We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

What's the difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S?

It may look the same as its predecessor, but is the iPhone 4S very different?

Apple released the iPhone 4S, the next iteration of its smartphone, in October this year, but the handset was not quite what everyone, including PC Advisor, was expecting. For a start, the latest version of Apple's smartphone sports the exact same glass and stainless steel design as the iPhone 4. However, the device has proved popular. Within the first three days of availability, Apple said it had sold more than four million of the iPhone 4S, that's more than double the number for the iPhone 4, which sold 1.7 million in its first three days. So if you're contemplating on buying the device for yourself, or a loved one, you're probably questioning just what's the difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.

Internal redesign
The big differences between the two handset is in the form of what Apple calls a complete internal redesign. To begin with the iPhone 4S features a dual-core A5 chip, the same used to power the iPad 2, which Apple says delivers twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than the iPhone 4.

When Apple launched the iPhone 4, the smartphone was given a dual antennae for the first time ever. The stainless steel band that wraps around the sides of the smartphone was split up into several antennas so that one piece handled Wi-Fi, another GPS, one handled Bluetooth and another did cellular. However, when the handset was held in a certain way, which became known as the death grip, many users reported a loss of signal. As a result Apple was forced to offer a bumper to resolve the issue.

While the iPhone 4S has retained the dual antennae, the section that handles the cellular signal has been divided up into two pieces and will "intelligently switch" between the two. So if you apply the death grip to one piece of the cellular antenna, the radio will, in theory, switch to the other piece that isn't being gripped

Snap happy
The iPhone's camera has been improved from 5Mp to 8Mp and comes with a f2.4 aperture for improved low-light photography. It also offers grid lines on screen and the ability to capture video in full 1080p HD with real-time video image stabilisation and noise reduction. Apple also says battery life has been improved and according to Apple, the iPhone 4S now offers 8 hours of 3G talk time.

The iPhone 4S runs iOS 5, the latest version of Apple's mobile platform, which benefits from 200 new features including a new-look Notification Centre, and iMessage that allows users to send messages, photos, videos and contact information to other users of the app for free over Wi-Fi. Another feature of iOS 5 is iCloud - Apple's online storage service. Music purchased from iTunes, photos, files and contacts can be stored in the free 5GB of online space and then wirelessly access then from a number of different devices including others running iOS and Windows PCs. Furthermore, when content changes on one device, all your other devices are updated automatically and wirelessly. While iOS 5 comes preloaded on Apple's iPhone 4S, it's not really a difference between both handsets as iPhone 4 users can upgrade to iOS via iTunes by connecting their handset to their PC.

However, there is one feature that iPhone 4 owners won't be able to access even if they upgrade to the latest version of iOS and that's Siri the "intelligent assistant".
According to Apple, the voice-control technology understands context allowing users to speak naturally when asking questions. For example if you say 'will I need an umbrella this weekend?' Siri will provide you with a relevant answer, in this case, the weather report. It is integrated into all iPhone apps.

IDG UK Sites

LG G Watch review: Android Wear smartwatch is the best around, so far

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

BBC using Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to trial 4K/UHD, pan-around video, augmented video and...