iPhone Q&A - Published November 21, 2011
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What are the "pros and cons" of the iPhone 4S? Is the iPhone 4S "worth it" for me?
Only you can decide if an iPhone 4S is the right smartphone and "worth it" for you, but you can evaluate the pros and cons to see if your needs are met.
This quick summary may be helpful to make a decision:
- Thin, sleek, solid, and "substantial" feeling design.
- Improved antenna design compared to the iPhone 4 generally results in superior reception.
- Beautiful ultra high-resolution "retina" display (960x640, 326 ppi).
- Quality camera for a smart phone is capable of shooting 8 megapixel stills and 1080p 30 FPS video.
- FaceTime videoconferencing is well implemented and can be quite valuable to many users.
- Faster than the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS.
- Battery life is long enough to provide all day use for many.
- Built-in support for dual mode GSM/CDMA, GPS, 3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
- Dual noise canceling microphones.
- High-quality pre-installed applications, including a "desktop class" web browser, HTML capable e-mail client, and integrated Google Maps, as well as the potential for thousands of third-party applications via the AppStore.
- Siri, although not perfect, can be a helpful time saver.
- Limited support to read and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Relatively inexpensive if tied to an often expensive contract.
- Glass front and glass back, although designed to withstand considerable impact, may still be prone to damage.
- Camera lacks optical zoom.
- Slower than the iPad 2.
- Battery life can be short when intensively used for 3D gaming.
- Micro SIM card may be a hassle when traveling (although a Mini SIM can be cut down to fit).
- Unlocked and contract-free models are considerably more expensive than the iPod touch line and Apple has disabled the CDMA capability on officially unlocked models.
Ultimately, if you need a smartphone, the iPhone 4S certainly is a solid choice. Even though it is not the newest option, it remains quite viable for day-to-day use for those who do not need the ultimate in performance and features.
Site sponsor PowerMax has a good selection of used iPhones -- including iPhone 4S models -- available for sale free of sales tax.
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