Apple iPhone 4S in the test – All data and prices


The Apple iPhone 4S is here! The fans had already expected a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera, but the real innovations of the iPhone 4S are on the software side. However, Siri and iCloud cannot yet develop their full potential.

Apple iPhone 4S im Test

Apple iPhone 4S

Editorial rating 7,0 Reader reviews

13 ratings

Design and processing


Equipment and operation


Camera and multimedia


No infusion

Anyone who sees only a turbo infusion in the new iPhone is clearly wrong. Despite the old design, the Apple iPhone 4S offers numerous innovations: With Siri and iCloud, the company sets the tone, there are currently no comparable offers in the Android warehouse.

We didn’t like that

  • Limited functionality in Germany
  • small display

The disappointment was great: instead of an iPhone 5, presented with a larger display and a new design Apple in Cupertino with the iPhone 4S “only” an iPhone 4 with new software and more powerful hardware. So is the iPhone 4S just a mild infusion? Or an over smartphone with a familiar design? Netzwelt means: neither one nor the other.

In terms of design, the new iPhone does not set any standards this time. To this end, Apple wants to revolutionize the operation of smartphones once again. Instead of using a finger, users will in future control the iPhone over long distances by voice. The iPhone has offered voice control since the days of the good old 3GS model. Much more than controlling the music player and calling up phone book entries was not possible with that, and the hit rate was disappointing.

Voice control: Siri with a high hit rate

With Siri, Apple not only wants to catch up with the competition from Google on this point, but even outperform the search giants. Siri should not only react to certain commands like conventional voice controls, but understand colloquial language and context. That works surprisingly well in the test. Both the request “Call xyz” and “Dial number from xyz”, for example, led to the desired result.

The user can also send the weather report, for example, with banal questions such as “Do I need an umbrella?” recall. The hit rate is pretty high, around 80 percent. Even right next to a main road, Siri delivered the weather report straight away and noted a dictated text message completely correctly. A confusion of voices, for example in the open plan office, confused Siri.

Software is still in beta

Unpleasant: Siri is still a beta version and the user also notices that from time to time: The editorial team identified problems with the time in the test, for example. The commands “Set the alarm clock to two o’clock in the morning” and “Set the alarm clock to two o’clock in the morning” did not lead to the same result. Once Siri set the alarm clock for two o’clock, once for two o’clock.

In addition to such little things, Siri currently only supports three languages ​​with German, English and French. Siri is withheld from numerous Apple fans for the time being – and even if Siri speaks German: The software does not offer all the functions of the English-speaking sister. In this country, Siri is currently unable to call up traffic data, directions or maps on command.

Parallels to Microsoft Kinect

In addition, many people should still find it strange to talk with their smartphone. It is nice to set your alarm clock with just one sentence in the evening and in the morning it saves a few seconds of time, the weather report with “How will the weather be today?” instead of starting an app or searching the network.

Netzwelt sees the application scenarios as still rather limited. Voice control is currently more of a kind of pastime, after all, there are already numerous curious Siri answers to questions about the meaning of life or a marriage proposal on the Internet. The Siri fan sites could have a similar effect for Apple as the spectacular hacks for the sales figures of Microsoft’s Kinect motion control and should ultimately promote the acceptance of the technology.

Apple iPhone 4S im Test

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple is listening

Users should also be concerned: Siri only works with an Internet connection. User inquiries are transmitted directly to Cupertino and evaluated on US servers. Apple did not want to tell netzwelt how the data is encrypted and what exactly is transmitted.

Since the iPhone tracker scandal at the latest, it should be clear to every user that smartphones sometimes transmit very sensitive data in an unsecured manner. Sensitive users should think twice about dictating very personal messages to Siri. If you set up a code lock, you should make sure to deactivate access to Siri at the same time. From the factory, Apple allows access to Siri even when the code lock is activated, which gives strangers access to some phone functions.

When activating the code lock, Siri should be deactivated with.

When activating the code lock, Siri should be deactivated with. (Source: screenshot)

Hardware: No surprise inside

What other innovations does the iPhone 4S offer? One could say quite neutral: what was to be expected. With an 8-megapixel camera and the ability to record videos in Full HD, the iPhone 4S is once again on a par with the competition. Even more: The iPhone 4S is the fastest smartphone that has appeared in the netzwelt editorial team to date. Apps start without the slightest delay, and the 4S achieves high frame rates even with complex 3D games, even with a number of apps running in the background.

The difference to the previous iPhone 4 is already clear in the CometBench. With ten comets shown, the iPhone 4S achieved an average rate of 60 frames per second, the 4-series model only achieved 35 frames per second. The iPhone 4S also keeps the competition at a distance: It scores 89,075 points in the Browsermark while surfing and completes the Sunspider test in 2,2250 milliseconds. For comparison: The BlackBerry Bold 9900 achieved 54,000 points in the Browsermark, the Samsung Galaxy S2 42,000. The Blackberry flagship completed the Sunspider test in 2,710.5 milliseconds, the Galaxy S2 in 3,399.4 milliseconds.

Sharper images

The image quality of the cell phone camera was already impressive with the predecessor and the iPhone 4S is in no way inferior to this. In comparison, the images now appear even sharper and more detailed. In addition, thanks to a backlit sensor, the iPhone 4S offers better images even in poor lighting conditions.

With the option of using the “volume up” button as a physical trigger under iOS 5, Apple minimizes the risk of blurring and is thus one step ahead of most Android phones. The Samsung Galaxy S2, for example, does not have a camera button. In short: In addition to numerous photos taken with the iPhone 4, photo services such as Flickr will soon also contain numerous iPhone 4S recordings.

iCloud still under construction

Another innovation: The iCloud Internet storage service allows users to store the content they have purchased from iTunes, and there are also five gigabytes of storage space available free of charge for personal data such as photos and documents. The synchronization between different devices runs automatically. The service worked perfectly in the test. For example, photos were synchronized directly “with the cloud” in the photo stream. After the user activated the lock screen after recording, it took about five to ten seconds for iPhoto on a Mac to display the images in the photo stream in the test.

One downer, however, is that in Germany neither the iTunes Match nor iTunes in the cloud be available. The synchronization options are attractive; But whether you want to completely outsource your personal data to the cloud is a matter of taste – similar to Siri, data protection issues arise here. It is not for nothing that Apple offers a 64-gigabyte iPhone, many users apparently still prefer to store their data on the device itself.

Display enlargement urgently needed

The design of the iPhone 4S is known, but in terms of workmanship, only Nokia and HTC can compete with Apple in the smartphone sector. The iPhone 4S continues to be a flatterer. However, netzwelt would have liked the manufacturer to perhaps address one or the other weak point, such as the vulnerable glass back. Another minus point: The 3.5-inch display no longer looks contemporary for a high-end mobile phone. Even if the resolution is unmatched to this day. The competition from Nokia, Android and Co. is no longer building a top-of-the-range model with a screen diagonal of less than four inches, making the Apple cell phone look like a tiny smartphone. With the iPhone 5, Apple will no longer be able to avoid enlarging the display.

The battery life remains one of its strengths. While other dual-core cell phones in the test often run out of juice within a day, netzwelt managed well over a day in the test with an iPhone 4S that was not even fully charged. Apple itself specifies a maximum talk time of up to eight hours, surfing is possible for up to six hours via 3G, and even up to nine hours via WLAN. Neztwelt will check these values ​​in a longer practical test and submit detailed results later.

Apple iPhone 4S unpacked

Apple iPhone 4S in the editorial office.


Apple offers the iPhone 4S in Germany Simlock-free from 629 euros. The 32-gigabyte version costs 739 euros, for the 64-gigabyte model Apple charges 849 euros. Unlike the iPad 2, Apple does not grant a price reduction on the iPhone 4S compared to its predecessor.

It looks similar with the network operators. In the end, the new Apple cell phone in connection with a fixed-term contract is often even more expensive than with Apple itself. Users should therefore calculate the costs precisely before concluding a contract.

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iPhone 4S

Editorial rating 7,0 Reader reviews

13 ratings

Design and processing


Equipment and operation


Camera and multimedia


Apple iPhone 4S: The best alternatives

Don’t you agree? Are you looking for suitable alternatives? Below you will find the best Apple iPhone 4S alternatives.

We also recommend you take a look at our Smartphone– Leaderboards. You can find comparable products, for example, in the leaderboard

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Lenny Li

I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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