The iPhone 4S: My first impressions

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I will put a disclaimer here… This might be a little biased. That’s because I’m absolutely, hopelessly in love with my iPhone 4S! I’ll just go into my first impressions of the key features. In the meantime, I am still exploring other features on the device.

Table of Contents

 The Design

Despite the fact that Apple didn’t redesign the iPhone, it still stands out as a work of art. I’m a bit glad that it wasn’t redesigned, because it keeps those prying eyes off me, if you know what I mean.

The aluminosilicate glass does stand out, and the new oleophobic coating on the iPhone 4S screen does prevent fingerprint mark stains better than on the iPhone 4.

Notification Centre

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 1

This has been redesigned as a drag-down menu from anywhere on the screen and instantly shows all your notifications. Also, PUSH messages are now less obtrusive as they appear as either an animated badge or just a simple alert which disappears allowing you to continue with whatever you were doing.

The Camera

No lies on this one, it is obviously better than the camera on most mobile devices. It feels like you do own a dedicated ‘point and shoot’ camera. Also, the shutter speed is a lot faster so you can take pictures of moving things and they do not appear blurry. An interesting thing to note also is that the camera automatically recognizes when you want to take a picture whether it’s a portrait or a landscape and adjusts automatically so you don’t have to worry about focusing for a picture. It just does it for you.

Reader in Safari

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 2

This is probably my 2nd favourite feature on the iPhone 4s. If you will observe the screenshots above, I have loaded the Mobility website on my iPhone 4s. Then I clicked reader and … voila! It instantly ‘declutters’ the webpage I’m trying to read and turns it into somewhat of an ebook where I can adjust font size. For those who have been using Safari on their laptops, they will know what I’m talking about. It also adds the ability to save any page for offline reading later and adds it to your ‘Reading list’

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 4

Battery Life

I charged the phone to 100% last night at 10pm and used it continuously (listening to music, reading, playing with Siri, browsing, chatting, taking pictures, watching videos) and by 6pm the battery was at 28%. That’s really impressive considering it lasted 20 hours with my enthusiastic ‘touching and speaking’.

Dictation

The keyboard has a mic that enables dictation which is pretty reliable. I haven’t really typed on the keyboard since yesterday except to correct a few ‘hearing defects’ that the software generated. All in all, it’s ok.

Siri

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 6

Saving the best for last! Siri understands my accent! It obviously isn’t perfect… it’s almost, I dare say, human.

I’ll let the screenshots do the talking as most of you will not believe me. I even had to call some of my friends and kept them on the phone while I was asking Siri all kinds of questions. It responded all the way without fluttering.

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 8

It does have its flaws though. It requires a 3G or a wireless connection before you can use it. It is still in Beta stages According to Apple. I think that is apple’s way of getting like a huge database where further upgrades of Siri will be even better.

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 10

Second, it cannot search for places in Nigeria which doesn’t really bother me. It strangely appears that siri has a personality the more you get to know it. You have the option of using 3 different languages including 3 different English accents. The ‘British’ Siri voice is male, so I just go ahead and use the female voice.

The iPhone 4S: My first impressions 12

You’re probably thinking about data costs now. I also did that too. Yesterday, I spoke with Siri for 1 hour on the Glo 3G network asking and making fun. By the end of the hour, it had consumed 3MB of my mobile data. I could easily get used to that!

I’m actually hoping that all other smartphone companies will come up with something significantly competitive because right now, it appears the future has come. The iPhone 4S is indeed the best iPhone yet.

  1. with Siri now that’s a smartphone. I’d surely love to talk to my phone and it does stuff for me like the remainder and dictating. But the data connection appendage should have to go at sometime it’s ok if it’s for info gathering but nothing more

  2. Ayo,

    Thanks for sharing. I was looking for one thing in the review & you gave me; how siri will respond to a Nigerian accent. But let me ask, did you have to tune your accent before Siri got you right or you spoke with your day to day Nigerian accent? #thanks.

  3. @martinnkem: That’s true. I think the data connection for the Siri is intentional at these early stages so that Apple can get a feel of what exactly people are asking from siri and tailor it better to suit their needs.

  4. @Jesse: I had to tailor my language o! In the first 2 tries, I was using those tiny little slangs like ‘how far’, wetin de.. and siri would reply with ‘sorry, I cannot search for places in Nigeria’ and ‘would you like to search the web for ‘wetin dey’. But as for my accent, it does understand me fairly well and it seems like the software tunes to my voice over time.

  5. Gr8 review. Great iPhone 4s. Great Siri. You’ve now absolutely made an iPhone 4s convert out of me! Out of my three super Smartphones (iPhone 4s, Nokia N9 & Galaxy Nexys), I now choose the mighty 4s just from this review. Bring it up, Ayo. Feed us more.

    Honestly, I think I’ll fall in love with Siri.

    Siri isnt just a digitial assistant. Its in fact an artificial,Intelligence! A duet with Siri; http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CDgQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dhckrig2BwNY&rct=j&q=duet%20with%20siri&ei=mVmmTpnKCMfegQfT8PQr&usg=AFQjCNEWJiqCNC5HPFhoJwGm_Dn2ZqNUgA

  6. I love this!
    It’s barely a month since the iPhone 4s was announced and someone is already using it in Nigeria.

  7. @Ayo, you got your IPhone 4s for the same 130k? And was it manufacturer unlocked version? Is it the 32 Gigabyte edition? And any hope, you could source it out for me too?

  8. good to see siri isnt fazed by naija 🙂
    thanks for the review. i am definitely getting one of those..
    my only question is…is the iphone 4s easy to use?
    i have never used an iphone before

  9. @afewgoodmen,

    Sorry to disappoint you. Falling in love with Siri doesn’t work.
    A guy says: Do you love me Siri?
    Reply: I am not permitted to say.
    Guy: Will you marry me?
    Siri: it’s nOt part of the EULA.

    Though you may not be able to marry or have amorous relationship with Siri, you sure will enjoy her in every other ways. Just don’t push it too far.

    Seriously speaking, I think Apple has set another industrial standard here. This is definitely the beginning of good things for the mobile phone industries (it apple doesn’t kill it by themselves with stupid/greed or pride motivated lawsuits).

  10. @Ayo Olanrewaju

    Siri is actually performing beyond my imagination but the magic comes from the assistance rendered by the Apple servers very similar to what Opera Software company is doing with Opera mini.

    That’s true. I think the data connection for the Siri is intentional at these early stages so that Apple can get a feel of what exactly people are asking from siri and tailor it better to suit their needs.

    I rather think that internet connection will always be involved. Speech processing is highly resource intensive and requires management of huge collection of data and if such activities are left for the iPhone 4S to handle all on itself, it is simply going to mar whatever benefit promised by Apple.

    I had to tailor my language o ! In the first 2 tries, I was using those tiny little slangs like ‘ how far’ , wetin de. . and siri would reply with ‘sorry , I cannot search for places in Nigeria ’ and ‘would you like to search the web for ‘wetin dey ’. But as for my accent, it does understand me fairly well and it seems like the software tunes to my voice over time.

    I doubt very much if Siri would have been able to understand you at all if not for the server assistance not to talk of adjusting to your accent. Even while arguing in your other post concerning iPhone 4S, I wasn’t even considering the possibility of using our pidgin English to talk to Siri, I was only thinking of how to make it understand the standard English laden with Nigerian accent. Apple has really done some good job there.

    Not to take anything away from Apple, iPhone 4S or Siri, the truth remains that Siri is a server software with an iOS frontend. But the most important thing is that it does seem to work. Kudos to Apple and a very good one from Ayo too.

  11. One has to give it to these Apple people – they have a way of taking an existing technology and adapting / improving on it – to make it appeal to lots of people…
    That is pushing the frontiers of the technology.

  12. Yh! Siri-ously speakin, thats just one feauture of the iPhone that has ever caught my attention.

    If Siri wasn’t server assisted, it could stil work lyk nokia maps – you download your local (maps) accent to the phone and it keeps updating via (maps) accent improvement. #justsaying

    As for Siri not being able to look up local services, Nigeria is not the only place affected. In the UK, Siri’s local maps and
    look-ups don’t work yet. That’s because Apple doesn’t have a
    deal with a UK focused provider of local information. Nigeria’s V-connect can suit that need if Apple is willing to support it.

    Check out this video as Siri is being put to test @ http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/iphone-4s-siri-vs-samsung-galaxy-s2-vlingo-video-the-assistant-50005769/ n come back here to drop your comments.

  13. Great review..these apple guys are just too Good! But why cant they ever produce a mid-range device? Everyone is saying good good good here now but how many will put 130k on it?

  14. First of all i will like congratulate Ayo for delivering as promised on MN of this review. i dont think there is any other blog in Nigeria where iphone4s has been reviewed. This device is freaking expensive here in Naija. Saw it the other day at Ikeja for 220k!! Thanks for this review. At least you have been able to clarify most curiosity about about Siri’s response to our amala soaked Nigerian accents.

  15. Oh.. sorry everyone… just got back from work. time to reply all queries and also post the day 2. I’ve discovered some new features! Plus I had more fun with siri.

  16. @Afewgoodmen: send me a direct message and I can tell you how I got it and maybe how you can get it too

  17. @Femi: This might answer your question. My flatmate also just got the iphone 4S. Today is his 3rd day of using it, and he’s already bragging that he knows how to use it better than me. It just works. You don’t have to rack your brain just to figure out how to do anything and it’s almost all just a 2 step procedure.

  18. @Olushina Ayeni: Some Apple products are now getting quite affordable. A brand new 3gs factory unlocked now costs roughly around 60k. Previously, it was somewhere in the neighbourhood of 150k

  19. @Olushina: it is upgradable to iOS5. I reckon those at computer village will still want to sell at the previous prices but I think i could help if you’re really interested.

  20. Good review….dis is the beginning of a new smartphone era! I can’t wait to get my hands on d iphone 4GS

  21. @Ayo Olanrewaju alright I’d follow you on twitter, you then follow back so that I can send you DM. Thanks. you’re simply Gr8!

  22. Since the very first day I had about Siri, i was bent on knowing more about her.

    I have watched several videos and have been impressed by the way Siri has been interacting with people.

    The screenshots above have done nothing more than to further confirm that Siri is Unique.

    I once posted on my FB page that Siri is the first attempt at given ppl personal Robot. The complex questions have seen Siri answered have left me overwhelmed and sold.

    Ay Man, Am totally impressed with you and Siri.

    Keep it Up.

    Up Mobility.

    User: Siri will you marry me
    Siri: Lets just be friends.



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