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Upgrading to iPhone 4S: Worth the Effort?

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Upgrading any kind of technology can take a lot of time and work. Jason R. Rich, author of iPad and iPhone Tips and Tricks, offers an overview of iPhone 4S, discussing who's eligible to upgrade and explaining the benefits of upgrading from iPhone 4.
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After its release in October 2011, the Apple iPhone 4S became the fastest-selling smartphone in history. It exceeds the capabilities of most other smartphone models from other manufacturers. Plus, it offers a handful of new features, as well as some functionality that isn't even available within other iPhone models (such as the iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4, which also now run the newly upgraded iOS 5 operating system). If you're thinking about upgrading to the iPhone 4S, this article will help you to make an intelligent decision.

What the New iPhone 4S Offers

Since Apple released the iPhone 4S, and also introduced Sprint PCS as the latest wireless service provider in the United States to support iPhones (joining AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless), demand for this new iPhone model has been unprecedented.

In addition to using iOS 5 as its operating system, the iPhone 4S (shown in Figure 1) offers a handful of technological advancements over the iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4. For example, it operates using Apple's proprietary A5 chip, which gives it significantly faster processing power versus older iPhone models.

Figure 1 The iPhone 4S looks like the iPhone 4 from the outside, but what's inside is more technologically advanced.

However, many people are opting to upgrade to the iPhone 4S because of the phone's enhanced 8-megapixel digital camera and the Siri feature (discussed later in this article). In addition to offering front- and rear-facing cameras, the iPhone 4S utilizes the newly revamped Camera and Photos apps (which come bundled with iOS 5), allowing you to take sharper, more vibrant, and higher-resolution images, as well as shoot video in 1080p high definition.

In addition to utilizing a faster processor, the iPhone 4S is equipped with two antennas, which allow it to send and receive data more efficiently at the same time. This functionality improves the speed at which you can surf the Web using a 3G Internet connection.

The iPhone 4S is also a world phone that supports GSM and CDMA wireless technologies, meaning that by replacing the SIM chip, you can use the phone in more than 200 countries around the world, without incurring international roaming charges. To do this, when you travel abroad, you'll need to purchase a prepaid SIM chip that gives you a unique local phone number, plus the ability to make or receive calls, surf the Web, and/or send text messages from your iPhone.

Apple boasts that the iPhone 4S offers an extended battery life compared to that of older iPhone models. It also features a more vibrant and higher-resolution Retina display, which becomes most apparent when viewing photos or video, or when playing games that feature highly detailed and animated graphics.

As with the iPad 2, when you use the iPhone 4S with the optional Apple Digital AV Adapter cable ($39), you can connect the phone directly to a HD television set or monitor, and display whatever is on the iPhone's screen. This is useful for giving presentations or viewing photos on a big-screen TV, for example.

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