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After 16 months of waiting, Apple's (sort of) next generation iPhone went on sale this Friday. After the disappointment following Apple's keynote on the 4th, we were all wondering how the 4S would really stack up. On the outside, the iPhone 4S looks almost identical to its predecessor. And despite the addition of an A5 processor and 8-megapixel advanced lens camera, this is the first time Apple has really had to stress software over hardware.

So how does the iPhone 4S compare to the competition? Is it a worthy upgrade to the iPhone 4? Or is it missing too many key features? After two days with the 4S, here are a few of my findings:

  • First things first, the design hasn't really changed a lot. The antenna has the newer design, as seen in the CDMA iPhone, and there is a little more text on the backside. Other than that, it's virtually identical to the iPhone 4: the same bright, high density display, the same glass front and back, and the same buttons and port positions. It still feels great in the hand and the display is still a tad too small.
  • One major external change that Apple made, though it looks very similar, is the antenna. Learning from the antennagate debacle last year, Apple redesigned antenna to "intelligently switch between to antennas to transmit and receive, so call quality is better." I haven't really experimented with this yet, and I haven't necessarily had any problems with call or signal quality. But I have experienced intermittent data connectivity issues.

  • Although it's no real surprise, one key feature that is missing is 4G. Every other high-end smartphone on the market now ships with 4G. It's worth noting that the clocked HSDPA speeds of the 4S have been roughly comparable to other HSPA+ phones on AT&T, but we all know that's not really 4G. Unsurprisingly, data speeds have been on par with my CDMA iPhone 4. But as I stated before, I have had more issues with data connectivity. More on that in the full review.
  • One of the two major changes featured on the inside of the device is the processor, which has been bumped to an A5 dual-core processor. That is the same processor featured in the iPad 2, although they're clocked differently – the A5 in the 4S is clocked at 800MHz. Quite honestly, unless you're a die-hard mobile gamer, the dual-core processor isn't necessary. The A4 in the iPhone 4 was plenty fast for day to day tasks.
  • I'm not going to focus a lot on battery life in this impressions article, as I have some doubts about what is going on. But thus far, battery life has been less than stellar, to say the least. Standby time has been spectacular, but in use, the battery has drained roughly twice as fast as the iPhone 4. I've tweaked everything I know to tweak and am moving on to calibration tonight. I'm not sure if the A5 is the culprit or if the battery just needs a little time to stretch and adjust, so I plan on doing more extensive testing before I definitively say something is going on with the battery.

  • One of Apple's biggest gambits with the iPhone 4S is Siri. So far, Siri and I don't exactly see eye-to-eye. It's a great feature and can be very useful. Dictation mode during text input is extremely accurate and it does a pretty good job of answering most of my questions questions. But I can't honestly see myself using Siri in a serious way. It's more fun to ask ridiculous questions (see above) than to look up local restaurants or to ask for the weather.
  • Last and certainly not least is the camera. Apple bumped it to 8-megapixels and added "five precision elements to shape incoming light, which makes the entire image sharper." As you probably know by now, this is the sole feature I've been looking forward to in the iPhone 4S. I've been snapping pictures like they're going out of style, and some have quite literally blown me away. Low-light shots are fantastic; there is some noise worth noting in some of the shots I've taken, but colors look very natural. As for natural lighting or even bright settings, the 4S' camera does a great job of not over exposing, maintaining clarity and produces very accurate colors. Microsoft has some stiff competition if they want to offer the "best camera you will ever own."

Keep it locked on PhoneDog for more iPhone 4S coverage and my full review later this week!


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119 Reactions to this post

"Which is better, iOS or Android?"


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Michael Conti I want one!
Travis Rector Android!
Matthew Bond Android has caught up and surpassed IOS, now Apple is playing catch up but android 4.0 blows them out the water.
Gerardo Ortega As you could see Android is the winner.
Sean Kelly iOS is way better
Equaknox Knox Got the iphone 4s n evo 3d.bout the same, as long as i am to so what i want when i want...k
Arthur Mmayie Actually it depends on what you want from the operating system.IOS is clean and simple to use while ANDROID is full of high tech specs and customization.But truly I have to go with ios.Though I have an HTC EVO 3D,I think android is trying way to hard in the competition.Yes android is in the lead and has majority of the mobile market share but they keep on releasing phones with the same specs and designs.It isn't necessary though.Take the Droid RAZR for instance,it has a 1.2 ghz dualcore processor,the same with the HTC EVO 3D and the Samsung Galaxy S 2 Epic Touch 4G.Only difference is that the technology is newer,but that doesn't change anything.Even If you compare all dualcore phones clocked at 1.2ghz,there isn't much of a difference because you can hardly(maybe in the speed area but that isn't much of difference either).What I'm trying to say is that apple comes out with one phone every year and the reason for that is why bring out different iphones every three months when they're all the same in specs.Well I think I might be switching to ios when the iPhone 5 comes out(hopefully).
Andrew Whitaker android+ htc sence = beaut!<3
Jared Prado Android Samsung Galaxy S2 att
Anonymous Lol, who ever posted this question is a troll who just wants a flame war to begin... Anyway, Android...I get to customise it the way I want, not tied to a mediocre program like itunes, I don't have to wait for a jailbreak to be available before I can get things done my way and for the price I pay for that piece of crap thats been off the curve and merely playing catch up, I can buy the top of the range android equiped with the best tech money can buy...
Cinthya Escobar iphone captures my ego but driod is close to my heart lol IDGAF if the battery life doesn't last long their phones are tha shit && who ever can't see that is blind.... ANDRIOD ROCKS!!!!!!
Willear Glimniene hum what kind of question is that obviously iOS they only have one phone and they are still ahead of the android markets
Jordan Mosley I like android for a phone right now, but for tablets, I think IOS is better.
Mendez Roy android papa
Breanna Claywell And the reason for iphones being bought more are because people think iphones make them look top notch pretty much.!
Asher Enciso Totally depends on the user
Ryan Turner I love how iphone users say that android isn't secure enough, suddenly they're working for the CIA. Lol. Android hands down provides more functionality! Android all the way!
Nnandi Cason ANDROID!!!!
Sharang Karve ANDROID ALL THE WAY!!!
Krlitos Andres Roldan Android Rules!!!!!!
Zanzi Ok Android
Steve Bergamo Android now!
Robert Skeen Android
Warren Saunders having used both i can honestly say IOS doesnt come close to android,though it is very user friendly an nice to use but i would never use anything other than android now,personal preference at the end of the day i guess.
Bill Thomas iPhone all the way android sucks
Christian Anthony Diaz Just put it this way, *Android puts its notification bar down and Apple gets on its knees and sucks on its hardware.... -Android Rules All!
Cory Wilson Andriod all day
Luis Leon As far as I've seen most folks that commented prefer Android.
Luis Leon WebOS! Wait?
Brandon Jackson Depends on what you want to use it gor
David Feild android.
JosIp LuCa LuCiC moze reklama ?? http://m.facebook.com/?w2m&_rdr#!/herswa?pos=1&__user=100000234781558
RockinRose Wolf Donnell Android EVO 3D
Byron E. Cóto Android pulling down notification bars since 08 lol
Levi Warfel It really just depends on the person. I've had both Android and iOS, but I like iOS way more. Android is too sloppy for me.
MinnieMouse Lovingu Waddell I love Android, Samsung Epic Touch 4g rocks!
Steele Lloyd Android
Brian Bohman Android
JD Thayn ANDROID!!!! ANDROID!!!! ANDROID!!!!
Zanzi Ok iPhone sucks. you need to cut your sim. Bluetooth only with iPhones . No widgets . You can download apps.only from installous or appstore. small screen. You need chips for sim to work . You cant get into your iphone from the pc (itunes is limited) . No microSD you cant move your data to every phone . All these iphone doesnt do or have an Android phone has it all
Fernando Diaz I prefer the non communist OS. ANDROID ftw.
Travis Scott Nobles It's fun to pretend that your opinion matters on this post :D
Robert Centennial Both are good I prefer iOS due to my home tech ecosystem is all apple
Rok Vrtacnik android all the way
Teron Facey This is going to be another fanboy fight. Both have their pros and cons I'm going to leave it as that.
Kevin Killswitch Lockett If you want a great experience every time then ios is where it's at. But if you want something you can make your own with personal touches that only you can provide then android is the winner. I jump back and forth but i thin i prefer the open ended android to the straight edge iPhone.
DeWayne Webb @Emmanuel you're right!! Both have pros and cons. It just depends in what you are most comfortable in dealing with. Furthermore, if you're dissatisfied with the performance of either operating system, then leave one and purchase the other. That simple!!
Drew Geisen Android
Jarrod De La Rosa I need some opinions from users who have had both Android and IOS. I upgraded the the EVO 4g a while ago. I love it. But the new iPhone is really catchin my eye. Never used ios. I can't upgrade til 2013..but I can pay $70 to cancel my contract and I can selll my Evo to pay for the iPhone 4s. Is this worth it?
Vince Gutierrez Android is so much more diverse ! I hate how proprietary and sue happy Apple is. What a monopoly ..
Jeromy V Cyr It all comes down to personal prefrance. I enjoy both of them.
Charles Brown Apple User: I can't download MP3s or movies straight to my phone....damn I need to jailbreak it. Lmao.
Josh Hutton I've never used an Android operating system, so I can't really compare. I love my iPhone and can't imagine getting something else. It's easy to use, I can use iTunes, download apps, the retina display is great, and I love the design.
???? ???? ??????? I like pie!
Emmanuel Castro They both have Pros & Cons, but Android is my Fav.
Catherine Booth Android all the way
Josh Lazenby Oh dear god, what were you thinking PhoneDog!? This is THE question to ask if you want a massive snowballing fanboy flame war to rage.
BigChuck Rossetti You are an iPhone owner to the core... couldn't make a good decision on android so you judge them on the crappy ones you ended up with... can't form an intelligent arguement so you judge me by my name... you win... And yeah... don't take my seriously... i'm a wise ass and i couldn't give one less fuck about these phone wars... we have both in our house and i like it that way... got sick if trying to figure out what my wife would screw up on her android because she expects it to "just work right" ... it's not for everybody.
Kenneth Liebl I think it comes down to personal preference. I have owned both and enjoy both platforms.
Gary Brown android
John Fisher I don't know what you are inferring by "bubba" but usually that's derogatory. With a name like BigChuck I don't know if I can take you seriously.
BigChuck Rossetti "Shooot" great argument bubba!!
David Buenano Android!
Abdiel Fernandez The little green robot!!! FTW!!
John Fisher Shooot higher IQ has nothing to do with it...more time to deal with stupid problems is more like it.
Nic Kolas Whichever suits ur needs
Jonathan Palaka Don't worry android haters the new samsung phone that will be here in spring mid summer will be the best android out there apple will sink just like sony did
BigChuck Rossetti Shaun Nguyen is hilarious... must be stuck in his own little time warp somewhere... but the fact remains, there is room enough for both of these phones in our world... if you don't know much about computers and you want something easy to use that wont screw you up along the way - get the iPhone.... if you know what you're doing and want a device that can handle anything you throw at it - go with android... you nay have to get yourself out of some sticky situations because it's an open source operating system with an open market... but you can handle it... you've been shown to have a higher IQ than a iPhone owner... (NASA uses android... *they're rocket scientists*)
Hilme Khateb iOS cuz the AppStore and iTunes and all that stuff from apple
John Fisher Android is the biggest pile of crap. I've owned two different Android phones, Eris and DX2, and both are unstable pieces of junk. Constant reboots, laggy dialers, and terrible cameras. Even after they were rooted. I now have an iPhone 4S (from and iPhone 4) and love the stability and no problems OS. There maybe better Android phones out there now but I'm not willing to shell out $300 to find out. I'll stick with iOS until something more stable comes out.
Mandeep Singh Android Is Better Than Apple Iso
Syed Rahamatullah android is d best
Shaun Nguyen @ Kevin Gramlin: No your mom sent them to me.
Jordan Scarano android duh
Anthony Dunlap You say you can't compare sales of one vs 100? Sure you can, because android is an open licensed out os. So of course many manufacturers gonna make devices for such a POWER house of an operating system. I will give Apple its credit since no one else that uses android will. For a company that puts out 3 devices a year, (iPhone, iPod, and iPad) they do phenomenally well.
Mark Hedrick iOS is more polished but locked, so it's harder to make it your own. Android is PURE fun wide open to make it your own. I have both OS's and am on my iPhone 3gs that was replaced by a ThunderBolt which I LOVE I have an iPad as well as an Acer A500.
Shaun Nguyen Who gives a fuck? Apple has been selling more for over the years! The only reason why android phones are selling now is because of the GS2. So shut the fuck up! I'm not gonna argue over who's better. That's just my opinion.
Robert Martineau I had a iphone up until recently and switched to android I can't believe the difference of what I was missing. Android all the way ios is nothing more than androids app drawer and siri. Big whoop vlingo. Does what siri. Does ios is always just trying to play catch up now. The only way you can say ios is better is if you are a die hard all on apples nuts fan.
Carol Dudley-Bowen There's things I like and dislike about both. But iphone is a cool looking phone. Better looking than my DROIDX. I own both
Gary Bowling Android.
Ernest Marvin Esteban WTH! of course android!!! ANDROID DOMINATION!
Cody Moore Android
Kevin Gramlin @Shaun Nguyen, LOL try again! You better look at those numbers again. Where did you get those? In the Knit Hat Quarterly? Or did Apple send them to you personally? LOL
Mateo Delgado iOS 5 = Android 1.7 LOL
Kevin Gramlin Android is OBVIOUSLY the best. Those of you iOS lovers, take off the knit hat, put down the iPod playing Daft Punk, set down the god awful iPad and get a clue... Android blows your crap out of the water. I have messed with many iPhones, both 3 and 4, and they all suck. No comparison to an Android phone. And to Bryce Weekly, wake up. I have had NOT ONE SINGLE VIRUS on my phone. Ever. EVER. And knock off that crap anyway. Mac's and iCrap can get a virus as easily as anything else. It's not normal people's fault that you are so willing to buy that load of horsecrap that Apple has been dishing out for so long. LOL It's kind of funny when you really think about it. Too many people go buying that iCrap stuff thinking that they are free from hacking and free from a virus. LOL Priceless.
Kevin Schomer Android now, ios a year ago, especially when ics comes out
Joel Diaz phonedog, u tryin to start a fight up in here?? Aaron is this you?? cmon dog u know android da shiiizzzzzzzzzznatttt lol hahahahaaa
Sean Reece It was on the news if ya watch said android outselled iphone in 2010 and will outsell in 2011 plus of course they will sell more if there is only 1 a year
Bryce Weekley Android sux. It's the most vulnerable OS available so have fun getting viruses. Everybody talks about iOS being locked down but it really isn't that bad. Plus it keeps it safe from viruses. Android is sloppy in my opinion. And if u want to talk numbers ppl, then just look at every iPhone launch. The amount of ppl that buy iPhones shatters the amount of ppl that have bought the best-selling android device. And to group all the android devices together and say they outsell iPhone is a cowards way out and is just stupid at best. U can't put the sales of 100 phones up against one.
Andy Carlson Phonedog... HAVE YOU REALIZED WHAT YOUVE DONE!
Joel Gomez Feature wise android is better. Bec of siri ill go with the iphone 4s for now
Sean Reece @Shaun no android sells more now
Sean Reece Like apple for better battery and stuff but android is better.
Arcadeon Knight Because of where I live I could not get an android tablet and had to settle for an iPad. My android phone does so much more that the iPad can do. Android FTW!!!
Arcadeon Knight Android!!!!!
Shaun Nguyen Although everyone says that android is better, If so, then why are more iPhones sold then android phones? Even though there's are only 3 iOS devices on sale: 3GS,4,4S. And There's like hundreds and something android phones? But iPhones still find a way to come up on top?
Moise Badou Windows 98




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