iPhone 4S: The Good and the Bad (iPhone 4S Speeds, Battery Life)

iPhone 4S

Now that the iPhone 4S is out, it’s in the hands of millions. Around 4 million, to be more precise. Of course, now we are hearing what consumers have to say about the device. Seems like things are good for the most part, but there are some down sides, as well.

Here are a couple of reports that have emerged recently.


The Good: iPhone 4S Users on AT&T Experiencing Faster 3G Speeds

According to a recent report, the iPhone 4S does actually seem to be running faster on AT&T for some users. It’s not all users. That’s probably because there are many out there who don’t get what we’d exactly call great service from AT&T. Website MacRumors got a hold of some images from two readers who claim faster speeds on their 4S. Using SpeedTest.net, they found that they had some significant boosts. One user from the New Jersey area had speeds of 1-2Mbps on average on their iPhone 4. With the 4S, they were up at around 7.71Mbps.

Another from Iowa used to see speeds around 4Mbps. His speeds on the iPhone 4S have been around/up to 5.45Mbps. So it seems that only some areas on AT&T’s network are seeing the advantage of the iPhone 4S’ new antenna design.


The Bad: Looks Like the Battery Life is Lower Than Expected

Website iLounge ran some major testing on the iPhone 4S. They were curious about the advertised talk times and standby times. They wondered how it could be better than the iPhone 4 with talk time and lag behind it in standby time.

It turns out that Apple worked on the battery for sure. They made it higher-capacity. However, the iPhone 4S is no doubt a power-hungry phone when compared to the iPhone 4.

Here’s a portion of what iLounge had to say:

Cellular Calling. Apple now promises up to 8 hours of 3G calling time with the iPhone 4S, up from 7 on the iPhone 4. Last year, our AT&T iPhone 4 ran for 7 hours and 6 minutes with 3G and Wi-Fi on, adding only a little extra time if Wi-Fi was off. Apple does appear to have improved the iPhone 4S’s cellular efficiency, at least on two networks. Our AT&T iPhone 4S achieved a 7 hour and 16 minute run time with 3G and Wi-Fi on, while the Verizon iPhone 4S actually ran for 8 hours and 27 minutes, both superior to our prior results on the iPhone 4. By contrast, the Sprint iPhone 4S turned in an amazingly weak 6 hours and 27 minutes—two hours less than the Verizon iPhone. Again, all three of the devices reported between 3 and 4 bars of service during testing, though the Verizon phone notably showed four bars the most often.

The good news is that it seems that the iPhone 4S does have slightly better battery life than the iPhone 4. However, it’s not quite as great as the charts on Apple’s website say for the AT&T and Sprint iPhones. Verizon, however, takes the cake here. It clocked in at 8 hours and 27 minutes. Better than the estimated time by Apple.


In the end

In the end, neither of these points should be significant enough to affect which network you go with. The AT&T iPhone is faster in some areas, but some may never notice the difference, according to what we’ve read. Sprint is much slower than the others, and suffers from poorer battery life, but the trade-off is their nice unlimited data plan.

As for the battery life? We doubt that with daily use, which involves carrying the phone in your pocket, talking, browsing, checking email, texting and maybe the occasional quick charge on some downtime, will be enough to matter. Sure, it’s maybe an hour of difference for each, but if you are using it that much, the truth is that regardless, you are going to be charging your iPhone at the end of the day anyway.

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