Latest iPhone Underwhelms

By Mike Wheeler

  • Fater processor
  • Better camera
  • RRP yet to be announced

Apple’s iPhone 4S is not the unit most punters were expecting – it is an underwhelming piece of kit that will no doubt disappoint all but the most rabid of Apple fan boys and girls.

With Tim Cook having just taken over the helm of the House of Jobs, this is probably not the best start for Cook in his new role as CEO, and he’ll be hoping that in the coming months and years his design team will be doing a better job than they are now.

At its most basic, the ‘new’ phone has a faster processor and better camera, but no real innovations that make it stand out from an already crowded smartphone market.

Sure, Apple would say some new features, like its Siri service – which is a bit like a virtual PA – is unique, but to be honest it is a feature that isn’t really necessary, and your email service provides many things that this service does.

It does have a new 8MP camera, which is at the top end of smartphone shooters, and its dual-core A5 chip along with 1080p HD recording means it is ideal for gaming, and does bring a hybrid camera/smartphone a little closer into being a reality. But is it enough to make us go “Wow!” like previous renditions of the iPhone? Not really.

Apple has always seen itself as an innovator, and to be fair this has been true with its tablets, MP3 players and smartphones. So, we’re not sure we’re being harsh at calling the 4S underwhelming because we expect a lot from the company, or whether it’s a case of other vendors catching up with innovations and therefore Apple are starting to look a tad staid. What we do know is that to stay on top of the game, and to keep on eating into other providers’ markets, it has to do better than the 4S.

List of features:

  • Siri – Now you can use your voice to use your iPhone. Talk to Siri as you would to a person: “Do I need an umbrella?” or “Any great burgers around here?” or “Where’s the closest ATM?” Siri understands what you say, it knows what you means according to Apple. It figures out the right apps to use to find the right answer. Then, like a personal assistant, it answers you. Siri makes phone calls, sends messages, schedules meetings, sets reminders, and more.
  • Dual-core A5 chip – Two cores in the A5 chip deliver up to two times more power and up to seven times faster graphics, claims Apple. The company claims the iPhone 4S is quick and responsive. And no matter what you're doing, you can keep on doing it. Because the A5 chip is so power-efficient, iPhone 4S is claimed to have a long battery life.
  • Phone camera – It has 8-megapixel resolution and a custom lens with a larger f/2.4 aperture that other phone cameras, says Apple. It has a backside illumination sensor, good auto white balance, advanced colour accuracy, face detection, and reduced motion blur.
  • Video recording – Shoot in 1080p HD video. Video stabilisation steadies shaky shots. You can edit video on iPhone and share your life as fast as you shoot.
  • iCloud – iCloud stores your music, photos, apps, mail, contacts, calendars, documents, and more. And wirelessly pushes them to all your devices.
  • Retina display – The Retina display is a high-resolution phone screen. The pixel density is said to be so high that the human eye is unable to distinguish individual pixels.
  • FaceTime – FaceTime lets you hear a voice and see the face that goes with it — iPhone to iPhone, iPad 2, iPod touch, or Mac over wifi.
  • Airplay – With AirPlay, you can wirelessly stream what’s on your iPhone to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV.And with AirPlay Mirroring, whatever you see and do on your iPhone appears on your HDTV at the same time.
  • Airprint – Print your email, photos, web pages, and documents right from your iPhone over wifi. There’s no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect.
  • Download speeds – Phone 4S can switch between two antennas to transmit and receive, so call quality is better. It also doubles the maximum HSDPA data speeds to 14.4 Mbps. This means faster connections, faster loading and reloading, and faster downloads. And iPhone 4S is a world phone, so you can use it almost anywhere. Whether you’re a GSM or CDMA customer, you can roam GSM networks in 200 countries around the world.