Is the iPhone 4S Worth the Upgrade?


Every year, consumers expect Apple to either release a new version of the iPhone or at least a software update. This fall, they did both with the iPhone 4S and iOS 5. While iOS 5 brings more than 200 new features such as iCloud and Siri, the latest version of the iPhone isn’t as big of an upgrade as people were hoping for.

Some of the new features, though, may be just enough to persuade the Apple faithful to take the plunge.

Better Processing

One of the biggest changes to the hardware is the new A5 chip. It’s a dual-core version of the A4, which provides double the processing speed.

This is great news for those who like to multitask and/or play mobile games with high-end graphics. It also ramps up download speeds for apps and web pages.

Pretty Sweet Camera

For those who like to record video and take pictures, the iPhone 4S comes with an 8 megapixel camera with flash. Apple also redesigned the camera lens by making the aperture bigger, added an extra lens and increased the light sensitivity of the image sensor.

This results in sharper images and brings 1080p HD video recording to the iPhone for the first time. Apple also added image stabilization to make videos smoother and less shaky than before.

Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T Internet Plans

Another addition to the hardware is the dual GSM/CDMA antenna, which makes the iPhone 4S a world phone. It’s also the first iPhone that can work on Sprint’s mobile network, giving iPhone lovers another choice of carrier other than Verizon and AT&T.

If users wish to travel overseas, customers will have to check to see if their Sprint, Verizon or AT&T internet plans will work without additional fees being added to their bill.

Aside from the new hardware features, the iPhone 4S comes off as a sport version of the previous version. If consumers want faster download speeds, a better camera, or simply want to use Sprint’s network, then this version is worth buying. Otherwise, they may want to wait until the next one (iPhone 5?) comes out.

As for which carrier to buy one from, Verizon and AT&T internet plans are the cheapest but they’re also limited in terms of the amount of data consumers can download each month. Sprint is the only carrier that still offers unlimited data, but it comes with a hefty monthly fee.

It may not be the iPhone 5, but the iPhone 4S is definitely a step in the right direction and a great vehicle for the latest version of iOS.

Blake Sanders is a writer of high speed internet news and information at broadband comparison site Broadband Expert. He also specializes in service providers and AT&T internet plans.

Photo courtesy of tenz1225 / via FlickR Creative Commons