iPhone 4 or 4s for teen? Advice please

hollymomma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
4
0
Our 14 year old wants an Iphone for Xmas. With a limited budget, I have decided to go through Virgin as the coverage seems decent in our area (bought a cheap Android smartphone to test). Target has a 4s 16 GB for $250 as a running price but Radio Shack has a Black Friday deal, Iphone 4 8 GB for $99. Considering her age and the fact that this is her first Iphone (she is familiar with a Gen 4 8 GB Ipod touch), is the 4s really worth the additional price? Other than the GBs and siri, whats different? Thanks for any help! :)
 

FatPuppy

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2012
1,707
140
Our 14 year old wants an Iphone for Xmas. With a limited budget, I have decided to go through Virgin as the coverage seems decent in our area (bought a cheap Android smartphone to test). Target has a 4s 16 GB for $250 as a running price but Radio Shack has a Black Friday deal, Iphone 4 8 GB for $99. Considering her age and the fact that this is her first Iphone (she is familiar with a Gen 4 8 GB Ipod touch), is the 4s really worth the additional price? Other than the GBs and siri, whats different? Thanks for any help! :)
I strongly recommend you buy her the 4S, it's just better in everything.
 

Oohara

macrumors 68030
Jun 28, 2012
2,627
1,316
I strongly recommend you buy her the 4S, it's just better in everything.
I agree. Primarily, she'll have lots more fun playing games and using the camera on the 4S. The 4 will be quite sluggish in comparison/some games hardly even playable. Also the 4S will last longer, with the lesser specs of the 4 getting left behind faster as apps become more demanding on the hardware.

The extra $150 will be well spent I think, and give you more time before she starts demanding a newer phone. :D The 4S actually feels like a quite up to date iPhone, I'm still using mine and it's great with iOS 7 on it.

Oh, and get her a decent case to avoid tears... :)
 

flyshop

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2004
23
0
Too much money either way!

In my neighborhood, the 4S is only $49.00 and the 4 is free with 2 yr. contract.
 

fs454

macrumors 68000
Dec 7, 2007
1,617
1,107
Los Angeles / Boston
Is the 4S $249 with a 2 year contract, or contract-free? That's a lot for a 4S on-contract, but off-contract sounds about right.


Honestly, I don't think the age matters, get the most recent phone your budget allows. The 4 is far too slow at this point to be considered and has already received its last iOS update, iOS 7.


Do you guys have an account with a major carrier already? IMO It'd be a far better use of your money to just add a new line and buy, for instance, a 5C at $99 or $49 or even free at Wal-Mart on black friday ( http://www.macrumors.com/roundup/black-friday/ ) on-contract.

There isn't any more you can do on a 5C that you can't do on a 4S that would be bad for a 14-year-old to have - it's just faster, more modern hardware that'll be a better use of your money than a two to four year old iPhone.


If it's not an option, though (and it isn't always), I'd definitely make the push for the 4S. The 4 is frustrating for even basic tasks at this point, whereas the 4S is still great.
 

Mrbobb

macrumors 601
Aug 27, 2012
4,987
192
Except for SIRI and GB as mentioned, no functional difference. If u want to teach it kid the value of money, go 4. A first time user won't know "sluggish."
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,546
1,898
long island NY
Except for SIRI and GB as mentioned, no functional difference. If u want to teach it kid the value of money, go 4. A first time user won't know "sluggish."
Speed means a lot when you are talking old phones. The 4 shouldn't even be running ios 7 not to mention the 4s will have an extra year of surport meaning you wont have to buy her another phone as soon.

Another thing to mention is that the 4s has faster cellular data, less likely to get the death grip due to more anntennas, and it's camera is better.
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2011
1,228
41
She'll absolutely love the 4 and at $99 it's an incredible price. But if you can afford the $250 for the 4S, you should get that. But a 14 year would be incredibly happy with the 4 for at least 2 years.
 

makotoisle

macrumors 6502
May 31, 2012
256
26
Personally, I'd probably get her a 4 and do a trial run so you can evaluate if an upgrade is warranted later.

How does she treat her phone? Is it constantly getting taken away because she's texting during class? Does she become a 'zombie' that won't put her phone down during dinner?

If she's good with it you can always upgrade later. And that takes a whole lot of pressure off of trying to think up a gift for next year :)
 

hollymomma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
4
0
Thank you all for the input. Looks like my decision might be made for me. Target is out of the 4s in my whole region. Target mobile rep sd the Virgin 4s is discontinued so prob won't get more in. Story of my life!! I guess will try for the $99 Radio Shack 4 8 GB on Black Friday or search for a 4s somewhere else. Not willing to pay much more, Target seemed to have the best price.

For those who inquired, we have att family plan, no data, with dinosaur phones right now. Last phone out of contract May 2014. Trying to bring us into the current century but not willing to pay $200 per month for cell phones (will need 4 lines). Prepaid seems the best option for us.
 

Max(IT)

Suspended
Dec 8, 2009
8,550
1,640
Italy
Go for the 4s, absolutely !

At 14 she's not a kid and she can tell the difference between a fully functional iPhone and an old and limited one.
iPhone 4S still is a good device.
 

IpadSC400

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2013
640
6
A mile high
IDK, personally, the 4S is better...but some have recently been having issues of the WiFi chip overheating, causing no wifi, which is a problem.

I vote 4S, regardless. A5 chip FTW!
 

LithePanther

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
444
1
Honestly the 8gb is the biggest problem with the 4. With the phone itself taking up 1-2 gb of data for the OS, that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for much of anything.
 

imaginex20

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2009
1,356
338
Thank you all for the input. Looks like my decision might be made for me. Target is out of the 4s in my whole region. Target mobile rep sd the Virgin 4s is discontinued so prob won't get more in. Story of my life!! I guess will try for the $99 Radio Shack 4 8 GB on Black Friday or search for a 4s somewhere else. Not willing to pay much more, Target seemed to have the best price.

For those who inquired, we have att family plan, no data, with dinosaur phones right now. Last phone out of contract May 2014. Trying to bring us into the current century but not willing to pay $200 per month for cell phones (will need 4 lines). Prepaid seems the best option for us.
Not sure where you live but T-Mobile has the best rates for family plans in my opinion. 4 lines with unlimited text and talk with 500 mb plans for only $100.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,054
NJ
Buy a 5c on AT&T for free, pay $350 ETF, and she has the perfect phone for Virgin.

I think some stores are even giving gift cards on BF for buying a free 5c.
 

Stampyhead

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
2,294
30
London, UK
A 4 would probably be fine but she'll struggle with the 8GB capacity. My 14 year old daughter has the 8GB iPhone 4 and is always running out of space. I'm going to give her my 32GB 4S as soon as I upgrade.
 

hollymomma

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 26, 2013
4
0
UPDATE---Current options-- Radio Shack $99 iphone 4 8gb OR Virgin Mobile has a iphone 4s 16gb Certified Preowned for $249. Preowned only has 14 day return from day of purchase and no Apple Care. I would prob purchase $5/month insurance for at least 6 months if able.

Would rather purchase preowned from retail than craigslist or ebay but still a little nervous. Any thoughts??