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Apple iPhone 4S Review

Apple iPhone 4S Review

iPhone 4S and iOS5 Review

The Handset

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The iPhone 4S is shown above and it shares the same styling as the existing iPhone 4, though inside the unit is significantly different. Looking first though at the external aspects of the phone we have the usual home button at the base of the screen with a speaker at the top alongside our front camera, a 0.9MP VGA lens which can hit 30fps at 720p.

The key element of the front surface is of course the screen and on this model we retain the 3.5 inch 640×960 LED backlit IPS "Retina Display" which was so popular on the iPhone 4. It has a 500cm/m2 brightness rating and 800:1 contrast ration and a scratch proof surface is used by Apple on this multi-touch capacitive display.

The 4S measures 115.2×58.66×9.3mm and weighs 140gramms.

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Before we look at the rest of the handset it is worth taking a moment to compare the 4S to the 3GS which many users will be considering an upgrade from. There are two main differences in feel between the models with the first being that the 4S (and 4) are noticeably thinner than the 3GS and secondly we have a more angled edge on the 4S with the older model being more curved towards the back. For those comparing screen specifications, a reminder that the 3GS used a 320×480 resolution display.

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Turning the iPhone 4S round to the back we find a glass back with the apple logo in silver and basic model/device information further down. The key aspect on the back however is the camera, a brand new model for the 4S. This is an 8 megapixel model (updated from 5MP on the iPhone 4) which is capable of using a larger f/2.4 aperture. Apple have also enhanced the optics with auto white balance, improved colour balance (infrared filter) and then integrated face detection and motion blur removal into the image processing. Tap to focus and auto focus are also available and a LED flash is also present. As well as stills we can record video in 1080p at 30 frames per second with noise reduction being handled by the handset.

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Looking next to the edges of the 4S we start at the bottom and here the main item is our connector which allows us to dock with various devices add an HDMI output converter and charge our phone. At either side of the port are a speaker (right) and mic (left). The same brushed metal design continues around the entire edge of the phone and this section includes two antenna. The handset can switch between these as required, favouring the one with the best signal.

Round at the top left corner we find volume up/down as well as a switch to enable/disable the ringer then on the top edge is our 3.5mm audio connector which of course supports headsets with microphones and beside this is the power on/off button.

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On the right edge we have the slot for our micro SIM card, rounding off the external features, so what about the inside?

Inside the 4S Apple have upgraded the CPU to their A5 model. The A5 is a dual core model and runs at 800MHz with the potential for 1GHz operation if required. Each handset has 512MB of memory and 16, 32 and 64GB models will be available in black and white.

In terms of connectivity we have worldwide compatibility with GSM, EDGE, 3G, EV-DO, HSDPA, HSUPA, CDMA and UMTS with download speeds over a mobile network now reaching 14.4Mbps, up from 7.2Mbps. Bluetooth 4.0 is included as is Wireless-N and also included in the internals of the 4S are assisted GPS and a digital compass which both allow location based services to function. Other sensors include a three-axis Gyro, Accelerometer, proximity and ambient light.

About Author

Craig Humphreys

Part of HardwareHeaven since 2002.

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