Here’s how iOS 8.0.2 compares to iOS 7 on an iPhone 4s


Photo: kabriolett

Apple is still supporting the iPhone 4s when it comes to new software, despite the fact that it is now outdated by several generations. But while iOS 8 is technically usable by iPhone 4s owners, just how fast can it run compared to iOS 7?

Finding the answer to this question is the basis of a new video by YouTube user kabriolett, who staged a speed comparison between an iPhone 4s running iOS 7.1.2 and one running iOS 8.0.2.

The results are surprising.

Despite concerns about the amount of lag Apple’s “biggest ever” iOS update would create, the test shows that although iOS 7.1.2 does run slightly faster, there’s not actually a whole lot in it. The vid maker does, however, stress that the test was carried out on freshly restored phones, no yet weighed down by tons of text messages, full camera roll etc.

While it’s certainly nowhere near the speed of an iPhone 6 or even 5s running iOS 8.0.2 (and why would you expect a three year old phone to match a much newer one?) the video does demonstrate that iOS 8 is workable on a 4s.

Just one week after the launch of iOS 8 it was reported that 46 percent of iOS devices were running the latest version of Apple’s mobile OS.

Via: 9to5Mac

  • William Donelson

    So what is the percent now for iOS adoption>?

  • Speed issue overblown out of proportion.

    • RF9

      Not at all. When the iPhone 4S came out it was FAST. As of iOS 7 it’s very painful to use. I simply gave up using apps like Facebook.

      • You get why that happens, correct? That’s like saying “when I bought my car in 2000, it ran great! Now it runs like crap.” (Technology in phones moves fast than cars – hence the longer year stretch. 14 years for a car is basically 3-4 years for a phone.) Your 4S was FAST because it did much much much less than iOS 7 allows it to do. Although allowing these new features does slow it down.

      • RF9

        Ah, the car analogies. No, it’s really not the same thing at all. Cars have mechanical parts that wear out and run less efficiently over time. If you take it for service and the upgrade the car computer software, then your car gets half the speed or half the milage, then that would be an accurate analogy. A solid state phone will run just as efficiently 10 years later if you never change the software. It may do less than new phones or computers but it won’t run what it ran before slower.
        Also keep in mind the 4S was sold new 13 months ago. It’s not that old to some people.
        The problem is that Apple doesn’t put enough RAM in their phones for future proofing. That wouldn’t be an issue except you HAVE to upgrade your OS otherwise it stops supporting apps that “require iOS7 or later.” iOS7 and 8 have over double the RAM usage (for the OS alone) which leaves nearly nothing left for apps and multitasking and that is directly related to the UI redesign. The OS has old iOS6 assets as well as iOS7 assets to support backward computability of apps. The actual performance otherwise isn’t too bad.
        I just wish Apple could support these devices with iOS7 and 8 in a more stripped down way so that it performs acceptably.
        I *GET* why it happens. It’s just painful to know that a 2+ year apple iPhone become painfully slow. I’m not an Android fan of any sort. Sure old phones don’t support new versions of the OS but the apps are usually written to support old versions and those phones work on the old OS for years if you want. I prefer Apple’s way. I just don’t like the hardware to be obsolete after 24 months of launch date.

        iOS 7 doesn’t allow me to to much more that before on the 4S or maybe it simply shouldn’t. iOS6 I could “multitask” 10-14 apps or so. iOS7 you’re luck to have 2 apps run. When I mean multitask I’m including apps doing a cold-relaunch because they’ve been purged from the “suspend” state. (it’s frustrating.)

      • RF9

        As a follow-up, I realize I come across as some dolt that doesn’t get it. I do and I don’t disagree with you SevenAce. I don’t expect a 3 year old phone to run the latest OS at iOS4 speeds. I just think it’s a shame that the 4S has become so painful to use under iOS7 (and iOS8 alike.) I literally gave up on the Facebook App (much to Facebook’s blame I should add) and just used the web version. I think if Apple put a little more effort into optimization with older models it could improve, but their focus is understandably on the latest hardware. I also think that if they thought ahead and doubled the RAM in every new device (form what the currently put in) they could actually extend the product life and continue to sell the older models for 1 or 2 more years in “low end” markets. It would be a profit hit up front, yes, but I think in the long run managing the right business model it could work.

        I’d love to hand down older phones to kids or just re-purpose them as MP3 players. That’s why my 4S will become, just a music player.

        The 6 runs now like my 4S did when it was new. It has very a very powerful CPU and graphics processor. For the sake of people who don’t buy on launch day, I hope that 3 years from now it still runs decently (it’ll be 2 years for some.)

      • xared

        iOS developer here. Frankly it is software unoptimization that is to blame. With only a 1-year devcycle (or maybe even less), developers arent given enough time to make software work well for all devices.

        Now if SW are on multiyear devcycles like cars, once can surely expect and get more efficiency.

        This issue is damn serious. Like come on, why do simple things like booting your computer, open Explorer/Finder etc etc still take some time? OS dev is really not making things as better as the hardware can support.

  • E Dog

    I’m just surprised you found two 4’s that both have functioning home buttons.

    • frank

      Really? You choose the call out a part that rarely fails? Ok….

    • RF9

      3 years of solid use on a 4S an my home button works just fine.

    • hkgsulphate

      the home button my my 4 years old 3GS is still fine

    • Never had a home button break, or a cable break. It amazes me how many people have this happen somehow

      • RF9

        LOL. I’ve had silence switches break. I’ve had dock connectors stop working. I’ve had phones just spontaneously die. All within warranty repair period. But I’ve never had a home button break.

  • Lisa B

    I’ve got two 4Ss that have both been updated to iOS 8.0.2. I really can’t notice a difference in performance. No complaints here.

    • ButchM

      Agreed … no noticeable difference in real world use. If the performance is off a bit, compared to iOS 7.x … it’s worth the additional functionality. Which is the norm when running the latest and greatest OS on legacy hardware.

  • Jesper

    Hey, the video is done in Denmark :-) The Weather App points to Hundige and Greve. These are both towns south of Copenhagen.

    • Ronsonn Swandom


  • EpiRen

    Lost me at misspelled “calendar”.

  • PMB01

    Sarfari? lol

  • justme

    I wonder if they could make a test with iPad 2 too
    I keep with 7.1.2

    • hkgsulphate

      my mini 1 (same hardware spec as iPad 2) updated to 8.0 last week, works fine
      updated 8.0.2 ytd, still fine
      no noticeable lags (comparing with iOS 7)

      • justme


    • Daniel Kenmar

      Confirmed: iPad 2 is slightly slower at doing a few different things on 8.0 but the added functionality is worth the 2ms or so longer you have to wait for an app to open. The stability will improve, I’m sure, as long as they continue to support the iPad 2 (which will almost certainly end come iOS 9).

      • justme

        thank you

      • hkgsulphate

        iPad 2 is a legend!

  • DarthDisney

    That music is awful.

  • Gary

    For me there was a noticable improvement in speed/responsiveness/scrolling smoothness after upgrading to 8.0.2 from 8.0. I would expect that future updates might close the already small gap in performance between 7 & 8.

  • APK

    Running iOS 8.0.2 on iPhone 4S without any issues. The apps take little longer to open (that was expected) but once you are in that app, no noticeable lag. I am really grateful to run latest OS on such an old hardware and thankful to Apple for providing the same.
    All the reports to scare people to not doing it was for getting more site hits, I guess.
    I updated the phone based on not many complaints on the forums/net.
    Internet is used majorly for negativism unfortunately. If there are less negative comments then its not really worth the worry.

    • DSC084

      My problem is that I had a battery issue and made a Genius Bar appointment to get it fixed. They instruct you to upgrade to the latest software before you come in. With the 8.0.2 update my device is virtually unusable. The screen is unresponsive. It hits random buttons without being touched. You can’t type anything without freezing. Now Apple, who made me update, won’t even allow me to downgrade. Apple forced me to upgrade and now won’t do anything to fix the problem. For my needs the 4s was fine. Now I’m going to have to get a new phone. I guess that’s what they really want which is why I won’t purchase another Apple.

      • Kr00

        As evident here, your issue isn’t endemic with iOS 8 and the 4s. If you really want to give it the best chance to work for you, do a fresh restore, then restore as a new phone, not from a backup. You might be surprised.

      • DSC084

        Yes, it is. The only problem I had before the update was a battery that needed to be replaced. Now I have all of the additional issues (although the battery works fine). If I do a fresh restore and restore as a new phone won’t I lose everything on my phone? I’m willing to try anything but I don’t want to lose all of the data on my phone. Thanks.

      • Daniel Kenmar

        Sounds like a hardware problem to begin with. An OS upgrade isn’t going to cause ghost touching. And if Apple seriously is making no effort whatsoever to fix your problem, I don’t blame you for leaving them. But somehow I expect that to be far from the full story.

  • No surprise here. This is why you don’t upgrade the oldest “compatible devices” to a new iOS when it comes out. Anything less than a 5 shouldn’t be running iOS8.

  • BigGeek

    ios8 fixed the wifi issues that ios7 caused on my iPhone 4s

  • Evelyn

    Why you gotta hate so much on the 4S? Some of us don’t feel it’s a priority to spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade ASAP when we can just wait a bit until our phone contract renews to do it on the cheap instead. I’m excited to upgrade of course, but I’ve had my 4S for two years, dropped it down a mountain during that time, and it still works fine. We’re all Apple users here, so there’s no need to be so elitist. Just let me know how iOS 8 will work with my system and move on.

  • Nguyen Tuong Nguyen

    IOS 8.0.2 already on my Iphone 4S. Great! Nothing to complain about so far.