To the disappointment of the better part of the Apple fan-base, Cupertino didn't announce a totally revamped iPhone 5 during yesterday’s event and, instead, announced the "iPhone 4S", a device that looks pretty much identical to the iPhone 4. However, this new model has a lot more brawn.
“iPhone 4S has the same beautifully thin glass and stainless steel design that millions of customers around the world love, while being completely redesigned on the inside,” Apple says.
According to the company headquartered at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, the new iPhone 4S is not only a great phone, it’s also a powerful portable computer. For example, it’s great for gamers.
“The A5 chip pushes graphics up to seven times faster. So games run smoother and they’re even more realistic. And graphics-intensive apps perform even better,” Apple says.
The company invited a renowned games developer up on stage yesterday to demo its capabilities and, indeed, it seems to blow portable gaming devices out of the water.
iPhone, however, is not a dedicated gaming device. It’s short of a few buttons that are required by gamers to keep their fingers off the action on-screen.
But iPhone 4S does so much more. Thanks to the powerful A5 chip, it can handle a new resource-demanding feature called Siri.
Siri is an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by speaking to it. You don’t have to phrase your queries in a standard manner either. The feature doesn’t just understand words individually, it understands context. Apple offers these examples:
Siri understands context allowing you to speak naturally when you ask it questions, for example, if you ask “Will I need an umbrella this weekend?” it understands you are looking for a weather forecast.
Siri is also smart about using the personal information you allow it to access, for example, if you tell Siri “Remind me to call Mom when I get home” it can find “Mom” in your address book, or ask Siri “What’s the traffic like around here?” and it can figure out where “here” is based on your current location.
The function also helps you make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, jot down notes, search the web, find stuff around you, or get directions.
Or, if you’re bored, you can just ask for any given fact and it will tap into the vast databases of Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha to deliver. It’s pretty amazing, actually, and I’m not quoting Apple on this one. Just have a look for yourself.
There’s also a much better camera inside the iPhone 4S. Apple went for an 8-megapixel sensor that has some cool backlighting, and it sits behind a multitude of custom lenses, and a larger aperture. The result is this, according to Apple.
Other new features in the Camera and Photos apps give users instant access right from the lock screen. In iOS 5, you can also use the volume-up button to quickly take a photo.
The improved sensor is also excellent for auto white balance, advanced color accuracy, face detection, and reduced motion blur. Video is done in stunning 1080p HD. iPhone 4S also supports AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV at 720p.
Antenna / wireless
But, in the end, iPhone 4S is still a phone at heart. Apple knew that when it also decided to improve on the stainless steel external, dual-antenna design of the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4S intelligently switches between two antennas to send and receive. In fact, Apple says it’s the first phone ever to do that.
Thanks to other enhancements to the antennas and radios, the phone now supports twice the download speed with HSDPA for up to 14.4 Mbps. New Qualcomm chips make iPhone 4S a world phone (both CDMA and GSM).
In fact, since you’re here, you deserve the complete list of the phone’s wireless capabilities:
iPhone 4S Cellular and Wireless
· World phone
· UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
· GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
· CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)4
· 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
· Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
The iPhone 4S has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges via USB to a computer or power adapter. Nothing new here, except it’s much more reliable than the one found inside earlier iPhones, or at least so says Apple. According to the company now run by Tim Cook, you get:
Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
Standby time: Up to 200 hours
Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
Other details / specs
The dimensions are about the same as with the iPhone 4: Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm); Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm); Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm); Weight: 4.9 ounces (140 grams).
The 4S has the same Retina display found on the iPhone 4, the same external buttons and controls, the same sensors, and ships with the same stuff in the box (earphones with remote and mic, connector cable, power adapter, documentation).
It comes in Black and White models and it’s designed with a number of features to reduce environmental impact, embodying Apple’s continuing environmental progress.
Now, if this extensive look at the new iPhone’s features still leaves you wanting, you can visit Apple here to compare iPhone models and see which one suits you best.