AFB Member’s iPhone 4S Reviews

  • Posted: 14 October 2011 01:35 PM

    Wish I had one ... not eligible for upgrade until December at which point we will be getting 3 (Upgrading from iPhone4).

    I’d love to hear some REAL WORLD reviews ... in particular is Siri all that it’s cracked up to be ?  IMHO this is the gamechanger that flew under the radar while the people were chanting for iPhone5.

    OK guys .... let’s hear the good , bad and the ugly !

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    Posted: 14 October 2011 01:49 PM #1

    Just picked mine up this morning at the local Rogers+ store. Will post a more complete review later, once they hook up my Internet and I dig the rest of the iMac out of the moving van.

    First impressions:

    Instantly responsive compared to my 3G
    HSPA+ network is sweet! Might not be as fast as an LTE phone, but certainly fast enough for browsing and YouTube
    No sign of Siri at all on here. Looks like Canada doesn’t even get to play with the US or France versions until they get Canadian French on there.


    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

  • Posted: 14 October 2011 01:58 PM #2

    No Siri on Canadian phone at all?  Damn.  I may send mine back then, because the word was that you could use Siri if you would accept US or British English.  That is very annoying.

    Kitsune - if you change your language preference to US or UK English, my understand was that Siri would work.  Have you tried that?

    [ Edited: 14 October 2011 02:03 PM by Lstream ]      
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    Posted: 14 October 2011 02:14 PM #3

    Lstream - 14 October 2011 04:58 PM

    Kitsune - if you change your language preference to US or UK English, my understand was that Siri would work.  Have you tried that?

    Ah found it!

    It’s off by default, and the switch for it is in the general control panel, rather than it’s own app. I didn’t notice it before!

    Crisis averted, I’ll let you know how it works in a bit!


    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.

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    Posted: 14 October 2011 02:25 PM #4

    I sense the pickiness of the preference setting will be loosened.  One has to dig to activate Siri ?  Less than friendly.

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    Posted: 14 October 2011 03:26 PM #5

    iOS Settings is unfortunately getting a little hairy for nontech-savvy users.


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  • Posted: 15 October 2011 12:17 AM #6

    I got my white iPhone 4S with 32Gb this afternoon. Activating it was very easy, and I loaded all my music and photos with 22Gb rather quickly. Surfing the web seems to be at least slightly faster as you would expect with A5 CPU chip. Constraints for faster download may be at the web sites itself. I upgraded from iPhone 4 because I wanted to see if Siri is really worthwhile. I found Siri quite useful and convenient in many ways. I can see myself using it many times a day especially while I am driving.

    1. To play music from my music library, I can say “Play Beatles” to play any songs by the Beatles or “Play Yesterday” for a specific song title. I can also ask Siri to play songs in my specific Playlist. I think it is a great way to listen to specific songs while driving. I think this will appeal to many music lovers and particularly to high school & college kids.

    2. Setting up schedules / reminder was very easy. I like the conditional reminder capability based upon location (“remind me to call office when I leave home”)

    3. Sending email / text message was a cinch using Siri. I also dictated a long letter on Notes. I was amazed at the accuracy of the transcription even though I spoke really fast. It is far far better & more accurate than the Dragon Naturally Speaking program I used over the years. I believe the artificial intelligence program, using the context, selects the right vocabulary among many similarly sounding words instead of just using the sound heard by the speech recognition program. For the first time, I feel confident that my dictation will be accurate enough so that I don’t have to spend so much time fixing ridiculous errors. I think this will be a big plus for business people who are on the go all the time.

    4. Of course Siri can find restaurants, movie theaters nearby, check the weather and find facts from the web. I think Siri can also save you time by doing the web search for you. I also asked some silly questions, and Siri had some dry humor. Yes there are limitations in what Siri can do, but it is still “beta” at this time. I think over time Siri will transform the way we use smart phones. I think this alone will set iPhone apart from Android phones.

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    Posted: 15 October 2011 05:21 AM #7

    Very early impressions:

    It’s a considerably faster phone - it’d better be with a second, presumably more advanced core.

    Yep, AT&T iPhone 4 cases don’t totally work.  Need to get a VeriPhone-type case one of these days.  Dammit Speck, the VeriPhone’s been out for months…

    The camera is CRAZY fast after launch and first photo (without HDR of course).  Beats the (admittedly slow) point-n-shoot I have.  And who needs continuous shoot when you can capture photos manually at the rate of about 2 per second?

    Audio over the speakers is noticably clearer than it used to be.  You get speakerphone-like loudness with greater clarity.  I suspect part of the reason for the improvement has to do with Siri.

    My Home button consistently works.  Woohoo!  Now if Forstall and Co. could bring over iPhone-friendly versions of the multi-touch gesture app-switch, Home screen and multitasking bar modalities like you have on the iPad.

    Setup is still a pain.  No, I don’t want to read or deal with all those “new” e-mails I already read, thank you very much.  At least I can Mark as Read now.  And what happened to a couple of the newer apps I thought I’d synced right before the restore (luckily they’re in iTunes)?  I wonder if this might’ve gone easier had I not directly uploaded my 4.3.5 data into an iOS 5.0-based phone.  Oh well.

    My e-mail accounts got renamed, and if I’m to rename them, I have to go through Mail on the Mac.  So much for PC Free if I still want full control.

    Siri and I still don’t have the easiest time understanding each other - and I don’t speak in muddled tones from what I can tell.  Siri doesn’t always actively listen for follow-ups…in the case of weather you have to tap again to ask, though the “Siri” button or the Home button both work in that case.  Siri can’t turn off W-Fi, sadly.

    [ Edited: 15 October 2011 05:27 AM by Mav ]


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    Posted: 15 October 2011 07:34 AM #8

    Tetrachloride - 14 October 2011 05:25 PM

    I sense the pickiness of the preference setting will be loosened.  One has to dig to activate Siri ?  Less than friendly.

    I didn’t do anything to activate Siri, worked right out of the box. Not sure what they’re talking about. Super fast browsing. Kicked the iPhone4’s butt! I absolutely love Siri, all of the competitors will be playing catch up again. Its fantastic to ask if there are any restaurants nearby, she gives a list, and then you modify with with “show me only Italian”. Wow! Just wait until it gets built into more apps, you haven’t seen anything yet. I haven’t had a point n’ shoot camera in ages (the women folk own that domain here) so this is huge for me after upgrading from the 3Gs. Love the quality and speed. I will be taking a lot more pics.

    I have to do a lot of reorganizing of apps, lost some settings/pws. Not sure what happened there. I needed to do some housecleaning anyway. Still, lots to discover and test. My old phone speaker volume was about half of this (pocket lint I think is the culprit - ladies who keep them hermetically sealed in their purses don’t seem to suffer the same fate!). If I could figure out a way to avoid that in the future, I’d be happy. Anyone that says this is just like the 4, doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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    Posted: 15 October 2011 10:47 AM #9

    there’s a few prompts before you activate your phone which asks you whether you want to turn on or off a few things including Siri.  it wasn’t turned off by default at least not for me.  the phone was easy to install and I had no problems activating my phone through AT&T. the phone is very fast has an awesome camera and best of all the new voice recognition really saves me a ton of time typing on a smallscreen. I love it! in fact this whole reply was through Siri. I still need to remember to include the punctuation marks but I’m getting there!

  • Posted: 15 October 2011 11:06 AM #10

    I tried to Facetime with my wife this morning - I have it on the iMac.  Her phone did not notify her and I cannot find a Facetime program icon on her phone.  I checked Facetime preferences on her phone and it is On

    Never mind, she was not on Wifi, which I seem to recall is required for Facetime

    [ Edited: 15 October 2011 11:45 AM by roni ]      
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    Posted: 15 October 2011 12:14 PM #11

    Ok here are my first impressions review of the 4S.

    The Pros

    Speed is impressive.  Everything loads up faster, especially Safari.  I should point out that iOS 5 did make my iPhone 4 faster as well.  Especially the camera.

    The camera is the most impressive improvement.  If you compare it side by side with the iPHone 4 you quickly notice two things.  The color balance is more accurate and lighting greatly improved.  The images are noticebly sharper.

    Siri is very impressive.  For a beta it can do many things.  I can see myself using it all the time in the care to dictate texts and emails.  It has great potential as it improves over time.

    The Cons

    I am not sure this is related to the 4S but more to do with iOS 5.  Calendar is messed up and iCloud as well.  Pictures don’t stream all the time and you can not remove individual pictures from stream.  You have remove them all at once.

    The video feature of decreased shaking is hard to notice.  I did some side by side comparison with the iPhone 4 and they seemed to film the same shaking.

    The sound quilty on my speaker is not good and turned up all the way.  I also noticed my phone gets warm quickly just from simply browsing on WIFI.  May have to take it back for another one on these two issues alone.

    Other then that I think it is a significant improvement over pervious model and if one has the funds it is well worth upgrading from iPHone 4.

    [ Edited: 15 October 2011 12:49 PM by omacvi ]      
  • Posted: 15 October 2011 01:55 PM #12

    Will be activvating my 4S this afternoon. I’m porting my number from ATT to Verizon. Anyone have any problems with that? Also does Siri work on Outlook Calendar or just iCalendar? Thanks.

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    Posted: 15 October 2011 03:21 PM #13

    I don,t know if this has been mentioned, but you can just put the phone to your ear and Siri turns on.
    There’s a setting to turn this on and off.

  • Posted: 15 October 2011 03:41 PM #14

    Manage iCloud storage settings

    Good article here

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    Posted: 15 October 2011 04:12 PM #15

    Ok, some more notes about Siri in Canada

    One MAJOR issue; Siri does not support location services in canada. I ask where I can get a burger, it tells me that it can’t do that in Canada. No wonder it’s turned off by default in Canada. It’ll do calendar reminders, weather and web search, but won’t create a to do. Also not very compatible if I pause, misspeak or stutter.

    So, yah. No Siri for me. I’ll try again once official support hits Canada.

    The performance, 64GB of storage, and the incredible camera are all very much worth the upgrade from the 3G. Living in a 3G+ area really helps too ;)


    -Jon Roth

    Instant Philosopher; Just add hot topic and stir.