VodkaPundit

iPhone 4S First Impressions

One of my reliable Apple livebloggers expressed disappointment that the new iPhone is “only” a 4S, and not an iPhone 5. My first impression is, the 4 refers to the case and the screen — the S is everything else.

The current iPhone case makes me think of the current iMac design, and not just because they’re both made of aluminum and glass. The design of each seems to be some sort of pinnacle for Apple’s industrial design. Lovely to look at, addicting to touch, and absolutely as small as can be, given the size of the screens.

Can you really make an 27″ iMac any smaller? Would a small iPhone even be functional?

So until there’s some advance in materials or battery storage density, I don’t expect to see big changes in the appearance of the iPhone. Really, other than the slab sides, the iPhone 4/4S is nearly a clone of the original iPhone, released in 2007 [fixed!]. And there’s really no sense to further increase the pixel density of the iPhone’s Retina Display. The human eye can’t see it, and mobile processors have no business trying to manipulate another pixel quadrupling.

So, what about the S?

I’m blown away.

There are some great new features in iOS 5. iMessage, I suspect, will be the final nail in RIM’s coffin. Game Center upgrades, which concern me not one whit. You can get a 64GB model now, if yours doubles as you iPod. I could go on, but pretty much just what you’d expect from the latest and greatest version of the world’s favorite smartphone.

But two of the other upgrades are what have me blown away.

If you’re a point-and-click camera shooter, or a Flip Cam owner, you’ll buy in iPhone 4S and throw away you’re old stuff. The iPhone’s 8 megapixel camera (six is plenty, BTW) opens up to f/2.4, which is unheard of. Its recycle time is faster than my dedicated Canon point-and-shoot. And it shoots autostabilized video at 1080p. As Private Hudson would say, “Game over, man, game over!”

There’s an artificial intelligence personal assistant — based on the popular Siri app — integrated into the phone’s many features. Words can’t do it justice, so just wait for the inevitable TV spots. But I can tell you this: I wasn’t even excited about the original iPhone until I finally bought one, months after it came out. I only bothered to upgrade to the 3GS two years later because I really wanted GPS. And…

…I am excited about the 4S. I already put a note on my calendar for early in the morning of October 7, the first day you can preorder one.

This thing is gonna be huge.