finally, the anticipation is over and first, the bad news. the dream of bigger screen and an all-new design, aka iPhone 5, is blown. yeap, there's...

Apple iPhone 4S 640x608px
(image: Apple) Apple iPhone 4S | from US$199(with contract) |

finally, the anticipation is over and first, the bad news. the dream of bigger screen and an all-new design, aka iPhone 5, is blown. yeap, there’s no iPhone 5 after all but the good news is, there’s really an iPhone 4S. iPhone 4S is essentially an iPhone 4 with new guts and more memory, and when combined, should run your apps faster. and then, there is the Siri, a personal assistant that uses voice commands for organizing your life and an all-new 8.0-megapixels rear-facing camera with several tweaks. under the hood, the iPhone 4S is now equipped with faster processor and graphics. since there isn’t much to shout about in term of design, let’s take a short run down of some of the more notable enhancements over the current iPhone 4. there’s an official iPhone 4S intro video available after the break.
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processor and graphics
under the hood, the iPhone 4S is now equipped with iPad 2’s dual-core A5 processor that offers up to two times more crunch power and dual-core graphics pushes graphics out seven times faster. despite a faster processor, the built-in lithium-ion battery does not suffer from performance. it will delivers up to 8-hours of talk time (3G), or up to 14-hours on GSM 2G and up to 200-hours of standby time.

antennas and connectivity
the iPhone 4S is touted as the first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas (presumably to solve its ‘death grip’ problem), ensuring better call quality and at the same time, Apple claimed that it will double the maximum HSDPA data speeds to 14.4 Mbps. additionally, the 4S can now roam GSM networks in about 200 countries worldwide regardless whether you’re a GSM or CDMA customer.

new camera and HD video recording
the iPhone 4S now sports an all-new 8.0-megapixels camera with a larger aperture (f/2.4, to be exact) and improved CMOS backside illumination sensor that offers 73% more light which should improve its low light photography capability, something which the current iPhone 4 is lacking. along with the new sensor are features like face detection, autofocus, LED flash, auto white balance and among the many others. the new camera also scores one up on HD video recording. it can now record in full HD 1080p at 30 fps (vs the 4’s 720p) with real-time video stabilization and temporal noise reduction.

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Siri – the intelligent assistant
voice command your phone to do something isn’t entirely new but Siri takes it up a notch higher by understanding what you say and response in kind. user can use Siri to make calls, send text messages, schedule meetings, set reminders et cetera. you can even ask Siri questions and it will figure out the appropriate app to use or pull information from the right sources, find the answer and reply to you verbally. at launch, Siri will only support English, French and German but more languages will be support as time goes by. Siri is included in the new iPhone 4S and will only run on this model as it requires much crunching power, which the 4S certainly has. check out a short Siri video intro after the break.

the iPhone 4S now comes in 16-, 32- and 64-GB capacities.

pricing and availability
for U.S. customer, the iPhone 4S will be available for pre-order on October 7 and officially available from from AT&T, Verizon and Sprint on the October 14. like the iPhone 4, customers will have a choice of black or the white version, and pricing (with typical contract) starts from $199 for the 16GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for the 64GB model. the iPhone 4S will be initially available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, and Japan (via Softbank and KDDI), while customers in 22 more countries, including most EU countries and Singapore will be able to get their hands on the 4S on the Oct 28. Apple has set its sight to make the new iPhone 4S available to over 70 countries with more than 100 carriers, by end of this year.