand that car integration is "coming." Given the abundance of hands-free driving laws, Apple will need to make Siri fully accessible to drivers while they keep both hands on the wheel. Siri will be in beta mode when it launches and will support English, French, and German. More languages will come later.
iPhone 4S: Camera & Video
The iPhone 4's 5-megapixel camera was already great, but it's about to get better. The iPhone 4S has an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus, flash, f/2.4 aperture lens, and a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows 73 percent more light than the previous sensor and should deliver better low-light performance. A hybrid IR filter is also onboard for better color accuracy. Apple also claims the new camera performs 33 percent faster than the iPhone 4's camera, and the A5 processor has a built-in image processor that adds face detection and 26 percent better auto white balance. Videos also get a boost with the ability to shoot 1080p HD video clips at 30 frames per second and with video stabilization.
iPhone 4S: Network
As widely reported, the iPhone 4S is a dual-band world phone, meaning it supports both GSM and CDMA. What's yet to be determined is whether the carriers will unlock the preloaded SIM card, so users can swap it out for a prepaid international SIM card at their destination. We also don't know if the CDMA models will offer simultaneous voice and data over the CDMA network.
Meanwhile, for GSM customers, the iPhone 4S now supports HSPA+ 14.4, so the smartphone is capable of reaching theoretical download speeds of 14.4Mbps down, 5.8Mbps up. It's certainly an improvement over the current model, but disappointing that there's no compatibility with the faster HSPA+ 21Mbps networks.
iPhone 4S: Design
As we noted earlier, the iPhone 4S' design is nearly identical to the iPhone 4's. Aside from being 0.1 ounce heavier, the iPhone 4S is exactly the same size as its predecessor. It also features the same 3.5-inch, 960x640-pixel Retina Display with a glass back and front. One thing Apple did redesign, however, is the antenna system. The new design will hopefully prevent another Antennagate situation and Apple says to expect even better call quality.
iPhone 4S: iOS 5
The iPhone 4S will debut with all the features of iOS 5, which is Apple's latest version of its operating system. We tackle that analysis in our separate iOS 5 First Take, so be sure to check it out. In short, it's not a huge upgrade, but we welcome the new features like the advanced notifications and "PC Free."
The iPhone 4S looks the same as the iPhone 4, but it packs a speedier processor, a beefed-up camera and some new features. Overall, it's a minor upgrade to the iPhone 4, so will it be enough to keep Android at bay?