View Full Version : New iPhone Unveiled
10-04-2011, 04:42 PM
10-04-2011, 05:22 PM
The iPhone 4S—It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts
If you were hoping for a brand new iPhone 5 today, you might be a little disappointed. Instead, Apple announced the iPhone 4S, which looks exactly like the iPhone 4—on the outside. On the inside, it’s a whole different story, and that the message Apple tried to get across during its presentation today. So let’s unpack the iPhone 4S and take a look at its guts to see what’s new.
First, and most importantly, the iPhone 4S will be powered by a new A5 processor. The A5 is a dual-core processor which will be up to twice as fast as the current A4, and seven times faster processing graphics. Apple is also claiming faster data speeds (with maximums of 14.4 Mbps download speeds, and 5.8 Mbps upload). The battery life is slightly longer *8 hours talk time versus 7 hours for the iPhone 4), but standby time is much less (200 hours versus 300).
Second, it’s got a dual CDMA/GSM chip for different networks, making it a world phone (and cheaper to manufacture to boot since Apple won’t have to make two different models for different carriers). The antenna is also redesigned to improve call quality (AT&T should be loving that tweak). There are actually two of them, which can switch between transmitting and receiving.
Third, the camera is much better. Not only is it an 8-megapixel sensor with 60 percent more pixels than the one in the iPhone 4, but it is also designed to capture 73 percent more light 33 percent faster. The camera includes a high end infrared filter as well as five layered lenses which should improve the sharpness of pictures by up to 30 percent. And since the camera is one of the most used features on the phone, double-tapping the home button now opens the camera. The time it takes to get off your first shot is 1.1 seconds, and half a second for each shot after that. And it shoots 1080p video as well.
That’s the hardware. The iPhone 4S also will ship with iOS 5, and all the iCloud-enabled apps. AirPlay will aslo work on the phone so that you can stream videos wirelessly to your Apple TV.
But the biggest new piece of software that takes advantage of the A5 chip is the Siri Assistant, a voice-controlled assistant you can call up anytime by holding down the home button for a few seconds. You can ask it the weather, time, directions from Yelp, schedule a meeting on your calendar, reply to messages, play a song from iTunes, or ask any factual question via Wolfram Alpha. All with voice commands.
Prices start at $199 for a 16GB phone, and go up to $399 for 64GB. Who’s buying one?
10-04-2011, 09:55 PM
iPhone 4S hands-on!
By Darren Murph/Hands-On
It's not an iPhone mini or anything, but it's the first iPhone with Siri. And that has to count for something, right? Right? While it's no iPhone 5 (not even close, really), the iPhone 4S is far from being "last year's iPhone," and the greatly enhanced camera, bolstered A5 dual-core processor and inbuilt voice command should provide plenty of reason for folks to upgrade if they're near the end of their contract. Furthermore, having the option on Sprint -- despite Apple almost announcing it as an afterthought -- is bound to make folks already entrenched on the Now Network think twice about what their next phone will be come upgrade time.
We were able to spend a few quality moments with the refreshed iPhone 4 here at Apple's campus, the Sprint flavor no less, and as you might expect... it's an iPhone 4. But S-ier. Much in the same way that the 3GS improved the overall experience of the 3G, the 4S does likewise compared to the existing 4. The dual-core A5 chip is a laudatory improvement, and whisking about pages, loading the camera application and launching -- well, just about everything -- just feels zippier. As it should. The other major change, the antennas, weren't readily different at a glance, but as Mr. Cook stated, you'd have to be iFixit to notice (and we're sure they will).
The most impressive part was the demo of Siri, the new assistant that lets you do just about anything you can do on your phone -- but with your voice. We tried to psych it out with a bunch of random requests, including the history of Chester, Vermont (a lovely town) and the best Ramen places in San Francisco. Siri never faltered, never missed a beat. It worked as well as Scott's demo up on the stage. There's nothing better to say than that. We even sent ourselves a few text messages, which Siri transcribed to a T. Of course, the lady on the other end still sounds eerily robotic, but we're hoping for smoother responses from the alien within in a future update.
The 8 megapixel sensor doesn't look any different from the outside, but we're trusting that Apple's re-engineered the interior. We snapped a few photos in the demo room to test and not a one came out as great as the retina-bursting contrasty pictures of balloons and flowers we saw in the demo, but then again, we didn't have any balloons or flowers to capture.
As for weight and feel? Just like the old king. We'll be updating this post with our impressions live from Cupertino, and are working to get you some better pictures to look at. Hang tight -- they're coming!
Update: Sorry, guys, but this time around Apple isn't allowing anyone to take photos or videos of the new iPhone in the hands-on area at its event. But don't worry, we'll give you all that and more when we review it in the coming weeks!
10-04-2011, 10:01 PM
Where is the iPhone 5?
The iPhone 4S is here, but is it what Apple fans wanted?
Today, Apple introduced the world to its next smartphone, and it looks quite a bit like the iPhone 4. That's because the new phone — called the iPhone 4S — is essentially an iPhone 4 with slightly different insides. Nobody should be surprised by this revelation, as the company has already done this once before with the move from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS. But for the millions of Apple fans eagerly anticipating a device that could wow their Android-equipped peers, the lack of an iPhone 5 will sting for quite a while.
We have been hearing about an all-new iPhone for almost a year now, with sketchy sources and leaked specs pointing to a larger 4" display, thinner profile, and revamped home button. Leaked pictures of protective cases for the mythical device pointed to rounded edges and a unibody frame much like the iPad 2. For the past few months, it was almost a given that the company was poised to release a proper successor to the iPhone 4, and then when Apple announced that it wanted to show everyone the next iPhone, we all got pretty excited.
But the event has come and gone, and what we have to look forward to isn't quite what we were expecting. The iPhone 4S is, indeed, a ridiculously powerful device. The phone is endowed with a beefy dual-core A5 processor that will deliver the same blazing speed that it does in the iPad 2. Mobile gamers have a lot to look forward to, including faster graphics and more robust games, and app lovers will undoubtedly benefit from a doubling in processor speed.
Unfortunately, for everything the iPhone 4S is, there are several things it is not. The general consensus seems to be that Apple may have dropped the ball by not bringing an iPhone 5 to market this year. As the 4S was making its debut, most technology buffs voiced their displeasure with a new smartphone that looks no different than the one we've all had for a year.
Social networks are abuzz with the lack of an iPhone 5 reveal, and Twitter users are still quipping one-liners like "iPhone 4S: The S means 'So, that's it?'" But it wasn't just fans and industry insiders who took issue with the announcement — Apple investors seemed displeased with the lack of an iPhone 5 as well. Stocks dipped sharply as it became clear that an iPhone 5 simply wasn't in the cards, but have since recovered a bit.
The bottom line is that despite what the iPhone 4S can do, it looks just like the one that came before it. With its ultra-clear Retina display, the 3.5" screen is impressive, but loses its luster quickly when placed along side the massive displays of top Android devices. When the iPhone first launched, a 3.5" display was a pretty impressive feature, but that simply isn't the case any longer.
Another area in which the iPhone 4S comes up short is its network capabilities. Everyone was expecting the new Apple smartphone to finally jump on the 4G bandwagon, but again, the company clearly has other plans. The 4S won't support LTE or new iPhone carrier Sprint's blazing WiMax network. Apple did its best to put a positive spin on the situation, stating that the phone supports HSPA+, which some providers refer to as 4G. Unfortunately, it didn't do much to win over fans, as true 4G speeds are still out of the new device's grasp.
Fans, analysts, and tech junkies all tuned in to watch Apple announce the iPhone 5, and for the time being, it looks like we'll all just have to wait. The iPhone 4S will likely be a successful product for Apple, and the new features like an 8-megapixel camera, 1080p high-definition video recording, and Siri — a built-in, voice-activated virtual assistant — are great selling points. But for those of us who have explored every inch of the current iPhone 4, all we can think about is 5.
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