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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 5, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    It’s not the iPhone 5, but it’ll do. For now.

    Ciara O'Brien

    Well, that was a bit disappointing. No iPhone 5, just an updated version of the iPhone 4. There had been warning signs that the 4S was all we were going to get, but we still hoped that maybe, just maybe, Tim would do “One more thing…” and pull it out of the bag at the end.

    But no.

    So the iPhone 4S it is. And when you take out the expectations for an brand new iPhone, it’s not actually a bad upgrade.

    But what exactly do you get with the updated version?

    The Good:

    * Dual core A5 processor. The A5 is the same processor used in the iPad 2. And the dual core means it will work faster. Android rivals such as HTC and Samsung have been using dual core chips in their phones for a while now.

    * An intelligent assistant, courtesy of Siri, which Apple bought in 2010. Ask it a question – what’s the traffic like here – and it will use your location data to pinpoint your location and give you an answer. And you’l be able to dictate emails, send texts and make calls simply by telling the phone what to do.

    * It ups the maximum HSDPA data speeds to 14.4 Mbps – the iPhone 4 had a top speed of 7.2Mbps.

    * An updated, improved camera. 8 megapixels vs the iPhone 4′s 5 megapixels, and full 1080 HD video recording vs the previous model’s 720p.

    * New antenna. It will have the ability to work with CDMA and GSM networks. So is this the end of the reception “issues”? Apple promised better call quality, so it seems like it.

    The ‘Meh’:

    * It looks the same as the iPhone 4, so people can’t tell it apart at a glance. Let’s face it, that’s what a lot of people want from the iPhone.

    * That top speed of 14.4Mbps looks great, but will ultimately depend on your network.

    * iOS5 and its new apps. Yes it looks great and it will add some functions to the iPhone, but you’ll be able to update your regular iPhone 4 to iOS5 anyway.

    * iCloud. As a service, it seems like a good idea, but again it won’t be limited to 4S users.

    Overall, the iPhone 4S is a good upgrade – particularly if you’re still hanging on to a 3GS.