Early reviews of the iPhone 4S have begun to hit the web and as always there's as diverse a set of opinions as any good cadre of tech writers can manage. Who're we kidding, it's the new iPhone. They've had at it.
Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal thinks the new hardware, software, services, and Siri make for an attractive but not dramatic update.
The iPhone 4S is one of Apple’s less dramatic updates, but, when combined with the Siri, iOS 5 and iCloud features, it presents an attractive new offering to smartphone users. Some may be content to skip the new hardware and just enjoy the software and cloud features with older models. But those buying the phone will likely be happy with it.
David Pogue of The New York Times says, bottom line, Apple has an excellent job.
The question isn’t what’s in a name — it’s what’s in a phone. And the answer is: “A lot of amazing technology. And some of it feels like magic.”
Ed Baig of USA Today says that Siri lends its specific pretty darn coolness to the iPhone 4S in general.
Pro. Siri, good camera, iOS 5, iCloud, half-million apps. Snappy. World phone.
Con. No LTE version. Photo Stream glitch.
Shane Richmond of The Telegraph thinks Siri is as significant an advance as multitouch was with the original iPhone.
Overall, the iPhone 4S is a good upgrade to a very good phone. It retains the stylish design of the iPhone 4 and gives it a substantial boost. It's certainly not cheap when you consider some of the alternatives but it feels like a luxury product and it's an absolute joy to use. If you own the iPhone 4, then whether you upgrade or not depends on how tempted you are by Siri and the new camera. The upgrades in iOS 5 might be enough for iPhone 4 owners. 3GS owners should be in the queue already.
Brian X. Chen of Wired thinks the iPhone continues to push the pace.
Siri is the best androgynous unpaid intern you’ll ever meet. Dual-core guts make for faster apps and a smoother interface. Camera is much-improved. Call quality gets a boost.
Siri is limited in what it can do and understand. Looks the same as the iPhone 4 — what’s up with that? A 2-year contract means you may not be eligible for the best upgrade pricing.
Jason Snell of Macworld think the S in iPhone 4S stands for "sure thing".
In the end, the iPhone 4S follows Apple’s recent trajectory of iPhone releases: It’s an object of some appeal to people who last upgraded their phones a year ago, and over the next year a great many of them will find it worthwhile to upgrade to the iPhone 4S. But to all those people who’ve been hanging on to their iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, the wait is over: It’s time to upgrade without any hesitation whatsoever. The iPhone 4S has speed, a great camera, some cool voice-recognition features, and the same beautiful industrial design that was introduced in the iPhone 4. It’s destined to be immensely popular.
Jim Dalrymple of The Loop says iPhone 4S is well ahead of its competition.
You can look at each of the items that Apple will release in conjunction with the iPhone and be amazed with how innovative all of them are.
When you put them all together in one product like the iPhone 4S, you have an incredibly successful product that other companies just can’t compete with.
Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear thinks that while iPhone 4S looks the same as iPhone 4, it portents the same kind of industry shift as the original iPhone.
Wisely resisting the urge to change design for the sake of change, Apple has focused its attention where it will count the most: creating a longer-lasting smartphone that takes better photos, runs apps more smoothly and helps people efficiently manage their mobile lives whether they’re within cable’s reach of their home or office or otherwise. Meanwhile, Siri proves that the company still has what it takes to deliver game-changing functionality.
MG Siegler of TechCrunch thinks it's the new pinnacle of smartphones.
I’m happy that Apple decided not to change the form factor even though they had to know there would be some backlash from a certain segment of the population (read: idiots). Instead, Apple focused on the other thing they do best: refining already great products to make them better. The iPhone 4 was a great product. The best smartphone ever made. Now it cedes that title to the iPhone 4S.
Josh Topolsky of The Verge thinks it's great for older iPhone users and new-to iPhone users but not as compelling for iPhone 4 users.
This is the easy part… kind of. If you’re an owner of an older iPhone, or someone looking to switch to an iPhone from a different platform, there’s never been a better Apple device to buy. The iPhone 4S is an astoundingly good phone. Between the hardware (both inside and out) and the software (iOS 5 as well as third party offerings), it’s just kind of an awesome package. The lack of LTE, a larger display, or a new design may put off some buyers, but that won’t change the fact that the 4S is a force to be reckoned with.