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iPhone 4S review

The Message gets a first-hand user review of Apple’s iPhone 4S

The release of the iPhone 4S (amid rumours that the ‘4S’ stands for ‘For Steve’) spurred a predictably frantic rush among Apple fanboys and hyped-up consumers to get their hands on the updated design. All disappointed talk about the fact that the 4S wasn’t an iPhone 5 desisted, and the blissful sounds of fingers sliding along touch-screen glass and Siri’s patient voice filled the air.

The tech mags and newspaper sections have already been filled with ‘expert’ analysis of the 4S – it’s strengths, weaknesses and, of course, Siri – but what about the man in the street. How do everyday users feel about the latest Apple money-spinner? Do they think it’s worth the hype?

Misha Poinkin was one of the first in Australia to get his hands on the 4S, so we sat down to have a chat with him for a first-hand user review and find out how he’s finding life as an iPhone 4S owner.

The Message: So we’re speaking with Misha Poinkin, who has recently purchased his very own iPhone 4S. He’s the proud new owner of this new product, and we’re going to speak to him a little about how he’s finding it! So, Mish – is this your first iPhone?

Misha Poinkin: It sure isn’t. Actually, I have had a 3G for a long time, and the 3G is tragically obsolete compared to the iPhone 4S. So I had that one, but it wasn’t my first 3G either, it was probably the third one I broke or something like that… so this is technically my second iPhone.

TM: But you have a long history with the iPhone…

MP: Yeah. And Apple.

TM: Right. What other Apple products do you have?

MP: Well, I have a MacBook Pro, which I’ve had for about three years.

TM: What are the inches on that?

MP: Umm… 15 inches. So, it’s not the biggest one, but I think it’s just right! So that’s also really great to work with, and I downloaded the new iOS 5 for this, so that’s absolutely fantastic…

TM: For your iPhone?

MP: Yes, for my iPhone, and then I got the new Lion upgrade for…

TM: Oh, for your MacBook Pro?

MP: Yeah, for the MacBook Pro, and that’s really cool. So they’re trying to integrate, they’re trying to make the actual operating system for Macs much more like the actual touch phones, and smartphones, make it much more tactile. You can see I’m a bit nerdy about it all…

TM: No, no, it’s great! So, apart from phone calls, what content do you receive on your iPhone?

MP: Well, I’ve programmed it to get updates for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr… so, blogging, mainly, a lot of social media. I have a lot of updates for all my tasks there, I get updates about news, so I access… my favourite app, one of my favourite apps is the BBC News, because it just pulls together all the news of the world… whether it’s entertainment, or technology, or American news… it all comes together.

TM: So, do you find that you read your news on your iPhone exclusively?

MP: Yeah, actually. I don’t leave my iPhone alone for a long time… I tend to access a lot of my news and my content through my iPhone.

TM: And of course you read The Message every day, religiously…

MP: Absolutely!

TM: So, what’s you’re favourite app? Apart from BBC News.

MP: Well, because my old iPhone was basically about to die, so I barely used it for its functionality, but I have to say I love… Oh I can’t decide, to be honest, there are some good ones out there. Even the Facebook app, although it’s something that everyone has, and it’s so universal, but the latest update is just really easy to use. Um… I really like… let’s see… sorry, just going through it now…

TM: For everyone listening at home, I’d just like to say now, for the record, that Mish is actually now lovingly caressing his brand new white iPhone.

MP: Well, I actually really like Instagram, which is sort of the leading photo community through iPhone…

TM: Kind of like a Twitter for photos, right?

MP: Pretty much, yeah. And I just, I usually just go on and check all my accounts and everything, but what I love is the way it just pushes it to me. I don’t really need to go out there and check, it just let’s me know whenever there is something new…

TM: Right. So what’s your favourite thing about the new operating system?

MP: Well, I guess my favourite thing, along with just the speed, and the beautiful retina display… Siri is obviously a really fun new thing, and it’s exclusive to iPhone 4S, so I feel very special.

TM: So how friendly are you with Siri?

MP: Well, we’re only just getting to know each other, depending on which language I select… sometimes you get a UK voice, or an Australian voice, and I find the Australian one understands me a little bit more now. I think it’s actually somehow adjusting to my voice. I suspect it’s designed to do that.

TM: So tell me, obviously very sad news about Steve Jobs’ death – did it influence your decision to purchase so soon the iPhone 4S?

MP: Thinking about it now, I was really eager to just wait for the iPhone 5, being, you know, a complete redesign in terms of the model, but because I’m much more involved in Apple in general I know what it’s actually capable of, so I didn’t just think about the look of it… I think that’s superficial. Just before I got it I thought – to hell with it, it’s at least contributing to Apple and it’s a great tribute to Steve Jobs, so yeah, at the end I thought it would be a nice tribute. So, it wasn’t like my primary influence to get it, but sure, it did push me a little bit.

TM: So do you think that the 4S is worth the hype, in comparison to the iPhone 4?

MP: Well, I think it’s really good for people who are upgrading from 3 generation, the iPhone 3 and 3GS, because, you know, it’s just a completely different feel, it’s got the retina display it’s got all that extra capacity, I know it’s also heaps faster, it’s much easier to use, it’s fun to use…

TM: Well I guess over the course of the day a few seconds of extra speed here and there would really add up to quite a bit.

MP: Definitely, and it’s just got such a smoother process to it, and everything just flows a little but nicer, whereas the old one sort of lags a bit and it’s not as easy to multi task, things like that, so for someone going from the older generation it’s just light years ahead.

TM: Well, thank you very much for this chat. Have fun with Siri…

MP: Oh, I will.


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