Today’s Tech: The new iPhone 4S

Todays Tech: The new iPhone 4S

Burak Aslan

On October 4, 2011, Apple held its annual meeting in Cupertino, Calif., to announce the release of the new iPhone 4S. Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple team had an amazing presentation and unveiled many new features of the phone. The tech specs are visible on the Apple websitehere.Some of the main features are an eight mega-pixel camera, a new dual-core A5 chip, and a new dual-core GPU which makes graphical performance seven times better. The prices for the iPhone 4S

are $199, $299 and $399, for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations, respectively. The iPhone 4’s price has been reduced to $99.99 for the 8GB version, and the iPhone 3GS is free (with a two-year contract). It will also be released for Sprint (CDMA).Here’s my view on this new device: I think it’s a great new addition to the iPhone family. I just hate how people think it’s the same as the iPhone 4. That’s like saying the iPhone 3G is the same as the iPhone 3GS. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s revolutionary, but it provides a new competitive device in today’s smartphone market.

The iPhone 4S and iOS 5 work like peanut butter and jelly. You can now use your phone without a computer and can receive updates through the air (iCloud). You can also sync through the air with iCloud as well. I love the over-the-air syncing that Apple added. For me, plugging out my USB cord from my wall charger is a pain to do every time I sync. Syncing my data wirelessly is a blessing.

The camera on the iPhone 4S is completely new. It has an eight-mega-pixel sensor (60% more pixels than the iPhone 4), an eight-element lens (providing 30% more sharpness), and 1080p HD video recording (with image stabilization).

Rumors before the iPhone 4S was released went something like this: there’s a 12 MP Camera, a 4” retina display, 2GB of RAM, and 4G LTE. Let’s just say the new  iPhone did have all of these features. Imagine how much battery life you would get. I would estimate a max of three hours. That would suck! Plus, 4G isn’t widely used on any carriers at this point. AT&T is still working on their 3G! Apple also added HSPA+ to the new phone, which allows the iPhone to reach speeds of 14 mb/s (megabytes per second).

Another addition to the iPhone 4S is Siri, which lets your iPhone send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and even check the weather using voice commands. Many phones today can recognize voices and translate what you say, but what’s special about Siri is that it can understand sentences the way they’re normally spoken. For example, you could say “will I make it home before 3:00?” and it would understand your question and give you an answer.

To be honest, I don’t really think I’ll be using Siri a lot. I don’t really want to talk to my phone in public like it’s my friend or something. It would be cool to show off to your friends, but after that it is kind of useless. It might be good for times when you can’t use your hands, though; for example, when you are out for a jog. You really don’t want to take out your phone and stop running; you want to multitask. It all comes down to the question: “how can we make the user experience easier?”

All-in-all, for someone who has an iPhone 4, I wouldn’t recommend buying the new version. It’s just not worth the specs for the price and a renewed contract (darn you AT&T!). But I would recommend an upgrade to the iPhone 4S if you have an iPhone 3G/3GS or no iPhone at all.


Burak works on the staff at Manual’s RedEye website.