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Print 37 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Oct 16 at 3:28 PM

More of the same... sorta...

Apple's iPhone 4S was announced last Tuesday, pre-orders started up last Friday, and the smartphones should start arriving at retail stores (and customer doors for those that pre-ordered) by on Friday. Although some Apple fanatics, Apple critics, and industry-folk were underwhelmed with the iPhone 4S, Apple still managed to break sales records by racking up over one million pre-orders in just 24 hours.
 
Now that the initial buzz is over, the next phase begins with the actual reviews. AnandTech already posted up a handful of benchmarks show the iPhone 4S near the top of the charts in CPU and GPU benchmarks, and the full-blown reviews are just now rolling in for the smartphone.
 
For those that need a refresher on the iPhone 4S, it features a dual-core A5 processor (like its larger iPad 2 sibling), an 8MP rear-facing camera with 1080p recording capabilities, Siri voice recognition technology, and 14.4Mbps HSDPA support. It also of course is the poster child for iOS 5.
 

The iPhone 4S is available in 16GB ($199), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) capacities.
 
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge talks about the iPhone 4S' new camera
 
The sensor is not only larger on the new iPhone, but Apple has further tweaked the optics to deliver better results, even in low-light settings. The company has updated the backside illumination sensor, added a fifth lens element, and increased the aperture to f/2.4 — all of which sounds more interesting if you’re a camera fanatic. Even if you’re not, however, the improvements are obvious the second you start snapping pictures.
 
The iPhone 4S took some of the nicest, cleanest photos I’ve ever seen from a mobile device. If you’ve ever thought about using a phone as a replacement for your point and shoot, feel free to start taking that concept seriously. The 4S produced crisp, balanced, colorful photos that were surprisingly low-noise and never over-saturated. The iPhone 4 sometimes seemed to be compensating for its limitations by exaggerating colors, but the iPhone 4S looks and feels like a real camera capturing true images.
 
A sample image taken from the iPhone 4S  [Source: Apple]

Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD gives us the lowdown on Siri:
 
Siri can find information in Wikipedia, Yelp and Wolfram Alpha. It successfully answered when I asked it, “Who’s the president of Iran?” (though it misunderstood me the first time) and “Who stars in ‘Boardwalk Empire?’ ” When I asked for a “French restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland,” it instantly returned a list from Yelp, ranked by user reviews.
 
In my tests, I was able to dictate emails and text messages, even in the car over Bluetooth, without looking at the screen. Accuracy wasn’t perfect—about 20% of the time I had to try twice to get all the words correct. But, in most cases, Siri didn’t make more errors than I do typing on a virtual keyboard...
 
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?”
 

Jason Snell of Macworld discusses the performance increases courtesy of the A5 processor:
 
The results of my general-performance tests showed the iPhone 4S to be between roughly twice as fast as the iPhone 4. Apple claims graphics performance on the iPhone 4S has been boosted even more by the graphics component of the A5, with speed gains of as much as 7x. That’s a best-case scenario, but my tests with the GLBench Pro graphics benchmarking app did show enhanced graphics performance. One 3D test sequence played at roughly five times the frame rate of the same scene on the iPhone 4; another was roughly double the frame rate.
 
Of course, many people won’t be upgrading to the iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4, due to those pesky two-year phone contracts that cell carriers insist on. But a whole lot of people will be upgrading from two-year-old iPhone 3GSes. 3GS users will see an even larger speed increase, of course. The 4S had more than double the score on the GeekBench testing app, and loaded a test webpage in a third of the time.
 

And finally, MG Siegler of Tech Crunch talks about the new features in iOS that Android and webOS users have been enjoying for ages:
 
The best addition to iOS 5 is the revamped Notifications system. Yes, it’s a bit like the system that Android and webOS have had for a while, but once again, Apple took their time to make sure they did this right. Gone are the annoying blue pop-ups that would get lost when another notification came in. Now you have a full-on notification center to keep track of everything you miss when you’re away from your phone or simply not in the mood to check it. Again, having used it for a few months now, I’m spoiled. There is no way I could go back to the old system…
 
But the biggest change of iOS 5 may be that you can now setup and manage your iOS device without having to use a PC or a Mac at all. When you boot up a new device, a short tutorial walks you through how to enable the services you wish to use, and activate your phone. It’s quick and painless.
 
You can also now use iCloud to back up your phone and for the don’t-call-it-syncing of your data. iTunes in the Cloud and Photo Stream are great additions for people who simply do not want to manage content through the iTunes desktop software. Apple comes closer to an “it just works” system than anything I’ve seen previously. Regular people will be able to use this.
 
 
The iPhone 4S is definitely a step up for those that are still clinging to an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS according to the reviews, but those that are using an iPhone 4 probably won't see much reason to upgrade. Also, the lack of a larger screen or faster connectivity options like LTE aren't going to win over anyone that is firmly entrenched in the Android camp.
 
As Apple's early pre-order numbers show, the iPhone "brand" is still a force to be reckoned with -- we'll just have to keep our eyes peeled to see how the sales numbers for the iPhone 4S hold out in the long-term.

Sources: The Verge, AllThingsD, TechCrunch, AnandTech



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So in other words...
By quiksilvr on 10/11/2011 11:07:24 PM , Rating: 3
Unless you are seriously gaming on this device, stick with the iPhone 4 and wait for 5. If you have a 3GS this is a worthy upgrade.

In other words, the same advice for any iPhone.




RE: So in other words...
By ltcommanderdata on 10/11/2011 11:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
Unless money is no object, I find it hard to justify the average person upgrading their phone every year, especially if they are on contract, no matter what the new features are. Well, perhaps if we finally make the jump to a thought controlled phone or one that can stream video directly to your visual cortex.


RE: So in other words...
By xti on 10/13/2011 2:53:40 PM , Rating: 2
money isnt, if no contract, then buy it and ebay your old one, should break even at least on the 16GB


RE: So in other words...
By TakinYourPoints on 10/12/2011 1:31:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yup. Even with the increased GPU performance it'll take a little while for developers to really take advantage of it. Games like Infinity Blade and RAGE still look great on the iPhone 4. By the time the iPhone 5 comes out I'll be ready, until then the 4 is plenty fast. Siri is cool but I can wait.

The GPU benchmarks are ridiculous btw: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4951/iphone-4s-preli...

For anyone with a 3GS or jumping over from Android or Blackberry, this is perfect. I'm just glad that my smartphone upgrade cycle is now about as long as it is with my PC, two years. That's plenty, annual upgrades on smartphones are ridiculous.


RE: So in other words...
By Tony Swash on 10/12/2011 6:20:53 AM , Rating: 1
It seems clear that with the tick tock bi- annual upgrades Apple is positioning each year's upgrade to not destroy the value of the previous year's model but to make upgrading from a two year old phone (whose contract is expiring) very attractive.

Like millions of others I have a 3gs and the 4s looks like a great upgrade to me.

Siri looks intriguing, already useful, and has bags of potential. It's the begining of what comes after touch.


RE: So in other words...
By nafhan on 10/12/2011 9:17:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's the begining of what comes after touch.
Not really. I'd say that if both are done well, touch and voice input make a great combination by making up for each others shortcomings. There's a lot of things that touch input just isn't good for (basically anything that requires a lot of data entry). Likewise, voice input kind of sucks for manipulating onscreen items that aren't easily expressed in spoken language (i.e. selecting a hyperlink attached to a picture on a web page, creating a selection in Photoshop, most games). I think we'll be "stuck" with increasingly sophisticated versions of touch + voice control for a number of years.


RE: So in other words...
By Tony Swash on 10/12/2011 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 1
I agree.

It seems to me that what used to be called WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse) interface lasted a very long time and then we got touch which only went mainstream recently with the first iPhone and now we have Siri.

The thing about using voice to interact with kit is that just recognising words is not enough and other than straight dictation it is too cumbersome to actually manipulate OS objects and functions - what is needed is AI and Siri shows that that is coming.

Apple has a history of introducing stuff that starts with a modest set of functions but which works very well and then iterating it and adding function as and when the quality of the new function is up to scratch. So I expect Siri to evolve. It's an intriguing prospect.


RE: So in other words...
By nafhan on 10/12/2011 1:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The thing about using voice to interact with kit is that just recognising words is not enough and other than straight dictation it is too cumbersome to actually manipulate OS objects and functions - what is needed is AI and Siri shows that that is coming.
I think you're talking about natural language processing. It's actually a separate issue from voice recognition, as NLP applies to language in general. Essentially, voice recognition would feed into NLP, which would then turn the natural language into something the computer can make sense of. I wonder if Apple will open up the NLP API's to text input? That would be interesting...


RE: So in other words...
By Proxes on 10/12/2011 2:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
For me this is the upgrade I've been waiting for.

I'm on Sprint and I've had a Palm Pre for almost 2.5 years now. I've thought through which phone OS, note I didn't say which phone, I've wanted to get next. I love WebOS but the support isn't there. When companies release smart phone apps they're never for WebOS and rarely for WP7, so that leaves me Andriod and iOS.

Almost everyone I know has an Andriod phone and I can honestly say I don't like Andriod. So that leaves me with iOS, which isn't my favorite phone OS but I do like it a lot better than Andriod.

Also when it comes to a phone I don't need the top of the line hardware. I don't want a 4 or 4.5 inch slab in my pocket (no comments please). The most important thing for me in a phone is something that works, is solid and intuitive. The one thing about iOS that I didn't like was the lack of notifications and they fixed that this release, win for me again.

Once I get used to the on screen keyboard I'm sure it'll work great.

Never thought I'd get an iPhone but we'll see how this works out.


LOL at reviews
By Bozzified on 10/12/2011 1:30:56 AM , Rating: 1
LOL at reviews coming from ALL Apple fanboys throughout the years. Every single one of them has such a huge bias, not to mention Mac Cult review it's ridiculous.

I'm sure the camera is great.. but you take a look a bunch of these people and you realize that this is what hypes up iPhone not the actual phone itself. The words they use to describe superiority is ridiculous.

I am going to wait for less biased reviews to actually test things more technically than fanboys drooling over the same phone over and over again.




RE: LOL at reviews
By TakinYourPoints on 10/12/2011 1:39:53 AM , Rating: 3
Anand's review is balanced and objective as always. I'm looking forward to an even more thorough review from him that goes beyond just benchmarks. The 4S performance was to be expected since he benched the A5 in the iPad 2 earlier this year.


RE: LOL at reviews
By bug77 on 10/12/2011 5:00:59 AM , Rating: 3
I liked this one best:

"The best addition to iOS 5 is the revamped Notifications system. Yes, it’s a bit like the system that Android and webOS have had for a while, but once again, Apple took their time to make sure they did this right."

If Android did this, they'd probably have another patent infringement suit on their hands by now.


RE: LOL at reviews
By Subzero0000 on 10/12/2011 5:19:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I am going to wait for less biased reviews to actually test things more technically than fanboys drooling over the same phone over and over again.

No, you are waiting for anti-apple reviews.

I've read Walt Mossberg's review, he has talked about Siri, the cpu, camera, phone's reception, and the "bottom line".
What more "technically" you want? You can read Anandtech if you want more "technical".

I own an Android phone and I find the reviews are quite informative.

You, sir, are simply overreacting when people don't talk negative about iProduct.


RE: LOL at reviews
By TakinYourPoints on 10/12/2011 5:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What more "technically" you want? You can read Anandtech if you want more "technical"


And even in Anand's benchmarks it can be seen that the iPhone 4S smokes the Galaxy S 2 and everything else out there. It has demonstrably the best hardware and still the best developer support around. It seems that negatives will be hard to come by unless it's from a blogger or commentator with a chip on his shoulder.


RE: LOL at reviews
By Miggleness on 10/12/2011 8:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
Can't wait for the release of 4S, my first apple product :)

I've seen the Galaxy S2 in person and the screen is screaming for higher pixel density and I feel a delay touch actions, more specially felt with Fruit Ninja. I'll even go to say that Samsung's Bada phone that I have gave a more satisfying experience with Fruit Ninja.

Just posting my observations.

As much as I have my crosshair on the Iphone, couldn't wait for the android update which should give SGSII and other dual core variants better performance (allegedly, ofcourse)


Siri
By Paj on 10/12/2011 7:15:29 AM , Rating: 2
What are the advantages that Siri holds over Android Voice commands/search? Seems like Android already does most of it, at least in Gingerbread?




RE: Siri
By Subzero0000 on 10/12/2011 9:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
According to reviews, it answers you with a more human-like tone.

quote:
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?”


RE: Siri
By lightfoot on 10/12/2011 11:57:18 AM , Rating: 1
The biggest advantage (for Apple fans) is that Siri won't answer any question that is not favorable to Apple.
quote:
And it has some cute answers built in. When I asked it “What’s the best phone?” it said, “Wait… there are other phones?”

Appearently when it doesn't (or won't) work it is deemed a "cute" "feature" by the Apple crowd.


RE: Siri
By Fritzr on 10/13/2011 2:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
That particular cutesy smart remark had gray hair and long whiskers when your grandfather was born. It is working and Apple included a few Easter Eggs for users who ask the right questions.


as expected
By sprockkets on 10/12/2011 10:33:13 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
When I asked it “What’s the best phone?” it said, “Wait… there are other phones?”


Apple doing what it knows best: Being a douchebag.




RE: as expected
By Tony Swash on 10/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: as expected
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/16/2011 3:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When I asked it “What’s the best phone?” it said, “Wait… there are other phones?”
Sorry, this may be ok in your insane world, but this is douchebaggery and arrogance at it's finest, and you think it's perfectly OK. Insane you are.


The first image
By qkool on 10/11/2011 11:15:13 PM , Rating: 1
http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/IMG_0940.JPG

We can all agree that the right hot air balloon does not look anything like the left.

Ok, I had to say it =)




RE: The first image
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/12/2011 4:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
Um....ok? Not sure what this has to do with the article but ok?


RE: The first image
By Fritzr on 10/13/2011 2:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
To clarify for those who have no idea of relevance.

There is a joke fax/email of a cow & porpoise jumping together captioned with some variation of: If they look different, you are stressed out.

So the two balloons are identical unless you are stressed out...

Connection to the article...this version of the old joke is a sample iPhone pic :P


By Aaron M on 10/12/2011 1:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course, many people won’t be upgrading to the iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4, due to those pesky two-year phone contracts that cell carriers insist on.

Apple sells contract-free versions of their iPhones. They just cost 3x as much. Customers choose to sign those 2yr contracts, in exchange for a subsidized price on the device.




By Fritzr on 10/13/2011 2:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
Unlocked phones will have little effect on customers who are locked into 2 year contracts due to taking advantage of a massive discount on the cost of the phone :)

There are people who buy unlocked phones & recover the cost by buying cheaper plans ... not easy to do though, so it is a limited market. As more pre-paid, bring your own phone offers become available, the unlocked phones will become more popular. For now interest is mostly with those who do a lot of traveling.


Macworld Writer needs grammar lessons.
By Richlet on 10/11/2011 11:33:43 PM , Rating: 1
How can something be "between roughly twice as fast" as one thing? Just sayin.




By Fritzr on 10/13/2011 2:53:58 AM , Rating: 2
It happens when it is not exactly twice as fast.

An average of 4.1 eggs given out is roughly the same as the 4 you actually got :P


Calling All iWorkers
By F-Link on 10/12/2011 4:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
Now that iOS 5 is available, how are you going to use it? If you plan to use your iPhone at work (or already do), see how you can leverage iOS 5's new features to keep you more productive: http://bit.ly/p3WgmW




Big shots calling Android shots
By ZZm12 on 10/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: Big shots calling Android shots
By retrospooty on 10/12/2011 10:21:02 AM , Rating: 2
"Answer from the other end of the table:"Who the f**k cares, if you buy an Android phone you already know you got f**ked". Sad but true."

In spite of your huge sample size of one guy, its not really sad or true. Sad that you posted such garbage though.

Android is outselling the already entrenched Iphone by 5 to 2 and climbing. Its not because Android sucks.


RE: Big shots calling Android shots
By ZZm12 on 10/12/2011 10:42:29 AM , Rating: 2
That's exactly my point, Android phones are selling like hotcakes and that's good for us who deal with spare parts and services, each phone requires parts inventory and service training, which the Android users will be paying. The question is, what if the plan backfires and people actually start paying attention and will not pay for it. BTW, the f**ked comment continued "they will never figure it out. Total Cost of Ownership is totally foreign concept for most people, and the nerds and fanboys don't care because Android is their hobby anyway".

So, I would be completely happy with Android phones market share at 50-60% with Apple taking 30%.


RE: Big shots calling Android shots
By TakinYourPoints on 10/12/2011 2:34:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Android is outselling the already entrenched Iphone by 5 to 2 and climbing. Its not because Android sucks.


It's because it is available on every carrier on hardware covering absolutely every single price point and range of hardware, and because of a very heavy marketing push from hardware companies and carriers (hint: they make more money selling Android so that's what salespeople are ordered to push). Android really is garbage. If it was purely about quality then Windows Phone 7 would be the dominant non-iOS platform right now.


RE: Big shots calling Android shots
By Cheesew1z69 on 10/12/2011 3:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
No, sorry but Android is not garbage, get the iphone out of your ass, seriously.


By TakinYourPoints on 10/13/2011 4:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Right, which is why I spend so much time talking up Windows Phone 7 as well....

I would get WP7 way before Android, easy. Android is a trash OS, sorry dude. Apple and Microsoft have done a great job focusing on performance and user experience. Google has apparently been a-ok delivering an inconsistent experience thanks to wildly varying hardware and too much carrier control, and they still haven't optimized OS performance properly. It is insane that WP7 and iOS on 2010 hardware is still smoother than Android on newer hardware.

Seems Google is more concerned with just getting it on as many devices as possible so they can serve ad views to people who can pat themselves on the back for being on an "open" platform. It is hard for me to like Android until they get their act together.


RE: Big shots calling Android shots
By xti on 10/13/2011 6:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
but....honda sells more autos than porsche!!! that makes them better cars.


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