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| October 14, 2011
iPhone 4S: Black Or White? AT&T, Verizon or Sprint? How Much Storage? Our Ultimate Shopping Guide
Note: This post originally appeared on AppAdvice.com on Friday October 7. We believe it's worth bringing it out again for the iPhone 4S launch day. This is only a recommandation, and doesn't apply to everyone obviously. Enjoy! We know many of you, enthusiasts and others, are pre-ordering today or will be standing in line for the new iPhone 4S comes next Friday. Yet, while you might have already settled on the fact that you want the newest and greatest iPhone 4S (congrats!), it might get complicated to pick the right model. Indeed, in the US, the iPhone 4S comes, just like the iPad 2, in 18 different variations across carriers. To help you decide which one should be yours, we’ve considered all the aspects and made a simple, three-stage explanation that will bring you to the right decision, one you won’t regret.
orders of magnitude more than twice as fast to download an email, an app, music and so on thanks to HSPA+. If you're not planning to surf much on your iPhone outside of your home wifi, then you might not care, otherwise, it's important to consider that.
Coverage is a tricky thing, as it's really hard to find out up front whether you'll have good coverage where you care about it. The general rule is that AT&T and Verizon have the largest coverage, with Sprint being more present in cities, but less so outside. Then, AT&T is considered less reliable generally, but your mileage may vary.
Our advice is to see for yourself. Think of the places where you're going to need your iPhone the most, and ask people around you, friends or neighbors how their phone is doing. Honestly, this is the best way to go about it. Further on, don't forget that you can generally return your iPhone for a short period of time, so if the coverage is bad at your home or office, don't hesitate to send it back and try another one.
All in all, our favorite is AT&T because of its average price, wide reach and faster speeds. Exception: New York City and San Francisco users might want to try Verizon first, as there are a lot of users on AT&T there already.
My recommendation would be to go with a 32GB Black iPhone 4S, which retails for $299 with a 2-year contract. It might be a $100 more than the entry price, but don't forget that owning an iPhone will cost you over 2500 dollars over the next two years if you consider the plan.
Without a doubt, having some extra storage for pictures and music is really worth it on a device that is always in your pocket.
Black or White?As far as color goes, it's of course very subjective and a matter of style. However, it's interesting to bring back the same argument we made against the white iPad 2 as it's still valid:
A white bezel will you give the impression that the screen is dimmer, and has less contrast. The content won’t stand out as much. There is a reason why TVs come generally in Black, and letterbox content with black frames. White will make your movies and games look worse. Then, a white Frame will also reflect more light when you’re outside, it will be more visibly dirty and worse of all, white Apple products have a long history of problems, from cracking, delays to light leaks and so on.The same applies to the iPhone, and even more so as you'll have it on you all the time, and it's more likely to get dirty or scratched. Unless you really want your device to look different from everyone else's (the black is the most popular color), the black iPhone 4S is a much better, safer choice.