The Apple iPhone 4S is finally, actually really here. After an agonisingly long wait during which half of the internet (us included) was convinced it would be called the iPhone 5, the follow up to last year’s iPhone 4 is available to buy now from all of the networks and the usual high street locations.
If you were amoung the Apple faithful who were brave enough to sleep it out on the streets, chances are you’ve probably released your 4S from its cardboard prison, played around with Siri and then gone to bed. You’ve been up for how long?
The less fanatical/more sensible of you who are waiting out the Beatlemania until the queues die down will no doubt want an early look-see all the same. So here it is; the Apple iPhone 4S complete with everything that you’ll get in the box when you finally get yours.
The iPhone 4S famously borrows much from its predecessor’s wardrobe, comes with a funnily named voice-activated personal assistant and rolls with a whopping 8-megapixel camera.
There are a couple of very slight differences which you’ll see in our pics; we’ve included our trusty old iPhone 4 for comparison. But aside from that its business as usual, a 3.5-inch screen with an oleophobic coating, glass covers on both sides with the metal aerial trim running around the edges.
Before we post our review, feel free to get to know the iPhone 4S a little better. Stay tuned for some more hands-on action with Siri, coming soon…
The same 3.5-inch screen (960×640, 326 PPI) with those same great viewing angles.
We’ve seen this little pin plenty of times now; it unlocks the micro SIM tray of the iPad, iPad 2 and of course, the iPhone 4. As with the iPhone 4, it’s a little fiddily to open. But once you’ve got it open and popped the SIM in there it’s snug and secure.
Once in, the micro SIM tray is unlikely to be dislodged by anything.
Even though the Retina Display here is the same as the one of the iPhone 4, we still got a tiny rush of excitement when we turned it on for the first time. Note the new Music icon which iPhone 4’s and 3GS’s updated to iOS 5 should now be rocking.
The volume controls and the mute toggle switch are located round on the left hand side of the iPhone 4S, same as before. But there’s something a little different here.
Round on the other side there’s nothing but the micro SIM tray. Notice anything different yet?
The ‘arsenic-free display glass’ back of the iPhone 4S, just as reflective as before.
And this is… this shouldn’t need any introduction by now should it? For the uninitiated, this is what Siri looks like. Obviously this was the first thing we tried out.
So sensitive is the microphone, Siri picked up the click of our camera’s shutter and interpreted that as a question. Aah, the sound of gadgets talking to each other…
Voice commands are built into the search menu of the iPhone 4S. Tapping the little microphone icon allows you to search for a contact’s name, an app or a general web search term.
So when we asked for ‘You tube’ here, we got offered a link to both the YouTube app, the option to search the web and search Wikipedia. Nice.
Spot the difference. One of these is an iPhone 4S, the other one is our iOS 5-running iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4S is the one on the front here; note the repositioning of the black bands. Apple has said that the antenna issues that hit early iPhone 4’s has been nixed and shouldn’t (touch wood) be present here. Hopefully the positioning of the black bars here will prevent us from holding it wrong.
Black strips aside, there’s virtually no difference between the two phones. Perhaps it would be better if ‘iPhone 4’ and ‘iPhone 4S’ was stamped on the back instead of just ‘iPhone’.
The positioning of the camera and the flash on the back is exactly the same.
A quick look at the iPhone 4S’s camera app; along with the high dynamic range option that came with iOS 4.1 last year there’s the grid alignment option. The volume up button now doubles as a shutter key but you can of course use the virtual control as well if you wish.
You get the usual mini-pamphlets of instructions that you probably won’t bother reading along with the two white Apple logo stickers, multi-part USB mains adapter and Apple earbuds.