Apple's latest iPhone, the 4S, is here. Is it evolutionary, or all-new? Most of us already know it's a small step forward. Still, we take a technical look at what makes the iPhone 4S different, noting why you shouldn't judge a phone on appearances alone.
Apple's iPhone is now the benchmark by which all smartphones are measured. No matter your opinion of Apple as a company, you have to acknowledge that there's clearly something special about its products. Chalk it up to unparalleled design or simply being in the right place at the right time (if you must), but the iPhone is a device that everyone seems to want.
Of course, it's one thing to set a standard. It's another to continue redefining that upper bound of innovation. There's certainly a case to be made that the new iPhone 4S doesn't change the game in the same way Apple's iPhone 4 improved on the 3GS. But that ignores Apple's proclivity for building something more than just impressive specs on the foundation of great hardware.
That's why it's wrong to judge the iPhone 4S on appearance alone. Yes, it looks just like an iPhone 4. And if you set aside the fact Apple is adding Sprint to its list of carriers, you can still count the changes on one hand. Notably, the iPhone 4S features the A5 SoC, an improved antenna design, HSPA+ support, and better camera hardware. However, those evolutionary improvements, taken together, make for a more compelling experience on a day-to-day basis.