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  • iPhone 4S - Tech Specs and Features


    The iPhone 4S was announced just a tad before the keynote on the Japan Apple Store, covered here by Akshay Masand. It will be released on October 14th, shipped with the iOS 5 operating system which will be released on October 12th. It will feature the same look and style of the iPhone 4.

    The iPhone 4S features many of the expected specifications. They include:

    • Dual Core A5 Processor.
    • Dual Core Graphics.
    • 8 Hour 3G Talk Time Battery.
    • 2x Faster Download Speed.
    • CDMA + GSM Radios.
    • 16, 32, 64GB Models.
    • 8 Megapixel Camera 3264x2448 Resolution, 5 Lens.
    • Backside Illuminated CMOS.
    • 1080p Video Recording.
    • Video Image Stabilization.
    • Temporal Noise Reduction.
    • Siri Voice.


    The iPhone 4S is up to 2x faster than before, with dual-core graphics, which are said to be seven times faster than previous iPhone, "With the power of A5, we can bring all sorts of detail to the environment, like fireflies, leaves in the wind, koi in the pond." This zippy new CPU doesn't drain the battery life either. The battery life has been increased to 8 hours of 3G talk-time.

    The iPhone 4S still uses 3G, although the data speeds are tantamount to that of current 4G speeds. Theoretical download speeds are now twice, 14.4Mbps versus 7.2 on the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S is a dual-radio phone that can operate on both CDMA and GSM networks. The iPhone 4S can now intelligently switch between two antennas between send and receive to make even better call quality - something that has never been done for any phone before.

    The Camera is no slouch either. It's an 8 Megapixel Still camera which is 1/3 faster than the iPhone 4's camera. The backside illuminated CMOS offers a 73% brighter picture. For video recording, the camera is capable of 1080p video and includes video stabilization as mentioned here in more depth. The camera has a 5 lens system for absolutely wonderful lighting, clarity, and accurate shots.

    The iPhone 4S also includes a voice feature called Siri. The feature allows for you to have a 'conversation' with your iPhone by talking to it to get results. You can tell your iPhone 4S to tell you how to get somewhere, or to set an alarm, and there are several more things that you can command your iPhone 4S to do with Siri. It works right out of the box and learns your voice and talking habits to work better for you. It’ll be built-in with support for English, French, and German. It will be beta at the start; by beta they mean they’ll add more languages and services over time.

    The iPhone 4S will be available in black and white. 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399.

    The iPhone 4S can be pre-ordered on October 7th. Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T will have the iPhone 4S, but T-Mobile will not.

    Are you impressed with the new iPhone 4S? Tell us what you expected, or want to see in the next iPhone!

    Sources: Apple Keynote, "Let's Talk iPhone" - October 4, 2011
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone 4S - Tech Specs and Features started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 219 Comments
    1. krosis's Avatar
      krosis -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      It's actually quite based in fact. If you look at everything that was upgraded it has the largest incremental upgrade from the previous unit of any other previous generation iPhone. Everyone seems to have this extremely narrow minded view that since it doesn't LOOK any different that it's not a significant upgrade when that's anything but the case.

      Double the processing power with an extra CPU core and faster clock speed. (3GS > 4 only gave you +400Mhz)
      7x The graphics processing power
      +512MB RAM (3GS > 4 only gave you +256MB)
      +3MP on the camera (3GS > 4 only gave you +2MP)
      +360 pixels on video recording 720 >1080 (3GS > 4 only gave you +240)

      iPhone 2G > 3G was a complete and total JOKE. Same phone except for the crappy plastic case and the 3G baseband chip. IMO this was a downgrade b/c the processor couldn't handle rendering web pages at the increased speed and didn't have enough RAM.

      iPhone 3G to 3GS was the second best upgrade with 128 to 256MB RAM, 2 to 3MP camera, 412 to 600Mhz processor (50% faster)... but still a relatively crappy screen and camera, not enough RAM and marginal CPU performance.

      So to sum up... given the ACTUAL FACTS listed above the iPhone 4S is the best upgraded phone per component than the previous model to date. If they had increased the screen size all the apps would have to be re-written for a different resolution.
      The facts, as always, are subject to interpretation.

      I see that while it now has a dual core CPU, the clock speed seems to be the same (unconfirmed)? As someone who's been running SMP in my main computer since I had a Pentium III, I appreciate that dual cores can help with some workloads and responsiveness. I also know that MHz still matters. The 7X graphics processing power will be great.. when we get something that uses it. (I'm actually genuinely excited about that once using airplay for output becomes more popular).

      The RAM may have gone up by 512MB this time, but it's gone up by 100% every time. If you look at relative increase for the camera and video you see a reduced improvement. 3 to 5MP is +67% while 5 to 8MP is only +60%. Likewise 480p to 720p is about 300% increase in resolution while 720p to 1080p is only about 200% more.

      Where's the 4" screen? Or the 3D camera / screen? Where's the pico projector? Where's the LTE?

      I wasn't actually expecting any of those things, but I do think that's the sort of "new hardware" people where hoping for, given the kinds of new things the iP4 brought. I was actually struggling to imagine what exactly they'd come up with since the iP4 is still, 14 months later, pretty good. A new processor just cause they have one and better battery life were pretty much the only things I could be certain of. The update doesn't seem that disappointing to me, but I'm still in contract so it doesn't really matter.
    1. backbreaker's Avatar
      backbreaker -
      What do you people think, is this iPhone going to be sold in stores as unlocked from october 14th forward?
    1. iYeow's Avatar
      iYeow -
      Wonder who would wants to upgrade from iphone 4 to 4s when the standby time has decreased from 300 hrs to 200 hrs..the battery is the same as iphone 4
    1. GreenApp1e's Avatar
      GreenApp1e -
      Quote Originally Posted by tha1youshouldfear View Post
      LMAO!!! Still no 4G???? That's HORRIBLE!! It's just going to have "4G-Like" speeds?? LAME!!
      No one has TRUE 4G. All these networks "claiming to have" 4G speeds are in reality saying, "this is just a supped up 3G." TRUE 4G is coming in 2012. So just wait 1 more year and then you'll get an iPhone 5 with 4G.

      Quote Originally Posted by GrandMstrBud View Post
      That's why you root an android phone to put on a custom ROM go get rid of all the bloated software. I bet that a Galaxy S2 rooted with a custom ROM will blow the iPhone 4S away. Don't forget about the Nexus 3 (Prime), that will be pure stock with a dual core 1.5Ghz processor and that will for sure blow away the iPhone 4S. Not to mention the S2 is on 4G with Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T and it looks like the Nexus 3 may be on Verizon with an LTE version.
      Too bad TRUE 4G isnt even out yet.
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      lol. So many people displeased with the results of Apple's event, and yet how many of you will flock to the retail stores like zombies to get this phone anyway? I'm betting a good majority of you will....maybe not on release day.....but you'll cave eventually when one of your friends or a co-worker shows it off to you.

      And all it does is prove how Apple can lag behind the rest of the market and STILL be successful......because of die-hard loyalists who SETTLE FOR WHAT APPLE HAS GIVEN THEM.

      Even the stockholders were un-impressed by this phone's debut. You think Apple cares? NOPE. Why? Because they know that the herd will river-dance all the way to the stores, holding hands and singing along the way......open up their wallets.....and fork over their cheddar.

      The same people that piss and moan about Apple not giving them what they want are the same people that just deal with whatever Apple gives them at the time. And thats exactly what they want!

      How much of a step-up do you think the iPhone 5 would be if nobody bought the 4S and it completely flopped in sales? Apple would make extra effort to ensure the 5 was truly a leap forward and not just some mild upgrade built to shut you up.

      Just my thoughts on the whole deal.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      It's actually quite based in fact. If you look at everything that was upgraded it has the largest incremental upgrade from the previous unit of any other previous generation iPhone. Everyone seems to have this extremely narrow minded view that since it doesn't LOOK any different that it's not a significant upgrade when that's anything but the case.
      I agree that its a "significant" upgrade, but its not earth-shattering.


      Double the processing power with an extra CPU core and faster clock speed. (3GS > 4 only gave you +400Mhz)
      3GS > 4 was 1.6x the clock speed.
      4G > 4GS has no change in clock speed, but dual-core should offer some improvement. (not double)

      The proportional upgrade is comparable.


      7x The graphics processing power
      3GS > 4 wasn't a huge GPU bump, but you may not remember what graphics was like on the 3G (awful).
      3G > 3GS was at least "7x" if not more; since the 3G SoC didn't really even have a dedicated GPU.

      Numbers like "7x the speed" are kinda worthless without good benchmarks.
      We'll need more of those to validate properly.

      +512MB RAM (3GS > 4 only gave you +256MB)
      3G > 3GS - 2x the RAM
      3GS > 4G - 2x the RAM
      4G > 4GS - 2x the RAM

      Proportionally, it's no different than previous power-ups.
      But practically speaking, a lot LESS significant because the earlier models were really horribly starved for RAM.
      Doubling from 3G>3GS helped a lot.
      Doubling from 3GS>4G helped, but not as much.
      Doubling from 4G>4GS will only really help, when Apps demand and use the extra space. As a developer, personally, I can't wait! But it won't improve the user experience much for day-to-day use, because the OS doesn't need it as desperately.


      +3MP on the camera (3GS > 4 only gave you +2MP)
      3G > 3GS - replaced a fixed-focus 2mp cam with an auto-focus 3mp cam. Night and day. By FAR the biggest change in usability. (its not the pixels. Its really just a much better camera.)
      3GS > 4G - replaced an auto-focus 3mp with an autofocus 5mp (1.6x). AND added a front-side 1mp camera.
      4G > 4GS - replaced the 5mp with 8mp (1.6x).

      Proportionally, the same. But they didn't add any brand-new cameras like they did the last time.


      +360 pixels on video recording 720 >1080 (3GS > 4 only gave you +240)
      3GS > 4G > 4GS (480>720>1080) 1.5x bump every time.
      Proportionally, the same.


      iPhone 2G > 3G was a complete and total JOKE. Same phone except for the crappy plastic case and the 3G baseband chip. IMO this was a downgrade b/c the processor couldn't handle rendering web pages at the increased speed and didn't have enough RAM.
      I guess we have to agree on something....


      iPhone 3G to 3GS was the second best upgrade with 128 to 256MB RAM, 2 to 3MP camera, 412 to 600Mhz processor (50% faster)... but still a relatively crappy screen and camera, not enough RAM and marginal CPU performance.
      3G > 3GS gave you:
      modern CPU (armv6 vs armv7) clocked at 1.6x speed
      real GPU (instead of having the CPU do the work)
      enough RAM that the OS wasn't eating your lunch (instead of having the OS eat your lunch)
      vastly more functional camera (though still low-resolution)


      So to sum up... given the ACTUAL FACTS listed above the iPhone 4S is the best upgraded phone per component than the previous model to date. If they had increased the screen size all the apps would have to be re-written for a different resolution.
      [/B]
      Let's not forget 3GS > 4G
      CPU: 1.6x clock up
      GPU: modest improvement
      Display: double resolution. 4x the pixels. That was kindof a big deal, no?
      Camera: incremental improvement + extra camera in front

      ....

      There's no problem with the 4GS. I don't have a problem with the 4GS. I think its nice.

      If the retina display is "good enough" no need to change it.
      If the auto-focus multiple-lens camera is "good enough" no need to change it. Just replace the CCD to bump the pixel count.
      If 2 cameras is good enough, no need to add another 3 or 4 cameras on every side.

      But its still less of a jump to go from a slightly less powerful device with all these basic features to a more powerful one, than it is to go from a slightly less powerful device without those features to one that has them.
    1. difensore's Avatar
      difensore -
      Quote Originally Posted by tha1youshouldfear View Post
      LMAO!!! Still no 4G???? That's HORRIBLE!! It's just going to have "4G-Like" speeds?? LAME!!
      --- until now, people do not know what real 4G is ... no carrier in the United States has real 4G technology ... LTE or Long Term Evolution is essentially like 3.5G which a faster iteration of 3G ... The Real 4G hasn't even been tested commercially here in the US ... Even Verizon is not fully 3G until they have moved all their customers to a situation where the user can make voice calls and use data (like internet traffic) at the same time which is an essential part of being 3G. The LTE capability which Verizon lamely calls 4GLTE is in the right direction towards 3G compliant ...
    1. Amadomon's Avatar
      Amadomon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon79 View Post
      Just because it doesn't have a new form factor doesn't mean it's not a significan't upgrade. Strictly talking specs the iPhone 4 to 4S was a MUCH bigger upgrade than the 3GS to 4 was! Just like the 3G to 3GS was a MUCH bigger upgrade than the 2G to 3G was. Y'all are hung up on the fact that it looks the same on the outside.

      Double the processing power with an extra CPU core and faster clock speed. (3GS > 4 only gave you +400Mhz)
      +512MB RAM (3GS > 4 only gave you +256MB)
      +3MP on the camera (3GS > 4 only gave you +2MP)
      +360 pixels on video recording 720 >1080 (3GS > 4 only gave you +240)

      Looking at specs alone the 4S is a MUCH better phone than the 4.
      Well said.
    1. General Klinger's Avatar
      General Klinger -
      Since the 4 and 4s are nearly identical and I can't find any info anywhere else, is it safe to assume the cases are the same? I would rather order my case now so it's here before my phone. I HATE carrying around an iPhone without a case.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Pretty sure the cases will be the same.
    1. General Klinger's Avatar
      General Klinger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
      Pretty sure the cases will be the same.
      That's what I am thinking. Just gonna order the case on Amazon so it can be returned if I am wrong
    1. ramicio's Avatar
      ramicio -
      Quote Originally Posted by tha1youshouldfear View Post
      LMAO!!! Still no 4G???? That's HORRIBLE!! It's just going to have "4G-Like" speeds?? LAME!!
      Because 4G is just hype, and there is nothing that meets the proposed 4G standards. The only thing that will scale to 4G has nothing to do with mobile phones, it's the WiMax wireless internet service type crap. Let me repeat... There is no such thing as 4G. The ITU can't make a spec, and then change its mind to suit the hype-pushing mobile phone corporations.
    1. SoFly's Avatar
      SoFly -
      Quote Originally Posted by raduga View Post
      I agree that its a "significant" upgrade, but its not earth-shattering.


      3GS > 4 was 1.6x the clock speed.
      4G > 4GS has no change in clock speed, but dual-core should offer some improvement. (not double)

      The proportional upgrade is comparable.



      3GS > 4 wasn't a huge GPU bump, but you may not remember what graphics was like on the 3G (awful).
      3G > 3GS was at least "7x" if not more; since the 3G SoC didn't really even have a dedicated GPU.

      Numbers like "7x the speed" are kinda worthless without good benchmarks.
      We'll need more of those to validate properly.


      3G > 3GS - 2x the RAM
      3GS > 4G - 2x the RAM
      4G > 4GS - 2x the RAM

      Proportionally, it's no different than previous power-ups.
      But practically speaking, a lot LESS significant because the earlier models were really horribly starved for RAM.
      Doubling from 3G>3GS helped a lot.
      Doubling from 3GS>4G helped, but not as much.
      Doubling from 4G>4GS will only really help, when Apps demand and use the extra space. As a developer, personally, I can't wait! But it won't improve the user experience much for day-to-day use, because the OS doesn't need it as desperately.


      3G > 3GS - replaced a fixed-focus 2mp cam with an auto-focus 3mp cam. Night and day. By FAR the biggest change in usability. (its not the pixels. Its really just a much better camera.)
      3GS > 4G - replaced an auto-focus 3mp with an autofocus 5mp (1.6x). AND added a front-side 1mp camera.
      4G > 4GS - replaced the 5mp with 8mp (1.6x).

      Proportionally, the same. But they didn't add any brand-new cameras like they did the last time.


      3GS > 4G > 4GS (480>720>1080) 1.5x bump every time.
      Proportionally, the same.


      I guess we have to agree on something....


      3G > 3GS gave you:
      modern CPU (armv6 vs armv7) clocked at 1.6x speed
      real GPU (instead of having the CPU do the work)
      enough RAM that the OS wasn't eating your lunch (instead of having the OS eat your lunch)
      vastly more functional camera (though still low-resolution)



      Let's not forget 3GS > 4G
      CPU: 1.6x clock up
      GPU: modest improvement
      Display: double resolution. 4x the pixels. That was kindof a big deal, no?
      Camera: incremental improvement + extra camera in front

      ....

      There's no problem with the 4GS. I don't have a problem with the 4GS. I think its nice.

      If the retina display is "good enough" no need to change it.
      If the auto-focus multiple-lens camera is "good enough" no need to change it. Just replace the CCD to bump the pixel count.
      If 2 cameras is good enough, no need to add another 3 or 4 cameras on every side.

      But its still less of a jump to go from a slightly less powerful device with all these basic features to a more powerful one, than it is to go from a slightly less powerful device without those features to one that has them.
      Very detailed analysis and comparison. +1

      One thing, the standby time of the 4s has been decreased to 200 hours compared to the 4's 300 hours. BUT, the 3G talktime increased from 7 to 8 hours. Explain please? (sorry if it's a stupid question)
    1. mbkatt's Avatar
      mbkatt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tario70 View Post
      Apple somewhat failed in my eyes today & yet I'm on the fence...

      How sad is it that I see this new iPhone & I'm seriously considering hanging on to my iPhone 3Gs for one more year? I really do not like the design of the 4, now 4S. A glass back has to be the most idiotic design choice in the history of design choices for cell phones. I'd be curious as to what others think. Those with the 4 I'd assume will be happy to keep their phone with no rush to upgrade, but are there any other 3Gs users that are in the same boat as me? & what will you do?
      I've been hanging on to my old 3G for about the last 11 months waiting for Apple to release their next new iPhone... I didn't want to get the iPhone 4 back in December, because I thought that they'd give me a new choice in 6 more months... WRONG! I'm quite disappointed in Apple's lack luster upgrade this year. That being said, I will get the iPhone 4S...because I'm addicted to iPhone and my 3G just doesn't cut it. back to the "no 4G" comments... 4G speeds are supposed to be 100Mbps. Based on that, nobody has a true 4G phone or network available right now and Apple is just setting the record straight. The 4S is just as fast, if not faster than the other "4G" phones out there according to all the specs I can find from any of the other carriers/manufacturers.

      When the iPhone 5 finally comes out, I will not get it... I'll wait for the "5S" or 6!
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by SoFly View Post
      Very detailed analysis and comparison. +1

      One thing, the standby time of the 4s has been decreased to 200 hours compared to the 4's 300 hours. BUT, the 3G talktime increased from 7 to 8 hours. Explain please? (sorry if it's a stupid question)
      quick guess:
      the new radio uses less power when active than the old one did?
      but baseline power drain is greater than before?
      (Could be a side-effect of the A5, though if true that iz teh suxors)

      Or radios are much more efficient, but battery is a little smaller?
    1. prgeno's Avatar
      prgeno -
      Quote Originally Posted by GreenApp1e View Post
      No one has TRUE 4G. All these networks "claiming to have" 4G speeds are in reality saying, "this is just a supped up 3G." TRUE 4G is coming in 2012. So just wait 1 more year and then you'll get an iPhone 5 with 4G.



      Too bad TRUE 4G isnt even out yet.
      I could explain once again how your interpretation is wrong. Instead I'll ask you to please enlighten us as to what you think "TRUE 4G" is and how it is something magically different than LTE or WiMax.
    1. klugey1's Avatar
      klugey1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      4G has not been released yet, no phone has 4G
      Um, not sure what you are talking about. Think Droid Bionic, HTC's Thunderbolt, Charge, etc...These all run on Verizon's LTE band which is 4G.

      Who wants an iPhone 4s when you can get the iPhone 4JB? Yes, this is the iPhone 4JB.
    1. spazturtle's Avatar
      spazturtle -
      Quote Originally Posted by klugey1 View Post
      Um, not sure what you are talking about. Think Droid Bionic, HTC's Thunderbolt, Charge, etc...These all run on Verizon's LTE band which is 4G.
      LTE is not 4G, LTE is a working towards 4G specification, LTE-A is a 4G candidate. ITU say for a standard to be 4G it has to deliver 1Gbps speeds.
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      Using percentages (or "proportional" numbers) rather than absolute values to skew your analysis of upgrades is funny.

      256 to 512 is a 100% upgrade
      512 to 1028 is also a 100% upgrade but if you take absolute/actual values this upgrade is much more significant. (+512 MB vs +256MB)

      3MP camera to 5MP camera is a 66% increase.
      5Mp to 8MP is a 60% upgrade so percentage wise it looks like the second upgrade is less significant... but looking at absolute numbers +3MP is more than a +2MP upgrade.

      480 to 720 is +50%
      720 to 1080 is also +50% so while percentages might make it look the same absolute numbers give you +360 pixels in this upgrade vs only +240 pixels in the last upgrade.

      You seem to think adding an extra core but keeping the same clock speed is LESS than double the performance; however, historically when computers went from 3.4+Ghz on a Pentium 4 computer to a modest 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo it shows a significant performance boost because of the advanced chip architecture. It's not pure clock speed that determines performance when adding cores. If you look at the benchmark tests of the iPad vs iPad 2 you will see the iPad 2 scores more than TRIPLE those of the iPad.
    1. klugey1's Avatar
      klugey1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spazturtle View Post
      LTE is not 4G, LTE is a working towards 4G specification, LTE-A is a 4G candidate. ITU say for a standard to be 4G it has to deliver 1Gbps speeds.
      Here is the link to the article you should read before making erroneous claims:
      Newsroom • Press Release

      The ITU may have taken notice of this extensive and erroneous usage as the governing body has reconsidered its previous definition. A press release from its December meeting reveals that the International Telecommunications Union has made the following changes and now expands the term 4G as follows:

      Following a detailed evaluation against stringent technical and operational criteria, ITU has determined that “LTE-Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed. The detailed specifications of the IMT-Advanced technologies will be provided in a new ITU-R Recommendation expected in early 2012.

      In other words, all that public bickering over which carrier really has 4G (previous answer: zero) was all for naught. Based on the new guideline, commercially deployed LTE (Verizon), WiMax (Sprint) and HSPA+ (T-Mobile) can all call themselves "4G."