Is The iPhone 4S Still Good in 2019?

Is the iPhone 4S still good in 2019? We’ve put together everything you need to know if you’re considering using an iPhone 4S in this day and age.

Take a look at our guides for the iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 as well if you’re thinking about either of those phones.

Let’s start by taking a look at the iPhone 4S in comparison with what higher end iPhone models are capable of in 2019. We’ll use the iPhone 7 as an example. This should give you an idea of what kind of features you might be missing out on and what kind of performance you can expect from the 4S.

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Quick Look: The iPhone 4S vs. The iPhone 7

iPhone 4S

Release date  – October, 2011

Discontinued – September, 2014

Compatibility in Canada: If Unlocked…

  • Rogers and its subcarriers
  • Telus and its subcarriers
  • Bell and its subcarriers
  • Not compatible: Freedom Mobile or other AWS networks like Videotron or Mobilicity

Current iOS Updates: No longer supported

Last iOS Version: iOS 9.3.5 (August, 2016)

Colours: Black, White

Storage: 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB


  • Memory – 512 MB RAM
  • System on Chip: Apple A5
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz dual-core 32-bit

Battery: 1430 mAh Lithium-ion battery

Camera: 8-megapixel camera, can record 1080p videos

Network Speeds: 3G


iphone 4s

iPhone 7

Release date – September, 2016

Discontinued: Still in production

Compatibility in Canada: If Unlocked…

  • Rogers and its subcarriers
  • Telus and its subcarriers
  • Bell and its subcarriers
  • Freedom Mobile & other AWS carriers

Current iOS Updates: Continued support

Colours: Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Matte Black, Jet Black (high gloss), Red

Storage: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB


  • Memory – 2GB RAM
  • System on Chip: Apple A10 Fusion
  • CPU: 2.34 GHz quad-core 64-bit

Battery: 1960 mAh Lithium-ion battery

Camera: 12-megapixel camera, can record 1080p and 4K videos

Network Speeds: 4G/LTE

Is The iPhone 4S Still Usable in 2019?

The short answer: yes.

But as the comparison above shows, you shouldn’t expect the iPhone 4S to wow you. Phone hardware has come a long way since the iPhone 4S was introduced in 2011.

Newer phone models will be able to gracefully handle almost anything you throw at them. Instead, the iPhone 4S will have some limits as to what you’ll be able to do with it and how smooth it will be to use. 

Here is what you should expect to get out of an iPhone 4S in 2019:

The basics: web browsing, email, texting, calling, FaceTime, decent photos and video.

Some Apple-specific perks, like:

  • iCloud to help you sync your data across devices. You don’t have to be a power user to appreciate never having to re-enter your entire address book when you change phones, phone plans, or SIM cards.
  • An entire ecosystem of apps to make things like banking or hailing a cab easier. The App Store has over 2 million apps in it, though not all of these are available for older devices like the iPhone 4S. You won’t have a hard time finding and using most basic apps though.
  • Siri, your new intelligent personal assistant. This allows you to speak commands to your phone in normal, natural language and have Siri respond or actually complete small tasks for you. Siri is a definite game changer, especially if you have trouble reading, seeing, or typing since Siri can do everything from read the text on page out loud for you, set your alarm clock, or even hail you a cab.

use iphone 4S in 2017

The Limits of Using an iPhone 4S in 2019

While the iPhone 4S can still handle day-to-day use like taking and sharing photos, browsing the web, and calling, there are some limits to what it can do.

Ultimately, these limits are what makes the 4S a good starter phone or backup device— something that you’ll use for a couple of months but that you’ll ultimately upgrade from.

No More iOS Updates

The iPhone 4S hasn’t supported the latest iOS updates for a few years now. Some apps simply won’t be available on devices that are running old versions of iOS.

For the ones you actually can download, you might find that they are laggy, buggy, and prone to crashes. Ultimately, you’ll find this annoying more than anything and whether this is a deal breaker for you really depends on your tolerance.

Limited Features

With the iPhone 4S, you’re really getting the basics. A lot of the fun bells and whistles that come with iPhones these days won’t be available to you.

That means you won’t have: 3D maps, AirDrop, AirPlay mirroring, panorama mode, slow-motion video, TouchID, 3D Touch, stereo speakers, and so on.


The Verdict on the iPhone 4S

Hands down, the iPhone 4S is probably the best smartphone you can buy at its price point. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone, though.

Unless you are thinking of it as a stepping stone towards something better, we recommend spending the extra bit of cash and going for something with a 64-bit processor. Remember, the iPhone 4S only has a 32-bit, which means it doesn’t support new iOS updates.

Models that use a 64-bit processor start with the iPhone 5S so that’s really the oldest model you’ll want to pick up for long-term use.

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