From the outside, they look virtually identical to an untrained eye. Inside, they are worlds apart, figuratively speaking. But seriously, how fast is the new iPhone 4S compared to the sixteen months old iPhone 4? Well, YouTubers are doing tests of their own so we went about searching for the best side-by-side clips pitting the iPhone 4S to its older brother. For starters, the iPhone 4S’s browsing experience is a whole lot better thanks to a speedier chip, two times faster cellular networking (3G HSPA 14.4Mbps) and heavy under-the-hood tweaking in Safari and its Javascript engine.

Here’s a 3G test on AT&T’s network.

And here’s a Wi-Fi test so you get a feel of the iPhone 4S’s processing and rendering performance.

It’s not just the browser, the iPhone 4S’s back camera benefits from the increased oomph provided by the A5 chip. Specifically, the A5′s image signal processor unit is responsible for nice real-time image processing, including face detection, white balance and automatic image stabilization. The difference between shaky iPhone 4 clips and smooth, stabilized iPhone 4S footage really makes all the difference, as we showed you. As for the quality of 1080p video capture, MacRumors compiled a nice list of the various high-definition clips taken on the iPhone 4S and compared to other popular cameras, embedded after the break. In addition.

Look, this isn’t about speeds and feeds, but Apple’s knack for creating tightly integrated experiences really starts to shine with the latest iPhone. That’s not to say the iPhone 4S disappoints in the hardware department – quite the contrary. But it’s tight interplay between the hardware and software – both from a single company and designed under the same roof – that enables Apple’s phone to leave higher-specc’d devices in the dust. It really is twice as fast, in certain applications even more, such as graphics-intensive games.

Performance increases stem from the Apple-designed dual-core A5 processor with 512MB RAM and seven times faster graphics. Even underclocked to 800MHz (to save power), the iPhone 4S powers past the 1.5GHz Samsung Galaxy S II in web browsing tests. Heck, even Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos 4210 processor doesn’t hold a candle to the iPhone 4S. The A5 chip purring inside the iPhone 4S combines Imagination Technologies’ PowerVT SGX543 graphics unit and a Cortex-A9 processing core licensed from Arm Holdings, a U.K.-based fables silicon maker.

iPhone 4S vs Cannon 500D/T1i on a city sidewalk
iPhone 4 and 4S video side-by-side showing stabilization
A field
A parrot
Indoors and Outdoors
Inside and outside

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