Q: I’m currently using an iPhone 4 but am debating whether or not to upgrade to the new 4S. I know that the new iPhone has a better camera and is faster, but are there any other differences that you can tell me about that may help me decide? Is the 4S worth the upgrade if I already have an iPhone 4? Do you know if iOS 5 will work better on the iPhone 4S? I know when version 4 came out last year it was really slow on older iPhones and I don’t want mine to be slowed down by the new features.
A: In addition to the improved camera and faster, dual-core A5 chip, the iPhone 4S also adds the Siri Voice Assistant and 1080p video recording with image stabilization. It also includes an improved antenna system with faster 3G download speeds, although whether this will be of any benefit is going to depend on your carrier and what the coverage is like where you live. Support for AirPlay mirroring may also be useful if you have an Apple TV.
The iPhone 4S is available in a 64GB model, which may be an advantage if you’re nearing full capacity on your existing iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4S also provides a dual-mode antenna system so that it can be used on both GSM and CDMA networks, however this is only of practical use to Verizon or Sprint users who travel outside of the U.S.
The faster CPU, better graphics performance and increased RAM may also be worthwhile if you play a lot of high-performance action games on your iPhone—it’s not going to make much difference for Solitaire and Sudoku but games like Infinity Blade 2 will definitely take advantage of this.
As for iOS 5, based on early reports there have been no indications of any problems with iOS 5 performance on the iPhone 4. In fact, iOS 5 runs reasonably well even on the older iPhone 3GS, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about your iPhone 4 slowing down after upgrading to iOS 5.
Ultimately, if you’re happy with the iPhone 4 and aren’t interested in the Siri voice assistant, high-end gaming, AirPlay Mirroring support or a better camera, there’s probably not going to much that the iPhone 4S offers you and it may be worth your while to wait until the next announcement in 2012 and see what Apple has to offer in the iPhone 5.