4 or 4S when using Sprint

Joemero

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
172
0
I've been a Sprint customer for the last 8 years and don't plan on switching providers. My recent phone has been a BB for the last 4 years and now I'm anxious to get an iphone since they became available thru them.

I know the iphone 5 will probably be released in the summer or fall 2012, but want an iphone now. I can give whatever I get now to my wife or daughter when the 5 comes out and upgrade then.

My question is, should I get the 4 or 4S now? I know Sprint's network is slow for the iphone right now, but hope they will improve it in the future. Will the faster processor of the 4S help any now, or pretty much the same thing now if I get the 4? Since I will be giving whatever I get now in 6-8 months to a family member, would it be better for it to be the 4S since the 4 will be even more dated by then?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,496
31,528
Boston
If you're going to the iPhone I see little reason to get the 4. With the 4S you get siri, faster CPU, no antenna issues and a few more features.
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
594
13
USA
I'm in the same boat on Sprint. I have plans to upgrade to the 4S when I'm eligible in about 2 weeks.

I'd also recommend the 4S simply because you don't have one right now. If you HAD an iPhone 4, I could potentially see skipping the 4S upgrade. However, considering this phone will have to last you 2 years until your next upgrade, you're probably going to want something that's only 4 months old compared to something that's almost 19 months old.

Regarding slower data speeds, don't forget you have the 14-day (used to be 30) return policy with Sprint. So if you're truly unhappy with your Sprint powered iPhone, you can return it and go back to your Blackberry or find another device.

I've seen the data speed comparisons, and while AT&T certainly blows everyone else out of the water right now, I'd say that it's comparable, though a bit more spotty, than Verizon. Remember both Sprint and Verizon use CDMA while AT&T is using GSM/HSPA+ which is a completely different technology.

Sprint is in the middle of upgrading their data speeds and will start rolling out 4G LTE in the second half of this year, and supposed to be finished by the end of 2013. So, even if you waited for the iPhone 5 you may not have LTE coverage for another year and a half.

Hope this helps you make your decision.
 

Ayemerica

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2011
1,058
155
Atlantis but in space
Everyone who has asked me that is eligible for upgrade I always say iPhone 4S. For 100$ more you get twice the memory 16GB instead of 8GB and the newer phone. cheers.
 

Gix1k

macrumors 68030
Jun 16, 2008
2,913
327
Neither. Sprint sucks. I have VZW..nephew has Sprint. We were both testing...mine was killing his.
 

davidra

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
413
4
Neither. Sprint sucks. I have VZW..nephew has Sprint. We were both testing...mine was killing his.
And that means what? In my house, my wife has Verizon and I have Sprint. I have faster data speeds than her at least 90% of the time.

Depends on where you are; think about that before you make such grandiose statement.
 

Joemero

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 30, 2009
172
0
I guess my question is more on the fact that I already know I will be handing it down and getting the 5 in 6-9 months, whenever it comes out. And also on the fact that the new 4 also has iOS 5. But since I guess an extra $100 for better camera/video and more memory might justify the extra expense?
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Jan 8, 2008
2,058
747
Tampa, Florida
I'd go for the 4S. Not only does it have better specs, a better camera, etc, but when you hand it down to whoever it winds up going to when you get another new one, it'll last them longer than the 4 would.
 

3bs

macrumors 603
May 20, 2011
5,426
19
Dublin, Ireland
I guess my question is more on the fact that I already know I will be handing it down and getting the 5 in 6-9 months, whenever it comes out. And also on the fact that the new 4 also has iOS 5. But since I guess an extra $100 for better camera/video and more memory might justify the extra expense?
I'd say so. Go for it
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,479
8,188
Austin, TX
I'd go for the 4S. Not only does it have better specs, a better camera, etc, but when you hand it down to whoever it winds up going to when you get another new one, it'll last them longer than the 4 would.
I hadn't thought of this, but this does make sense. So really it all depends how much you like the person who gets your old phone :)
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Not much of a gamer, but I do like to shoot pics and video (edit video) and run many apps.
Then definitely get the 4S. The better camera is far better for pics and video than the 4, and the better processor will undoubtedly help with the apps.

not to mention, when you hand down the 4S to someone else, it'll still be a newer, better phone that will likely support iOS6 way better than the 4.
 

apollo1444

macrumors 65816
Jul 22, 2011
1,305
5
mexico
Sprint might be good for a blackberry but definitely not for an iPhone, their speeds are horrible

you might want to give second thoughts to that, at least check your options...
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,489
257
Eau Claire, WI
Sprint might be good for a blackberry but definitely not for an iPhone, their speeds are horrible

you might want to give second thoughts to that, at least check your options...
Speeds are horrible on all CDMA, unfortunately AT&T is you only option for fast 3G, but they are also more costly and have their own downsides.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,479
8,188
Austin, TX
Speeds are horrible on all CDMA, unfortunately AT&T is you only option for fast 3G, but they are also more costly and have their own downsides.
Speeds are average on Verizon CDMA. Coverage is way better. Sprint is just woefully slow, at least a third the speed of VZW here in Austin.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,489
257
Eau Claire, WI
Speeds are average on Verizon CDMA. Coverage is way better. Sprint is just woefully slow, at least a third the speed of VZW here in Austin.
like it was pointed out above, it all matters about what area you live in, here in WI VzN phones have about .6 average, Sprint is usually around there, my g/f's 4S on AT&T is usually around 6.5.

all tested with 4s phones.

i'm ok with my speeds since i'm usually on wifi at home anyway, and the 27% discount i get through Sprint helps to ease the pain of the horrible speeds I get compared to Tmo or AT&T.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,479
8,188
Austin, TX
like it was pointed out above, it all matters about what area you live in, here in WI VzN phones have about .6 average, Sprint is usually around there, my g/f's 4S on AT&T is usually around 6.5.

all tested with 4s phones.

i'm ok with my speeds since i'm usually on wifi at home anyway, and the 27% discount i get through Sprint helps to ease the pain of the horrible speeds I get compared to Tmo or AT&T.
Should of said "For example, in Austin (a major Apple hub), speeds on AT&T are 6 times that of Sprint and 2.5 times the speeds of Verizon". Similar type speeds for Chicago. You're right though, we all sometimes fall into the small sampling trap.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2011
2,489
257
Eau Claire, WI
Should of said "For example, in Austin (a major Apple hub), speeds on AT&T are 6 times that of Sprint and 2.5 times the speeds of Verizon". Similar type speeds for Chicago. You're right though, we all sometimes fall into the small sampling trap.
yeah, I realized you were using your place for an example afterwords...

I know what you were saying
 

pilot1226

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2010
594
13
USA
Again, Sprint has a 14-day return policy so if you decide that it's too slow you can return it back and they credit you everything back... Activation, Plan Charges, etc.

http://gadgetbox.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/20/8414796-iphone-4s-shootout-att-vs-sprint-vs-verizon

Web browsing
Our Speedtest results were backed up by our real-world testing: the average times it took to load different websites. It took an overall average of 19 seconds for the AT&T iPhone 4S to load the full website of the New York Times on the AT&T iPhone 4S, 20 seconds faster than Verizon's overall average time (39 seconds), and 40 seconds faster than the average time it took for the Sprint iPhone 4S to load the page (59 seconds). It loaded the full website of Laptopmag.com and ESPN's mobile website fastest as well, at 20 seconds and 10 seconds, respectively. The only site it did not load faster than the other two carriers was CNN's mobile website, which it loaded in an average of 10 seconds, compared to Verizon's average of 9 seconds.
So, above you should note that this particular instance showed that the Verizon data was roughly twice as fast. This could be caused by spotty coverage areas. Verizon UNDOUBTEDLY has the best area of coverage, but I'd like to see two iPhones side by side in New York City or some other major metro area serviced by both providers.

This is officially from Sprint's website:

http://shop2.sprint.com/en/stores/popups/compare_data_speeds_popup.shtml

This link is pretty good unbiased reviews of the data plans: Note that Verizon and Sprint are pretty close in OVERALL testing.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/12/03/inside_iphone_4s_us_mobile_data_att_vs_sprint_vs_verizon.html&page=2

From AppleInsider:

Sprint is indeed the only unlimited iPhone data contract still available

And then there's Sprint. As the newest iPhone carrier in the US, Sprint is also the last to still offer an unlimited data contract. The problem, at least right now, is that Sprint's data service is so bad it's unlikely you could ever get your money's worth of data using a Sprint iPhone. While neither Sprint nor Apple have really addressed the issue directly, there seems to be something tragically wrong with how the iPhone works on Sprint's network. If it's not something unique to Sprint, it would be hard to imagine how Sprint has remained in business this long.

We briefly compared Sprint's iPhone service to an Android HTC EVO 4G phone, and found better data throughput on the EVO in the same location, even when confined to working on the 3G network. Sprint has been selling the EVO for much longer, so it appears to have worked out more kinks that have not yet been resolved for the new iPhone. Until Sprint solves its iPhone service issues, it would be frustrating to try to use Sprint as an iPhone service provider.

Sprint served the slowest data by far, and we found "no service" problems more often on Sprint's network than AT&T. Even at times when the Sprint iPhone was able to complete a data test, it often wouldn't work well enough to bring up a map, check email, or respond to Siri requests. Given how frustratingly bad Sprint's 3G network was in practice, it seems very likely that there must be a fix in the works to solve the iPhone's terrible performance on its new carrier. That wouldn't be unprecedented, as Apple has consistently released updates that have aimed at improving how well the device works on specific carriers.

At this time however, it's extremely hard to recommend the Sprint iPhone, unless the problems we saw were unique only to San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Reno, Nevada, and various points in between. Judging from online service complaints, it appears Sprint's network needs additional work to properly support the iPhone.
Again, it depends on where you live. If the service SUCKS, then return it within your 14-day money back guarantee and transfer to another carrier.