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printed July 23, 2014
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Review: Apple iPhone 4S for AT&T

Form Basics Extras Wrap-up Comments  30  

There's no doubt the Apple iPhone 4S is a fantastic phone, but it isn't for everyone. While it adds some whiz-bang in the form of Siri, the fact that Apple chose to carry-forward last-year's hardware is surely a disappointment to some.

With respect to the performance metrics that count, the iPhone 4S does well. It's the best iPhone for making voice calls yet, showed strong signal and network performance thanks to the fully redesigned antenna, and still has one of the best displays of any phone (though it might be too small for some). I am disappointed by battery life, however.

The media powers of the iPhone 4S are nearly unmatched. The combination of the iPod music player, video player, and iTunes creates an unending catalog of content that can be seamlessly synced between devices. More importantly, the camera and video camera are best-in-class, with excellent performance all around.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with iOS 5 is its lack of social skills. Apple may have integrated Twitter into some of the base features of the phone, but Facebook is (ultimately) more important. The iPhone 4S's lack of integration with Facebook across vital features such as the contacts application puts it far behind some of the competing platforms.

If you're the type who prefers more customization and control over the software, or needs a more durable device, there are certainly good alternatives out there.

Otherwise, with its excellent browser, vast app selection, attractive build quality, and zippy processor, the iPhone 4S is one of the best phones you can buy.

Our Ratings

4.5
Overall
3.5
Reception
3.5
Battery Life
4.5
Hardware Usability
5
Hardware Quality
4.5
Display
5
Interface Speed
3
Audio Volume
4.5
Camera
 

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