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So What's New with the iPhone 4S?

written by: •edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 10/4/2011

It has been the subject of so many rumors, for so long, but now we can really get a look at what the next iPhone brings to the party. Let’s compare the new iPhone 4S with the iPhone 4 and see exactly what’s new.

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    Each new release in the iPhone line seems to generate even more excitement than the last. The speculation goes on for months before Apple puts everyone out of their misery and makes an official announcement. The iPhone 4S is finally here and although it may not be the iPhone 5 everyone was waiting for it looks pretty good.

    What better way to check out the new release than by comparing it with the iPhone 4? We’ll take a look at the two in various categories so you can see exactly what has improved.

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    Design

    iPhone 4 The iPhone 4 measured 4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches and weighed in at 4.8 ounces. It was flat and made of glass faces with a stainless steel frame. The frame also served as the antenna which led to a big fuss when many customers reported problems with dropped signals when they held the phone a certain way.

    The iPhone 4S looks exactly the same as the iPhone 4. It does, however, have a new antenna system so it can “intelligently switch between two antennas to transmit and receive”.

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    Display

    The “Retina Display” on the iPhone 4 was a 3.5 inch LED backlit TFT LCD capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels, pixel density of 326 ppi and a contrast ratio of 800:1.

    The iPhone 4S retains the “Retina Display”

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    Camera and Video

    iPhone Camera The iPhone 4 had a 5 MP rear-facing camera with an LED flash capable of recording video at 720p and 30 frames per second. It also had a front facing VGA (0.3 MP) camera capable of capturing video at 480p and 30 frames per second.

    The iPhone 4S has an 8 MP rear-facing camera and it is faster and better than the iPhone 4 camera in every way – color, white balance, sharpness, face detection. It takes just 1.1 seconds for the first photo and 0.5 seconds for the next. It is capable of recording 1080p video.

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    Processor, Storage and RAM

    The iPhone 4 had a single core processor but they never revealed the clock speed. It was capable of 1 GHz but was probably underclocked to save battery life. It was offered in 16 GB and 32 GB varieties with no option to extend the memory. It had 512 MB of eDRAM.

    The Phone 4S has the dual-core A5 chip so double the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than the iPhone 4. It is being offered in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB varieties with no option to extend the memory.

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    Battery Life

    The built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery in the iPhone 4 was rated at 1420 mAh. Apple estimated you would get about 7 hours of talk time on a 3G network, 14 hours on a 2G network, 6 hours of web browsing on 3G, 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback and 40 hours of music playback. A single charge will offer up to 300 hours on standby.

    The iPhone 4S battery will offer you up to 8 hours of talk time on a 3G network, 14 hours of talk time on a 2G network, 6 hours of web browsing on 3G, 9 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video playback or 40 hours of music playback.

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    What Else is New?

    iPhone 4S Download speeds are potentially twice as fast on the iPhone 4S as on the iPhone 4 – 14.4 Mbps versus 7.2 Mbps. The iPhone 4S is just as fast as the latest 4G releases according to Apple.

    The iPhone 4S is GSM and CDMA so you can use it worldwide.

    Naturally it supports the new iOS 5 and all the extra features offered there and the iCloud. It also supports wireless mirroring through AirPlay, so you can play games on your iPhone and use your TV as the display.

    There’s a new voice recognition feature called Siri so you can ask your iPhone questions like “What’s the weather like?” and it will answer you. You can also ask it to set an alarm for you by saying “Wake me up tomorrow at 8AM” and it will. Siri can also give you directions, read text messages aloud, search the web for information, make calendar appointments and give you reminders. It’s a personal assistant in your smartphone.

    The iPhone 4S will be available from October 14th 2011.

    It comes in black or white and costs $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB) and $399 (64 GB) on a two year contract.