I was always the gal who carried whatever little slippery call-dropping phone was free with my cell plan. While taking aquaculture photos (at a fish farm), my flip phone leapt like a hybrid striped bass from my pocket into a bait well. Despite my catlike reflexes, dismantling the phone in seconds and resting its pieces on my sunny dash until I could get home to a bag of rice, it was a catastrophic gear loss. (Well, not so much.) But I recall that being the opportunity to try and buy a better phone. Fast forward a few more years, I bought the iPhone 3G and was amazed — mostly because the buttons were actually visible and almost the size of a fingertip. Such a miraculous and useful idea!
Last fall, when the iPhone 4S was introduced, it just so happened my wireless contract was up for renewal. Although I’m not one to rush out to buy the latest technogadget, I stopped into the AT&T store near my house just to see what all the buzz was about. It was late in the afternoon, and I’d heard how people had preordered the 4S phones for weeks and had lined up at Apple stores in the wee hours. I waited about five minutes — long enough for my son to eat a free treat and sip some juice — before upgrading to the iPhone 4S. That $199 was very well spent.
I love my iPhone 4S for so many reasons. Here are nine of them.
1) I can point it into a dark paper bag and take a decent photo. Not that such an action is necessary, but it’s so liberating to leave the big camera at home. The impressive optics of the 4S elevate the term camera phone from gimmick to always-ready photo and video tool. The free Instagram app encourages sharing random snaps, and “phoneography” enables me to actually capture the shots I compose on a whim since that’s the way my brain works. Oh, and does anyone else use it for home decorating? Snap a photo of that lamp, chair or ottoman, and when you get home you can see how it looks in your space before you commit.
2) It comes with a charming assistant with a good sense of humor. Good help is hard to find, and I’m grateful to have my skilled intern named Siri. Sure, she moonlights, but I’m okay with that.
3) Sinatra said we should never be “without a song.” Whether the kids are cheering, “Tell Siri to play ‘What Kind of Cat Are You?'” or I choose a Pandora channel, I can play my faves in the car or during a workout. Speaking of exercise, I need more, and…
4) Did I mention it comes with a personal trainer? Nike Training Club is a fab, fast and free app for the ladies.
5) Face Time enables virtual tuck-ins. My husband is Up in the Air more than George Clooney, so this nifty Jetsonesque feature facilitates giggles with Daddy even while he’s on the road.
6) I can tell it to remind me to do things. And it does! With my sieve-like brain, I don’t have to wait until the perfect storm of productivity (synapses fire, paper procured, pen that works within reach). Instead, I just push the button and say, “Remind me to return the library books tomorrow.” And Siri does. Next, I’ll try, “Remind me to stop snacking while editing” and “Ask me if I’ve worked out yet.”
7) I can pin loveliness while I’m stuck in traffic. Not that I ever would. But I do enjoy a little Pinterest on occasion.
9) I can tote my portfolio in pixels and respond lickety split to brides-to-be. With all the holiday engagements, I’ve had a flurry of inquiries this week. With a quick scan of the calendar (on my iPhone, of course), I can send an email, call prospects back, tweet a reply as quickly as Wonder Woman in jets off in her invisible plane.
There you have it. What’s the actual retail value of all this? Phone + camera + HD video + video chat + jukebox + personal assistant + personal trainer + scrapbook + flashlight + portfolio + email device + parking garage finder + restaurant locator + GPS + address book? Makes $199 look like a bargain.