"S" models vs non "S" experience- anyone been through all the cycles?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ThereGoesJB, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. ThereGoesJB macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    some are on the "S" cycle, iphone 3GS, 4S, 5S(eventually)
    and of course others are on the alternate, iphone 3g, iphone 4, 5, etc.

    I always have this impression that the "S" cycle must be better since (other than some spec updates its essentially the same phone they are working with, but the build and internals are more refined and maybe more well thought out/efficient/reliable. I imagine a lot of the changes being left overs from a checklist that never made the release date of the previous "new" model.

    Can anyone attest to the 'S' models being any more solid of a user experience or reliable?

    Obviously the newer the phone, the faster its going to be. But in general, for what the phone was expected to do at the time, do any models stand out at as having been a more satisfying or less satisfying experience?
  2. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    In the past the S have always been incremental upgrades. Having owned both 4 and 4S, I can say without a doubt that the experience of upgrading to 4 was much more satisfying than upgrading to 4S.

    If you upgrade once every 2 years, I suggest going for the non S. This way you will have the major upgrades with every release. This is assuming they alternate between S and non S of course
  3. Cody21 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2012
    Knoxville, TN
    I've had all versions of the iPhone starting with the 3G. I must say, non "S" cycles are more satisfying for me mainly because its a major update like new design.
  4. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Assuming the releases with non-S and S versions keep going as they have been, going from one S version to the next S version will technically be just as much of a satisfying experience as going from a non-S version to the next non-S versions.
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I don't really understand this.

    The iPhone 5 is better than the 4S. The 4S is better than the 4.
    Pick either one - they both are upgrades to its predecessor.

    As for satisfying, I would say the non S ones are more because they are more different. But Ive been just as satifised with my S devices
  6. Mrbobb, Mar 27, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013

    Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    There is already a thread like this. Foremost, USER EXPERIENCE = subjective.

    Of the respondents to said thread, 70% favor new release because that "newness" give them the excitement of new technology, they live by new stuff, and a new release give them that big jolt.

    Other 20%, I attribute to more "sensible" users shall we say who prize quality, reliability, "known quantity," tried&true. I say this are the people who never buy version 1.0 of anything. I have no scientific study of this school of thought however.

    Last 10% because they are locked for their 2 year plan and an "S" upgrade doesn't make financial sense.

    So are you the Exciting guy or you don't mind to be the Steady Eddy? :D
  7. chambone macrumors 6502a


    Dec 24, 2011
    Non-S = new design, S = same design but about twice as fast as its predecessor. I've had a 3GS and now the 4S, but there's something about both approaches. It's simply a matter of preference.
  8. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    This is true but going from non-S to non-S, you get the bigger updates sooner. I'd rather be stuck with a 4 when the 4S comes out (not much difference) than to have a 4S when a 5 comes out (bigger difference)
  9. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    When compared to other people and to "what's out there", then yes, that's essentially true. When compared simply to what you have and how long you've had it and been using it, then it's essentially the same kind of timeframe between upgrades and that you spending with the device.
  10. cyks macrumors 68020


    Jul 24, 2002
    Westchester County, NY
    Let me be another to say that it's all subject to opinion.

    Are you one who cares more about the internal changes, or the internal ones? At a glance, the 'non-S' updates are a more dramatic change (due to the new design/ screens), but it's often the 'S' models that have much bigger changes under the hood and in the software.

    The 5 has a slightly larger screen and thinner case, but there's very little difference in what it can do over the 4S. Conversely, there are major features that the 4 can not do, but the 4S can.

    As to the 'S' models being any more solid of a user experience or reliable question you asked, things like 'Antenneagate' have happened with 4, but were fixed for the 4S.
  11. inselstudent macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    Even though one might argue that the 3G was awfully slow and the 4 had a rather big antenna issue, I think Apple won't make the same mistakes twice and actually can't name a flaw in the 5. Besides, IMO, smartphone speeds have got to a point where there aren't differences like there used to be with PCs, so even that is becoming less and less of an argument to buy a new phone.

    In a nutshell, non-S is quite alright and even better if you like new designs.
  12. kre62 macrumors 68020

    Jul 12, 2010
    Id say your analogy is true for the 4S and 4, but not so much the 5. The 4 was a 3GS with a weak coat of paint. The 4S is a completely new architechture and phone.

    The 5 has a completely new architecture, so I'd say thats a big upgrade. The 4 was the weakest upgrade sans the 2G to 3G, which edges out the 4 as smallest upgrade.
  13. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Even those things can depend. Realistically, Siri aside, there's not that much more that the 4S can do over the 4. The 5 actually has some decent under-the-hood changes when compared to the 4S as well: a faster processor with more graphics power than the 4S, twice the RAM (which makes a good amount of difference), there's also LTE support, which can be a big thing to a lot of people, and various other things.

    So, yeah, essentially mostly down to personal opinion/preference more than anything else.
  14. Jimmy James macrumors 68040

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    I'm guessing you feel this way because you upgraded to the 4 from a 3G, which I felt at the time should have been avoided. It was a terribly slow phone.

    I say S cycle.
  15. Bako-MacAddict macrumors 68000


    Jun 7, 2012
    Now that you bring that up and think of my previous S's I have been completely satisfied .
  16. Cod3rror macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    The S models are better. It's basically a fine tuned and improved version with all the mistakes/defects corrected.
  17. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    In some respects, yes, that applies. However, there are new components that are often in the S versions--primarily internally--so there can definitely be new mistakes/defects with those as well. Perhaps they would be somewhat different than when you have new internal and external components, as is the case with non-S versions, but the S versions still wouldn't be defect-free or even necessarily all that drastically different in terms of defects.
  18. lantinian macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    Varna, Bulgaria
    So the concuss is that:
    Non S - big change in design
    S - big change in performance

    If you want to have the best looking phone the longest, get a Non S one. People will come up with new case design for it 2 years after you have it. And you will not be envious of the S model appearance when it comes out

    If you want to have the latest in performance and play games best HD version of the games, get a S model. Ex. I have iPhone 4 and I can only play Galaxy on Fire. :( If I had 4S (which has 7x the graphics performance) I would have be able to enjoy Galaxy on Fire HD. :)
  19. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    But 5 has a big change in performance too--even just in terms of RAM (which is a pretty big thing).

    I think all of this kind of goes to say that there really isn't a completely simple way of looking at what S and non-S models represent. There are some generalizations that can be made, which apply more often than not, but they are still generalizations nonetheless (and there's usually more to it all than those generalizations, even when they do apply).
  20. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Since the first iPhone was released, I've purchased each new model upon release. Each has been uniquely different in subtle ways.

    It's all a matter of personal preference. Each having one or more features I enjoyed. The only significant annoyance & time waster as of the last three years has been the tiny screen.

    During these same years I've also had various top of the line Android phones. The moment screen sizes grew over 4.5" they became so much more comfortable to use. So fast, easy to type error free, and reducing scrolling a great deal, I'm now spoiled by their usefulness.

    It would be very satisfying if Apple were to finally cave in and give us a modern screen.
  21. lantinian macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2011
    Varna, Bulgaria
    There are no iPhone 5 apps that cannot run on the iPhone 4S because of performance, while there are games that required iPhone 4S minimum.
    So my argument stands.

    The S models are proven by the 3GS and 4S to have a longer software life because of their hugh performance gain.
    The 3G was very slow and should not have been given a 4.X update. The 4 is also at the end of its life now with so many features from iOS6 unavailable to it. The 4S on the other got just about everything in iOS6 that the 5 did
  22. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Oct 14, 2011
    As others have said, it boils down to personal preference, but this is how I see it. I'm on a 4S now and plan on getting a 5S, staying on the S upgrades from here on. I'd rather hold off a year if it means perfecting the current design and minimizing flaws.
  23. Cod3rror macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2010
    Which S series iPhone had any problems at all?

    To me, the S series seems like a conclusion of the series and hence the best version. The non-S series feels like a beginning and it maybe potentially problematic... antennae-gate, scratch-gate, etc...

    Plus, I don't want to have an iPhone 5, when I know there is going to be an exactly the same phone with much better specifications and all the problems fixed. I'd rather wait.
  24. ThereGoesJB thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    yeah i guess its pretty subjective, i guess a better question would be this-
    (although it already sounds like the answer is no)
    are the non-S models noticeably more buggy? even a little bit?

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