First Impression: iPhone 4S

Post by Mark

As I mentioned in my previous post, Alghanim Electronics sent over an iPhone 4S for me to try out. I’ve been using it for a few hours and thought I would share my first impression on two of the most important new features.

The Camera
Thew camera on the iPhone 4S is a much better camera when compared to the regular iPhone 4. I saw some sample shots on the Apple website and they looked great but those shots were obviously taken in perfect lighting with an amazing photographer. I was curious to how the camera would fair in boring regular situation with random light and a not so great subject. Since the weather today is a mixture of humid, hot and dust, I decided to go to the roof and take a landscape shot.

On the left is the iPhone 4S shot and on the right the iPhone 4. Although it doesn’t look like that dramatic a difference when you zoom in at 100% it’s a complete different story as you can see below.

As you can see the iPhone 4S photo had a lot more details and a lot less artifacts. Another advantage of the iPhone 4S camera is that the lens is brighter which means better shots in low light situations. Below is a photo I took indoors.

Again zoomed out like this the details don’t show as much but once you zoom in at 100% (check below) you’ll see that the iPhone 4S shots are a lot less noisier and a lot more sharper.

One of the main reasons I purchased the iPhone 4S is because of the camera. I take a lot of shots for the blog and although I should, I don’t usually carry my good cameras with me all the time. Most of my shots are taken with an iPhone so the ability to take better shots is a great advantage for me. If like me, image quality is something you care about then the difference between the iPhone 4 and 4S is actually pretty major. You can download the full resolution images I shot and used above from these links:

Landscape with iPhone 4S
Landscape with iPhone 4
Low light with iPhone 4S
Low light with iPhone 4

Siri
Another reason I got the iPhone 4S is because of Siri. I’m a huge Stark Trek TNG fan and Siri reminded me a lot of the computer on the starship Enterprise. Even though Siri is limited when compared to the computer on Enterprise (it can’t prepare meals for example), it’s still very impressive and I love it. Siri is going to get even better in the future and I honestly can’t wait.

There are a few things that won’t work in Kuwait though. If you ask Siri for the best burger joints in Kuwait it will tell you it won’t know. Some of the Siri features are US only for now but it does do a whole bunch of other things. You could ask it to convert currency for you, find out the population of countries as well as other trivia. More importantly for me it can take notes and set reminders which is a big deal for me. I’m a very forgetful person and also very lazy so even when I usually remember something I never write it down or set a reminder. Now with Siri, once I remember something I can just tell it to write it down or remind me when I get home or work to do something. She’s really going to be my personal secretary/assistant.

Siri didn’t have that many problems understanding me. I do tend to mumble and I did have a few instances when Siri wouldn’t know what I was talking about but I also found Siri pretty forgiving. For example I might start saying “tell me” and then mid sentence change to “I mean what is the capital city of Kuwait” and Siri would still understand and tell me “Kuwait City”. Yes it does feel weird (ie stupid) talking to a phone but I’m sure I can get over that.

I ordered my iPhone 4S last week from the Apple UK store but for those of you who haven’t ordered yet and just want to walk into a store and pick one up Alghanim Electronics will have them in stock starting tomorrow. I asked about the price but as of this post they still hadn’t finalized it yet.

Update: The prices for the iPhones has been released by Alghanim and they are the following (don’t shoot the messenger):

iPhone 4S 16GB for KD350
iPhone 4S 32GB for KD390
iPhone 4S 64GB for KD420


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61 comments, add your own...


  1. Bu Aziz says:

    Their selling the 16GB for KD 359

  2. KG says:

    1)do you have an accent while speaking in english?
    2)how forgiving is Siri with your accent as in British VS American VS Australian.
    I read somewhere that it takes the accent into consideration while deciphering speech.

  3. شاي سنقيم says:

    16GB for KD 359 ? they got to be kidding me ..

    • Aga says:

      As long as there are Apple fanboys who buy anything with a lowercase ‘i’ and plenty of people in Kuwait who don’t don’t care about prices, the retailers will continue to gouge consumers.

  4. bob says:

    is there an option to turn 3G off?
    Is there wi fi hotspot?

    i heard for some these were removed..

    also battery life?

    • Mark says:

      – no you can’t turn 3G off, you can turn Data off
      – Yes it’s available thats not phone related though its OS/Mobile operator related
      – Battery life is supposed to be better but I wasn’t able to test it.

  5. Th.haba says:

    I had some concerns about the camera but now I’m relived, thanks! it’s really worth it, can’t wait for mine to arrive!

  6. Dave@q8 says:

    Let’s see if this makes sense: Apple should regulate how much an iPhone should
    sell to authorized retailers. If they would sell for 190-200 more people would buy and apple would double their profit. Just like the idea of bath and body works in mall are around the same price in the states. Steve Jobs would be turning in his grave if he knew they were selling for double what they are worth. Apple could make a lot more if they just convert KD. Even dubai has a decent price.

    • Mark says:

      Apple isn’t giving the Middle East iPhone 4S’s yet. Once they do the prices will drop like they did last year but for now its kinda like a grey/black market. Right now the cheapest unlocked iPhone 4S you can get will cost you around KD250 if you order it from the UK. By December you should be able to get it for around KD200 from the US. And after that probably cheaper in Kuwait once it gets officially released.

      • Dave@q8 says:

        Do they have to make such a Large profit almost double from UK. They have to be getting them from a distributor from UK at a good price they just set the price because they have the power over the market.

    • Dave@q8 says:

      Plus if more people could afford they would buy the iPhone 4s and
      then iPhone 5 I’m gonna hold on to mine till price to down. Plus if they use the strategy of selling more for less they would make a ton more on the accessories and other gadgets in store. Also would limit people from
      buying from Dubai and UK because its getting easier an faster to buy and ship from UK.

      • Mark says:

        Right now its not easy to get a huge quantity of iPhones. If you order from the UK store today you have to wait nearly 2 weeks for them to ship u it and its a limit of 2 per order. So stores in Kuwait can’t get a large quantity so the demand is high and supply is low hence why the prices become so expensive. I’m sure I would easily be able to sell my iPhone 4S for KD300 if I wanted to but of course I won’t.

        If you’re not in a hurry you should wait for the prices to go down. I wanted my iPhone now before I traveled next month hence why I didn’t mind paying a bit more.

    • aaa says:

      Nope, the real problem is you can sell it at double the price and impatient people/ people who have enough money that it doesn’t matter will buy regardless.

      Look at ebay the day after anything like this comes out and is out of stock and you see the same thing.

  7. Jacqui says:

    Good first impressions I personally can’t wait for mine to arrive I went for the iPhone 4S simply for the extra storage and improved camera. You didn’t even attempt to test out the image stabilization feature when shooting videos right? :)

    Do that and tell us how it fairs :) And good luck getting your iPhone out of customs.

  8. bob says:

    There’s no tax in the UK. Its VAT and the price of 499 already includes it. You’ll have to pay shipping/customs only.

    • Mark says:

      You’re right, the 499 includes the tax, i just opened the invoice and it’s £415.83 without the VAT. So total price you will pay is around KD240 with shipping to Kuwait and Kuwait Customs.

      • Hind says:

        Mark I was trying to order from apple uk store but I just saw that they don’t ship to a PO Box account so how can I order through my Aramex account ???

        Also do u think it’s better to take from uk ? It’s very expensive in Excite and they don’t have the 64 only 16 and 32 I just went there to the Avenues branch

  9. ossama says:

    where can i buy one ? is it on sale now in q8 ??

  10. ibnturab says:

    Mark, becareful of your admiration of Siri. You’re wife might get jealous :-) .

  11. desert sky says:

    Not worth upgrading to a 4S just because of a camera & Siri unless you’re upgrading from a another type of phone.You can just Google stuff unless you’re too lazy to do that.I guess most people will buy it just to show off not because there’s a real big difference between the iPhone4 & 4S .

    • Mark says:

      So u can google better photos and google assistance? I have an IPhone 4 and after using the 4s all day my iPhone 4 seems stupid now without Siri.

  12. ibnturab says:

    Mark, I don’t know why you Apple users are so public in your love and support of Apple. You ought to realize that your a**es are the first to go once Skynet ( aka Android) becomes self aware.

  13. Burhan says:

    If you really want a decent camera on a mobile phone, you can’t beat Nokia’s phones.

    Now that Siri works on the normal iPhone4, a simple camera upgrade doesn’t seem worth the premium, as absolutely nothing else has changed on the device.

    I don’t think the improved processor and graphics card is going to help with Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja :)

    • Mark says:

      Which Nokia phone has a camera thats better than the iPhone 4s? From what i understood from all the websites the iPhone 4S has the best camera on a phone.

      Also Siri doesn’t work on the normal iPhone4. If you can provide a source that shows it does it would help. So far some guy hacked it to run on the iPhone 4 but it doesn’t work, it just runs…

      • Mark says:

        just a note, i said which phone has a better cam not which phone has a higher MP camera…

        • KG says:

          :) ah, there in lies the rub

        • Burhan says:

          The Nokia phones have better optics and a proper flash (not worried about megapixels right now), they also provide the best manual controls and adjustment in camera.

          So if you are looking for a point-and-shoot replacement, then it is not necessary to pay the premium for the iPhone 4S – as I had mentioned before – just for the camera.

          Even less so for the upgraded processor; however none of this will matter as it will sell like hotcakes.

      • Kuwait says:

        You surely haven’t checked out the Nokia N8 then, its been around for over a year and can still beat the next 5 iPhone cameras.

        True Apple Fanboy :)

    • enigma says:

      who the hell buys a Nokia phone these days? I’d choose an iphone over a nokia any day simple for the appstore.

  14. Khurram says:

    N82 has the best camera up till now. The xenon flash, plus the image processing is awesome.

    I haven’t laid my hands on the iPhone 4s, but it has to be twice as good as iPhone 4 to get anywhere near to N82’s camera.

  15. Marzouq says:

    Don’t lie your not a Star Trek fan!

  16. Sabre says:

    Just got the prices from Xcite in Avenues

    16GB for KD350
    32GB for KD390
    64GB for KD420

    Availability in a week

    Cheers

  17. Hussain says:

    cmon Mark , r these a true taken pictures from an iphone 4 ? , it even can’t show numbers !! , the oldest blackberry could show numbers , I think any iphone 4 could easily show numbers :) , u have a problem maybe with the cam resolution or the iphone 4 u have ..

  18. Linda says:

    Would people honestly pay 420KD for a phone that will get old in what, a year? This is getting ridiculous.

  19. Mk says:

    Mark , did you activate your I cloud backup ? If yes what do u think of it?

  20. PFunk says:

    64GB is priced at 420 LOL

  21. Mohammad says:

    Hi mark … Do u have any issues with carrier using an iphone 4s ..and what carrier do u use ???
    Because i heard that thier was issues with zain’s signal ???
    It keeps searching for the network every min …


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