After delaying the launch of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of respect for Steve Jobs, Google finally announced their new operating system and its flagship phone the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Motorola also announced their "faster and thinner" Droid RAZR on the same day. These Android devices are the newest and baddest smartphones on the market, but do they stand a chance against the iPhone 4S?
Motorola didn't lie, the RAZR is "impossibly" thin measuring in at 7.1 millimeters. Its 4.3-inch display is bigger than the iPhone 4S, but smaller than the Nexus which measures in at 4.65-inches. The Galaxy Nexus has the highest pixel resolution (1280 x 720), but the iPhone 4S features the higher pixel density with 330 ppi (Galaxy Nexus 316 ppi).
Waiting to buy an iPhone 4S could have its perks. After all, if you're out of your mobile contract and you've decided to see how things pan out with the new iPhone, there will be more information out there in the coming weeks. Choosing a carrier is no different, and now that the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are available on three different wireless networks there are more factors involved in the decision.
For some, comparing the costs of each carrier's calling and data plans will be a primary concern. Others will jump right to the big question: who has the fastest download speeds?
The iPhone 4S may be Apple's next mobile masterpiece, but as with any technology things aren't always perfect when a new product is introduced into the wild. Several reports from users have pointed to a variety of problems with the iPhone 4S, although most of these should be resolved over time. It's the early adopters that take the brunt of launch week issues.
Some would say it's a fair price to pay for getting the latest and greatest iPhone before anyone else. Regardless, Apple sold four million iPhone 4S units in the first weekend. Those who are waiting for the dust to settle might be interested in exactly what problems 4S owners are experiencing and how long they will linger. Here are the top 5 problems, issues and complaints revolving around the iPhone 4S launch.
When it comes to battery life, Apple's official iPhone 4S specs are a little bit dodgy. According to Apple, the iPhone 4S has one-hour of extra 3G talk time than its predecessor, but the same battery life as the iPhone 4 when it comes to basically every other feature. iLounge decided to investigate how the iPhone 4S improves upon the iPhone 4 in some categories, and how it falls short in others. The tech site put the devices through an extensive battery test and discovered the iPhone 4 actually has a slight edge over the 4S when it comes to battery usage.
In a 3G Data test the iPhone 4S failed to outlast the iPhone 4 in Audio Playback, Video Playback, and Video Recording. The iPhones were pretty even for FaceTime and Wi-Fi with the iPhone 4S clocking in slightly better for Cellular Calls. The chart above shows some of the comparisons for AT&T.
The mystery as to why Siri is exclusive to the iPhone 4S just got a little more interesting. 9to5Mac ported the voice command system from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone 4. In the video below, developer Steven Troughton-Smith demonstrates how Siri looks on the device.
9to5 claims it can recognize spoken commands and speak back to the user. The only problem is Apple's servers are not authenticating commands from the iPhone 4 hardware. Apple fans have been debating whether other iOS devices like the iPad 2 can handle Siri's AI. 9to5's discovery proves there are no technical reasons for Siri being exclusive to the iPhone 4S.
As savvy customers have learned that replacing a lost, stolen or broken iPhone at unsubsidized prices can run as high as $749, many customers choose to protect their investment with an iPhone insurance policy or extended warranty. In the past, we've warned our readers many times about buying overpriced iPhone insurance and extended warranty coverage from their wireless provider. The options offered by AT&T (AT&T Mobile Protect) and Verizon (Verizon Total Equipment Coverage), which are provided by a third party company named Asurion, were traditionally overpriced and offered poor value compared to independent iPhone insurance and warranty providers.
As the iPhone 4S arrives in customers hands today, we thought it was time for an update. For one thing, the information we provided previously is out of date. As independent providers such as Worth Avenue Group and SquareTrade have grown rapidly over the past few years, and as these companies have continued to receive excellent approval ratings from customers and consumer advocacy agencies such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the major providers have taken notice and made their coverage options more competitive. Apple has even gotten in on the game with their new AppleCare+, which adds accidental damage protection to existing AppleCare coverage.
Even though the iPhone 4S won't hit shelves for another day or two, several surprises have cropped up that Apple didn't mention at the keynote presentation. Some of these are great news for those in the market for an iPhone 4S. Other items that have slowly leaked out might not sound too optimistic but in the scheme of things there should be no major deal breakers for Apple.
Of course, many iOS 5 features continue to be discovered and Apple chose to discuss only highlights at the keynote, including the Siri personal assistant, iCloud and improvements to AirPlay. This is certainly the tip of the iceberg as Apple has included over 200 new features in iOS 5. So what did Apple keep to themselves about the iPhone 4S?
Now that the iPhone 4S will be available on three different US carriers, it's time to revisit data and voice plans available with each company. Aside from differences in their networks, AT&T, Verizon and now Sprint have a variety of pricing structures available to meet your mobile needs. Overall, with AT&T and Verizon offering the iPhone for some time now the two competitors have similar pricing, although Verizon offers more tiers for data and messaging.
Sprint enters the game with higher prices for single and family voice calling, however their data option is cheap and simple. A flat ten bucks every month gets you unlimited data and messaging. AT&T and Verizon charge extra for text or MMS message packages and stopped offering unlimited data plans on the iPhone long ago. It remains to be seen if Sprint's unbeatable data plan pricing can attract iPhone 4S customers looking for unlimited data.
Here's a list of retail stores that will be selling the iPhone 4S on October 14. This is not a complete list, just some suggestions on other places you can go if you don't have an Apple Store near you. All Apple locations will be opening at 8 am local time on Friday, October 14, and will be offering a free Personal Setup service.
AT&T, Verizon and Sprint stores will also be carrying the iPhone 4S, but are not a great option. If you have to buy it directly from your carrier I would call ahead to make sure they plan to have a lot in stock.
The iPhone 4S is $199.99 for the 16GB model, $299.99 for the 32GB model and $399.99 for the 64GB model. All prices require a new or upgraded contract.
Some iPhone 4 cases will fit the iPhone 4S, while others will not. Early form-fitting AT&T iPhone 4 cases will not fit the iPhone 4S.