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The iPhone 4S is one of Apple's most beloved and successful smartphones to date. This page will talk you through everything that makes it the landmark handset it is, taking in everything from its operating system and camera to the amazing Siri voice controlled assistant.
We'll also be detailing the best and cheapest iPhone 4S deals around to help you to get the most bang for your buck. And we'll be taking a look at which network is the best for your usage and needs.
The iPhone 4S is available on almost every mobile network in the UK, including O2, EE, Orange, Three, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Tesco Mobile. Only Virgin Media is currently not ranging the handset.
Most networks offer broadly similar monthly allowances of texts, call minutes and mobile internet data for the same kind of price over an 18 or 24 month contract. In view of this it's a good idea to check out which other benefits a network offers. iPhone 4S buyers on EE and Orange, for instance, get two-for-one cinema tickets, while Vodafone iPhone 4S owners benefit from free games and DVD rentals. It's worth doing your research to make sure you get the most you can for your monthly outlay.
Of course, the main factor when choosing a network is the coverage you can expect in your area. You can do this using our 3G coverage checker, which will help you make an informed decision before committing to a lengthy contract.
In this section we explain in detail just why the iPhone 4S is so sought after and how it improves on earlier editions, with a full break down of exactly which new features are on board.
The iPhone 4S features an eight-megapixel camera – up from the five-megapixel lens on the iPhone 4 – offering 60 per cent more pixels for crisper, sharper images.
Apple has also installed all-new optics to make the best of whatever light conditions you’re in and has minimised shutter lag. Face detection technology is on board too for the best results when taking portraits and group photos.
Video capture has also had a very welcome boost, with the iPhone 4S capable of recording full 1080p HD footage.
Siri is an application that comes pre-installed on the iPhone 4S and allows you to send messages, conduct online searches, make phone calls, set reminders and much more by simply using your voice.
Unlike previous takes on voice-guided assitance, Siri really does understand you and even asks you questions to best determine how to fulfil your commands. It really is like having a conversation with your phone and, like the new best friend it’ll become, gets even better at understanding your voice and your needs over time. Touted as the iPhone 4S’ killer application, Siri is a fun, brilliant new way to interact with your phone.
Under the hood of the iPhone 4S is the same mighty dual core A5 processor that powers the iPad 2 and is twice as fast as the iPhone 4, allowing you to get to all your favourite apps and services in a flash. And it allows the iPhone 4S to handle seven-times faster graphics too.
The iPhone 4S connects to the internet over the superfast HSPA+ network technology. This is twice as fast as regular 3G and offers connection speeds of up to 14.4Mbps, depending on location and network coverage.
iOS 6 is the name of the entirely new operating system that powers the iPhone 4S and adds hundreds of new features unavailable with the previous version of the platform.
New features include the excellent BlackBerry Messenger-style iMessage, improved photo editing, a notifications centre to keep you in the loop and an even better Safari web browser.
Better still is that for the first time ever, it means you need not own a computer to use your iPhone. Users can now simply download software updates, manage apps and edit photos directly on their phone and set up their handset within moments of purchase.
The iPhone 4S uses the same superb 3.5-inch high-density Retina display as the iPhone 4 for pin-sharp images whether you’re viewing your photos or enjoying a movie on the go.
The battery life of some smartphones can leave a lot to be desired. Not so the iPhone 4S, which offers eight hours of talk time on 3G and six hours when browsing over 3G. Video and music playback is an impressive ten hours and 40 hours respectively – all of which ensures that the iPhone 4S is an ideal companion on long journeys.
The top of the range iPhone 4S comes with a massive 64GB of storage – that’s as much as an iPad packed into the iPhone’s slim dimensions. It’s also available in 16GB and 32GB options, which still give you plenty of room for all your apps, movies, music and more.
The iPhone 4S also offers cloud storage via iCloud, allowing you to store and retrieve your files remotely and keep them up to date and synchronised across all your Apple devices. The same goes for music and video, which you can then access wherever you are in the world.
Inside the iPhone 4S is a chipset that enables it to be used on GSM and CDMA networks – the two largest network communications standards. That means you’ll be able to do everything you want in a phone, wherever you are in the world.
Want to find out more about Apple phones? Check out our dedicated page: Apple Phones
Interested in the New iPhone? Find out more on our dedicated page: iPhone 5 Deals
The iPhone 4S is a staggeringly good handset. But it's not the only terrific smartphone on the market. If the iPhone 4S is a bit out of your price range but you definitely want an Apple phone, you might want to consider the iPhone 4, which comes in the very affordable 8GB and 16GB editions.
Compare our best iPhone 4 Deals
Alternatively, there are a host of Android phones that might be right for your needs, including highly rated handsets in Samsung's Galaxy range and many more from the likes of HTC, Sony and LG.
Interested in an Android phone? Find out more and check out contracts on our dedicated page: Android Phones
23rd December 2013
Last minute Christmas bargain.
7th October 2013 – 3 comments
Overhauled OS = Underwhelmed punters.
4th October 2013
Older-generation smartphone gets fresh lease of life.
18th September 2013
Past form indicates you’ll have it to play with on the commute home.
18th September 2013
New features, and a more colourful approach.
31st July 2013 – 2 comments
Plenty of latent demand for cheaper iPhone.