It's not an iPhone mini or anything, but it's the first iPhone with Siri. And that has to count for something, right? Right? While it's no iPhone 5 (not even close, really), the iPhone 4S is far from being "last year's iPhone," and the greatly enhanced camera, bolstered A5 dual-core processor and inbuilt voice command should provide plenty of reason for folks to upgrade if they're near the end of their contract. Furthermore, having the option on Sprint -- despite Apple almost announcing it as an afterthought -- is bound to make folks already entrenched on the Now Network think twice about what their next phone will come upgrade time.
We were able to spend a few quality moments with the refreshed iPhone 4 here at Apple's campus, the Sprint flavor no less, and as you might expect... it's an iPhone 4. But S-ier. Much in the same way that the 3GS improved the overall experience of the 3G, the 4S does likewise compared to the existing 4. The dual-core A5 chip is a laudatory improvement, and whisking about pages, loading the camera application and launching -- well, just about everything -- just feels zippier. As it should. The other major change, the antennas, weren't readily different at a glance, but as Mr. Cook stated, you'd have to be iFixit to notice (and we're sure they will).
The most impressive part was the demo of Siri, the new assistant that lets you do just about anything you can do on your phone -- but with your voice. We tried to psych it out with a bunch of random requests, including the history of Chester, Vermont (a lovely town) and the best Ramen places in San Francisco. Siri never faltered, never missed a beat. It worked as well as Scott's demo up on the stage. There's nothing better to say than that. We even sent ourselves a few text messages, which Siri transcribed to a T. Of course, the lady on the other end still sounds eerily robotic, but we're hoping for smoother responses from the alien within in a future update.
The 8 megapixel sensor doesn't look any different from the outside, but we're trusting that Apple's re-engineered the interior. We snapped a few photos in the demo room to test and not a one came out as great as the retina-bursting contrasty pictures of balloons and flowers we saw in the demo, but then again, we didn't have any balloons or flowers to capture.
As for weight and feel? Just like the old king. We'll be updating this post with our impressions live from Cupertino, and are working to get you some better pictures to look at. Hang tight -- they're coming!
Relive the announcement in our liveblog right here!