The iPhone 4S won’t be available to customers until at least Friday, Oct. 14, but a few tech writers around the Internet have already had a chance to play around with the device.
As one might guess, it seems the reviews are more or less universally positive.
But should you jump up and go start lining up for the iPhone 4S right now? That depends, but probably not, if you’re already an iPhone 4 owner. As Apple stated, most of the reviews acknowledge that the phone isn’t too vastly different from the current version of the iPhone, although it is pretty well improved. If you’re due for an upgrade or new to the iPhone (or you just can’t wait), it sounds like you won’t be disappointed.
GigaOM has a pretty good rundown of most of the major reviews on the web, taking highlights from all of them. Many of the reviews turned their focus toward Siri, since it’s the biggest new change between the current model of iPhone and the iPhone 4S. The new voice-controlled assistant feature is also receiving some positive nods, although one critic from The New York Times points out that Siri is, in some ways, already available to most users as a competitor’s app. That app is Dragon Dictation, a free download that has a lot of similarities to Siri, at least in dictating emails and Twitter updates. But obviously, Siri is more robust and includes a keyboard to make it much more useful.
And as AllThingsD points out, the iPhone 4S is, in many ways, Apple catching up to its Android competitors. Among the top-of-the-line devices using Google’s mobile operating system, an 8-megapixel camera like the one in the iPhone 4S is pretty much standard. So are improved data speeds, with some of those Android devices even adopting 4G LTE service. Apple hasn’t done that just yet, but it has said it has boosted the data speeds of the iPhone 4S. The HDSPA technology Apple is using isn’t supported by either Verizon or Sprint, as AppleInsider reports, so speeds there are going to be pretty close to what we’re already seeing with the iPhone 4. AT&T also doesn’t fully support the technology.
But even though Android devices might already have some of the improvements that the iPhone 4S is banking on, the iPhone 4S is still a great buy at $199, as AllThingsD remarks. Some similar flagship Android devices start at prices of a hundred dollars more.
Overall, the iPhone 4S sounds like it has impressed pretty much everyone, from its A5 processor and 512 megabytes of RAM – same as the iPad 2 – to its 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and its new Siri app. It’s hard to see a scenario in which any potential owners would be disappointed by Apple’s new device. If you feel the need to stand in line at an Apple store, it seems like your time won’t be wasted.