Apple iPhone 4 vs. Apple iPhone 4S : Specs Comparison - Is 4S a Worthy Upgrade?

TechPinas Exclusive:

The cat is out of the bag.

And as it turned out, it's almost the same cat that's been with us for a year.


Apple iPhone 4S was finally unveiled by new Apple CEO Tim Cook last night in Cupertino. And to everyone's shock - or not, it looks exactly like its predecessor - save for that 'slice' in the antenna.

Given that iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are practically identical twins, I guess it's but acceptable for my inbox to be flooded in the way that it was this morning with inquiries like, "TP, will iPhone 4S be a worthy upgrade to my iPhone 4?" and "WTH is wrong with Apple? Do you think doppelganger iPhone 4S will be as successful as iPhone 4?"

Well, in answering these questions, it's important to always stick to facts. So before I share my thoughts and critique on Apple's newest smartphone, let's all check out TP's iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S Technical Specs Comparison Table --

TP Specs Comparison Table: iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S
Detail/Feature Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4S
Photoiphone 4iphone 4s

Availability and Price in Philippines

Now out in the Philippines
Price upon release --
Php 37,499 16GB Black
Php 43,699 32GB Black

Current Price --
Php 29,100 16GB Black
Php 33,500 32GB Black

Yet to be released (TBA)

Dimensions/
Weight

115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm
137 g

115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm
140 g

Screen/
Features

3.5 inches, 640 x 960 pixels
LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Scratch-resistant oleophobic surface
- Multi-touch input method
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Three-axis gyro sensor
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off

3.5 inches, 640 x 960 pixels
LED-backlit IPS TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
- Scratch-resistant oleophobic surface
- Multi-touch input method
- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Three-axis gyro sensor
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
Operating System
iOS 4, upgradable to iOS 5

iOS 5

CPU

1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, PowerVR SGX535GPU, Apple A4 chipset

1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU, Apple A5 chipset
Internal storage
16/32 GB storage

16/32/64 GB storage

Wifi

Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot

Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot

3G

Yes, HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps

Yes, HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.8 Mbps

MicroSD

No

No

Camera

5 MegaPixels, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash,
- Touch focus, geo-tagging
Video capture: Yes, 720p@30fps, LED video light, geo-tagging
Secondary camera: Yes, VGA, for video calling

8 MegaPixels, 3264x2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
- Touch focus, geo-tagging, face detection
Video capture: 1080p@30fps
Secondary camera: Yes, VGA, for video calling

Accelerometer

Yes

Yes

3-axis Gyroscope

Yes

Yes

Digital Compass

Yes

Yes

EDGE

Yes

Yes

GPRS

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth

Yes, v2.1 with A2DP

Yes, v4.0 with A2DP

Built-in MicroUSB Port

No

No

Audio Jack

Yes, 3.5mm

Yes, 3.5mm

HDMI Port

No

No

Stereo FM Radio

No

No

Games and Apps

Yes, via AppStore

Yes, via AppStore

Java

No

No

Browser - Flash support

No

No

Battery Type

Li-Po 1420mAh

Li-Po 1420mAh

As clearly shown in the table, while iPhone 4S looks the same as iPhone 4, the refreshed handset does come with far-improved internal technical specifications. The new iPhone comes with a dual core Apple A5 processor - similar to what powers the iPad2 - and a better graphics chip. These ensure CPU performance that's twice as fast as that of iPhone 4 and up to 7x faster graphics. Also, iPhone 4S features an 8 MegaPixel camera (vs. the 5 MegaPixel shooter of the previous iPhone) with a new CMOS backside illuminated sensor, which is 1/3 faster than the iPhone 4 camera sensor and gets 73% more light. Along with better stills, iPhone 4S can capture Full HD 1080p videos vs. the 720p video recorder of iPhone4; iPhone 4S records videos with this new image stabilization feature aided by the 3-axis gyrospope so users take smoother clips.

On the software side, both phones can actually run iOS 5, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. However, iPhone 4S comes with Siri, which will NOT be available to iPhone 4. Apple iPhone 4S Siri is basically an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. Siri understands context letting you to speak naturally when you ask it questions. Siri even helps you make calls, send text messages or email, search the Internet, schedule meetings and reminders, find local businesses, get directions, make notes, and more.

If there's one physical characteristic that distinguishes the iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4, it's the dual antenna -- so you'll actually see extra-cuts on the metal band of iPhone 4S compared to iPhone 4. Thanks to this, iPhone 4S becomes the first smartphone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive messages and make calls. Also data can now be downloaded up to 2x faster -- doubling to almost 14.4Mbps!

Now, to answer your question, "Is iPhone 4S a worthy upgrade from iPhone 4?"

Well, speaking NOT as an Apple fanatic, I really do NOT think iPhone 4S a worthy upgrade from iPhone 4 for the simple reason that the improvements implemented on the refresh - in my opinion - aren't really all that big.

Let's face it, iPhone is expensive as it is a borderline Veblen good (I tell you, iPhone 4S will surely cost an arm and a leg when it arrives in the Philippines) and I bet few would want to spend the same amount of cash they spent on iPhone4 in getting a device that looks almost exactly like it with just a supposedly better processor and camera, and a new voice-powered assistant. Naturally, we'd all want to get a 'true' upgrade, the one with a re-imagined design and innovations we haven't seen before.

Of course, my answer will be different if the question is, "Is iPhone 4S a worthy BUY for users wanting to join the iPhone craze?". If the price tag will be relatively close that of iPhone 4, then I would suggest you just get an iPhone 4S.

Will iPhone 4S be as successful as iPhone 4? Here's the thing, matching iPhone 4 worldwide sales - with around 60-65 million units sold thus far - will be a tall order for 4S. But let's see. I guess only time can answer that question.

How about you, TP Friends -- especially those who own an iPhone 4, do you think iPhone 4S is a worthy upgrade?

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