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iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 23, 2012 08:39AM
No, this is not space-time's question. I don't know from 'locked' or 'unlocked'.

My wife (Dr Janie) and I still have old-fashioned non-smart (= stupid?) Verizon phones, plus a Verizon MiFi hotspot for trips. I am thinking of trying to talk Verizon into swapping all three items (one phone is up for an upgrade, anyway—it's an ancient Motorola that's at least 6 years old) for two iPhones (and a new 2-year contract).

Since any smart phone would be a major change for us, Dr Janie says, why not save money and get the now-previous-generation iPhone 4s, rather than the latest-and-greatest iPhone 5? I'm enough of a cheapskate to agree with her, but— but—

The 5 is pretty cool!

Advice?

/Mr Lynn



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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: rgG
Date: September 23, 2012 09:02AM
If I were going to sign a contract, which I would really not want to do, I would spring for the 5, hands down, no question at all. The real cost is the monthly charge, not the extra $100 or $200 for the initial cost of the phone, at least that is the way I see it. Maybe split the difference and get one of each, if one of you doesn't mind getting the 4s. ;)





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: September 23, 2012 09:04AM
Do NOT get a free iPhone 4. Realize that it very likely won't be supported under next year's iOS update.
4S is a GREAT phone.
5 is an INCREDIBLE phone.
Also realize that the 4S may not be supported in 2 years. Apple historically has done this to motivate upgrades smiling smiley

$99 is cheap for a 4S. $199 is IMHO even cheaper for insurance against obsolescence during your 2 year contract ;)



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: dmann
Date: September 23, 2012 09:06AM
I look at it a little differently than Rhonda- I know I'm locked in for all the excessive monthly charges, so I'm reluctant to spend any more on the phone itself than I have to.

I have been holding on to my 4 waiting for the 4s refurb prices to drop. Once AT&T has the 16GB refurb in stock for $49 w/ a 2 year contract, I'll pull the trigger. They are offering a new 16GB 4s for $99, but I can't bring myself to spend the extra $50!

DM
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: September 23, 2012 09:18AM
I have been eyeing the 4s too. When all the foofaraw dies down I'll go take a look at the 5, but unless it fits comfortably in a jeans pocket I'm getting the 4s.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: September 23, 2012 09:32AM
My wife has a 4 and is getting the 5. I have a 4S and will likely get the "5S" next year. You can sell your previous phone when it is time to upgrade in 18-24 months. If you have what was the "latest and greatest," you will be able to get more $$ that will more than make up for the initial increased cost.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: dmann
Date: September 23, 2012 09:38AM
Very good point made by DavidS. I forget about the resale value because I've been handing down my phone to my sister or my mom.

My sister is using a 3GS right now and she's on borrowed time since she dropped it in a puddle. She'll get my 4. My mom is using my old 3G and she'll upgrade to something else in December when she's eligible.

DM
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 23, 2012 09:38AM
If I were starting fresh in smartphones, get the 5. Your future connectors will work for a long time to come.

Also, LTE on Verizon is a big speed advantage over the 4S.

If you we're talking Spriint, might not be that important with LTE rollout still lagging.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: September 23, 2012 10:06AM
since it seems you hang onto your phones for a long time i'd get the 5.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: September 23, 2012 10:31AM
5



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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Mr645
Date: September 23, 2012 10:35AM
If you need data, 3G is too slow to be useful. 4G is 10x faster
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 23, 2012 10:43AM
Can either or both be used as (a) a wireless hotspot? (b) a wired (connected to a computer) cellular internet connection?

There are times, either on trains (Amtrak's wireless is weak) or in locations with no Internet, where we need a connection for work. Up to now we have used either a cellular PC/USB card, or the MiFi.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 23, 2012 10:46AM
Without getting the iPhone 5, you'll be paying full freight to Verizon for two years without being able to access their entire network as it relates to throughput and speed. The 4S is a good phone, but it simply lacks the LTE radio.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: September 23, 2012 10:47AM
I'd buy an ATT 4s unlocked, ditch the contract and get Straight Talk for $50/month (unlimited talk/text, 2gb month data) - save around $1000 during the term you would have been on contract.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.” -- François de La Rochefoucauld

"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: September 23, 2012 11:26AM
Quote
Ombligo
I'd buy an ATT 4s unlocked, ditch the contract and get Straight Talk for $50/month (unlimited talk/text, 2gb month data) - save around $1000 during the term you would have been on contract.

Dr Janie's phone still has about half a year to go on contract; the MiFi probably has most of two years, as we use it only on trips and suspend otherwise (without billing). So I think we're stuck with Verizon, unless we want to pay termination fees.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 23, 2012 12:28PM
1) You can save $100 upfront by getting a 4S.

2) Or pay nothing additional over the longer term for a 5 by selling it later for at least $100. Spending more upfront gets you a better phone without additional cost later.

3) The reason the math works is because there are plenty of other people who either can't or won't get an iPhone under contract and are willing to either pay the carriers the same amount of money each month as if they HAD a new model, or want to use an alternative carrier with less features, such as running an unlocked AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Gareth
Date: September 23, 2012 12:37PM
Quote
mrlynn
Can either or both be used as (a) a wireless hotspot? (b) a wired (connected to a computer) cellular internet connection?

Verizon is required by the FCC to provide free tethering on LTE devices (i.e. iPhone 5), though someone on the forum had good luck with getting them to add tethering for free to an iPhone 4S.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: September 23, 2012 12:52PM
"3G is too slow to be useful."

Wow. What a statement...

...luckily the majority of the world hasn't had to rely on 3G, ever.


I would opt for the iPhone 5, and do them all the same (new connector and not having to worry about that in the future and also the ability to share cables/chargers/everything without adapters).







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/2012 12:53PM by onthedownlow.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: September 23, 2012 12:54PM
The new iPhone 5 is tougher, faster, more comfortable (smaller, lighter), and better performing in almost every way (cameras, voice clarity, radio signal handling) than the 4S.

I think it's worth the extra cost.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 23, 2012 01:20PM
Quote
Article Accelerator
The new iPhone 5 is tougher, faster, more comfortable (smaller, lighter), and better performing in almost every way (cameras, voice clarity, radio signal handling) than the 4S.

I think it's worth the extra cost.

Yes. The 4S was elderly the day it came out. The 5 is current.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: sekker
Date: September 23, 2012 02:35PM
The iP5 review on theverge also shows off the camera improvements over the 4S. That's another reason to go modern.

[www.theverge.com]
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Mike Johnson
Date: September 23, 2012 03:51PM
Quote
Gutenberg
I have been eyeing the 4s too. When all the foofaraw dies down I'll go take a look at the 5, but unless it fits comfortably in a jeans pocket I'm getting the 4s.

Ditto.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: September 23, 2012 04:12PM
Quote
sekker
The iP5 review on theverge also shows off the camera improvements over the 4S. That's another reason to go modern.

[www.theverge.com]

So true. I'm not a very dedicated photographer, but one reason I switched back to Symbian from Android was the ability to get a very good camera phone at a comparatively low price.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: silvarios
Date: September 23, 2012 04:13PM
Quote
Mr645
If you need data, 3G is too slow to be useful. 4G is 10x faster

Yes, Verizon and Sprint 3G is pretty slow, especially when compared to LTE, but far from useless. Not like you can stream very much video with LTE, not with the caps anyway, and you still can't use simultaneous voice and data.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 23, 2012 06:21PM
Unless you are a Munchkin, the 5 will fit just fine in a jeans' pocket.

A co-worker brought her 5 to work last week, and I have to say I really want one and may not wait until my contract is up.






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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: September 23, 2012 09:01PM
Quote
sekker
Your future connectors will work for a long time to come.

nono smiley



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: wickedsteve
Date: September 23, 2012 11:25PM
The iPhone 5 is not just cool and trendy. It has more RAM and a faster CPU. It might not be a big deal to some people but I have had my iPhone choke on a large map PDF and I'm sure more RAM would have helped.
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Re: iPhone 4s or 5? Cheap or Trendy?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: September 24, 2012 06:17AM
OWC Jamie,

You nailed it. My wife is replacing her HTC Incredible with an iPhone and moving to my family plan on AT&T. She and I are struggling over which model. My preference is a 5 for all the reasons stated in this thread. The 4 isn't in consideration at all. My wife feels an IPhone 4S would be adequate. She is correct. An iPhone 4S would be adequate. But, I'm looking beyond the basic usability. Once you compare the phones and then factor in what will be started in the next couple of years, the IPhone 5 trumps the IPhone 4S on every level and that's why I want her to go for the next generation.

This has nothing to do with what's fashionable or trendy or getting the newest tech. It's all about what each phone brings to the table. Take that into consideration and the IPhone 4S (which I own and adore!) is outclassed by the 5. Even things like the new Thunderbolt cable aren't a factor. Neither of us has specialized devices for our phones, just a spare charger or two and a spare cable or two. She can't use the charger/sync cable for her HTC Incredible with an IPhone.

I'll continue to use my existing charger and cables with my phone. If she gets a 4S, she'll use the same equipment. If she gets a 5, she gets all new chargers and cables. At some point I'll get a 5S (or whatever Apple releases next). It'll have Thunderbolt and we'll share her chargers and cable. I'll give my 4S to my mom as a replacement for her 3GS.

The iPhone 4 is an elderly product. The 4S is a mature product. The IPhone 5 is the new kid. A year from now, the IPhone 4 will be in the mausoleum with its predecessors and the 4S an elderly product. If my wife is going to get a new phone, I'd rather she get the new kid on the block. Again, or all the reasons stated in this thread.

Robert
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