Apple make great kit.  There is no doubt about it.  Good looking, cool to own and more importantly slick user interfaces.  The iPhone 4S is no exception.

First launched in 2007 the iPhone 4S is the fifth generation iPhone.  And arguably still the best smartphone available.

It’s been out for just over a month now.  I went my local Apple Store to get one about a week after their release only to find it was sold out.

So I went online to order one.  Out of stock, but I placed an order anyway.

Two weeks later my iPhone 4S arrived.  Packaged typical of smartphones these days in a small box that looks barely the size of the hardware inside, but much deeper to contain the earphones (yes they are still rubbish) and USB cable and power adapter.

There is some charge in the battery straight out of the box.  Set up is easy.

There are some new features in the iPhone 4S, mostly on the insides, namely:

  • faster A5 chip, a dual core processor, same as that in the iPad 2, offering twice the processing power of its predecessor, and much faster graphics
  • improved 8Mp camera (up from 5Mp)
  • full 1080p video (up from 720p)
  • double antenna redesigned to prevent the signal from dropping out, a flaw of the iPhone 4
  • new operating system iOS 5

New functionality comes in the form of messaging, on-line storage and voice recognition.

iMessage provides free text messages to other iOS 5 users over wi-fi or 3G – like BlackBerry messenger (BBM).  WhatsApp is probably better as it provides free cross-platform text and videos, images, audio (MMS).

Apple claim iCloud is more than just a 5GB hard drive in the sky.  iCloud automatically stores up to date content (music, apps, latest photos, email, contacts and calendars) from all your Apple devices –  no syncing required.  Useful when touring I’d suggest.

Siri is the new voice activated personal assistant that combines voice recognition technology with artificial intelligence enabling it to answer questions or perform tasks and understand context.  This is exciting, heading down the hands free user interface path that is crucial to motorcyclists.  Already struggling with certain accents, more development is required before Siri will function effectively when riding but this has loads of potential.

The 3.5-inch touchscreen is small in comparison to other smartphones on the market (the Samsung Galaxy S2 has a 4.3 inch screen) but it has a higher resolution at 640×960 pixels) so images, videos and websites look superb.

So another great product from Apple, justifying all the hype.  It might not be worth upgrading the handset just yet if you already have an iPhone 4, but do upgrade the operating system to iOS 5 to take advantage of iMessage and iCloud.

Otherwise, if you’re an Apple fan, then get on down to your Apple store and get one today.