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4S coming from a 4


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Oct 31, 2011
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Am posting my thoughts on the 4S coming from a 4 (previously owned all the other versions as well). I am doing so because many of the professional reviews suggested that if you have a 4, wait for the 5. I was looking for good reviews from actual users, which I find more useful when weighing my purchase decision and couldn't find any other than the typical "I love my phone" comments. I took the plunge anyway. So I am posting my thoughts for folks still in my shoes wondering if they should upgrade from a 4.

It must be known first though that I am an Apple geek. I have an iMac, mini, Ipad 2 and now the 4S. I typically own a device until a new one comes out and then sell the old one to partly defray cost on the new one. I paid the "early discount" on the 32GB AT&T 4S, which ended up being well over $500. I sold the 4 and a 3GS to gazelle.com lowering the cost of the unit pretty close to what it would have been priced at the end of the contract. I will do the same when the 5 comes out. You can get more money on Ebay or Craig's List, but I didn't want the hassle. I sell my iPads on Amazon, which is also little hassle. Long story endless, selling your old stuff makes upgrading a little less disconcerting.

As to the 4S vs. the 4, here are my impressions:

Battery Life: I experienced a quick drain and heat right after my restore. I did a reset and the problem went away. I really now see little difference between the two, but am a long time Mophie user and was happy to use my Juice Plus battery extender case on the new device. I never run out, but do charge religiously every night. The unit adds a lot of weight, but I am an on the belt guy using the case and wired headset often, unless I am in the car and then bluetooth serves. If I had a battery issue, I would wait it out and Apple would eventually come out with a fix. Conclusion: No difference to me at this point.

Antenna: This one is extremely important to me as a salesman. I can't have constant dropped calls talking to customers. I mitigated this problem somewhat on my 4, by having my company purchase an AT&T Microcell router. It hooks to your internet router and gives you a constant 5 bars in the house. That being said, I find that local areas where I used to drop coverage on my 4, I never seem to have a problem with on the 4S. Also I typically have more bars than I did anywhere other than in the house.
Conclusion: Having better reception is key to me, so the upgrade makes sense, but maybe is not such a biggie for a casual phone user.

Speed: I immediately noticed the difference in speed, particularly on downloads off the net. I was able to compare units side by side (have a corporate SIM and a private one). There is a significant difference, particularly when accessing a feature rich site. The other place I really saw it was using GolfLogix' GPS on the golf course. Sometimes it would take a while to refresh a hole on the 4. It was much quicker on the 4S. Also using the Mophie unit I was able to get in a full round without going off the battery extender and into the iPhone battery. I am sure that launching apps and general navigation are quicker too, but maybe not quantum leap.
Conclusion: Yes faster, but not in and of itself a reason to upgrade.

Camera: I have a photography business on the side and have done weddings and other events, so have sophisticated equipment. That being said, I am really impressed with the new camera on the 4S. It is way better than the 4's. The clarity is there. There must be more to it than just the megapixel jump. I am now posting pictures regularly on Facebook, whereas I would not do so without my DSLR prior. Obviously there is no comparison to a higher end DSLR, but the pictures are very serviceable. The video though is really awesome. It compares favorably to my DSLR's without of course the advantage of multiple lens selection.
Conclusion: This one feature would be enough for me to upgrade.

Suri: As many have said, this is a real game changer. I had been trying many ways to set reminders without having to type. There are just too many situations where its inconvenient to do so otherwise (in the car....while your hands are busy doing something else). Now I am setting reminders constantly and am much more productive. I also find that I use message texting and reading replies, particularly in the car. My girls and their husbands/boyfriends text much more than phone. Others that say that this application is just cute and return to their old ways obviously aren't into trying to be more efficient and maybe text while driving. This application has significantly changed the way I interact with my phone and because of iCloud my other devices. For example, I started to input reminders on my iPad when IOS5 came out as it is easier to type and see what you are doing on that device. I now use the phone as more of the center of the universe, but my reminders pop up on all devices with iCloud.
Conclusion: Siri is a game changer for me. Between its utility and the camera upgrade, moving to the 4S was a no brainer.

Conclusion: I am extremely happy with the new phone and feel right now that my upgrade was not as frivolous as I thought when originally purchased. It was worth the upgrade given my set of needs. I have no negatives to report, but then again have no Droid experience to relate. I hope these thoughts help those who are still deliberating.


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Jun 8, 2011
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Charlotte burb
Thanks for the awesome and "personal" review! I won't be able to upgrade for 18 months, so I will probably be waiting it out until iPhone 6! Hope they have even better "bennies" for me by then!


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Nov 22, 2010
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Thanks very much, JT.... for the excellent review. HOWEVER, the battery situation has me, and many others uneasy about the 4S. Your solutions worked for you, but new iPhone users SHOULD NOT HAVE TO RESOLVE PROBLEMS after they first get their phones!!! Hello!!

Nevertheless, other than the battery issue, the phone "sounds" like a great device. I'll wait for the iP5 next year, and get it after all the initial bugs get stomped out.


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Oct 30, 2011
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I just bought a iPhone 4s and also bought my wife a iPhone 4. I now regret that I didn't buy her the 4s. Just the browsing speed and upgraded camera would have been worth the extra $100.

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