The iPhone 4S was released with a thud on Tuesday last week, outraging fans who had expected for a revolutionary new iPhone 5 after a long wait of more than one year. Yes, the iPhone 4S was just not the brightest moment for Apple, but what turns out eventually is all those, who predicted an epic fail, were forced to shut their mouth by the record breaking pre-order sales of the new iPhone.
With the iPhone 4S set to launch on Friday, Oct. 14, reviews are pouring in from all around the tech world, and it is quite easy to sum them up - people like the phone.
According to David Pogue of the New York Times, Apple's new voice-powered virtual assistant, Siri, is among the winning features of the new iPhone 4S. It is so good that it has demoted the on-screen keyboard to a glorified Plan B. However, he also pinpoints some interesting areas:
Apple won't admit that it's using a version of Dragon Dictation, the free iPhone app, but there doesn't seem to be much doubt; it works and behaves identically. (For example, it occasionally seems to process your utterance but then types nothing at all, just as the Dragon app does.) This version is infinitely better, though, because it's a built-in keyboard button, not a separate app.
Walt Mosseberg of the Wall Street Journal seemed a bit disappointed with Siri as about 20% of the time he had to try twice to get all the words correct. But overall it was satisfactory.
Siri didn't make more errors than I do typing on a virtual keyboard, Mosseberg said.
The system understands multiple, colloquial forms of a question. I asked, 'Will the weather get worse today?' and Siri answered, 'I don't think the weather is going to get worse' and displayed a weather chart. You can check stock prices, addresses, map directions and much more. It also answers in a friendly fashion, saying things like 'Coming right up' or 'I'm not sure what you said, Walt.' And it has some cute answers built in. When I asked it 'What's the best phone?' it said, 'Wait... there are other phones?'
Bloomberg's Rich Jaroslovsky argues that the iPhone 4S beats Samsung's smartphones like Galaxy S II based on its download speed. Jaroslovsky said:
The 4S isn't a '4G' device, but my tests showed it to be as fast or faster on AT&T's network as phones being sold as '4G.'... Using Ookla's Speedtest app, I compared the 4S with Samsung Electronics Co.'s new Galaxy S II, which AT&T labels as 4G. In dozens of tests in and around San Francisco, the iPhone 4S registered faster download speeds more than two-thirds of the time.
Macworld's Jason Snell talks about the issue of cellular signal attenuation that gave the iPhone 4 a tough time. Snell writes:
In all my tests, the old iPhone 4 'death grip' had no impact on the speed of cellular downloads on the iPhone 4S, nor did a reverse grip at the top of the phone. Only when I took both hands and performed a 'death grip' that covered the entire phone (or at least touched all four corners of the phone simultaneously) did I see any signal attenuation.
MG Siegler of TechCrunch focuses on multiple features. According to him:
While it does look the same as the iPhone 4, the 4S contains innards that are a significant upgrade over the previous model. The two biggest changes are the faster chip - the A5 over the A4 - and the much-improved camera. Combine those with the new iOS 5 software, and you have what will definitely be a worthwhile upgrade for many users. And when you throw in the amazing new voice-driven intelligent assistant Siri, it becomes a no-brainer, in my mind.
Features That Make iPhone 4S a Worthwhile Upgrade
According to Wall Street analysts, with software enhancements and a sprinkling of new features, iPhone 4S would keep Apple's leadership in the growing smartphone competition intact. Here are the top ones:
Speech Recognition Capability - Siri: The iPhone 4S comes with a built-in digital assistant called Siri, which takes voice commands and translates speech into text in English, French and German, though more languages will be added later. Siri allows iPhone 4S users to tap their home button and simply prompt the phone to assist, including time inquiry, making a call, searching the web and finding restaurants.
Faster Processor: The iPhone 4S comes with a dual-core A5 processor, which is expected to deliver two times faster CPU performance and up to seven times faster graphics performance.
Faster Download: With HSDPA (High Speed Download Packet Access) technology, Apple claims that the new iPhone 4S supports faster data download speed, nearly twice as fast as the iPhone 4 - 14.4Mbps compared to 7.2Mbps.
Improved Camera: The iPhone 4S camera has an 8 megapixel sensor that takes 3264 by 2448 pixel pictures. It will capture more vibrant photos, especially in low light. The camera is claimed to be 30 percent sharper, with an aperture of f/2.4. The video camera will be able to capture video in 1080p HD.