Call it coincidence, divine hint-system, or whatever that clocks your boat, my one-year contract with Etisalat for my iPhone 4 got over on October 3rd, just a day before Apple unleashed the new, slightly updated iPhone 4S to the hungry pack of fan boys and media journalists.
And, naturally, that has put me in a dilemma. Will the iPhone 4S, after we get it for review and I take a really long look at it, impress me enough to warrant a purchase? Or should I just buy a data plan and get on with my iPhone 4, and wait it out till Apple comes around releasing the ‘real’ new iPhone?
To make it easier to comprehend, let’s take every major upgrade and slot it into neat little bullet-points:
- A5 dual-core processor: Being a techie, yes I absolutely love speed, even if it makes only a second of a difference. I want it. But when that speed comes at a cost of AED 3000, yeah, not really. For me, the iPhone 4 is speedy enough. It doesn’t exactly swoop from app to app, but it does with relative speed that I have never gotten the urge to fling at a wall. However, just like games, as more and more developers optimize their apps for the dual-core architecture, the speed difference will be quite noticeable.
- 7x faster graphics performance: There is no centimeter of doubt in my mind that Infinity Blade 2, which ships in December exclusively for the iPhone 4S, will blow me away into blissful oblivion. The difference between Infinity Blade and the ‘updated’ Infinity Blade for the iPad 2 was impressive in itself, so we can only imagine what Epic has cooked up for the sequel. Current-gen console-like graphics will soon be a possibility. However, personally, I have given up on playing games on my iPhone 4. It’s just not comfortable enough on 3.5” screen with two large thumbs blocking most of the screen. On a bigger screen however, it will be quite something.
- 8 megapixel camera, 1080p recording: I have never really understood why the average Joe warrants a mega-massive mega-pixel camera on their phones. To print pictures? No phone-camera is capable of producing decent shots to make a good print copy. Period. To view on a large screen? Err, no consumer-screen is capable of resolutions of 3264×2448. Period. But 1080p recording? That is one thing that really interests me, especially when the iPhone 4S will come fitted with real-time image stabilization and noise reduction technology. And knowing Apple, I know it will just work.
- 64GB capacity: I only like music when it plays on the radio – I have never used my phone as a music center of sorts, so a larger capacity is a moot point for me. I would be happy on a 32GB; 64GB for me, is an over kill. But I can see how more space is an ideal solution for many – you could finally ditch your iPod.
- Siri: By far the most impressive piece of technology shown by Apple at yesterday’s conference. Siri was an independent app before the Cupertinos put down an offer they couldn’t refuse. For the iPhone 4S, the app has been integrated with the entire operating system, and is capable of doing a lot of things such as set calendar entries, dictate notes and emails, read out messages, and perform searches for words, weather and a lot of other stuff. While Apple gave an extensive look at the software during the conference, it failed to mention how well it would work with people with different accents. None of the dictation software I have tried has ever done a good job. Taking that into consideration, and the other various variables of potential errors that the software is prone to, how many, and for how long, will people use the app to do regular tasks that could take them a few seconds with the thumb? Unless proven otherwise, Siri is still a toy, a cool thing to show off to people, but never to be used to such an extensive extent that Apple hopes we would.
So will I buy an iPhone 4S? No. Not before actually trying out the device. Should you buy an iPhone 4S if you already have an iPhone 4? It’s a case of different strokes. If you require faster speed, higher capacity and are lazy to use your thumb to do things, then yes, iPhone 4S is a great upgrade. I really don’t why people should spend money on a slightly juiced up device, otherwise.
Maybe if you sell it…