The iPhone 4S combines some of the best materials in the industry with what is arguably the finest smartphone design on the planet -- you don't even need to see or hold one to know that. Why? Because it's basically identical to the original iPhone 4 that launched last year in June.
While the iPhone 4S external hardware doesn't greatly differ from the iPhone 4, there are some subtle and welcome changes. For starters, the iPhone 4S incorporates the updated external antenna design found on the Verizon iPhone 4. Instead of three breaks in the stainless steel middle band that surrounds the handset, there are now four symmetrically placed breaks.
While Apple's "Antennagate" issues were exaggerated, it was still a problem if you happened to hold the phone in a way that completely smothered the bottom-left corner of the phone. After more than a year of consciously and then subconsciously avoiding that spot with my grip, this new antenna design makes me feel a bit more at ease. In fact, I haven't noticed any problem at all, even when I've purposely applied the death grip across one, two or even all four seams.
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