Apple iPhone 4S Review

September 1, 2012
Apple iPhone 4S Review

We MUTHOFON.com team is consist of young, enthusiastic, optimistic and professional programmers. We have observed like others in Bangladesh, we do not have any local websites for us which is able to present the whole mobile phone arena right in front of our eyes. Our people like other countries in the world plunge into the cell phone frenzy, regardless their age, sex, location. We talk mobile phones, dream mobile phones, every single moment we are attached to the mobile phones! Love for the mobile phone seems eternal though we have not introduced with cell phone since long time. Love comes with responsibilities, so we try to choose our mobile phones with great responsibilitie but how we will make sure which mobile phone does go with us by specifications, design, performance and price. Simple math, go to the markets and start roaming around then check, cross check, probing people, compare mobile phones. If we are smart and lucky enough we might get a superb mobile phone on that day or else. same thing another day! So what can we do for the cell phone lovers. A common platform on cell phone can get their all answers at one place. That's the main idea of MUTHOFON.com. Our intension is to provide total solution in one website. We publish regularly the latest News of mobile phone world, Reviews of new mobile phone and updates of older version. MUTHOFON.com will help people to stay connected to the cell phone world with up to the minute updates. We have made Sell’fon and Mobi’doc segment where people will help themselves to buy or sell mobile phone and get solution for their existing cell phone problems. Visitors have the opportunity to comment on almost everything like Phone specification, News, Reviews and many more. Apart from mobile phone news, reviews, specifications we do provide free android apps, java games, wallpapers, themes, ringtones etc for mobile phone lovers, one can get all these on our yo'zone segment. MUTHOFON.com tends to be the center of interest for all cell phone lovers in Bangladesh. If you are runing any business related to cellphone, electric gadgets, IT shop or anything which you are up for market or trying to reach teenage to middle aged people like 13-40+ years, then MUTHOFON.com will be the perfect place to promote your business. If you do not have any website of your own, we can arrange a whole page detailing your idea or information linking to your advertised portion, the same way we could be your help even for a certain promotional offer of your business. Our Advertising spaces are in different sizes and shapes for your convenience, if you want more aggressive ad and a certain place, we will consider your demand sincerely. Yes, you can have a online shop on us for free! No matter where is your shop located, its for around the whole country. Criteria that we consider for a shop, You have at least 45 different phone models available at your shop. You are able to update your phone price regularly.You have a contact number where our visitors can call up for related inquiry. Now, if you think you have them all; please, mail us your shop details and call up our support number for the procedure. Ever since the mid 1980s, cell phones have been quickly moving their way into our everyday lives, especially with the introduction of camera phones in the early part of the new millennium. As cell phones evolve they have more and more of an impact on our everyday lives and I want to just how much they are impacting. As with new technology in any other form, cell phones have changed greatly over their relatively short life spans. As these changes occur, so does the populations like and sometimes dislike for these new smart phones. One of the major problems occurring with cell phones in modern times is that people use them at inappropriate times, such as when they are checking out of a grocery store. Even though there are a couple negative aspects about cell phones, my research and my paper are going to mainly the benefits of cell phones in the United States of America. My research focuses on a couple of key areas in cell phone communication, such as the evolution of cell phones, text messaging, smart phones and other cell phone applications as well as my own research including a survey that I distributed to some of my classmates. The first cell phone was much different than what we have today. In 1984 the Motorola Dyna TAC8000X was released into the market (Associated Press, 2005). This phone was the first of its kind and was totally unlike anything that anybody in the United States had ever seen before. Due to its size and weight the TAC8000X has become known as the `brick`. The brick weighted two pounds and was an outstanding $3,995 when it was released (Associated Press). The TAC8000X took 12 years to get onto the market from the time that it was first thought about. The head of the design team for the brick got the orders to start designing the phone in 1972 (Associated Press). From the introduction of the brick in 1984 we go to 1992 when the first commercial text message was sent. The text message was sent by a man named Neil Papworth to a Richard Jarvis, who was attending a Christmas party in Newbury England, and read “Merry Christmas” (Shannon, 2007). The text message that was sent that night was not at all like the messages we send today. At that time cell phones were not built to type out individual letters, so Papworth sent his message using a computer keyboard (Shannon).Ever since that day in 1992 when Neil Papworth sent the first text message, the text message revolution has exploded. As more and more people get cell phones every year the number of text messages sent and received soars with them. In just the past year the number of cell phone subscriptions across the nation increased to 24.3 million, which is about 105 cell phones for every 100 people (Writer, 2008). At the end of last year there was an increase of 26 percent increase in text messages sent by cell phones from the previous year which ended up being 1,256 billion. Let me give you some figures from the Taipei Times about the number of text messages in the fourth quarter last year. There was a growth of 9 percent from just the previous quarter, with the average cell phone user sending 54.7 text messages during the quarter and 18.2 text messages per month (Writer). Now these numbers could be skewed either way because there are some people that do not use their cell phone for text messaging or they do not even have text messaging on their phone and on the other hand, there are people who send upwards of 50 text messages a day or more. Those are just some numbers and facts about text messaging and from those you can see just how much text messaging is impacting our everyday lives, but there also tests and research being done to see how cell phones and text messaging are improving society. On April 16th Samsung Mobile announced that through a survey focused on family texting habits, that text messaging is improving the parent-teen relationship. Some findings of the survey show that teens are teaching their parents how to text message, however teens are still text messaging more and they are far surpassing the amounts mentioned before. If you remember, on average during the last quarter of last year, the average cell phone subscriber sent 18.2 text messages per month (Writer, 2008). From Samsungs survey they found that teens are sending 455 text messages and receiving 467 per month (Business Wire, 2008). That is right around 15 text messages sent and 16 received every day. On the other hand, parents that do text message only send about 84 messages and receive 96 per month. Not only are parents learning to text message, but it is also helping the communication between them and their children. Out of all of the teenagers that participated in the survey (13-19 years old), 53 percent said that they think that their relationship with their parents have improved since their parents have started text messaging (Business Wire, 2008). Along with that, they found that 51 percent of parents agree that since they have started text messaging they have been their relationship with their teenager has improved. Cell Phone Applications Over the last couple of years, cell phne applications such as text messaging, gaming, music, banking, the internet, e-mail, global positioning system (GPS) and many others have been revolutionizing the cell phone as we know it. Since I already talked extensively about text messaging I will focus on the other applications and some new ones that not too many people know about. With the new world of smart phones, applications are nearly endless. Smart phones are phones that are offer PC like functions while still letting you be able to talk on them. These phones offer advanced versions of normal applications such as e-mail and other internet applications. They make it easier to access the internet by using advanced operating systems almost like windows for your phone. These smart phones include phones such as the IPhone, the blackberry, the Verizon Q and many others. One new cell phone application that I found really interesting was one by AllOne Mobile. This new application would let people access their personal health records on their cell phones and PDAs (McGee, 2008). At first I thought that this might be a bad idea, in case you lost your phone and somebody else found it and had access to your information. Then, when I read the article I found the benefits of this application. This application would allow you to get your records if something happened like you broke a bone or got sick when you were on vacation or on a business trip and you could get help right away with no trouble. They did not really mention anything about security but I would imagine that they will have a very advanced and in depth, security plan on this application. 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Introduction

Like other part of the world iPhone 4s has the same vibe here in Bangladesh. People don't just take it as a phone, it's an indulgence to oneself and may be to others an ornament. Apple took it to a new level, how a utility product could possibly blends with one's emotion. Yes, Apple is more than successful than a critic can critise. It's been ages iPhone 4s is in the local markets (Bangladesh) and many of us already been using it and knows all the pro and cons. But still i felt an urge there should be a review on iPhone 4s from us. Stepping aside, now we will be talking some serious talk while you will see the ins and out of iPhone 4s.


The package contains


Apple iPhone 4S

USB cable

Wall Charger

Stereo Headphones

Apple Decals

Quick Start Guide

Important Product Information Guide



Design and build

The iPhone 4S is basically the same design as the iPhone 4. The lack of exterior redesign follows the trend that Apple set with the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, the devices look the same, except for a few minor exterior tweaks to accommodate the new dual antenna inside.


iphone body design


This change amounts to a slight move of the mute switch, so it is closer to the volume up button than before. For this reason alone, your existing iPhone 4 case may not fit.


iphone 4s


Otherwise, the iPhone 4S is a sandwich of glass and metal. It's precisely designed, like all Apple products and whilst we think the iPhone 4S is a beautiful looking mobile phone, there's no denying the edges are sharp and it isn't the most comfortable for making long calls on if you are holding it up to your ear. Not that that small detail would prevent you from buying one.


Black and white versions of the phone are now available at the market, avoiding the somewhat farcical situation with white iPhone 4 handsets in the past.


The build quality is excellent. The iPhone 4S feels solid in the hand, there are no creaks, the buttons are positive and precise in their actions and it feels like a phone that will stand the test of time - assuming you don't drop it. For many, the iPhone 4S is destined to hide within a case or cover, which we think is a real shame as it's a great phone to look at naked.


iphone 4s


The display remains at 3.5 inches, giving you the same resolution of 960 x 640, and at 326ppi remains one of the sharpest displays around. Viewing angles are excellent and colour rendition very good, although we've found it looks a little warmer than the iPhone 4 display. Independently, you probably won't notice that the whites are slightly more yellow, but together, we've found that some prefer the brighter whites of the iPhone 4, some prefer the vibrancy of the iPhone 4S.


If you've only ever used the iPhone, then the screen size will suit. But if you've been tinkering with a 4- or 4.3-inch display, you might find things are a little small. Windows Phone and Android will have another few days of lording it over iPhone users as iPhone 5 is round the corner for launch, but you don't miss out on functionality because you have a small screen and that's the important point.



What's inside?

One of the main upgrades to this iPhone is the new A5 processor. This has been languishing in the iPad 2, so it is no surprise to see it jump to the iPhone 4S. It offers you a 1GHz dual-core processor, so at the very least it brings you up to speed with rival devices on other platforms, whilst also offering the sort of power you'll find in Apple's other "mobile" device.


As both the iPad and the iPhone share the same operating system in iOS 5, this makes perfect sense. Apple isn't playing the numbers game in quite the same way that Android manufacturers are, but the RAM is estimated at around 600MB.


To be honest, the actual technical specification of the hardware that drives the iPhone 4S is almost irrelevant: it is more powerful than the last generation, pushing forward new capabilities for the effective 12-months that the phone will be the darling of Apple's line-up. Not having a 1.5GHz processor or 1GB of RAM doesn't matter so long as iOS 5 runs smoothly, the apps work well and the user experience is maintained. In that respect, a direct comparison with rival platforms, on a numbers basis, is meaningless.


Setting the iPhone 4S alongside the iPhone 4, both configured identically - which, thanks to iCloud restore, is incredibly easy - and it becomes apparent just how much of a performance increase the iPhone 4S offers you. Apps open much faster than before, but it isn't until you get the two devices side-by-side that you'll really notice, as the iPhone 4 was no slouch.


Where this puts the iPhone 4S in terms of future apps, games and opportunities remains to be seen, but part of that performance upgrade helps run the new camera on the rear of the phone.


Cameras

Where Apple does seem to be playing the numbers game, is on the camera. Cramming 8-megapixels into the iPhone 4S might make it seem competitive, but we have to wonder whether this is any better than a 5-megapixel unit. There is more data to deal with, certainly, and this is something that a new processor and GPU will have to cope with, but essentially the real difference lies in the BSI aspect, or backside illumination.


iphone 4s camera


This really means that the imaging sensor has a different design to previous units. It handles light better, it's less prone to noise and is more efficient. It also happens to be the same number of megapixels as top-tier Android rivals.


Comparing the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S images side-by-side, it’s immediately obvious that the iPhone 4S camera is considerably better. There is less noise in shots and colours are better rendered. Overall levels of detail are much improved too and, down at a pixel level, things are impressively sharp.


Of course, in lower lighting conditions noise quickly comes crashing in and the flash on the back can do little to help you along. In good conditions though, you'll get some cracking shots out of it.


One of the notable features of the camera is that you get no settings. You can toggle the rule of thirds grid, you can engage the HDR mode, but that is it. You can't change the resolution of image capture, you can't tweak the saturation or exposure and you don’t get any built-in effects. You do get touch focusing however, so you can easily and deliberately focus where you want, with the added benefit of using the volume up button as the shutter if you want. And you can now pinch to zoom, but that's about it.


iphone 4s picture


The same lack of effects applies to the video capture too. You now get Full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30fps. The results are surprisingly good, but you don't get any options to turn this down to a lesser resolution. As a result it will begin eat a fair amount of space – a 30 second clip is about 100MB – if you shoot a lot of video.


Again you get touch focusing, but the iPhone 4S doesn't offer you continuous autofocus during video capture. You can refocus whilst filming by touching a new focal point on the screen, but it can pulse a little whilst trying to achieve sharp focus. Some rivals offer smoother transitions, so you can move the camera from a close macro subject to something in the distance whilst keeping the whole things sharp, which the iPhone fails to achieve.


iphone 4s picture


In terms of quality, it's up there with the best phones we've seen, but the option for continuous autofocus during filming would be top of our list of changes.


iOS 5 features

iOS 5 brings with it a number of updates to an iPhone that remains, visually, very much the same as the previous iteration of devices. The interface is largely unchanged: you get each app laid out on the ever-expanding pages. You can order them into folders if you wish, but there's nothing new here.


iOS 5's changes mostly lie under the skin, a subtle tweak here and there, giving you more options, new integrated services and the ushering in of some new apps. We've had a good detailed look at iOS 5 in a separate review; what we'll deal with here is the significant changes that the new OS brings, and those aspects that are unique to the iPhone 4S.


One of the changes we appreciate the most is a redesign of the notifications. Each type can be customised, so rather than a universal alert that dominates the entire screen, you can opt for banners instead if that suits you better. You can control how you see your alerts on the lockscreen with the ability to unlock straight to a particular message.


iphone 4s


You also get a drag down notifications tray, much like Android offers. This groups alerts, as well as offering weather and stocks widgets, so you can easily see notifications you might need to action. In short, Apple's notifications has taken something that Android did well and surpassed it. It was a long time coming, but is much better for it.


Many of the iOS 5 alterations address larger trends in smartphones. The introduction of iCloud and Wi-Fi syncing with iTunes cuts the computer tie that the iPhone had until recently. Again, this addresses something that Android holds over Apple: Android's core systems leverage native cloud assets very well. Calendars, contacts and emails now potentially have a cloud element on iOS 5, as well as a backup infrastructure.


In truth, backing-up your entire device, settings, apps and all to iCloud is rather neat and something that Android can't tackle so easily given the number of different devices the OS runs on. Apple, on the other hand, can backup your iPhone to iCloud and restore it to a replacement device, in very little time, and without issue.


Wi-Fi syncing has raised an issue for some, as we've heard that some PC users find that iTunes launches in Windows every time their iPhone comes into range. We've not had this problem on the Mac. iTunes, although not mandatory any more, does feel like the weak link in the iPhone package: it's slow to navigate at times and managing your device through iTunes can sometimes feel like a real chore.


You now get a new messaging service called iMessage. It is very much the text companion of FaceTime, and like Apple's video service, operates from iDevice to iDevice. As such, you'll need to know the Apple ID of the person you want to iMessage, at which point your message will change from using the mobile phone network to the data network. That advantage this offers is you can essentially message for free when connected to Wi-Fi.


iphone 4s


Finding a person's Apple ID isn't as hard as it sounds – if you pick the right contact, the message window will change from SMS messaging to iMessage and you'll see the difference. The downside is that if your person moves from device to device, or has multiple Apple devices on the same account, messages will arrive at all points. A message can be delivered to an iPad whilst the owner is walking around with their BlackBerry and they'd never know, so iMessage isn't suitable for really important things at all.


You can turn off iMessage to avoid this, as well as being able to manage which numbers or email addresses it will work with, so with some fiddling, you should be able to get it working the right way for you and your network of contacts.


One of the trump cards that the iPhone 4S can flourish is that it is stable. Other platforms struggle to be as fast and reliable as iOS. It isn't free from problems and you get the occasional hiccup, but they are rare. Slowdown isn't a problem, apps are fast to open, with the new processor really speeding things up. It's quick to deliver on data applications too. Anyone who has used the Android Facebook app will know how slow it can be: under iOS those connected services are delivered in a flash.


Time to talk Siriously

With little physical change to the iPhone 4S, much of the excitement has been dedicated to Siri, Apple's voice-activated personal assistant. Siri was a service that Apple purchased and has integrated with core applications of the iPhone 4S. Like Google's voice searching, it relies on a data connection to interpret what you've said.


iPhone 4s


Siri is something of a hybrid application, offering a degree of hands-free autonomy. At some times it returns responses on the display, like your calendar appointments, or a contact's address, at other times it gives you complete voice control.


You can, for example, fire up a text message, dictate that message, address it and send it with touching the screen once. This is where Siri excels, as is the straightforward convenience of being able to ask questions to find the time in a different place, set yourself reminders and so on.



Learning to use Siri to the best effect is the most important thing. It might not be the main reason to buy the iPhone 4S and we can't see any enduring novelty value in asking it stupid questions. Once you get it working for you well, it can quickly become part of your normal phone interaction - especially as you can use it when wearing a headset with the in-line Apple remote, making it much more accessible out in public.


The final word on Siri has to be that the interpretation of what you say is the clever part in this and from this foundation it could be much more useful, so we suspect that in the future, Siri will be of even greater benefit.


Twitter, browser and apps

Twitter is now integrated as a sharing option, making it really easy to get those websites, photos and general comments out to the world. Although the Twitter app will do all this for you, it's the inclusion in the options menu that brings it to the fore.


No other service or social network gets this privilege: if you want to Facebook, you need the Facebook app. If you want to post something on Flickr, you need to do it via an app. This is in stark contrast to Android, which will let pretty much any app get included in your sharing options. The iPhone 4S stays nice and tidy because it is limited, but we'd love to have the choice to change it just slightly to better suit us.


iPhone 4s


The browsing experience is nice and fast, with the high-resolution display meaning that you can resolve fine text. Of course Flash is one of the things you don't get. You can't just run to any site online and watch the video treats like you can on Android. However, with the iPhone forming such as large customer base, in many cases moves have been made to accommodate this deficiency. Android is great because you can watch catch-up TV on the 4OD website: iOS is great because it gets its own app.


Battery and calling

we’re rather disappointed with the battery level of the iPhone 4S – especially when it was mentioned to offer better battery life than its predecessor. Strangely, we’re able to get a little bit under 7 hours of continuous talk with a full charge, which is less than the 8 hours it’s rated for. In our day-to-day usage, we don’t find its battery life to be any better than the iPhone 4 since we’re able to get at least one day of normal usage. However, power users will still want to charge it whenever the opportunity arises to keep it at a good level – though, we’d recommend charging it nightly as well. Who knows if it’s something to do with the dual-core processor or something else, but we were expecting more out of its battery life.


When it comes to calling, and that new antenna, we have found that reception has been great. Callers come across loud and clear, and we like the fact that iOS is clever enough to recognise shared numbers in your phone, so it will say "Mum or Dad calling" rather than the first person alphabetically.


But we do wish that call rejection options were offered on the screen. For the lockscreen you only get “swipe to answer” and we wish there was an opposing swipe to cancel, rather than fishing around to press a button.


Verdict

The iPhone 4S is every bit a smartphone, and an excellent one at that. The range of functionality that it delivers, along with the entire ecosystem that it inhabits, still make it one of the best phones on the market. Apple has done an excellent job pushing things like the App Store and incorporating features that see wider adoption, like AirPlay, its wireless streaming system, for example.


Although we're not huge fans of iTunes as a software package, there is some convenience in having an end-to-end system that will deliver your music and movies in a format you can enjoy simply any easily. The headphones in the box are still poor, but you're spoilt for choice when it comes to buying accessories.


It's easy to criticise the iPhone for the things it doesn't have: the screen could be bigger, the battery life should be longer, iOS still could be improved, there is no NFC, Flash support or options for memory expansion. But you have to decide whether these things are important to you. If they are, you now have many choices elsewhere.


To us, the iPhone 4S feels as though it has responded to the competition, it's adapted a better notifications system, and ushered in new features, but in many ways we can't help feeling it has adopted some of the nice things about Android. For some, the concern might be that it's adapted Android's battery management issue too. The iPhone 4S is likely to be exactly what some people are looking for. For others, the excitement in other smartphone could well draw their eyes.

 

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