Is the iPhone 4S still a good phone?

With the release of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and finally, the iPhone 5c there's always that 'I must upgrade to the latest' feeling out there but there's still plenty of folks wondering if the iPhone 4S is still a good device to purchase, given that carriers that still offer them are giving them away and resale sites like Craigslist, Kijiji and others have plenty of them for sale.

Unless you are one of those that cares about specs, I think the 4S is probably the best value of all the current iPhones.Oofa, iMore Forums Member

At this point, I still think the iPhone 4S is a perfect device for anyone looking to get into the Apple ecosystem for minimal cost as, they do indeed make a great 'iOS starter device' and many folks in the iMore Forums tend to agree with that as well. That being said, it is getting to be a little dated and if you're comparing devices, the age will show.

If long term support is a concern though, your best bet may be to go with an iPhone 5c as that device will almost inevitably have longer life support than the iPhone 4S but cost is also a factor there as well with the iPhone 5c selling for generally $99 (or less) and of course, that's with a contract.

It is a good phone. That being said, it is getting to be a little dated. 2 years is a LONG time in tech!EauRouge, iMore Forums Member

Overall, aside from a small amount of individuals who say they have issues with running iOS 7 on the iPhone 4S, the general consensus appears to be that it's still a worthwhile purchase. It's just when you start talking about the next iteration of iOS that becomes a little wishy washy as maybe not all features will be supported, if at all, once it arrives.

What do you all think though? Is the iPhone 4S still something you can wholeheartedly reccomend to someone looking to get into the Apple ecosystem or looking for a genuinely 'cheap' iPhone? Have your say in the iMore Forums or in the comments.

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Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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Is the iPhone 4S still a good phone?

105 Comments

I have friends with the 4s and it really has slowed down and shows its age. For the price increase the 5C/5s is a much better value, and better long term chance of receiving updates.

After having the iPhone 5s for a while now, picking up my old 4S, it looks bulky, heavy and the screen looks tiny! While I always appreciated the smaller 3.5" screen, the 4" screen seems to be the perfect size.

Haha my thoughts exactly. I had a 4S before I got my 5S. I didn't think the screen size was all that significant. But once I went back to my 4S to prep it for selling the screen felt so small!

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I wouldn't buy it today unless money was a big concern and/or if you don't care about (major) future support. I plan on going on three year life cycles myself once I get a new phone next year.

Good for the moment but it won't be long before it feels really dated and becomes unsupported. As you say, for an iOS start device, or for those not too fussed about the latest tech/specs then yes.

Anyone else, even those who are price conscious, the 5c offers much better value in the long run for not much more upfront cost.

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Definitely a good phone. Lacks a little with ios7 but if your not looking to spend much, 4S is a great choice.

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I agree that the iPhone 4S is a good phone now, but I'd still only recommend it for those who aren't at all tech geeks and wouldn't get a smartphone otherwise. But if they're willing to shell a little, finding a 5c for $49 would seem the better longterm buy.

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Yep, the iPhone 4S is still a good phone. Good camera, great build, solid phone. And I would still recommend one to my friends BUT I would probably also tell them the little restrictions that comes with it. Just so they're aware of its pros and cons before making a purchase. Like some of the features of the new iOS and possible the next iOS iteration will not be available for the 4S.

I actually had the opportunity to get my sister's old 4S but passed. Why? Because of the screen size. I got so used to the 4-inch display of my iPod Touch and since most of what I do benefits from the larger screen (watching videos, playing games), and that I probably won't be able to keep them both (seems redundant), I choose my iPT5.

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No. I use an iPhone 4S and I hate it. With iOS 7, it's almost unusable. It's extremely slow. The A5 chip just isn't suited for iOS 7 (same with the A4, but let's stay in topic here). For example, it's no longer as "snappy" as iOS 5 or iOS 6, which both ran perfectly on this iPhone 4S. Before iOS 7, I was able to navigate through apps without waiting a few milliseconds for it to actually switch pages. Now I find myself waiting a second or two before I can do what I need to do. It's age is showing. This is the same with the iPod touch 4G. It shouldn't have gotten iOS 6. If it had gotten iOS 7, it would have added to the already laggy iOS 6 on the iTouch 4.

Amen! I never should have put iOS7 on mine. Laggy as hell, constantly crashes, and the battery life.. Sweet jesus! I drop 20% of my battery on my 45 minute commute to work when all I do is look at a few incoming EMails. No calls, no games, just the Emails. I almost feel like Apple did this on purpose to make us want to upgrade the phone.

Be glad you don't have the iPhone 4. My friend still has the iPhone 4 and it's like Lag Laggington. There's also like no translucency at all on the iPhone 4.

Here in Europe, carriers still sell iPhone 4 on new 2 year contracts. Dear Lord Apple what you have done... these people are first time Apple users! Go figure. And one could buy something like Lumia 925 for the same price...

You guys are right on. Apple was wrong to allow upgrades on these older devices. I have an iPad 2 running iOS 7 and it can't handle it well at all. I'm surprised that Apple are selling them new with iOS 7 preloaded. I won't be surprised if customers opt for android or WP when they are due an upgrade in the future.

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I think different folks have different experiences. I've read it can be due partly to what you have installed and whether you did a clean install or restored from an itunes backup.

We just bought 5 iPhone 4S' for work colleagues and I set them up fresh using ios configurator and we find them quite zippy with ios 7. I switched reduce motion on (which speeds things up on every iphone). I have an iPhone 5s so although its not quite that fast, they're pretty good.

Its also worth bearing in mind that Apple tend to optimise a new iOS for the latest phone and then do the optimisations for older devices on later revisions (I remember iOS 6.0 was very laggy on older phones, but improved with new revisions). So there's hope for the near future.

Personally I wouldnt go back to a 4S as i have got used to the extra functionality on the 5s (though I have an iphone 4 as a spare phone and that runs ios 7 okay - not as good as the 4S of course).

My bro's experience precisely! Love the 'deliberate' corruption of Android too (Andoid). Lol. I think it could take off.

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I also use a 4s and iOS works perfectly fine. I don´t the problem is the OS. The 4s has a slightly slower dual core process (compared to the 5c and 5). I did turn of animations though. But my 4s has been trekking along just fine.

My grandparents got the 4s (they're in their 70's!) which I recommended to them. They really didn't even want to get a smartphone at all, let alone worried about latest specs and what not. Other than that, I would not recommend it. For just a small investment the 5c is light years ahead- consider LTE alone. My wife just upgraded from a 4s to a 5s and the difference is truly night and day.

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I have an iPhone 4S which I use extensively. I'm also an iOS app developer - so I use it for testing new apps as well. For me it actually still works well. For someone who wants an entry level iPhone while spending minimum money I would definitely recommend it. The one caveat is that it does not support AirDrop (which was introduced in iOS7) - so if that's an important feature for them - then they will need go with with an iPhone 5 or later.

I should mention that I don't play a lot of games - so for a user that plans on playing games like Infiniti Blade, etc, the answer might be different.

Biggest problem with the 4s is the weight. It is a brick compared to the newer models. With the 5c as low as $49 with double the storage it would think that is a no brainer.

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Wtf are y'all smoking? The 4s works fine. You'll still be able to check your email and make phone calls on it.

If you still have one right now, is it still a good phone? Of course it is.

Should you buy one on contract? Absolutely not. If you have to have an iPhone for the next 2 years, then get a 5c.

I'm using a 4S right now. It's just fine. I expect it to be inferior to a 5S, of course, when considering battery & processor performance, but I check mail, make reminders and schedule calendar appointments, use Siri, play games like Clumsy Ninja, check weather, use Find My Phone, watch Netflix & Youtube...
Yes, I'll upgrade when the iPhone 6 drop sand there is concern about iOS upgrades, and I expect the 4S to be around until iOS 8...
It's still a good device, but honestly if someone new to Apple asked for my advice, I'd point then to a 5C. It's really hard to beat that hardware at that price, even if it is for all intensive purposes an iPhone 5.
(*cant see typing)

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Yeah I love my 4s! It has a dual core processor and does everything pretty smoothly. I got an unlocked model for $200 used in great condition. I don't see any problems with it.

iPhone 4S is an excellent phone with iOS 6 and below.but with IOS 7 apple has really screwed up the overall performance of the 4S.But still we cannot deny the fact that 4S has some some of the best camera which apple is carrying forward in all it's latest devices with minor tweaks.
I would have recommended 4S to my friends if it was coming with IOS 6 and no update.
Iphone 5s is the forward thinking keeping in mind 64bit processors processor

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I seriously disagree. But that makes me wonder why the iOS7 on the 4s is having random results. My current device is a 4s that I am considering holding on to until the 6 because it works perfectly fine.

I had the iPhone 4S before I upgraded to the 5s and it was a great phone, even with iOS 7. The camera was great, the screen was great - everything about it was good except for the fact that I was using it with T-Mobile and their 1900 MHz 3G network is sparse, which is why I went for the iPhone 5s.

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The 4S is still a good smartphone, it does what it suppose to be. it's a phone not a toy for pete sakes. if your into gaming then buy a game console, if into music then an iPod or mp3 player and camera if your a photo buff (excluding selfie addicts). but yeah i upgraded/bought 5S and 5C (for my wife) :D

If I had to carry around a camera, an iPod, a DS and a computer there would be no point in me owning a smartphone. It should be able to do all those things. That's why its called a smartphone. If you only can use it to talk and text you're wasting your money, IMO. My daughter has my old 4s and it lags and freezes on her since iOS7. Its past its prime and I wouldn't recommend anyone buying one now.

This is a very interesting question and just talked about this with a family member that wanted to get a "free iPhone" it's still a great device and in my opinion still better than even some android phones that have been released this year, but the iPhone 5 was such a drastic jump ahead that it really is the better phone to pick up. This is where my relative had an issue as she didn't want the plastic iPhone and really liked the higher quality iPhone 4S look and feel (this is very subjective as I actually think the iPhone 5c still feels just as premium to the 4s and I would rather have the 5c anyway of the week, but this argument couldn't be won as like I said it is very subjective). I told her your much better off paying the extra money as the jump from free (iPhone 4S) to $99 (iPhone 5c) was huge. The iPhone 5 (despite what others around the net stated) was 1000% jump from the 4s in allmost ever way possible. I finally talked her into picking up a used iPhone 5 and she loves it. I just don't think apple should be selling the 4s and iPad 2 (and arguably The original mini) as they are so close to be being not supported and iOS 7 just seems to not run as well on these older devices. For someone that wants to save money it is almost always better to wait and save because the jump from year to year is so much (for apple) and it adds literally a year or more to your phone. Also the biggest factor when trying to tell someone about this is the resell value of apple devices. Sure, the 4s will still be a great phone to some, but the 5c and 5s are just much better devices all around.

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Well I use an iPod 5 which has practically all the same tech and it works good for me. But if I had the money I would get the better tech.

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3G... enough said... If you are going to get an iPhone, GET AN IPHONE!!! Go with the 5S... It isn't much more expensive and it is worth it. If you buy anything else other than a 5S you shouldn't buy an iPhone, just stick with your cheap lame feature phone.

I think that if you are going to invest any money at all in an iPhone and want something less expensive get the 5c. Don't buy a device that's already outdated. $99 dollars for an iPhone 5c is a steal. Don't bother with the 4s, they should've stopped sales on that with the release of the 5c.

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I'm still using my iPhone 4s and it's working even better now that I have iOS 7.
So yeah I would recommend the iPhone 4s for anybody who wants an iPhone...

I wouldn't recommend getting the 4s now but for those that bought the year it came out, it definitely will last for a while. Being an S series device, it will act much like the 3GS and the 5S, which would be a long support life.

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With a lot of caveats, it IS a good, solid smartphone. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless money is the major consideration, especially since the 5c can be obtained for $50 many places. That's a much better proposition for most people. That being said, I couldn't talk my mom out of the 4s. She can face time and text, and that's all she cares about.

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I can say that the iPhone 4S is still a good phone I am using a 5 but I know a lot of people that is still using the 4s and it still works for them but yeah I can see with all the updated apps the 4s is becoming a little slower then before

The 4s is still in a unique position given it's price point and storage capacity (8gb). It's ideal for first time iphone owners and cost concious consumers. If all you do is surf the web, FaceTime, imessage, and read emails it's the perfect phone for its price point. If your into apps, video, photos you need 5c and higher.

I am still using my 64 GB 4S, my contract having expired last month. It's still a fabulous smartphone. I turned off parallax and motion and it's running iOS 7 beautifully! AT&T's HSPA+ isn't as fast as LTE, but it's perfectly adequate for most applications. All that said… I will be upgrading to a 5S by Christmas! I would NOT, however, recommend buying a NEW 4S, because 8 GB is just not a realistic storage option anymore.

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I'm using an iPhone 4S with iOS 7 and I have no issues. I can't tell a difference in functionality from iOS6 and iOS7. This is still a great device IMO.

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The 4S fits in niche for people who aren't spec junkies. A 4S would definitely be a phone I would recommend especially to people who live in area without LTE. I think the 4S is more than capable for most people. It takes great pictures, it's fast (at least on ios 6), and I've been happy with 4G. I think the 4S is a great phone, and just because there are newer, better iPhones does not mean someone's experience with a 4S would be bad.

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I agree. My parents don't care for specs. They just want a smartphone to check news and stay connected to family and friends while on the go. They are not highly computer literate so the last thing they want is an OS that makes them have to "tinker" with it as you would a PC to make it work. Eventhough they are elderly the 4S has enough screen to be enjoyable, and portability is the priority. My dad currently has a 4S and loving how he can ask Siri to get to a place with Maps. He wants a 5C and will give the 4S to my mom.

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I'm currently using my iphone4s and I'm happy with it thus far on ios7,but i'll eventually upgrade to an iphone5s so I will be able to receive continueous ios updates.Plus I want to move up in screen size for an better iphone user experience .:)

That's a good question so when I got the iPhone 5 in black I was thinking the form factor and style is better on the iPhone 4S because I use my phone for texting and email! But since I got my iPhone 5s in gold I found that's a beauty and not to top!

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I was reluctant to do the iOS 7 update on my 4S. I had never considered trading in a phone before but on the advice of several others I looked into it & was able to get a 5C + a new case for free!!! Can't beat that.

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Got the 4S a few weeks ago as my first iPhone and it is such a good phone, couldn't be happier, definitely still a good buy still.

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Got the 4S a few weeks ago as my first iPhone and it is such a good phone, couldn't be happier, definitely still a good buy still.

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Even though the iPhone 4S is free, I don't think it's worth it. The iPhone 4S has a great hardware and while iOS 7 is great, the 4S is no longer the same. There are times when it will lag for no reason and tasks that it used to do well can sometimes feel slower.

Yes. I use a 2 year old 4s running ios 6 and i'm happy with it. The only thing missing is LTE. For my needs there is truly nothing about the 5, 5s, or 5c that makes want to upgrade other than LTE. Plus LTE is very very spotty where I live. Oh and it comes in black. If it breaks i'll upgrade. Whether i stick with Apple I haven't decided.

The 4S is a great hand-me-down phone. I've passed them down to my sons who use them a lot. Yes in a year or so it will probably be time for a change but for now more than acceptable.
This is especially true for those that may not utilize all of the functionality that a 5 or 5S may bring.

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I still have my iPhone 4S as a backup, and my wife and 2 daughters still love theirs and won't upgrade (hence the backup). While I prefer my iPhone 5S, I was not unhappy with the 4S (even though I got an iPhone 5 a year ago). The 4S seems to run iOS 7 just fine, and I wouldn't call it laggy at all. On the other hand, using my old iPad 1 that we gave my wife's mom is very laggy.

No, it's just crazy to buy it. You'll be stuck with it for two years and for only 99$ you'll get a way better experience with the iPhone 5c. If you want to join the apple ecosystem coming from android or whatever device your using don't sell yourself short, if your can't afford the 99$ down payment just wait until you can it's worth it. You'll get a 4-inch screen vs 3.5-inches, LTE support, faster processor, clearer and more vibrant screen, better camera back and front facing, lighting cable, improved Wi-Fi speeds, better quality headphones, better sound quality out of speaker, not to mention iOS 7 running out of the box so you won't wait x amount of hours waiting for the phone to update and it'll run better with the A6 on board the iPhone 5c and you'll have a better chance of receiving more iOS updates through out the years with the 5c. With that being said for 99$ thats a great deal compared to the free iPhone 4S.

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Is it a good phone. Depends for whom? If it is a first time smart phone buyer who does not need the best of phone cameras, super fast and bigger screen iPhone, it is a reasonable start.

If the person is ready for an upgrade from a previous iPhone, he would be super crazy to upgrade to iPhone 4S.

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It's a great phone if it's running an appropriate OS. iOS 7 was NOT made for it and even though the 4S supports it, it only does so for two reasons 1) to shut people up when they ask "why isn't my phone supported??" and 2) so you can get fed up of your phone and get a new one sooner.

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Nope, it's not. My husband's iPhone 4S power button just broke after less than two years of usage. And the phone has been turning off by itself when reaching about 15% of battery level for many months already.

The 4s is a great phone, but since it's only available in 8 GB now, I'd likely recommend spending $99 for a 16 GB 5c instead.

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I upgraded to the 5s but kept the 4S cuz I luv the design. It feels like a better build than the 5s because the power button doesn't click when shaking the phone. And when waiting for the 5s, I hadn't upgraded the 4S to iOS 7 cu I wanted to keep the JB, which kept my user experience intact. I will JB the 5s when it's released.

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My dad has had 4S for a year and a half and it still is a solid phone. He wants to get a new 4S and give his current one to my mom. I recommended the 5C if he could shell out an additional $99 plus the taxes. My most important among many reasons was for the bigger screen. He is 75 years old, and a bigger screen is much better for his eyes and hands. If you can afford the more recent technology then pay the price. My mom would be happy to ditch her feature phone and get an iPhone 4S. My dad would appreciate a larger phone screen with more power.

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iPhone 4S was a good phone, still? I don't think so. I'm using 4S now, but as soon as my contract ends, I'm getting 5S for good!!

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My wife and I both have a 4s they are still well functioning phones but they also have there short comings. iOS 7 works well but you have limited fictions like AirDrop is missing. The biggest thing missing is no having 4G. Sometimes sending pictures using iMessages or larger emails can be painful on a 3G network. It will fail on occasion which is annoying. I personally spend the $99 and get a 5C.

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I think the iPhone 4S is still a GREAT phone for people who don't have to have the latest and greatest in performance and features. It still works just fine and does most things the newer phone can do, just not as well. The real problem will come when if cant update to or doesn't work well with the latest ios.

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A small number reporting issues with iOS 7? That is absurd... With only 8GB of storage and a dual-core processor on board, this phone isn't capable of running iOS 7. It isn't old it's ancient! Signing a 2yr agreement for a 4s is something you will regret within 6mths. Save yourself the headache and at least "splurge" on a 5c.

(Totally different reaction in the comments on this post vs the forum thread. Interesting.)

The 4S was a good phone and if you got it when it was new, like I did, or when it was in it's $99 phase then it is perfectly passable for the less than 12 month period you'll have left before an upgrade. Buying it now? That is just asking for a bad experience down the road. For the majority of people this phone will be their daily driver for two years unless they are on one of the carrier upgrade schemes that are all the rage now.

I'll put it in perspective: my 4S on iOS 7 is stuttery, sometimes slow to respond, and was starting to make me wonder if iOS was the way to go if 7 was so damn crappy. Now, I knew it had a lot to do with my hardware, but still - it wasn't translating well. Then last week I got my iPad Air. Thing is a beast. iOS 7 flies on it and it is the same internals as the 5S (just clocked slightly higher) and only a little ahead of the 5C. Compared to my 4S? I didn't know iOS 7 was actually this damn good. Point being that buying the past and expecting it to serve you well in the future is asking for either frustration on your end or frustrating calls from relatives when the next software update comes out. The phone is merely passable right now if you pull it out of a box - it won't even be that in a year.

And unless you're a fringe case that needs a lot of storage on the pre-8GB contract model or you have a family of five I don't understand the cost factor very much if you're in the states. Radioshack is currently offering the 5C for $50(!). If you can afford a US data plan every month I have to believe that a $50 5C isn't that much of a jump as long as you're fine with waiting for the right sale.

My verdict? Love my 4S for what it is but would never recommend it to anyone except fringe cases who either need the best $-per-GB ratio or who will only ever make calls and texts...but even then the right sale can solve that problem.

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Of course he is still good. Apple's phones hardware changes less with years and 4s is still okay. I'm thinking about Birthday present for my brother - iPhone 4s or 5. There aren't a lot of differences between those 2 but iPhone 5 has support and updates 1 more year than 4s.

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Well I mean it all depends on the needs of the people. For your basic consumer looking to be in the loop as far as just being able to have apps and such, than the 4s is perfect. It's cheap, and works well. But for anyone who isn't just starting out in the smartphone world the iPhone is good not GREAT. But thEy said it best in the article its a great starter phone, anything more it's age starts to show.

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absolutely it is. i've had mine for over two years i still really like it and it functions great. although i'm still on iOS 6 because i'm afraid of what iOS 7 will do to it. if my applecare didn't expire i would've broken it and got a new one instead of possibly getting a 5S. lately i'm having a really hard time deciding whether or not to upgrade it because i feel like the 5S just doesn't have enough improvements compared to the 4S. i'm thinking of sticking it out another year or so until the next iphone is released.

I wouldn't recommend buying the iPhone 4S to anyone. It's falling behind in the speed department and the size of the screen, even though it's only half an inch smaller than the new models is just too small. It's too bulky and the it would be better value buying a 5C for a more entry level unit.

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I still have my iPhone 4S and it works just fine I love Siri The male Version I love the look of iOS7 so yes iPhone 4S is my A+ phone

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I actually think the weight of the old iPhones gave it a nice feeling of durability even though majority of those I knew that had a 4s had cracked the glass.

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I also consider 4s is a good phone it also surprises me how smooth it feels with ios7. But knowing how Apple works and drops support for older devices rather quickly if the person is not so tech interested oriented and money is not an issue I'd recommend the 5c otherwise I think they would be fine with it.

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This seems to be the entry device you would get your grandma or mom who does not really care about the latest and greatest, and who may also not notice the lag that is beginning to build up on the device. If

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No because it fragments the market. Different screen size and different 30 pin connector is the definition of fragmentation. What are the pros of switching to iPhone? App availability and cleanliness as well as accessory line up. Fragmentation hurts those areas and it could get worse as iPhone 6 comes out.

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iPhone 5 is still a good phone. It had it's growing pains but it's still going strong. iOS 7 had to grow on people and I think that was what that hurt iPhone 5 alittle but over all it's a good iPhone.

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I must say that I was adamant in my decision to upgrade from a 4S to a 5 but honestly after getting ahold of the 5, I could never see myself going back to a 4S. It's bulk, sheer weight difference and smaller scree make it less than acceptable use for really accomplishing anything. I think it has a few "perks" in regards to giving the Apple-sphere a chance, but honestly if you're willing to test an iPhone, may as well get the latest and greatest, right? Even with regards to people who don't really need all the functionality and power behind a 5, 5C and 5S, the 4S feels clunky in the users hand and the experience just isn't matched. Even my mother, who is 50, complains about not being able to see type and it just feels small in her hands.

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Tweak the accessibility options for her. Enlarge the font, or turn on zoom, (three finger double tap and drag up).

Once I got a 5S the 4S did feel so heavy in comparison but I kind of liked/like that. It feels proper! The screen size was an issue going back to it. Those were only comparison issues though. I was finding the 4S a tad slow on occasions before I got the upgrade. It wasn't new but only a few months old as it was a replacement device from Apple.

I didn't upgrade to iOS 7, I gave that choice to the buyer. My bro in law has a 4 on iOS 7. He says it's ok, tho a little slow, but he doesn't have loads of apps and stuff on it.

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I would recommend a 5C over a 4S but I think that the 4S is a perfectly capable phone to hold on to for another year. I've had a 4S since launch day and it runs IOS 7 fine in my opinion and is rock solid reliable all around. BT 4.0 has kept me up to date with those accessories and overall performance is good. LTE and the bigger screen will be nice when I do upgrade but it isn't pressing fo me since I'm on prepaid and not tied to a contract.

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Been using 4s for nearly 2 years. Still very pleased with the performance and am enjoying ios7. Wife and daughter have 5c's so I can piddle with the new form factor and it's cool, but with an upgrade coming in February I am considering waiting for the next iPhone. Thoughts?

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Absolutely. I would still have one but I decided to trade up... Solid performer.

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Considering that I live in Brazil (where every single iPhone costs a fortune!), I'd say that the 4S is a good choice here, since it's less expensive. But, aside the price factor, no, the 4S is no longer a good choice.

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I wouldn't buy a new 4S and sign a contract purely because it is already two-year-old technology. But a deal on a slightly used one is just fine. It is still a decent phone overall. Although, my wife's 4S has slowed down noticeably with iOS 7. My 5 handled it just fine, but the difference between the 5 and the 4S was made all the more obvious by the introduction and application of iOS 7.

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Jeez people, of course the 4S is "slow" compared to any newer iPhone models. :P

As an iPhone 4 and iPad Mini 1 user, iOS 7 runs fine on the iPad, (so, same A5 processor in 4S should be able to handle it), but I regret installing it on my phone, (stick with iOS 6 if you can, but I'd try doing a clean install if you absolutely need iOS 7). I didn't do a clean install, but I find iOS 7 got smoother on my iPhone 4 after a few manual shutdowns/restarts, and power cycling the battery, (and it got better after 7.0.4, looking forward to 7.1).

As a starter "free with contract" phone, the 4S is a great choice, (plus, you know how affordable the third party accessories are now?). I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 that stays turned off in my bag, while my iPhone 4 is in my pocket and constantly being used, (with iOS 7, my 4 is now on par with the S3's screen lag, but it is a 2010 vs 2012 phone, I'm quite impressed).

The accessibility options, great language inputs, and snappy screen, is what keeps me sticking with Apple products, (honestly, I don't understand why settings on S3/Android are so confusing). When the time comes, I'll definitely be choosing iPhone again.

It's gotten too sluggish, but I blame iOS 7 for it. It HAS to be intentional by Apple. That plus the lack of widescreen is just putting it out to pasture faster than it should be.

Sent from the iMore App

I love my 4s except for the lack of 4g. I'll be able to upgrade when the 6 comes out. Then I'll get my hands on some 4g+iOS :)

Had my 4s since new recently it stopped syncing to itunes and then stopped charging. A new dock and $20 later, back to mint condition. I'll pass on the 5 and wait for the 6 then sell the 4s. Still a good phone for basic calls, text and the odd facebooking and like most apple products they hold their value well.

I have an iPhone 4S and it works just fine, and I am not planning on upgrading for another 2 years. Even though I am not planning on upgrading, I would not buy this phone new today.
-Written from my iPhone 4S

I have a 4s running on 7.1.2. And it is fine. I look at other stuff but haven't found anything that I fancy because the 4s is truly a one handed phone which I like. In the future I will probably get a 5s after the iPhone 6 has been out for a while and the 5s has dropped to a viable price. In the meantime I'm well happy with my 4s.