Until the iPhone 4S came along, the iPhone 4 still clung to its status as Apple’s flagship handset. But now, its single-core processor and 5 Megapixel camera are starting to look dated and it’s subsequently slipped down from its top spot in our top 20 smartphones list. See what the ‘S’ adds to the iPhone 4 below…
Round #1 – Connectivity:
Let’s talk wireless connectivity, shall we? The souped-up iPhone 4S includes 3G/HSDPA (at double the speed of 14.4Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. It also features dual-mode antennas so that it can effortlessly switch between CDMA and GSM networks. The original Apple iPhone 4 comes with 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (1-0)
Round #2 – Size & Weight:
The iPhone 4S has the same 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm dimensions of the original model. But there is a physical difference between the two smartphones. Measure the weight of the duo and the iPhone 4S weighs 140g, while the iPhone 4 is slightly lighter at 137g.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4 (1-1)
Round #3 – Camera:
The iPhone 4S comes packing a built-in 8.0 Megapixel camera with advanced features such as: tap to focus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, a faster response time plus 1080p HD video recording with video image stabilization. Oh and there’s also a camera on the front for making video calls.
Unfortunately for the iPhone 4, it boasts a poorer specification, specifically a 5.0 Megapixel camera with the same tap to focus functionality, an LED flash, geo-tagging, HD video capture at 720p. The maximum resolution of the camera is 2592 x 1944 pixels. A second camera on the front can be used for video calling.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (2-1)
Round #4 – Screen/keyboard:
As for screen size, both the Apple iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 feature a 3.5-inch (640 x 960) touch-sensitive Retina display. There are 614400 pixels overall, which translates to 329.714 pixels per inch.
Score: +1 to both phones (3-2)
Round #5 – Processor:
In terms of raw processing power, the iPhone 4 uses a single-core Apple A4 chip, rated at 1GHz. The iPhone 4S’s processor is faster thanks to the same 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 CPU that you’ll find in the iPad 2.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (4-2)
Round #6 – Software:
The iPhone 4 launched with iOS4 but will be upgradeable to iOS 5, which launches on the iPhone 4S.
Score: +1 to both phones (5-3)
Round #7 – Applications:
iOS vs iOS = a tie.
Score: +1 to both phones (6-4)
Round #8 – Storage:
The iPhone 4 maxed out with 32GB of storage. The iPhone 4S is available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. There’s no expansion slot on either phone, so the base memory can’t be extended.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (7-4)
Round #9 – Battery life:
With a maximum charge, the iPhone 4S boasts 8.0 hours of talktime according to Apple, while the iPhone 4 is rated at 7.0 hours. Standby time is rated at 300 hours and 300 hours respectively. A victory for the iPhone 4S in this Battery life section.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (8-5)
Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.
Round #10 – Extras:
The iPhone 4S also includes GPS/A-GPS, digital compass, 3-axis gyroscope, dual GSM/CDMA connectivity and the Siri voice assistant, which enables you to quiz your iPhone for inspiration and dictate emails and texts. In comparison, the iPhone 4 features GPS/A-GPS, a digital compass and a 3-axis gyroscope.
Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (9-5)
BPF Verdict: The Apple iPhone 4S wins!
The iPhone 4S isn’t perhaps the all-singing and all-dancing iPhone 5 many people were hoping for. But Apple has improved the iPhone 4 where it needed improving the most, specifically replacing the single-core A4 with a snappy dual-core A5 chip. The 8MP camera and Siri voice assistant are interesting frills.
See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…