Which iPhone 4S to Buy?


It is a strange irony that is not lost on any of us. The iPhone 4S is announced mid-day on Tuesday, word of Steve Job’s death comes the following evening, and the new iPhone starts pre-orders start at 12:01 AM PST. No doubt some people will suggest it should be delayed. I never had the honor of meeting Jobs, but my guess is he wouldn’t even dignify that with a response, well — maybe a two-word email like “Plans stays…” but not an actual response. So which iPhone 4S to get?

What Color? This is an issue of personal taste, but I find black devices tend to stay looking fresh longer. And if you do find yourself needing a change, there are all kinds of decals you can put on the device to freshen the look. So this is really a toss-up. Personally I’m going black.

What capacity? We finally have the option for 64GB on the iPhone. It is about time and a welcome addition. Sure iCloud is rolling out, and you can easily off-load a lot of you content. Still, with the difference between 32GB and 64GB being just $100 on contract, I will offer my standard rule — if you can afford it, go with the greatest capacity available. You MIGHT not use it all, but if you do find you need it you cannot add storage later on. Start big if humanly possible. I’m getting the 64GB.

Which Carrier? This is either a tough one or a rather easy one. If your family is on one carrier and won’t be switching, it likely makes sense to stay with that carrier. Also, if you still have a grandfathered unlimited data package, then you may want to stay put and hope they continue to honor it. If you are free to choose, you can roll the dice, but as you do — consider this.

AT&T stinks, but on its network you can be on the phone and use the 3G service simultaneously. I’ve heard from a lot of people that they don’t care, but I find there are too many times that I am on the phone and do need to look something up. This “feature” matters.

Verizon stinks, but on its network you won’t be dropping calls nearly as often as you will on AT&T. Although to be fair, we don’t know what, if any, difference the new dual antenna design will have. On Verizon though, on all but some of the 4G/LTE model phones you cannot talk and surf at the same time. Since the iPhone 4 will not be 4G LTE,  it is a consideration.

Sprint stinks, and, while I have never used their network, a lot of people I trust and respect have told me horror stories that make me not want to go near them. Still, since Sprint is just now breaking into the iPhone market they are hungry to get customers. I would expect some nice incentives that may make the move worth your while. Personally I detest AT&T, but I have unlimited data and it is what Elana uses so I’m sticking with them… for now.

So my iPhone 4S will be a 64GB Black AT&T version. How about you?

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

15 Comments on "Which iPhone 4S to Buy?"

  1. Funny, I was just talking about this with my coworker this morning.

    He was all excited about 64gb, but I am probably going to go with the 16gb. In two years of owning my Droid I’ve only used 7gb of the 16gb microSDHC card, and most of my music library fits comfortably on my 8gb iPod Touch. Back when the original iPhone came out I had a 4gb one and didn’t come close to filling it. So I’d rather spend less on the phone and have more to spend on fun cases and accessories (which, clearly, I’d use more than the extra storage!)

  2. Yeah but when you hand it off to Sarah in a few months SHE might want the extra capacity. 🙂

  3. Surprisingly Sarah has turned into quite the Android fan. She is all about the next version of the Incredible.

  4. iPhone 4S 64GB in white for me, please! =)

  5. Uhm… so were you at one point. What’s your next phone again?

  6. 4S 64 GB in White for the wife.

    Not sure for myself.  I like the white just to be different from my current black iP4, but not totally sold yet.

  7. Thomas R. Hall | October 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

    My brother has a 16 GB 3GS now. He thought he wouldn’t use the extra space, because he hasn’t filled that up yet. But then I reminded him: HD video. When you use the heck out of the camera for photos or even to take video, it adds up quickly. I suggested he move up at least to the 32 and that’s what he’s getting. (Videos of the kids (for him) will fill up space quickly!)

  8. Thomas R. Hall | October 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm |

    My wife had a black one for a week and then the white ones came out. She loves her white iPhone 4. What’s with you ladies and the white? 🙂

    On the iPhone, I can see a white phone. But not on the iPad, as I discussed with Dan when the iPad 2 came out. That large white border is distracting when you’re trying to watch a movie. I like the black border instead.

  9. Thomas R. Hall | October 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm |

    I would say 64 GB in Black (see previous comment on color). However, it would have to be the unlocked version for me. Hoping they have those, as there hasn’t been much info that yet. Hopeful it will exist, as they recently launched the iPhone 4 factory unlocked in the US. For me, it’s  Verizon in the US (unlimited data + tethering, thankyouverymuch) and GSM when I’m overseas. Plus, I’m not even close to my upgrade subsidy yet.

  10. Thomas R. Hall | October 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm |

    Nice color combo! Yes, white on the phone looks nice. It’s not too bad. But on that iPad… No way. 🙂

  11. I would never want a white iPad; I think they look heinous. But a white iPhone shows off a green case, like the one I am now rocking from Seidio, very nicely! =D


  12. I’m with you. I like black for both actually. Lets it fade into the background

  13. I’ve made it clear in the past that I continue to be disappointed in Android (I have an EVO 3D and others for work) because of it’s performance peculiarities and inconsistencies, so I won’t be going that route for my personal phone.  I am regularly consistently low on space on my 32GB iPhone 4 so it’s likely a 64GB black 4S for me next.  

    I think that many people (i.e. bloggers) are not appreciating the value of the A5 processor in this thing and what it will do for performance not to mention the improved camera (yeah many Android phones have the same MP but not the backing graphics support or the image processing Apple brought to the 4 and now the 4S that really does improve the image quality).  And lets not forget the expected network speed improvements we will see as a result of the antenna redesign.  

    Many folks have expressed disappointment that Apple didn’t release a larger screen device – they say it’s what the market wants, but I’m not so sure that’s true – the 4 was topping the sales charts even as the 4S/5 was rumored to be imminent – doesn’t that give a pretty good indicate that the market is NOT disappointed in the current design including the screen size?  In any case, I’m looking forward the the new phone.  I like that Apple is continuing with evolution rather than revolution, much as they did with the 3G/3GS.  And lets not forget that the 3GS is still selling well too!

  14. Mitchell Oke | October 7, 2011 at 12:45 am |

    I sold my black 32GB 4 on eBay yesterday, so I’ll be in line for a white 64GB 4S come launch day. Very much looking forward to the speed boost, extra space and camera. Also quite intrigued by Siri, I spend a lot of time in the car these days and it looks like it could make some of that time a bit more productive. 

    Only thing I’ll be missing is untethered jailbreak, but I’m sure that will come along reasonably quickly!

    As for Android, I actually bought a Galaxy S II only a few weeks ago, and which it is the best Android I’ve used by far, it still has its quirks and bugs. I LOVE the SAMOLED+ display, although it does make watching darker TV shows and movies a bit more difficult due to the deep blacks.

    Having a 4.3″ display is awesome most of the time, but I do find it more difficult to use the thing one handed, something the 3.5″ display on the iPhone has no trouble with. I was hoping for a 4″ display on the next iPhone, but I’d say that will have to wait till next year. 4″ seems to be the best of both worlds.

    I’ll likely keep the Galaxy S II around, I want to try some custom ROMs on it, but I’d say I’ll be back to the 4S.

  15. So it’s done.  Black 64 GB for me, White 64 GB for the wife.

    The design of the iPhone 4 is 16 months old, and yet when I compare it to the other phones I have owned/used in the past 2 years (BB Storm, Storm 2, Droid, Droid X, Droid 2, Samsung Galaxy S “Fascinate”, Dell Streak, BB Torch, Thunderbolt, BB 9930, and Droid Bionic – good Lord that’s a lot!), I still find it to be more aesthetically pleasing than anything else I have used.  Obviously, this is totally subjective.

    I, for one, am glad that Apple chose not to change the exterior design of the phone.  Steve Jobs himself compared it’s look and feel to that of a Leica camera, and after purchasing and using a Leica recently, I would have to agree.  To me, the look is timeless and I think will weather the passing of time far better than most other phones on the market today.  As an added bonus, I can still use all of my old accessories with my new phone!

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