x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Apple iPhone 4S Review

Apple iPhone 4s 8.5

Posted: , by

Tags:

Pages
Camera:

Running the camera app, we presented with a familiar non-cluttered layout that quickly gets us to the point, which is none other than snapping some candid shots. Sure there are no manual settings available with it, but the beauty in it all is that it simply works to capture the absolute best shots based on the conditions. Of course, you can toggle the option for HDR photos, which enables the handset to enhance photos with post-processing effects to better capture its most optimal appearance. With iOS 5 though, taking photos is easier than ever before since we can activate the application directly from the lock screen. Moreover, we can also snap a shot by pressing down on the volume up button – as opposed to the on-screen shutter key.

Camera interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Camera interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Camera interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Camera interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review

Camera interface


Much like its predecessor, we’re extremely fond of the quality exhibited by the handset’s upgraded 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, which features backside illumination and a larger f2.4 aperture. Simply, photos taken in plentiful of lighting are filled to the brim with luscious fine details to make even the most distant objects visually elaborate – plus, its realistic color production is on the neutral side to make shots very accurate looking. Bettering itself even more, the iPhone 4S manages to retain a decent amount of clarity with photos take in low lighting. For the most part, shadows are well highlighted in the shot, but the overall shot tends to be on the fuzzy side. Nevertheless, the LED flash is profoundly potent with its output – while maintaining a natural color production. Finally, its shutter speed is extremely quick to allow us to come out of nowhere to snap those candid moments.

Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S - Apple iPhone 4S Review

Samples shot with the Apple iPhone 4S


Strong - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Medium - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Low light - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

3ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review
5ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review
7ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Apple iPhone 4S Review

3ft

5ft

7ft

Darkness with flash
Indoor samples



Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPhone 4s 3.5
4.8
562
292
Apple iPhone 5s 3
3.5
582
316
Samsung Galaxy S4 3.4
4.75
1016
486
HTC One 3.4
No data
490
445
View all

Equally as appealing, the iPhone 4S excels in recording 1080p high-definition videos that are gloriously filled with plenty of eye-candy goodness. Showing off its worth, videos are brilliant to watch thanks to their sharp details, gradual exposure, consistent capture of 29 frames per second, natural looking colors, and crystal clear audio recording. We also like the image stabilization, eliminating most of the shaky-hands problems. However, it would’ve been really awesome to finally see continuous auto-focus thrown in – but alas, we’re only given the typical touch-focus option with the handset. Needless to say, we’re not all that bummed about it since It’s not that bad at all because as it also adjusts the exposure as well.

Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video - Daytime:



Apple iPhone 4S Sample Video - Night:




Multimedia:

You’d think that after sporting the same old iPod music player interface since the first iPhone, we’d finally see some sort of update to the classy player – well, it’s more of the same! When you have a good thing going, it’s naturally hard to stray from that tried and true recipe. So that’s why we’re appreciative and content to find the good old layout. And to tell you the truth, we’re still enthralled to this day by the visual eye-candy that accompanies Apple’s trusty cover flow mode. Audio quality is pretty strong with its output, but when it’s placed to the maximum volume setting, things can sound a tad bit sharp to the ear – thus, coming off as irritating. Yet, selecting the appropriate equalizer option under the music settings balances its tonal output.

Apple iPhone 4S Review
Apple iPhone 4S Review
Apple iPhone 4S Review
Apple iPhone 4S Review

Music player interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Music player interface - Apple iPhone 4S Review

Music player interface


We’re still dreaming of the day when we’re able to watch high-def videos on a significantly larger display on the iPhone, but despite that yearning, we’re accepting of experience we’re given on the iPhone 4S. In fact, videos play swimmingly with no pause or slowdown during its playback – plus, they’re filled with plenty of magnificent details  to make the experience gratifying. So yeah, we’ll take its quality for now, but we’re itching for the day when things get super-sized to make it easier on our eyes to handle.

Video playback - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Video playback - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Video playback - Apple iPhone 4S Review
Video playback - Apple iPhone 4S Review

Video playback


Alright, we’re over the fact that we won’t be seeing a microHDMI port of some sort with the iPhone, but much like some of the competition, you can actually gain video out with the use of an optional A/V adapter that connects to the handset via its dock port. Sure it’s a dangling extremity, but we’re grateful for the available feature with the iPhone 4S – well, it’s better than not having it at all.

Seeing as far back as our eyes can look, we’ve always associated iPhones to come in either 16GB or 32GB capacities, but with the availability of the iPhone 4S, Apple has something for those who need more – a whole lot more. For those not interested in dishing out $200 or $300 for the other capacities, you can opt to plop a rock solid $400 to pick up a 64GB version of the iPhone 4S with a contract.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 4s 0.34
Apple iPhone 5s 1
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
HTC One 0.68
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Apple iPhone 4s 69
Apple iPhone 5s 74
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
HTC One 78
View all

86 Comments
  • Options
    Close






posted on 21 Oct 2011, 05:56 26

1. sarb009 (Posts: 310; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


Epic F@il

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 12:06 12

24. shayan (Posts: 159; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)


actually, this is the best iphone so far. at least it reaches the other highend phones in the market. and phonearena just gave it a 8.5!!!
Im still in shock for iphone4 that phonearena gave 9.5 score.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 14:44 9

32. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1332; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


PhoneArena gave it that score because they are Apple lovers. I mean think about it. Look back at how many articles they had for the Apple Iphone 4S vs the new Galaxy Nexus. They had more Apple articles than they did Android articles.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 14:54 7

33. bucky (Posts: 2698; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


i think they were uber conservative with an 8.5 if you ask me. they even said in the conclusion that it deserved a 9. Its a top notch smartphone.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 23:50 7

41. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


hahahahahahhahahahahhaha if u think this site is pro-apple you are very diceived... do u ever read comments? its kinda like a huge andrroid storm with some apple fans and some various other people (wp7, bb, bada-lol) watching... no the iphone 4 was very diservent of a 9.5... it was literally the best phone for at least half a year....

posted on 22 Oct 2011, 11:16 6

45. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


Seriously. I would never call this website "iPhonearena". This site definitely has way more android fans. Even some of the writers have mentioned that they prefer android, but respect iPhone. For every iPhone article, there are 10 android. Mostly because android has more phones.

posted on 28 Oct 2011, 00:10 3

63. NeXoS (Posts: 288; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Speaking of RE-HASHED DESIGN, the first iPhone 4 stole its design from the Garmin Nuvi after it won a design award!!!

http://en.red-dot.org/2791.html?cHash=de5e1220d7f00b294bd00b01cdcc541b&detail=7398

How come iPhoneArena doesn't report that???????

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 10:44 6

51. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


U r a fanboy idiot. This phone is actually quite good, you guys have to admit that while Android is more complex and customizeable, iOS is far more stable, the screen, while small is also a lot better than many efforts from Android manufacturers. Siri is an excellent idea, and the A5 chip smokes the Exynos as does the camera. Btw if you can find me lag on an iPhone 4S I will be completely shocked.

You can't deny that the iPhone 4 smoked the S**t out of everything Android released last year, except for maybe the Galaxy S, which is why they gave it a 9.5

Just because this thing is in the same shell doesn't mean it sucks, so stop wining around and accept that this thing is a good product.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:03 12

2. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


8.5/10, I'm not surprised at all.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:52 10

11. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


and they said they woud give it a nine/ten... pssshhhh. It's freakin outdated. It's like reviewing the nokia n95 when the galaxy s i9000 just arrived.

posted on 23 Oct 2011, 10:50 12

52. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


How is it outdated?

1. Most powerful CPU-check
2. Most powerful GPU-check
3. Best camera-check
4. Most stable mobile OS-check
5. One of the best screens (Apart from AMOLED ones)-check
6. Smoothest web-browsing (no flash but who cares?)-check

I really hate it when Fandroids bash Apple
products for no absolute reason.

posted on 24 Oct 2011, 18:47 6

58. nick7237 (Posts: 5; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Most android fans have never used an iPhone for more than a few minutes so they can't really judge the phone. Android and WP7 would never exist if apple never created the iPhone, and android would probably not be as far as it is if Eric schmidt wouldn't of double crossed apple. Android would be as far as WP7 is right now. And who came out with the tablet first(apple), and who copied it (android). It's easy to see who the innovators are here and who copy's other companies. ICS copied a lot of iOS5 features.
It's obvious who sells more devices and repeatedly gets the best reviews. The iPhone 3GS came out with iOS3.0 and now has 5.0. I can't remember any android devices that have got two full point updates, even the nexus devices only get one update.

The 4S is a huge update internally.

3GS: 600MHZ CPU/ SGX 535 GPU-256MB RAM
4: 800 MHZ CPU/ SGX 535 GPU- 512MB RAM
4S: Dual core 800MHZ CPU/ Dual core SGX543mp2 GPU 512MB RAM

And a 64GB option.

AirPlay, wired mirroring (1080P) and AirPlay mirroring(720P) are some of the most simple and powerful features unique to ios devices. I could go on but I don't need to. Android users don't like iPhones cause their jealous.
250million iOS devices sold, each with satisfied customers.

posted on 26 Oct 2011, 11:16 13

61. tahnik (Posts: 188; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)


iphone has:
No Flash support in the web browser
No Facebook integration
No proper widgets for the lockscreen
No USB Mass storage mode for uploading content to the device
No haptics for the touchscreen
No Bluetooth file transfers to other phones
Dated?

posted on 29 Oct 2011, 02:22 2

64. thebikerboi2 (Posts: 144; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


dude you just proved this guys point about androiders not using an iphone for anything over a minute

posted on 01 Dec 2011, 18:29 5

76. gain1998 (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


I think you should probably know...

iPhone users don't necessarily care too much about Flash support... and in case you hadn't noticed this had been posted in the positive comment you negatively responded to.

iPhone users don't care about FB integration.

iPhone users don't care all too much about proper widgets for the lockscreen.

iPhone users don't care about USB Mass Storage mode for uploading content to the device

iPhone users don;t care about haptics for the touchscreen

iPhone users don't care about transferring files to other phones through Bluetooth

What iPhone users DO care about are reliable, dependable phones, with outstanding reputations. They're not looking for all these different features. And if you ARE looking for these features, then this is OBVIOUSLY not the phone for you. Keep looking.

posted on 05 Nov 2011, 23:45 4

67. RandomRobbieGuy (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)


The iPhone is outdated. People buy and use it because they don't care about their phone. Or because everyone else has one. I have had every iPhone in all colors. (execpt the 4S) I keep buying them because i am used to them and know them just about inside and out. Nothing changes. OMG! SIRI....like for real. think about it in your daily life. I have the iPhone 4 and don't use voice control. You can never expect the newest and best tech from apple. I don't know why people are so attached to the iPhone. Android is amazing i have had one. Blackberry... no its not business like really at all......just because they have email. I am returning to blackberry for the keyboard. iPhone 4S is a piece of crap and not worth the upgrade.
Hey apple where is the keyboard.....oops
Flash.....nope
big nice screen.....nope
Annoying.....uh duh.

posted on 06 Nov 2011, 12:05 6

68. robinrisk (unregistered)


1. It is not the most powerfull CPU. Dual core @800Mhz is not better than the exynos at 1.2.
2. GPU, i do not know much about it, so i'll give you that one.
3. Best Camera? Best camera in an iPhone that is, there are several smartphones with a camera better or just as good as the iPhone's.
4.Most stable Mobile OS?. My photon has never given me any force closes, WP7, Blackberry and Symbian are just as stable.
5. One of the best screens. Not the best though, ain't it? SamoledHD FTW =)
6. Yeah.... without flash even the low end handsets have a smooth browsing experience. Plus, at 3.5 inches, it is not as confortable as in an Android device.

posted on 26 Nov 2011, 03:00 4

73. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


1. Actually the dualcore A5 chip @ 800MHz is far more powerful than the Exynos in terms of I/O.

2. I am right

3. No the 4S\' camera really does beat everything else by a longshot

4. No they\'re not

5. you are probably right

6. Right again =)

posted on 13 Jan 2012, 22:14 1

82. Gdrye (Posts: 110; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


samsung Galaxy has a quad core graphics processor, so i wouldnt let them have that one

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 23:21 2

85. TheDog700 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)


Time for the nine year olds to go to bed, the adults are talking.
Some of you probably do not know what software does. iOS is obviously not as laggy as android which is why you don't need a 1.5 ghz proccesor for it to run smoothly. Yes there are some great android smartphones out there. But the iPhone 4s functionality and preformance are on par or better than these other phones. For the average consumer, functionality is all that matters.
What I am saying is that you can have a 4ghz proccesor but if it has horrible software it won't be functional.
And for the record, the ppi on the iPhone 4s is currently the best on the market and the color accuracy is the best or one of the best on the market.

posted on 06 May 2012, 16:13

86. dmckay12 (Posts: 243; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


Xperia S and HTC Rezound have highest PPI, while having bigger screens.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:04 20

3. Tatperson (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


Great job phonearena, you were not so biased this time round. It didn't score higher than 9 points unlike other dual-core phones. Keep it up :)

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 08:58 7

20. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


I own both (The Galaxy S2 & the N95 8GB) - Beleive it or not, I still love my N95 8GB & it´s brand new still.

I agreed with your statement tough. It was time for Phonearena to judge the 4S how it deserved to be... A good phone but not the super...

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:05 12

4. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Same phone from last year but they still charge you $700-$800 for the unlocked version.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:00 2

21. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


That the other issue. Apple products are just too expensive dude. They are still charging 800...Even downhere in Latin America it´s more expensive than the GS2

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:05 6

5. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


should've been 8/10 because the looks and screen didn't budge.

posted on 22 Oct 2011, 11:18

46. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1237; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


I agree. Those are the things people notice the most.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:13 3

6. manuell3g (Posts: 66; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


iphonearena to me were still biase. watch reviews on most android phones that dont come with any major changes or even the one they did on the galaxy note.the reviewer was talking as if he was so much disappointed in the product. yet you can feel the satisfactory in their voices when they review an iphone...they can bash android but to me even a midrange droid is still better than a highend iphone simply bcos of the os.android is just uhhh.

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:23 2

7. krysis (Posts: 76; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)


i think it more has to do with the fact that they don't get to review as many iphone's as android devices. so it's probably rather fun for them to get their hands on it, compared to say, an htc phone on at&t that has the same specs, hardware, etc. as an htc phone on sprint that they reviewed less than a month ago. the design may be different but i'm sure it can get rather repetitive. and this would be coming from an android user anxiously awaiting the galaxy nexus :)

posted on 21 Oct 2011, 06:23 3

8. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)


I'm somewhat surprised that PA gave this a score below 9.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Display3.5 inches, 640 x 960 pixels (326 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Apple A5, Dual-core, 800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches
(115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm)
4.94 oz  (140 g)

Latest stories