Never had an iPhone - Trying to decide on iPhone 4 or 4s

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bigmac58, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. bigmac58 macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I've only posted a few posts here and there but do a lot of reading on this forum. I currently own a 2nd gen iPod touch as well as an LG dumbphone. An iPhone 4 would be a huge upgrade for me obviously, however, Siri and the updated processor make the 4S look even better.

    Here is my issue. Never owning an iPhone I have a few concerns after reading many of the posts here. It seems like many have turned this forum into a complaint board for Apple recently. I do think Siri is something that I would get good use from but people are experiencing issues with down servers and others say it simply doesn't work. I know it's in beta so updates may come along to improve it. However, for the most part, are most people having good luck with Siri (I am in the US)? My next concern is battery life. I tend to make very few phone calls so the iPhone will be mostly for browsing and texts. At home, work, college, and many other friends/relatives homes I have access to wi-fi and only plan to use the 3G when in between. From what I understand, wi-fi browsing uses less battery than 3G. Are users finding this to be true? Is there a chance that the batteries in the 4S have some sort of fault and it's a gamble whether you get a good one or bad one? Third is screen quality. As stated, I have a 2G iPod touch and screen resolution has increased dramatically. I have played with a few iPhone 4's and only one iPhone 4S at Verizon. In general, are most users seeing at least the same quality in the 4S? What about yellowing? Does that seem to be an issue on the 4? Also, is there really a difference in the screen between the white and black model or are the differences simply in the perception of the user?

    Please respond to this if you have input. This is a chance for users who are having good luck with their 4S to point out the improvements. Are you happy you upgraded to the 4S or do you wish you stayed with the 4? Thanks!
  2. ABernardoJr macrumors 6502

    Dec 19, 2006
    I only have the iPhone 4, but I'm trying to upgrade to the 4S soon. My bit of advice is to always take forums like these with a grain of salt. People often come on forums like these to find solutions, and while people do occasionally come here to praise their new purchases (which happen to be pleasant breaths of fresh air), you're going to find the louder minority pointing out issues over the majority that are likely loving their products. While there may very well be issues with the iPhone 4S, there are potential issues with any product.

    Anyway, I think you can't go wrong with either, but if money's not an issue, the 4S is worth it. The antenna fix is one of the better things the 4S offers too.
  3. Captain America macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    Hi and welcome to the world of iPhones. Siri as you have already shown you know is indeed in beta, which means some of us will have issues sometimes, and most of us probably already have. I know I did for the first couple of days and every once in a while. Overall though, it works quite well.

    In terms of battery, I've found that for the 3 iPhones I've owned (3GS, 4 and now 4S) Wifi seems to use less battery than 3G which works out for you. So far it's been difficult to find any correlation between model numbers and battery life and whatnot. It seems to be a hit or miss thing, probably due to software issues. People have reported that cycling the battery helps, others say that restoring has helped. I've had two 4S' (long story, don't ask) the first one I had the issue with, and normal use coupled with a restore AND the cycle helped a lot. And the second one doesn't really seem to have the issue at all, and it's part of the supposed bad C39 serial (which as I said earlier seems to not mean much).

    Now for the screen. In terms of specs, they're exactly the same. As for yellowing, it was a much larger issue in the 4 than the 4S (on the whites of course). I've yet to personally know someone who's had an issue with it, and the two I've had are perfect. They say the yellowing can often go away on its own within a few days for those who are unfortunate enough to have the issue. I wouldn't worry about it too much. Any other differences are largely based on the perception of the user.

    If you can afford the 4S, I'd take that route. Since you're coming from such an older device, it's not like you'd be making an incremental update. Might as well get the latest and greatest unless you're planning on holding out for the iPhone 5, whenever that comes out.

    Hope this helps ya.
  4. thenerdal macrumors 65816

    Oct 14, 2011
    4S, since it's a better version of the iPhone 4.
  5. Animaniac macrumors member


    Feb 16, 2004
    Cambridge, MA
    Over the course of the 2 year contract, the total cost of ownership between an iPhone 4 and 4S is negligible. You will spend >$2,000 regardless.
  6. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Apr 3, 2011
    London, UK.
    It also depends on how much storage capacity you need. I believe the new iPhone 4 is only available in 8GB capacity unless you buy one of the 16GB or 32GB second hand. Otherwise you would need to choose between the 16GB, 32GB or 64GB iPhone 4S.
  7. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Agreed. The 4S fixes a number of issues from the 4. I haven't read any complaints about the proximity sensor on the 4S, or not being able to hold the phone a certain way. Also the home button has problems on every iPhone 4 I have used that has been used for several months. I am hoping they fixed the home button issues on the 4S as well. If the battery is a concern then you can always get a battery case, but it isn't that different between the 4 and 4S from my experience.
  8. whiskeyvol macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    another vote for 4s.

    despite the complaints OTB, it is the best phone overall that I have ever owned. I firmly believe that the reported battery issues (overblown or not) will be addressed with the next iOS update, which should come before the beginning of November.
  9. jade macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2003
    I vote 4s. I am an iphone newbie, and Siri is such a time saver for me. It is awesome. And well a better camera never hurts. I haven't figured out my battery life yet, as I have been setting stuff etc still. Location services seem to kill the battery. I used GPS for about an hour yesterday, and I dropped from about 74% to 50%.

    Standby seems to be great. Even with notifications on. Not sure about the rest. But the good news is that it charges very fast. Even on a car charger. Or on your computer.

    If you have 20 minutes to charge, you will get 25-30% back.
  10. bigmac58 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Great to hear so many people actually are having good luck with the 4S. I frequented this forum before the announcement of the 4S to read the rumors and guessing. It seems like the attitude of the forum has shifted since the 4S release. Also, I'm hoping that any issues being reported with the first production units are being addressed with units being produced now and into the future. It will be a month or two before I buy a phone so I've got time. Right now I'm definitely leaning towards the 4S.

    Thanks for all the input. I'm hoping that most of the people who are having good luck with the newest phone are the one's not posting about it, just the users having difficulties.
  11. MikeFairbanks macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2011
    I have the 4 and am satisfied, but can't offer advice on which to get. All I can say is that, based on what you're coming from, either will make you smile.

    I'm enjoying my phone a lot. Of course, I don't require as much as others. I mostly play Words with friends, make calls, text, and a little photography (but have a dslr for the better stuff).

    I love listening to music, so obviously the Iphone is great for that. No more wired syncing is a plus with either Iphone. System 5 is fantastic.
  12. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone 4S: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I vote for the 4S as well. I came from the 3GS and have found the 4S to be much more responsive.

    Pluses over the 4 are, Siri, better camera, A5 processor and improved battery life.

    I'm using the 4S and some of the new features more than I used the 3GS and it's features, yet I am seeing better battery life.

    For the first week of the 4S, the battery wasn't the greatest, it was lasting about as long as the 3GS did. But after some settings tweaks and a few full cycles, the battery life is getting better and better.
  13. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    This really depends on your usage, If you want the latest and greatest, definitely get the 4S.

    Here is how I see it...

    If you have a family and want to outfit every person with an iPhone, the cheapest solution to this would be the iPhone 3GS with the lowest tier of data plan. I have seen many families actually do this very thing, the 3GS being free is a perfect family to family phone.

    If you don't plan on putting more than 8GB worth of stuff, the 4 is perfect. I have the iPhone 4 myself, and I use Telenav for GPS, and Spotify for music, leaving a decent amount of room left for apps, and photos.

    Now, the 4S, if you can get it, definitely go for one of these, Siri makes the 4S worth it alone.
  14. wrinkster22 macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
    The battery life is not better. The apple website gives the 4 300 hours of standby time and the 4s 200 hours of standby time. Pretty sad if you ask me
  15. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    Yeah. I really, really feel the reduced battery life of the 4S, and I've tried a lot of the methods on this forum to help the issue.

    Every iPhone since the 2G has been steadily increasing the standby time from 200 to 250 to 300...back down to 200 with the 4S.

    I now have to carry a charger with me because it just barely doesn't make it all the way through my day. I've pulled it off the charger at 2PM and had it at 20% at 11.

    All of this said, I'm pretty sure half of this issue is an iOS5 power management bug and it'll get better with the next update. Get the 4S, because the benefits greatly outweigh the reduced (but not dramatically. Still much better than most/all Android handsets) battery life.

    I wouldn't go back if you paid me.
  16. ThereGoesJB macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    Go 4S. I think the decision to upgrade from an iphone 4 to a 4S has reason to question the value, however if its your first smart phone you should def just get the 4S.

    As others have said, the overall cost of a smart phones monthly data plan just so far outweighs the initial cost. The processor and camera alone make it worth it imo.
  17. mattdo93 macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2010
    Here are some small improvements that the 4S has over the 4.

    • More subtle vibration; it won't scare you when it's laying on a desk but you can still feel it in your pocket.
    • Much louder speaker, while still having good audio quality (as in not warbled/distorted)
    • No more antenna-gate because there's 2 of them.
  18. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    The 4S is certainly better, yet I'd advise waiting. Why be stuck with an incremental upgrade when the next iPhone will be substantial. Also the OS is buggy. Give Apple time and the next one will be well worth the wait. Especially since if you buy now you're stuck with the smallest display in the business. Way too small for a touchscreen.
  19. bigmac58 thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Thanks for all the help. All the input certainly is helping make the decision easier. Thanks!
  20. davelanger macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2009
    Get the 4S, I got a 3G a few months before the 3GS was announced and released and after a year into it, I was already two versions behind. If its new phone go for the current version of the phone.
  21. Thetonyk123 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2011
    If you don't need that much storage, speed, or siri go with the 4. if you need more storage, the only have to have more is get the 4S (16gb, 32gb, 64gb)

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