Apple’s iPhone 4S may be old news now that the company has introduced the iPhone 5, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a much better value. If you’re like me, you’ve got an iPod and maybe an iPad, as well as a few iAccessories. If you buy the iPhone 5, these accessories will become obsolete, until Apple finally releases the adapter to allow them to be used with the new phone. This is because they changed the docking/charging connector on the new phone. It won’t fit in your docking cradle or other accessories without that adapter, and even with it, it won’t fit properly. So, let’s take a look at what the iPhone 4S brings to the table.
Quad-Band, Multi-Spectrum Phone
Quad-band, multi-what? The iPhone 4S is a quad-band, multi-spectrum phone. There are two main types of cell phone networks in the world and in the United States. The older network is the CDMA network (Code Division Multiple Access). This network doesn’t require SIM cards. The newer network, GSM (Global System for Mobile), does require SIM cards. Most of the world now runs GSM networks.
Quad-band means that the 4S operates in the 850/900/1800/1900 MHZ frequency range. Multi-Spectrum means that it can operate on both GSM and CDMA networks with the proper programming. What this means to consumers is that you should be free to switch carriers as you please. It also means that if you get the unlock/unblock codes from your provider before leaving the country, you can use the phone anywhere in the world. This is a cool feature for those planning on spending some time out of the country and not wanting to buy a new phone when they get there. All you need is the unlock/unblock code and a SIM card for the network of your choice in your host country. In fact, on the Apple page, it’s listed as a World Phone.
Different Storage Capacity Options
Unlike most other phone makers, Apple gives its phones internal storage, so that SD/Micro-SD cards aren’t needed. In fact, they don’t even have them. With the 4S, you’ve got three options for the amount of internal storage you’ll get: 16/32/64 GB. You’re going to need that much storage since the iPhone is basically an iPod with phone capabilities. You can play music and watch movies with it. You can also store, take (with an 8 megapixel camera) and view pictures on it.
There are also at least hundreds — if not thousands — of games available at the iTunes store that you can download and play on the phone. You’ll need iTunes on your computer to transfer pictures, movies, games, and music to and from the phone, unlike phones from the competition which just need a file browser.
Physical Features of the iPhone 4S
The iPhone 4S measures 4.54 inches high, 2.31 inches wide, 0.37 inches thick and it weighs 4.94 ounces. The 640×960 pixel screen measures 3.5 inches diagonally, giving it a pixel density of 330 pixels per inch. The screen is a backlit LED thin film transistor capacitive touchscreen display, capable of displaying 16 million colors.
Audio and Alerts (Ringtones)
You can choose from a variety of proprietary ringtones, as well as a vibration feature to alert you to incoming calls, messages, and emails. It has a built-in speaker (capable of 65 dB) for listening to music, as well as a 3.5-mm headphone jack. The 3.5-mm jack means that just about any set of headphones or any headset will work with the iPhone 4S. This is nice, since many phone makers use the smaller 2.5MM headphone jack.
The 4S is EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution). GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) enabled and offers a data bandwidth maximum of 14.4 Mbps. For even better Internet connectivity, it has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi capability as well as the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. For hands free operation, it is Bluetooth 4.0 enabled, as well.
Apple Gave it a Great Camera
Most cell phone cameras are lucky to get two megapixels, making them pretty inferior to any but the oldest digital cameras. However, one of Apple’s main strengths has always been multimedia, and they continue this tradition with their cell phones. The 4S has an excellent 8 megapixel camera, capable of snapping images with 3264×2448 pixel resolution. For ease of use, it’s an autofocus camera and also has an LED flash. The flash isn’t as strong as a normal digital camera’s flash, but will work in slightly lowered light level conditions.
Extra features of the camera app include touch focus for fine focusing, geo-tagging (adding geographical data to images taken), face detection, panorama mode, and HDR (high dynamic range, which allows for large differences between light and dark areas in the image). Like I said, Apple gave it very nice camera functionality. Of course, the camera is also capable of recording video.
Communicate with Others
As is expected of a smartphone, you can browse the web on the 4S, using the Safari browser. You can also use SMS and MMS messaging features, as well as email and some instant messaging apps. Basically, the 4S is a small computer that has a cell phone and text messaging capability.
The battery on the 4S is a Li-PO (Lithium Polymer) battery that gives up to 200 hours of stand-by time and 14 hours of talk time. It also gives a very impressive maximum of 40 hours of music playing time.