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Review: iPhone 4S, the best iPhone that Apple doesn't want you to buy

He arrived. Just a few months after being officially launched in the US, the iPhone 4Slanded in Brazil last week. It may even look a bit more of the same, but the hardware components responsible for making it work have been deservedly upgraded, focusing primarily on their new A5 processor and the 8 megapixel camera.

Just that, you ask, enough to justify your purchase? Or is there something really innovative that will make it a good choice in the face of competition? I spent a week playing with the newest iPhone and so you can see below my impressions of what is good about it, what does not stink or smell and what Apple slipped beautiful.


IPhone 4S follows the same design as the iPhone 4, with some modifications that may annoy anyone who has a case for the previous model. The volume buttons and the silent lock are just above where they were before, so not all the case will fit. Around it, the metallic contour that gives life to 3G and WiFi antennas also remains there, this time modified to receive signals from both GSM and CDMA networks. The highlight here even goes to the microphone next to the headphone jack, which served to override certain call noise and has been present since the previous model as well.

Even with this ingenious design, the iPhone 4S also repeats the defects of the original design and will probably only change with the arrival of the iPhone 5. The main one being the most fragile iPhones, as the device has two huge pieces of glass. front and rear. That was one of the reasons why I bought a protection before I even had the phone itself: if it falls and the glass cracks, I can continue to use it without risk of cutting my finger. That's why you will see a thin film It is almost invisible in the photos of this review.

Other than that, the antennagate, which existed in some regions of the planet and specifically on the iPhone 4, seems to have been resolved here, as the phone has had its antenna modified and the modifications on iOS seem to have helped. The good grip and although the metal alloy of the antenna seems a bit slippery, it ensures a firm support in the hand.

A great differentiator is that I don't see many manufacturers focusing on the fact that the design of the iPhone 4S, like its predecessor, allows it to have the incredible, sensational and indispensable ability to

stand p. Ok, that's not that important. I just thought you might like to know.

The differential of iOS 5

Before citing any hardware component of the iPhone 4S, I think it is important to highlight its operating system. Many of the features it offers are not just about its components but about the software. You probably remember when he left, because I talked about him here when he was still in tests.

One of the news that came with this version of the system could take the iPhone out of the box and go out using, something that was advantages of platforms like Android until then. Another blatant copy of Google's system was sliding notifications from the top, which are less intrusive. There is also a dedicated camera button on the home screen and the iMessage messaging system for communication between iOS devices can save you a few bucks with SMS and MMS rates. Another highlight is the software update by the device itself. No need to download 600 MB from iTunes with each update a feature that should ensure the canonization of its creator, be it Apple or not.

Good ideas well implemented (and copied)

At least not yet. We know that Apple is always listening to its customers' complaints and implementing the most requested fixes and news, after all most of the features available on iOS (and taking into account all versions) came first when they were implemented by developers through Jailbreak.

Not all flowers, obviously. At first, I disabled the stock and temperature programs from the notification tabs, as their constant updating can drain the battery a little faster. The synchronization via WiFi is still extremely slow and slow, perhaps even due to the restrictions of the network protocol itself. There are apps I don't use that I would love to get, but I can't because Apple just won't.

Helpful, but I don't want to, thank you.

The fifth version of Apple's mobile operating system manages to be more responsible for the triumphs of the iPhone 4S than the hardware itself. Yes, it has good items, but if it still came standard with iOS 4 or any other earlier, they would be underused and the phone would not have much to offer. And Apple's attitude of releasing this version for two previous iPhone models may not seem financially interesting, as it is better for the manufacturer to sell its latest model, but something that has brought new life to the 3GS and further improved the iPhone 4.

That said, let's go to the hardware.

Screen and navigation

The same screen of the iPhone 4, called by Apple Brazil retina screen, with resolution of 960 x 640 pixels, comes condensed in the same 3.5 inches. It's a screen size that doesn't follow the tendency to be overly large, as we see on Android and Windows Phone smartphones that are in the Brazilian market today, and so the vast majority of users won't have a hard time reaching a corner of it with a just mo. And a designer proved it in October.

The screen is also extremely sharp and bright, as it is a backlit LCD with LED. It may be a little reflective, but most of the time you try to see something against the sun you won't have a problem. The merit here of the brightness sensor that regulates brightness and worked better and much faster than I've seen in other smartphone models. Safari is notoriously fast, and shows that it is taking advantage of the A5 processor of the device.

There are videos on the web that show how babies and old ladies are able to use iPhone and iPad with extreme ease, and exactly that feeling. Anyone who picks up an iPhone 4S will use their intuition to learn to navigate the screen with their fingers. The same goes for some of the devices. high end with Android or Windows Phone, depending on the version. Apple wins only in terms of unifying the interface across devices and its beautiful design, but not in functionality itself. It was named in 2007, when the first iPhone was released. Today common.

Like other iPhones, the 4S doesn't come with any carrier customizations. In return Apple takes care of filling the device with a pad of applications that may be less useful than the company originally thought they would be. Newsstand? Reminders? Compass? Ok, I see their usefulness for some people, but how about offering me the option to uninstall them? And these YouTube and Maps apps are as old as going forward, let's upgrade, apple giant? You know you have to do this when their interface doesn't even compare to what's available on the web.

Multimedia and call quality

IPhone multimedia support is the same as any iOS device. And like all of them, it is necessary to go through the iTunes monster to put content that is not available for purchase on the device's direct online store. In terms of video, what is not an mp4 file, m4v in Apple specs will not be added in the program and will not be synchronized. This gap, however, is well filled by application developers dedicated to playing formats not supported by iOS devices. There are a bunch of them on the AppStore and I got the same VLC. He was already kicked from there, but I backed up before.

While native video support still leaves plenty of room for improvement (something that Apple could draw on Android), the audio codecs that the iPhone 4S supports remain one of the best sets, also a merit of iOS 5. It comes with Support aac, mp3, apple lossless, aiff and wav. And that, combined with the iPod interface, makes the iPhone the best smartphone player in my opinion (something Android needs to copy from Apple as quickly as possible).

As I mentioned in the design session, the iPhone 4S has a noise-reducing microphone that makes excellent call quality. By both the speaker and the speaker I could hear the speaker clearly, which was repeated in very noisy environments.

One item that Apple insists on improving the quality of its headphones. If there were a quality scale of this kind of specific electronics and, say, butt were the word that described the worst possible rating, I would put Apple's headphones at the cccix level. They are not very bad, but for a device of the caliber of the iPhone and for what it costs, the headphones leave much to be desired. And certainly not worth the 100 reais for which they are sold in the online store.


If there is any item that deserves highlight of iPhone 4S your camera. I consider the main improvement over previous models, above the A5 processor and also the Siri. The camera, which had an interior mechanic considered a huge breakthrough at the time the camera was announced, has an 8 megapixel sensor and comes with face detection and an improved flash compared to the iPhone 4. Capture can also happen in HDR, as in the previous model. See below some examples of photos.

All very cute in this ecosystem, but it pisses me off that the quality control of the photo is not offered. It is up to the applications using the camera to choose which resolution to send. In the case of Twitter, for example, I can't upload photos larger than 1024 x 768. But Flickr can send even the highest. It would be nice to have unified control of this quality right in the camera itself.

For video, excellent resolution and LED flash help a lot in low light situations. Quality is locked at 1080p, but uploading to YouTube offers lower quality. And by email you can still choose three more, which is cool. The videos don't get too big: 1 minute of 1080p recording generated 174 MB file, which at 720p was 18 MB. Below is a 1 minute video recorded with the iPhone 4S.

Siri the virtual assistant

This could be considered the second most important item of the device, but it does not work in Brazil or in Portuguese. Still. Even so, you can trigger Apple's virtual assistant if you are confident that your English (or German or French) is sharp enough to be understood. Like voice recognition on Apple servers, it requires a data or WiFi connection to work.

For anyone who faces this challenge, you can perform a variety of tasks such as calling calendar contacts, setting up alarms, scheduling meetings, jotting down items in a list, and many other things. But again: all their commands and results will be in English, French or German. There is also an extra barrier here: how many of you feel comfortable giving an order to a device in the middle of the street? , I don't feel like using the crab that much.

Unquestionably, Siri is one of Apple's innovations to sell the iPhone 4S as a huge improvement on iPhone 4. But it doesn't support the Portuguese, and that makes it a little useless for anyone just buying it.

Sync with computer

This step has become unnecessary with iOS. But one step you still can't skip if you value your time: USB sync is even faster than any other option available today. Or if you want to unlock the phone for use on other carriers as well.

ITunes, even without having to be installed with Quicktime, remains a hippo in Windows. It is said that the Mac OS experience is better, but I have not yet been able to test this incredible claim. I admit he got better with the times and in theWindows 7 It is particularly more stable, but I have had problems with locks and errors. The errors, incidentally, remain as descriptive as ever: they display a random number like 0x008UND4 or something and expect us to look online to find out what it is. Why put the description in the error box itself is probably too mainstream.

It leaves a lot of room for improvement but delivers a good interface compatible with what Apple delivers on the iPhone. I would say a necessary evil.


Here are some of the things the iPhone 4S offers, which are important enough to mention but haven't been so far: it comes with FaceTime, basic image editing and video cutting straight from the camera roll, Safari with anonymous browsing capability and save passwords and there is an integration with Twitter in every corner of the system. Support for iCloud is also something that came with this version of the system and it is responsible for making your data remain safe and sound in Apple's clouds.

Also on the iPhone 4S are accessibility features that allow visually impaired people to use the phone. This has already become standard for smartphones on other platforms, but the iPhone seems to have the best implementation among them. And with emphasis it doesn't seem, since I can't test more precisely how they work.


I used an iPhone 3GS for a while and realized that my use of it was far more demanding than its poor battery could handle. This, coupled with the fact that we don't have the best 3G networks here in Brazil, ends up draining more power than usual. The iPhone 4S solves this problem with a better battery, although apparently its control options are smaller: there's no turning off the 3G and just EDGE on this model, just the previous ones.

Still, the battery lasted longer than I expected. With moderate use of 3G, 1/3 brightness display (with light sensor on) and constant music playback, the battery went over 11 hours before the end. With intense 3G usage, half brightness and constant video playback, it nearly reached 9 hours of use before asking for a stream. Both exceeded Apple's estimated 6 hours of 3G usage. Remember that individual use varies widely, I only reported my use to provide a basis for comparison.

Apparently I was one of the lucky ones who has no problems with the iPhone 4S battery. But I didn't restore the backup of my old iPhone 3GS, just set it up as a new device. And as the problem seems to be really software related, I can say with some certainty that the iPhone 4S can reasonably be used throughout the day that at the end of it the phone will still have power for at least a few hours of music.


  • Siri does not work in Portuguese or in locations in Brazil;
  • Fragility of design with glass;
  • Price absurdly high.

Strong points

  • High battery life;
  • Clear screen without much reflection;
  • Great quality camera with decent flash


With all these features, the iPhone 4S can hit head-to-head with competitors' advances with Android and Windows Phone in Brazil. But what it offers in the country for the price it sells still doesn't justify its purchase, at least for those who already have an iPhone 4 or smartphone. high end from another platform. Its very good camera and fantastic processing power, but many cell phones in the Brazilian market already offer equivalent components, as easy an interface as it is and a decent battery life for less than R $ 2.6 thousand that Apple orders in its online store.

In a way Apple ends up forcing iPhone 4S owners to buy it on contract with carriers and there are certain advantages to this. Signing a 12 month contract paying an average of $ 1,500 for the device and a plan of about 150 reais per month may be reasonable, depending on the data plan chosen. And let's face it, an iPhone with no data plan is basically a more expensive iPod touch. Buying from abroad could be the most viable option, but be willing to pay dearly to repair the device if it breaks, as its international guarantee excludes Brazil.

If you don't want either and are content with what the iOS 5 offers, buying the iPhone 4 or 3GS could be the third alternative. The disadvantages are in capacity:both are sold with 8 GB of storage. The first one costs $ 1,800, which is the same as the 16 GB model before, and the 3GS is in the range of $ 1,200. So it is not good to buy them from the online store either, better look for a carrier.

O 16 GB iPhone 4S worth the $ 1,900 (lowest price then) that TIM asks for him,but for a specific audience: Anyone who has been without a cell phone for months or years really wants the latest generation of the handset and doesn't mind paying a price that is still a little expensive. For them, this is the best alternative. For those who want the 4 or 3GS, it is worth researching the carriers as well or waiting for the arrival of the iPhone 4 produced in Brazil next year.

Basically what i mean that the iPhone 4S a great phone what Apple doesn't want anyone in the country to buyAt least not without an expensive plan. My advice, then, the same as Wireless Girl: hold the money. Christmas is here, the shopping season and high prices will pass and within a few months the iPhone 4S should receive a discount. With a hint of hope, you will also receive an update that will make Siri understand the Portuguese. Two great reasons to buy the device then.

At l, the iPhone 4S s is worth buying for $ 2,600 if it is gold plated.