Is an iPhone 4s 8GB OK for my mother?

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 9, 2011
1,579
21
My mother needs a new phone. She's found a good deal on an iPhone 4s 8GB.

- Is this still a decent phone?
- Will it handle a couple of iOS updates?
- Should I worry about storage? How much space does the operating system take?

She has a very modest phone usage, mostly calls, texts, reading emails, reading a few web pages (mostly news), taking a few pictures, buying bus tickets. No games, no music or videos, no large photo galleries (she has auto upload to dropbox). She currently has a Samsung Galaxy Nexus which I think is now about four or five years old, but it's starting to die. It's got a total of 16 GB storage and her current status on usage is 10,44 GB available out of 13,33 GB. She's the kind of person who uses her gadgets until they no longer work, so she's in it for the long term.

Advice appreciated.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,468
24,218
I'd advise heavily against the iPhone 4S, even for that sort of modest usage. Even the 5C I'd recommend keeping away from.

If she uses her gadgets until they no longer work, you need a balance between price, performance, and longevity. As such I'd say the 5S is the best phone in this instance.
 

oldmacs

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2010
4,292
5,692
Australia
The 4S may or may not be at the end of the line for software upgrades.... A 4S would probably get you through 2 or so years, so I'd recommend a 5 or better a 5S.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jojoba

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,468
24,218
I think 5S is like 4S about 1 year ago...
Well it certainly isn't. The 5S has double the performance of the iPhone 5. The 6 isn't that much more powerful than the 5S by any significant margin - the 6 just introduced larger screen sizes. Its hardware is still very capable. It has a 64-bit CPU.

The 5S is only likely to be phased for updates if Apple drop the 4" screen size. Otherwise there's no reason it wouldn't be phased out when the 6 is.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jojoba

Apples n' Stone

macrumors 65816
Apr 13, 2015
1,138
542
Maidstone, U.K
What's this about? I'm not up to date...
Ah, it is a fabled apocalypse in the eyes of some members where only 64-Bit devices will receive the updates. But it's more likely to be a bit further down the line when we see the iPhone 5/5C in line with how we see the 4S now. Once the 4S stops receiving updates the forum will kick off about all 64-Bit, but it is not an immediate concern.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jojoba

jojoba

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Dec 9, 2011
1,579
21
Ah, it is a fabled apocalypse in the eyes of some members where only 64-Bit devices will receive the updates. But it's more likely to be a bit further down the line when we see the iPhone 5/5C in line with how we see the 4S now. Once the 4S stops receiving updates the forum will kick off about all 64-Bit, but it is not an immediate concern.
Aha :) thanks for this!
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,538
1,265
My mother needs a new phone. She's found a good deal on an iPhone 4s 8GB.

- Is this still a decent phone?
- Will it handle a couple of iOS updates?
- Should I worry about storage? How much space does the operating system take?

She has a very modest phone usage, mostly calls, texts, reading emails, reading a few web pages (mostly news), taking a few pictures, buying bus tickets. No games, no music or videos, no large photo galleries (she has auto upload to dropbox). She currently has a Samsung Galaxy Nexus which I think is now about four or five years old, but it's starting to die. It's got a total of 16 GB storage and her current status on usage is 10,44 GB available out of 13,33 GB. She's the kind of person who uses her gadgets until they no longer work, so she's in it for the long term.

Advice appreciated.
You should worry about storage. My mother had a 5c foisted on her at upgrade time. She despised it with an absolute fury, solely because of its constant storage problems and pestering about iCloud upgrades. She went back to her Galaxy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jojoba

mwebb

macrumors member
Jan 18, 2011
50
9
I just got two 16gb iPhone 4s's - one for $104 in excellent condition from an Amazon vendor, and one for $97 in fair condition from Swappa. Your mileage may vary, but the 8gb weren't any cheaper and were sometimes more expensive - not that many were produced in America, compared to 16gb, so they face less sales competition. So find out what your mother is paying, first - $150 to a friend, or more, isn't a bargain at all. You need to shop for her!

In terms of functionality, a 4s still got game. Some interface interactions aren't "smooth" but there is no lag (except loading the App store) that interferes with pleasant usage.

8gb would only leave 3gb for user-installed apps, future iOS updates. If you manage carefully, it is ok, but 16gb is obviously much more breathing room. If your mother has 3gb of apps and data on her Nexus, she doesn't sound like a good candidate for an 8gb iPhone.

BTW an iPhone 5c is about $80 more if you shop carefully.

My mother needs a new phone. She's found a good deal on an iPhone 4s 8GB.

- Is this still a decent phone?
- Will it handle a couple of iOS updates?
- Should I worry about storage? How much space does the operating system take?

She has a very modest phone usage, mostly calls, texts, reading emails, reading a few web pages (mostly news), taking a few pictures, buying bus tickets. No games, no music or videos, no large photo galleries (she has auto upload to dropbox). She currently has a Samsung Galaxy Nexus which I think is now about four or five years old, but it's starting to die. It's got a total of 16 GB storage and her current status on usage is 10,44 GB available out of 13,33 GB. She's the kind of person who uses her gadgets until they no longer work, so she's in it for the long term.

Advice appreciated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jojoba