This is a guest post by Thomas who writes on behalf of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website who are currently offering a chance to win a free iPhone 4S through their competition.
The iPhone 5 wasn’t released as everybody had expected, and instead people around the world were greeted by the iPhone 4S on October 4th. Many onlookers, including a great deal of diehard Apple enthusiasts, felt a little bit let down by this announcement – that somehow Apple had tried to pull a fast one on them with a ‘rehashed’ iPhone 4.
So how does the iPhone 4S compare to the iPhone 5 that everybody had been expecting? Would people have been quite as disappointed if Apple had just released this phone under the name of the iPhone 5? Let’s take a look at some of the updates to consider this.
We expected to see a jump in processor speed with the iPhone 5 to the A5 processor found in the iPad 2. Just as expected Apple’s new phone makes use of this processor, but what wasn’t expected was the vastly improved graphics processor. While the processor is now twice the speed of the last iPhone, the graphics capabilities are about 7 times as powerful – which is excellent news for people who enjoy playing games on their iPhone.
This rise in processing power is enough to see the device up there with the numerous other dual core phones out there at the moment. The new GPU also means that the iPhone 4S is a higher performer than even the rumoured iPhone 5 was supposed to be.
We certainly expected a better antenna in the iPhone 5 considering the problems with the one found on the iPhone 4. As the iPhone 4S features the same physical design it also incorporates the same type of antenna around its body. However, Apple have now improved this to a dual antenna that can switch between signals to find the better signal automatically.
This provides a solid and constant strong signal from the device, and completely eliminates any potential for the signal problems of the iPhone 4. This signal is doubtless to say a huge improvement to that of the previous iPhone for perhaps the most important feature of all (phone calls).
Everyone had expected an improvement in the camera, and this was one improvement to the phone that was almost inevitable. The new iPhone got exactly what most of us had hoped for with an 8mp camera that can record 1080p video. This camera is a leap onwards from the 5mp camera that could record 720p in the last iPhone and will work very well with the beautiful Retina screen the iPhone has.
Not only has the megapixel count increased, but the new lens provides far greater colour contrast and the iPhone 4S now has one of the fastest cameras found on a smartphone. As well as this, you can now get quick access to the camera by double tapping the home button. The improvements to the lens and the new Image Signal Processor have added a level of quality and speed that was not expected in even the most optimistic iPhone 5 rumours – so yet again Apple has exceeded expectations with the iPhone 4S.
Siri is the new voice control feature for the iPhone 4S. It offers a number of options that we didn’t expect to see as well laid out as they are. Siri is an excellent addition and its accurate rendering of voice commands made us sit up and take notice, especially in comparison to the less than wonderful voice commands on other devices such as Android. This new Siri addition makes it easy to write texts through voice, or plan your week, as well as change currency and is an excellent addition to the phone.
Voice recognition software has existed on smartphones before – and in fact Siri was available on iPhones prior to the launch of the 4S. However, this has now been greatly woven into the whole interface of the iPhone 4S, and is now only available on the latest iPhone. People were expecting voice recognition on the iPhone 5, but no one was expecting it to be quite so sophisticated as it is on the iPhone 4S.
Sure we expected iOS 5 to be a leap, but not to this degree. The new Newsstand, iMessage and iReader features look great and really add a lot to the device. The notifications bar as well as the iCloud integration are excellent and we have really stood up and take notice of this as an improvement on everything that existed before.
It is still the same old iOS that everyone knows and loves, but now with more than 200 new features. Of course, the most important of these is Siri, which allows you to interact with iOS through your voice and is much more effective than earlier voice control systems. If Apple had released the iPhone 5 then it would have featured this same operating system anyway, and so nothing would have been benefitted here by having an iPhone 4S instead of an iPhone 5.
Not iPhone 5, But Close Enough
So it turns out that a lot of the rumoured features of the ‘iPhone 5’ have in fact made an appearance on the 4S. The improved iOS, speedier processor and new Siri voice controls have all made an appearance. The only rumours that have turned out to be false are related to the cosmetic design – a larger screen, curved body and repositioned buttons.
So while some people may be disappointed that Apple released the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5, all of the important upgrades have made their way into this latest Apple smartphone. People may not automatically be able to recognise that you have the very latest model – bragging rights that many people hold dear – but had the iPhone 4S been named the iPhone 5 perhaps the phone would have received a better reception at the Apple keynote on October 4th.