iPhone 4 vs iPhone 4S: Is it worth the upgradeApril 5, 2012
Those familiar with Apple’s products know that their hardware is built to last and typically ships with some impressive internals. As such, an iPhone that’s a generation or two old can still be pretty responsive as far as things like gaming or surfing for insurance quotes online are concerned.
Regardless, the prospect of the latest iPhone is tough to pass up. Should a user who’s currently using an iPhone 4 make the jump to the recently release iPhone 4S? Peruse the in-depth analysis found below to see if upgrading to the iPhone 4S is worth it.
<h3><strong>Hardware and Features</strong></h3>
The iPhone 4 sports a dual-core Apple A4 CPU backed up by a PowerVR SGX 535 graphics engine. In addition, it packs 512 MB of RAM under the hood and gives users the option of 8, 16 or 32 GB of storage.
That kind of horsepower is more than enough to allow a user to scour the web for auto insurance and check stock quotes simultaneously with different apps. As for the display, the iPhone 4 actually uses the exact same Retina display as the iPhone 4S, which is good for 960 x 640 pixel resolution.
In contrast, the iPhone 4S is powered by an 800 MHz Apple A5 CPU, which is twice as powerful as the A4 and offers 7 times the graphics rendering capability. In addition, the iPhone 4S features 512 MB of RAM, a leaner profile, an 8 MP rear camera and up to 64 GB of on-board storage.
The performance difference between the two phones is noticeable, as the 4S makes shopping for car insurance online conspicuously more responsive in real world usage. If performance is a must, the iPhone 4S is worth making the leap.
<h3><strong>Software & Default Applications</strong></h3>
The iPhone 4 ships with iOS 4 by default, which is a fine operating system that’s famous for its rock-solid stability and responsiveness. Surfing the web for car insurance is an absolute joy thanks to the default browser, and it’s also the first iPhone to include FaceTime. Users can easily upgrade to iOS 5.1, the latest variant of Apple’s famed mobile operating system.
Owners have access to all of the apps on the iTunes App Store, with the notable exception of Siri. The personal digital assistant that debuted with the iPhone 4S isn’t officially available on the iPhone 4 at present.
On the software front, the iPhone 4S comes with iOS 5.1. Users are treated to Apple’s iCloud sync and storage service, the Siri personal digital assistant and a more streamlined experience overall. Checking the latest auto insurance rates in your local area is as easy as issuing a voice command to Siri, which can manage appointments and give you audible reminders as needed.
Overall, the software improvements of iOS 5.1 are impressive, though they may not be enough to persuade most users to upgrade. Making the decision to upgrade to the iPhone 4S based on software alone is a tough call, which is why we’ll look at a few more areas of performance.
In terms of mobile broadband coverage, the iPhone 4 comes in both GSM and CDMA variants. Regardless of the carrier in question, the iPhone 4 is limited to 3G speeds. That’s hardly a bad thing, as users can reach download speeds of up to 5 Mbps in everyday usage.
That’s generally enough for most people, and it makes auto insurance searches on the web quick and hassle-free, provided you can get a clear signal. Now that AT&T’s monopoly on the iPhone ecosystem has been broken, competition between 3G carriers ultimately benefits the end user most of all.
The iPhone 4S, while not technically a 4G device, still boasts impressive download speeds. AT&T in particular brands its coverage as 4G, even though it’s really just a revamped version of HSPA+. What this means is that the iPhone 4S can typically pull down data from the network at a rate that’s twice that of the iPhone 4.
Ultimately, the networking gains realized by switching to the iPhone 4S are compelling. If getting the fastest upload and download speeds possible on Apple hardware is important to you, the iPhone 4S is a solid buy.
Performance is a tough thing to quantify, as it means different things to different people. However, the iPhone 4 is a splendid handset overall. It still features one of the best mobile experiences you can get your hands on, providing up to 10 hours of talk time under optimal conditions on 3G.
Furthermore, its 5 MP camera takes terrific snapshots and holds up quite well despite its age. When we look back on the history of Apple’s smart phone lineup in the future, we may well regard the iPhone 4 as one of the best overall phones they produced.
The iPhone 4S definitely destroys the iPhone 4 in terms of overall performance based on every metric outside of battery life. Considering the fact that iPhones in general get terrific battery life by default, this may not matter to most consumers.
The iPhone 4S’ camera is the gold standard by which all others are judged, its graphics performance is unparalleled and its slick functionality has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. In other words, it’s one of the best smart phones floating around today.
The iPhone 4S is a tempting option due to its impressive graphics capabilities and the inclusion of Siri. However, those who want 4G LTE will be disappointed by the iPhone 4S and its lack of true 4G speeds. Both phones are quite capable and deliver the same slick Apple experience iOS fans have come to know and love.
If you’re nearing the end of a contract or want to switch carriers, there’s no reason not to spring for a 4S model. Otherwise, there’s not much reason to ditch the iPhone 4.