iPhone 4SI am a proud new owner of an iPhone 4S. And yet, contrary to what you might think about someone who runs a tech review blog, I am not generally one of those crazy early adopters who need to run out and buy the very first generation everything. In fact, this phone is an upgrade from my old iPhone 3G, my trusty relic of a mobile companion for the last 3+ years. I was fairly satisfied with it until I started missing video functionality. And decent photos. And then there were those “I’m going to croak mid-call” vibes I started to discern. That’s when I knew I’d be preordering the iPhone 4S for arrival on the very first day.

Overall, my 4S has been a joy. Nothing less.

If you’re considering upgrading from earlier, Paleolithic generations like me, or switching entirely from another platform, here are the top reasons I can give you to justify making the move. You know…to Santa. –Liz

1. Boy it’s fast
That A5 processor is making my day, many
times a day. You may think your current phone is responsive; it’s not.
This also means that it doesn’t take a map forever to load, and that you
can actually watch videos and films without stuttering.

2. Sharp photos and video

While I still like my handy Sony
Cybershot (enough to have bought a new one when I broke the first one),
there’s nothing that beats the convenience of a smartphone camera,
especially when you want to share on the spot. I can’t believe the
camera quality–the combo of 8 megapixels and an aperture that brings in
73% more light makes a huge difference, especially in low light. The
flash is a huge upgrade for me. And the face detection feature focuses
on the right bits.

Also because it’s fast (see #1) I’m missing
wayyyy fewer shots of my kids than I used to. That’s the best part of

3. Basic photo editing
It’s great to be able to crop, enhance, or remove red-eye in camera
before sharing. Did I mention it’s fast?

Face Time for the iPhone 4S4. Reverse camera
While of course it’s convenient  to be able to get those shots of you with your friends without
guessing–it also works as a secret mirror. Don’t tell anyone.

5. Face Time humanizes technology
Video conference calls on the go? Tucking the kids into bed virtually
when I’m stuck in an airport? Love this.

6. Twitter integration!
For social media fans like me, I love that “Tweet” is now an option in
photos, Safari, and more. Huge time saver.

7. Parental Controls may come in handy someday
I’m not at the point where I need to use the restrictions tab in
settings just yet. But if you’ve got a toddler who likes to mess around
you can say, lock your photos so they can’t be “accidentally” deleted.
You can also restrict access to certain videos, movies, web content, and

8. Voice recognition is totally Jetsons
Without having
to use an app, I love that I can text “oh shoot I forgot to pick up
milk. Do you mind?” without lifting a finger. I’m blown away by how good
the recognition actually is, even for long sentences.

Siri on the iPhone 4S9. Siri. Of course.
It’s HAL, people! Siri is HAL.
In the best possible way. Even if the name reminds me more of Tom
Cruise’s kid than a voice-activated assistant. I love that I can tell
her to call someone–and she does. I can ask for a Starbucks in an
unfamiliar neighborhood. I can tell her to remind me to make a dentist
appointment on Wednesday. All without touching more than the home
button. She doesn’t get everything right but it seems to be improving as she learns my voice. (Is that possible?)

Go ahead, ask her the meaning of life while you’re at it. It’s fun.

10. Built-in wine refrigerator
No, not really. Maybe with IO 6 though?

What did I miss? Anything you really love about your iPhone 4S?