The Buyer's Guide

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Apple iPhone 4s

Apple iPhone 4s

from  $250+
product image
90 Engadget Score
The best in its category. We highly recommend it.
90

The best in its category. We highly recommend it.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

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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Pros
  • Great performance
  • Improved camera
  • Siri could, eventually, change the game
  • Broader carrier compatibility
Cons
  • Zero visual differentiation
  • No LTE
90 Engadget Score
The best in its category. We highly recommend it.
90

The best in its category. We highly recommend it.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

90
 

User Reviews

90
Jakelegofilms
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
90
konn4
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
80
Rhymoore
The iPhone 4S is one hell of a small smartphone its so handy and comfortable...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
86
Average Critic Score
 
90
Macworld
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.”
 
80
Wired
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.
 
90
New York Times
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 screen. And while the battery still gets you through one full day, standby time is shorter than before (200 hours versus 300). But over all, Apple has done an excellent job.
 
80
AllThingsD
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 buying the phone will likely be happy with it.
 
90
TechCrunch
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 was a great product. The best smartphone ever made. Now it cedes that title to the iPhone 4S.
 
90
The Loop
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.
 
80
The Guardian
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 form means that a whole new range of covers and accessories won't be required.
 
90
SlashGear
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 just about creating one single, better smartphone, but a portfolio of consistent products and services. The iPhone 4S may look the same as before, but it arguably represents just as much of a shift in the industry as the original iPhone ever did.
 
90
Bloomberg
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.
 
80
USA Today
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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