iPhone 4S review

Same shape, different brain - is it enough of a change?

iPhone 4S review
The definitive iPhone 4S review

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The iPhone used to be notoriously bad when it came to battery life, but thankfully that seems to have changed since Apple plonked its own processor in the iPhone 4, which yielded a much better battery life indeed.

We didn't notice a huge amount of difference between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S' battery life during normal use - in standby mode we noted around a four to five per cent drop rate in the battery meter when we were doing nothing, but with Push notifications turned on.

iPhone 4s review

We tested this in two ways - the first with high intensity usage (which is pretty hard not to do on the first day you get any new phone, let's be honest) where we managed to run the phone down from morning to evening... but only just, and this was with the screen brightness up full and most connections active.

However, we dialled down the usage massively after that to see how the iPhone would survive, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that even with Push notifications active, the phone managed to easily last two days.

This was with around 30 mins of internet usage, opening and playing briefly with around 10 apps, using the camera three times and parsing emails on the odd occasion - easily enough to not feel like you're totally neglecting your iPhone 4S.


iCloud is a new service from Apple that debuted with iOS 5, and while it's not revolutionary, it's certainly a really nice step forward.

The main function of the service is to automatically keep all the important things backed up to the ether, be it Mail, Notes, Reminders, Bookmarks and Photos.

The latter option is the key one there, with all the photos turning up online safely in the event of a device breakdown or loss. However, be warned: once those photos are on there, there's no way to delete them again.

iPhone 4s review

Apple has offered up 5GB of storage for all your stuff, so should you have multiple iOS devices all signed into the same Apple account you'll be able to see the same thing across all, so photos and reminders won't be confined to the one device.

Make sure you're careful with what you upload though, as the 5GB of storage will quickly start running down if you simply back everything up.

And the good news is the backing up happens automatically and wirelessly - when you've got the phone charged, locked and connected to a Wi-Fi network (ie, when you sleep) you'll be instantly kept updated via your online storage.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.