Apple iPhone 4S Review

By on January 2, 2012
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We look at Apple’s annual refresh of their iconic Smartphone.

Good: Super fast, really good camera and the promise of what Siri has to offer.
Bad: Siri doesn't understand local names well, same design as iPhone 4, still restricted in many ways.
Price: AED 3149
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

I remember when Apple announced the iPhone 4S some time back and how “disappointed” many of the users on my Twitter timeline were. I kept insisting that it was actually a pretty decent upgrade and even though it looks identical to the iPhone 4- the new internals justified the new iPhone. Thus, I was amongst the first people in line to pick up the new iPhone 4S when it was officially announced for the UAE market. It’s been two weeks since then and I figured that was enough time to write about the device.

Lets start with the pricing and plans for the iPhone 4S- the iPhone 4S is available in capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB in black and white. You can purchase the device from either Etisalat, du or directly from Apple.  The following table lists the price of the buying the device outright from the carriers or Apple.

Etisalat du Apple Store Online
iPhone 4S 16GB AED 2749 AED 2749 AED 2599
iPhone 4S 32GB AED 3149 AED 3199 AED 2999
iPhone 4S 64GB AED 3549 AED 3599 AED 3339


If you don’t want to commit to any data packages, the Apple Store deal is the cheapest, however, du gives you 1GB of free data per month for a year (as long as you spend over 100 Dirhams per month with them) while Etisalat gives you 500MB of data for the first three months with no strings attached. Other than purchasing the unit outright, Etisalat also offers a discount if you sign up for an annual commitment on a post-paid line. While du also offers something similar, it is only for business users and not the consumer so I’m not going to go into that, however you can click here and find more on that if you’re interested. The following table lists plans by Etisalat.

I chose to go with Etisalat’s plan 2 which I think offers a pretty good mix of data and voice at a decent price. Having owned the iPhone 4 in black, I chose white for iPhone 4S simply to have something a little different and while I like the white iPhone 4S, I think black still looks better- but that is just my personal opinion or maybe I need time for it to grow on me

Looks-wise, the iPhone 4S is almost identical to the iPhone 4 and you would need a really sharp eye to spot someone carrying one from the other. It has identical dimensions and is just 3 grams heavier which is something you won’t notice even if you’re holding both phones together. Apple has slightly lowered the position of the volume buttons and the mute key on the iPhone 4S while the surrounding antenna has more partitions and in different places- probably to fix the antenna-gate issue that popped up in the iPhone 4 for some. Some of my colleagues carrying the iPhone 4 are happy that Apple hasn’t change the design on the 4S as it doesn’t make their device look like last year’s model, which I think is fair to the consumer and so much better than a companies that replaces their top-of-the-line device every quarter.

Even the packaging on the iPhone 4S is identical to the previous model- with the exception of 4S written on the box instead of 4. You get the USB plug, the iPod cable and that pin to remove the micro-SIM tray from the iPhone along with the usual warranty and quickstart guides.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • Nad120103

    Hey BOSS…… pls correct the Apple online store price for 64GB unit…. its 23 thousand….. hehehehe…. :)

    • t-break tech

      Thanks- fixed!

  • Ulas Bilgenoglu

    Actually I’m quite unhappy with the 4S, the network connection is always dropping. When I say Aleta’s it’s like every 30 mins. or so :( Even the wireless connection drops some time and the whole network stack resets itself. It’s so annoying that I’m planning to go back to my old 3GS. :(

    • t-break tech

      Oh wow- I dont have any of those issues. Do you live somewhere where the network isn’t very good? Or maybe you just got a bad unit? Try replacing it.

    • Anonymous

      Same here. I posted about that on an earlier article
      It’s not a faulty device, Apple needs to fix it. You can read all about it on Apple’s support forums. You are not alone :)

      PS. Abbas can you approve comments on articles?

      You have 1 unapproved comment
      Everywhere? DIC, Karama, Diyafa to mention a few. Mind you, I didn’t have this issue with the iPhone 4 where 3G was decent. The 4S has a hybrid GSM (world phone) and you will notice a few differences yourself. Step out from an elevator and see how long it takes to regain a signal :) It also btw has a major flaw with outgoing calls & mute audio. Having said that, let’s hope Etisalat can fix most known issues if it’s at their end.
      A moderator needs to approve this comment before it will be published.

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