Product Type: Apple Smartphone
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The apple of my eye!
Apple iPhone 4S 32 GB
Author Name: superness11
Apple iPhone 4S 32 GB
Advantages: great features
Disadvantages: battery life, camera does not have optical zoom
==So for starters... How much did it cost?==
I do not like being tied into long contacts so I wanted a 12 month plan so ended up paying £239.99 for the phone. I could cash in my old phone for £90 so this reduced the price quite a lot. My contact is £41.00 a month and it is a price plan that suits my needs. This is with O2 and the same plan but taken on an 18month contract or 24 month contact gives you a free phone! I was tempted by this offer however I like being able to upgrade after a year and the resale value of my phone is still quite high.
==Now I have the phone, I'll talk you though what it looks like...==
The phone is very slim and features a silver metal rim that runs around the edge of the phone; the back of the phone is shiny with the apple logo on it and at the front is the large 3.5" touch screen. The phone is available in white or black. Black is a haven for finger prints but I just prefer the sleeker look of the black one and this is the one I decided on. I use my iPhone while running and wear it on an arm band. Due to the size and weight this is really comfortable.
At the top of the silver rim of the phone there is the headphone jack and the on button that needs holding in for a few seconds to turn on. Underneath the touch screen is the circular 'home' button that you use to close applications and bring the menu up. This button also activates the camera. If the phone is locked, all you need to do is tap this twice and the camera application opens. This is great making the phone perfect for taking pictures as you do not need to spend time messing about unlocking the phone and then finding the application. Underneath the iphone is the connecter to charge the phone or plug it into the computer and the speakers that throw out quite a lot of sound for a small little thing. At the left side are two little volume switches, one of these also acts as the camera shutter button. Above this is a flick switch that toggles between volume and no volume. At the right hand side of the silver rim is a small slot to pop the sim card in. This slot is opened with a special tool that apple supple you with and you can only use the phone with a mini simcard that is designed for the iphone 4 or 4S. Now this is where you need to be careful as I heard a horror story from the sales rep where a buyer bought the new phone and used a dart to try opening the slot with! It is a tiny hole that needs something sharp to pull the tiny drawer out, however the only thing that will work is the apple tool. This is stuck to the back of the sim card packet so make sure you do not throw anything away until you are sure you have everything you need.
The primary function of the phone is to make and receive calls and send text messages. It would be pointless reviewing a phone and not discussing these things! Using the phone to make calls is simple; you can even select names from the phone book or type numbers straight into the phone. The contacts list is very basic, which probably pleases some people however you can load a picture up and assign the image to the caller. There is no social networking facility; it would be great if it linked straight to friends face book pages; however Apple have chosen to keep things simple. To use the phone call feature you just need to select the phone icon on the menu. Calls tend to sound crisp and clear and even when you use the loudspeaker option you can still here the other person clearly and they can hear you too. I sometimes use this if I am cooking or doing something and have the phone on the side so I can chat and use my hands at the same time.
It is easy to send text messages and shows messages in a conversation thread so you can easily track the discourse between you and whoever. You can chose to have your text message alerts pop up on screen to interrupt whatever you are doing. You can have this pop up with the name or number the text message is from or you can have the first line of the message ping up. The touch screen keyboard is very receptive and accurate.
I have set up my hotmail email account to the phone which means I can access my emails through my phone without having to log in all the time. If you set it on push then you get alerted as soon as you get an email and they come through instantly.
==It looks like the iphone 4, so what is different?==
Aesthetically they look identical, however the iphone 4S now has the same dual core A5 processor that the ipad 2 has and there is over seven times the increase in graphical processing power. This gives a longer battery life and faster speeds of loading applications up. The new operating system has a new look drop down menu where you can see different updates from weather to face book alerts! It did not take me long to get used to the new menu and features and I really like the new feel of the phone. The phone is really powerful and quick, things load in hardly any time it is very responsive.
Also there was a problem with the iPhone 4 whereby if the user held the phone in their left hand and covered up the side of the machine the signal dropped and in some cases disappeared. To overcome this, Apple has used a dual band aerial design. I have never had a problem with the signal on the phone and I'm glad they have fixed this problem.
You can download many different applications, some free and some you need to pay for. I have found a fantastic GPS sat nav system for free! So there really is so much scope for you. I will not bore you with the ins and outs of applications. All I will say is that you can download them straight from the apple app store and they will load onto your phone. An icon for the app you have downloaded will appear on your menu and from here you can launch the application. Whether you like games, reading newspapers or silly apps there is something for you. You can organise your applications into little files by dragging and dropping them on top of each other. I have files called games and utilities etc where I can arrange my apps and locate them quickly. Apps are also easy to delete, simply hold your finger over the app till it shakes and then click the little x in the corner. Voila, it has gone!
==Wifi and 3G==
The wifi is great, quick to display pages and download apps, using wifi is quicker than 3G and does not come off my usage. 3G is still very powerful though and I have streamed movies and programmes and not experienced any problems. The films have played with no interruptions and
Internet pages load well, with a bookmark and history option to track where you have been. Disappointingly there is still no flash support so some pages do not load at all if they are not apple friendly.
With the huge 32GB memory you can store thousands of songs and videos. The iPod feature is great and once you connect your phone to your lap top you can seamlessly transfer your music onto your phone using the iTunes library. Once the songs are on the device they are organized into albums/artists/songs and can be easily found by scrolling though. I enjoy making playlists and find this useful when using the iPod for exercise. The music quality is impeccable and I find that even when on the loudest setting the music still sounds clear. You can also connect to the iTunes store though your phone and buy songs or videos and have them downloaded straight to your device. Downloading songs straight from iTunes to the device is useful and really quick. It takes less than 30 seconds for a song to download and they cost around 99p each.
Siri - Apple's voice recognition service. Holler a command at your phone and it will do it for you. For example asking your phone to play a certain song. You can chose to dictate text messages to your phone and it will write it for you, this on the whole is quite accurate, however I still find it quicker to handwrite it as it does make some littler errors.
I'm not a big fan of this feature; it is very gimmicky and not very impressive.
The camera is fantastic at 8MP. A perfect companion, it produces crisp clear images. There is no optical zoom though which is annoying in some respects but on the whole the quality of the camera is by far the best feature of the phone. You can quickly take a series of photographs without any long delays of load time and the quick launch option already discussed is a bonus. Having a camera at the front and back of the phone is a great addition when taking your own head shots and the flash is also really impressive.
The phone features 1080p video recording which is easy to use and fantastic digitally and audibly. I have captured some great karaoke moments with the phone and the quality is amazing! The phone has anti shake technology to help you create smooth looking videos.
* Talk time: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G (GSM)
* Standby time: Up to 200 hours
* Internet use: Up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 9 hours on Wi-Fi
* Video playback: Up to 10 hours
* Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
I find that my phone lasts for around a day and I charge it up every night days. When watching films you can really see the battery life drop and I'm not sure the phone actually performs as well as the specification says it should.
This is a bit of a whistle stop tour but I hope you have had chance to see what I really like about the phone and what things I wish were improved. It is a great phone and I like the 32GB of memory as it means I can use it instead of my iPod. The great camera means I no longer need to take a point and shoot camera out with me as my phone will do just as good a job!
Summary: A fantastic new addition to the apple family
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