The next iPhone has finally been revealed. The iPhone 4S launches October 14, just two days after Apple rolls out the hotly anticipated iOS 5. Pre-orders kick off October 7. Along with the phone and the operating system, Apple detailed new features coming to its hardware, including voice activated digital assistant Siri and the iCloud storage service.
The iPhone 4S may look practically identical to the iPhone 4, but the new phone packs some seriously upgraded tech, starting with its dual-core A5 processor. It’s the same chip that powers iPad 2, and Apple claims that the iPhone 4S “pushes graphics up to seven times faster” than iPhone 4.
iPhone 4S also includes a vastly improved 8 megapixel camera that supports full 1080p video recording. Apple is keen to stress both the custom optics and the speed of its new camera, noting that its “shot to shot capability is twice as fast” as that of previous iPhones.
Addressing a major criticism of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S features two antennas that it can “intelligently switch between.” Battery life has been improved as well, with the 4S capable of up to 8 hours talk time over 3G. Curiously, gameplay time is not among the figures specified by Apple.
Potentially of less interest to gamers, but clearly very important to Apple, is Siri, a voice activated digital assistant. Siri is allegedly able to understand natural speech and can, among many other things, read and respond to texts, set and change appointments, and deliver reminders. While we’ll have to wait to see how Siri responds under real-world conditions, the videos on Apple’s website certainly make the technology look promising.
The iPhone 4S will be available in either black or white, and will come in 16GB ($199) 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399) configurations. Check out the full tech specs for the iPhone 4S below.
Size and Weight
- Height: 4.5 inches (115.2 mm)
- Width: 2.31 inches (58.6 mm)
- Depth: 0.37 inch (9.3 mm)
- Weight: 4.9 ounces (140 grams)
Cellular and Wireless
- World phone
- UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz);
- GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
- CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz)4
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
- Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
- Assisted GPS
- Digital compass
- Retina display
- 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
- 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
- 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
- 500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical)
- Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back
- Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
Camera, Photos, and Video
- 8-megapixel camera
- Tap to focus
- Face detection in still images
- LED flash
- Video recording, HD (1080p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
- Video stabilization
- Front camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second
- Photo and video geotagging
Power and Battery
- Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
- 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
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- Audio formats supported: AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), HE-AAC, MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX, and AAX+), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
- User-configurable maximum volume limit
TV and Video
- AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV support at 720p
- Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (adapters sold separately)
- Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable (cables sold separately)
- Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High Profile level 4.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format
Viewable Document Types
- .jpg, .tiff, .gif (images); .doc and .docx (Microsoft Word); .htm and .html (web pages); .key (Keynote); .numbers (Numbers); .pages (Pages); .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat); .ppt and .pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint); .txt (text); .rtf (rich text format); .vcf (contact information); .xls and .xlsx (Microsoft Excel)
- Three-axis gyro
- Proximity sensor
- Ambient light sensor
While the pending release of the iPhone 4S is exciting, the release of iOS 5 deserves just as much attention. As Apple is fond of pointing out, iOS 5 contains “over 200 new features.” Chief among them is a new Notification Center that conveniently drops all notifications (email, text, phone, games) in a single spot. Also sure to be popular is iMessage, which allows unlimited texts, photos, and videos to be sent between iOS 5 devices.
Finally, Apple will be releasing iCloud concurrently with iOS 5 on October 12. A free cloud storage service that automatically updates content across each of a user’s iOS 5 devices, iCloud supports music, photos, apps, contacts, calendars, documents, and more. iCloud includes 5 GB of storage for each user, though thankfully “purchased music, TV shows, apps, books and Photo Stream do not count against the storage limit.” Users who wish to purchase extra storage will be able to do so.
With the reveal of iPhone 4S, Apple’s hat is once again handily thrown into the mobile gaming ring. The iPhone 4S will be up against increasingly sophisticated competition from Nintendo’s 3DS and, eventually, Sony’s PlayStation Vita.
Despite Nintendo’s insistence to never join the mobile market, plenty of gamers now look to phones for their mobile gaming fix. With a $199 price tag, the 16GB iPhone 4S takes the battle straight to Nintendo and Sony. Who will come out on top? What do you think? And do you plan to purchase an iPhone 4S? Let us know in the comments below.
The iPhone 4S releases October 14, 2011.
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