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Still the best, but not very different from its predecessor

90

Apple clearly has a winner with its best iPhone to date, but if you were gunning for the iPhone 5, you'll be best continuing the wait.

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Critic reviews

8.6
14 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    8.3
  • Display
    9.3
  • Battery life
    7.7
  • Camera
    9.3
  • Ease of use
    8.7
  • Design and form factor
    8.8
  • Portability (size / weight)
    9.2
  • Media support
    8.8
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    9.7

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User reviews

8.8
488 reviews
9.0
Engadget Oct 14, 2011

Is this the best iPhone yet? Yes, of course it is. The iPhone 4S takes the previous king, gives it some more pep and adds on a better camera to boot, all without really gaining any extra weight.

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9.0
Macworld Oct 11, 2011

The iPhone 4S has speed, a great camera, some cool voice-recognition features, and the same beautiful industrial design that was introduced in the iPhone 4. It’s destined to be immensely popular. The S, in this case, seems to stand for “sure thing.”

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9.0
New York Times Oct 11, 2011

Android phones seem to come out every Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. Apple updates iOS and the iPhone only once a year. So Apple had a lot of catching up to do, even some leapfrogging. There are some rough spots here and there; for example, every now and then the 4S’s camera app gets stuck on its startup...

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9.0
TechCrunch Oct 11, 2011

I’m happy that Apple decided not to change the form factor even though they had to know there would be some backlash from a certain segment of the population (read: idiots). Instead, Apple focused on the other thing they do best: refining already great products to make them better. The iPhone 4...

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8.0
Wired Oct 11, 2011

The iPhone 4S looks exactly the same as its predecessor - but who cares? If it was shaped even slightly differently or came in a new color, people would still go nuts over the stuff that’s more important anyway: the insides. And both inside and out, this is a magnificent smartphone.

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8.0
AllThingsD Oct 11, 2011

The iPhone 4S is one of Apple’s less dramatic updates, but, when combined with the Siri, iOS 5 and iCloud features, it presents an attractive new offering to smartphone users. Some may be content to skip the new hardware and just enjoy the software and cloud features with older models. But those...

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9.0
SlashGear Oct 11, 2011

There will undoubtedly be smartphones with faster processors, or more megapixels to their cameras, or high-speed 4G connectivity, or bigger, better resolution displays, but it’s difficult to imagine any of them competing with the joined-up ecosystem Apple now offers. Challenging the iPhone isn’t...

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8.0
The Guardian Oct 11, 2011

Siri, the high quality and ultra-fast camera, 30 fps 1080p HD video, globally available voice recognition and the introduction of two antennae (the phone seamlessly switches between whichever is getting the strongest signal) are features that make the 4S irresistible; what is more, the unchanged...

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8.0
Imaging Resource May 9, 2012

Though it's still not as good as a dedicated digital camera for taking photos, the iPhone 4S camera and its ability to snap and share images quickly with the help of thousands of photo apps, makes it the new champ of iPhoneography and a clear Dave's Pick for smart phone photographers.

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9.0
Bloomberg Oct 11, 2011

The 4S is the first phone you’ll ever be tempted to ask for the secret of life. Go ahead -- you’ll get an answer, too. It isn’t from “Star Trek,” though science-fiction readers will recognize, and get a chuckle from, the response.

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9.0
The Telegraph Oct 11, 2011

Overall, the iPhone 4S is a good upgrade to a very good phone. It retains the stylish design of the iPhone 4 and gives it a substantial boost. It's certainly not cheap when you consider some of the alternatives but it feels like a luxury product and it's an absolute joy to use. If you own the iPhone...

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9.0
The Loop Oct 11, 2011

You can look at each of the items that Apple will release in conjunction with the iPhone and be amazed with how innovative each one of them are. When you put them all together in one product like the iPhone 4S, you have an incredibly successful product that other companies just can’t compete with.

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8.0
BGR Oct 17, 2011

This is the best phone Apple has ever made, and there isn’t another company in the world that could deliver all of these features in such a beautifully designed, tightly integrated, and enjoyable packages.

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8.0
USA Today Oct 11, 2011

Apple concedes that Siri isn't a finished product; she is in beta. But even with her blemishes, Siri is pretty darn cool. And she helps make the iPhone 4S pretty darn cool, too.

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10
connorg connorg

The iPhone 4 was not only the best phone I've ever owned, but the best phone I ever used, touched, or looked at. This is as good or better in every way. The camera can not be overstated either: it's fantastic, and I love taking pictures with it.

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5.0
claypool claypool

Very limited overpriced device for today. Its very limited as far as media formats and app integration with the operating system. The lcd is pretty small compared to competitors and it doesn't support 4G LTE. When iphone came out it was revolutionary, but now its stale and just ridding the...

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9.0
hunthenning hunthenning

Great phone and nice update to the iPhone 4. The iPhone 4S is extremely fast and the camera is the best I have ever seen on a smartphone. Siri is nice and the App store greatly extends the functionality of the phone. iCloud is also another plus if you use a bunch of other Apple products; good to...

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9.0
cjtylr cjtylr

I noted in my Galaxy Nexus review that it was the best phone I've ever used, and that remains true. It's just not the most practical or easy to use phone I've owned, which are two of the main reasons I gave it up. Apple has created an almost flawless ecosystem that demands quality and...

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8.0
etchedvinyl etchedvinyl

I love the new phone for the following reasons: More storage (64GB). I can now store all my music on my phone. Faster processor Siri. You just have to try it to understand.

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9.0
webpoet73 webpoet73

It's simple. I am able to just use my phone instead of making my phone usable. SIri is cool, though I don't use it alot now. iOS 5 is very mature. Overall, a much happier phone experience. I say this coming from the HTC Evo 4G (running Gingerbread 2.3.3).

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8.0
ScottFrancis ScottFrancis

GREAT The camera rocks. It's fast to the initial photo and even faster shot to shot. I've taxed video recording more than I ever did on my iPhone 4 and it doesn't seem to generate as much heat. After a spotty start (load due to initial launch novelty, I'm sure), I'm finding Siri genuinely...

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8.0
falleninsea falleninsea

The 4s is a good device that does stand on its own like the 3GS did good but not really a departure from the previous model. it looks and feels the same as the 4 and the real improvements are on the inside hardware and the software side. Hardware wise its faster, works on Sprint now as well as...

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9.0
Crave4iT Crave4iT

I love it, period. I does all that I would expect of a smartphone and more. When you give in to the apple controlled environment then you see just why smarter people have come up with it. The ease of use is incredible. You just do. No learning curve.

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9.0
NatureBit NatureBit

It's the same great iPhone as the 4 with just a couple perks. I really wish the screen was larger, but what's there looks awesome. The battery could certainly last longer. I don't know if this is an early iOS 5 thing or if it'll just have average battery life throughout, but I spent all of...

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9.0
b0r3dguy b0r3dguy

Best phone I have owned to date. All details on why it's so great are obviously stated above, but I just wanted to say that this is still one of the best smartphones out there. The exterior design is nice enough to one day be displayed in a museum many decades from now! Since I am personally on...

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