Even though the 4S initially received some disappointing comments after the Apple conference a few weeks ago, by and large I think was merely a gut reaction to a lack of an iPhone 5. Without the unrealized expectation of the iPhone 5, the 4S stands alone as an impressive release. Pre-orders alone have broken sales records for the 4S, effectively putting that disappointment to rest.
Would I wait in line all night for one, though? Not a chance. But that’s just me.
Hardware-wise, the iPhone 4S sports a new 8 megapixel camera and can record 1080p HD video. I know technology moves fast, but that’s better than my standalone digital camera I bought just over a year ago. And my camera can’t download any Apps (I’d say it can’t make calls either, but I don’t think I’ve actually called anyone in over a week anyway, so that’s more or less a secondary function for me).
The phone also features a new Dual-core A5 chip, which boasts up to 2 times faster performance, and 7 times faster graphics.
The most impressive features of the new phone, I think, are with the software. The new iOS 5 was just released as well, and stands to take mobile devices in a new direction. The Siri speech function is probably the most exciting part of the 4S, and I can’t help but think that this will become the standard for all cell phones in the near future. Siri allows users to talk normally to give the phone commands. Anything from setting appointment dates, calling people, and using the internet to search for information. It’s more like a personal assistant than a cell phone.
I think the 4S was released instead of the iPhone 5 in order to test out this dramatic shift of how people use cell phones first, and work out all of the kinks and bugs (I wonder how well it works in cities with a lot of background noise, or how annoying traveling on a bus would become with everyone speaking commands). While I believe the 4S is a tester of sorts before creating a completely new version with 5, the 4S in its own right will become an important milestone in the direction of smart phones, and would definitely be worth the purchase (as long as I don’t have to wait in line).