Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Things You Should Know About the iPhone 4S

Apple launched its iPhone 4S this past Friday, and sold more than 4 million units over the weekend. If you weren’t among the rabid hordes waiting in line to score one of your own, you may be wondering, What’s all the hub-bub, Bub? Here’s a highlight list of ten things you should know about the iPhone 4S:
  1. Siri – A virtual personal assistant that works via voice recognition. She can give you directions to a venue or take dictation for a text message, all with an an intuitive knack for learning your vocabulary. You’ll want to spend a lot of time with Siri.
  2. Call Quality – No Antenna-gate this time around. The 4S employs dual external antennae, and the ability to switch between them for optimal signal strength, which makes for noticeably improved call quality.
  3. Display – The 3.5in. Retina Display is beautiful. Its clear, sharp resolution renders even the smallest fonts nicely, without even a hint of a blur. It does tend to be a bit overwhelmed in direct sunlight, however.
  4. Camera – Mostly good news here. The 8 megapixel, f/2.4 aperture camera takes photos – both indoors and outdoors – that will rival most pocket cameras. Low-light, high-contrast and high-speed photography are all done quite nicely. There aren’t a lot of options, though, and the 1080p video camera lacks a low-res option.
  5. iCloud – Stores your iPhone content and automatically pushes it wirelessly to your other devices. So if you create a file, take a snapshot, or download a song from iTunes, it goes directly to all your other gadgets without the need to sync.
  6. Battery Life – Although the estimated standby time is actually less (200 hrs. vs. 300 hrs on the iPhone 4), Apple says the 4S battery should give you a full hour more talk time (8 hours) on a 3G connection.
  7. iMessage – A messaging app that allows you to IM other iPhone users without incurring texting fees. It will even search automatically for you to check whether your message recipient supports iMessage.
  8. Speed – Apple promises the dual-core A5 processor equipped iPhone 4S will have twice the data speed of the 4, with 5.8 Mbps up/14.4 Mbps down estimates. The 4S, though, is only 3G capable, not 4G at present.
  9. Price – Apple is offering the iPhone in several versions: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399 with the caveat that you agree to a 2-year contract of course.
  10. Verdict – For you Apple-istas who can’t resist the latest i-anything, the 4S will not disappoint. For those of you thinking down the road about an iPhone 5, this latest edition may pack just enough updates to justify the price and tide you over in the meantime.


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