Average review score based on 7,085 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
iPhone 4 is thinner, shorter and ever so slightly heavier than iPhone 3GS. Gone is the curved plastic back plate, replaced by a flat glass panel and a shiny metal band that wraps around the perimeter of the device. This is the first major redesign since the original iPhone debuted three years ago. The basic design - touchscreen and single front-panel button - is the same as it's always been, but the styling cues, accents, and overall hand feel are markedly changed.Most striking is the screen, which has a new sharpness from its special 3.5-inch Retina display that gives a 960×640 resolution – the highest of any smartphone. The camera, featuring 720p HD video recording, appeared to be much better quality – it has a five-megapixels sensor, compared to three on the 3GS, and features an LED flash that also doubles as a video light when recording.
Running the new 4.0 software and with an A4 Apple processor inside, response times seemed markedly faster than its predecessor.
If you’re a gamer, you will appreciate the addition of a gyroscope to the iPhone’s motion-sensing capabilities, and if you are just a general user, improved battery life that allows up to 10 hours of internet browsing on Wi-Fi means the iPhone will still be lit up and functioning long after the Evo, with its weak battery life, will have shut down.
On the bright side, FaceTime video calls are fantastic, likely because there's no cellular signal involved (you're limited to WiFi calling). Video and audio are great, it's easy to switch between front/rear cameras and landscape/portrait orientation in the middle of a call, and the narcissist in me loves flicking the preview window from corner to corner instead of paying attention to the person I'm FaceTiming with. Apple was incredibly smart to make video calling "just another button" in the standard phone interface, making it much easier to place a video call on an iPhone than a comparable Android device. The limitation with FaceTime, of course, is that for now you can only make video calls between two iPhone 4s. But that's kind of the point, from Apple's perspective.
Usually I wrap up phone reviews by saying - or at least thinking - that a week or two with a new smartphone is hardly enough time to get to know it, let alone be able to tell how it'll hold up over the long haul. In this case I've got the opposite feeling. By now all iPhone owners are familiar enough with the operating system, the iTunes/App Store ecosystem, and the way an iPhone works that a few weeks with iPhone 4 is plenty of time to get to know the thing. The question that remains isn't how well Apple's new phone will hold up over the long haul so much as whether or not Apple will be able to fix the issues that are plaguing the device right out of the gate, or if they'll wind up as part of the cost of being an iPhone user.
This phone, what can I say? It's amazing, beautiful, simple stunning, I could say so many things but only one word completely defines this phone and that's perfect. For the past few years, I've own all three iPhones, and each of them were really good but they always had that missing feature. Now the iPhone 4 combined with the new iOS 4 software, it goes beyond what any other phone has done. The Retina Display, it's just not possible to put it into words, it's clear, vivid, sharp, and beautiful in every way. Speaking of every way, it's IPS feature makes the screen not just viewable but extraordinarily sharp at every angle.
The design is the second beautiful thing, yes second, without that Retina Display, I might still have doubts about buying my iPhone 4. So yeah, second. They made the phone extremely slim at 9.3mm, it happens to be the slimmest smartphone ever and it's true. The little metal band there, yes it's the antenna and it's beautiful. Guess what? It's also the foundation for the whole phone. That's why it's so slim and squary-like, like a sandwich. Oh and both panels, the screen, and the rear happen to be using gorilla glass, the strongest glass available in the market right now, 30-times more durable and scratch resistant than plastic. Basically what I'm saying is it's a pretty sophisticated yet extravagantly beautiful design.
What about the camera? The camera, well it's really nice, combined with the retina display, taking pictures and recording videos is just something else. The 5 megapixel camera will take pretty good photos and the touch-to-focus feature, it doesn't get any easier than that. Oh wait, what's that little thing beside the earpiece? Oh that's another camera, yes another camera. A VGA camera (.5 megapixels basically) that's looking right at you. A front-facing camera. It's for video calls obviously. Video calling on the iPhone is called FaceTime, and it doesn't get any beter yet simpler than that.
Everything else about the iPhone 4 like the Apple A4 processor and the gyroscope is nice but it's not really one of the things that'll really lure you to buying one. The processor? Well it's 1GHz, which is pretty damn fast for a mobile phone. The gyroscope? What in the world is that? Well basically that means your iPhone knows exactly how you tilted your phone even if just a subtle tilt, no matter how small.
iOS 4, that's another story with multitasking, folders, an App Store with over 300,000 apps and counting, a simplified complex OS, and desktop-class web browsing, it can't get any better. However most features of iOS 4 that's in the iPhone 4 is also available to the iPhone 3GS excluding hardware dependent ones like well FaceTime (for video calling).
Despite the many good things I could keep on saying with the iPhone 4, I think those are the main ones. However there's no such thing as perfect, yes I know I said it's perfect earlier, I lied, but it's still the nearest thing you can get near perfect. There are three things, for some people taking pictures on an iPhone gets annoying, there's no hardware button, you have to use the touchscreen. However a hardware camera button would have ruined the nice simplistic design Apple gave to the iPhone. Another thing is closing apps gets annoying sometimes, but at least it doesn't use much battery and it's pretty darn useful. The last thing is, well it has pretty tight integration with iTunes, which isn't optimized for slow systems.
Nearest to perfect.
I recently purchased my first iPhone and I love this phone. There are a few points that I dislike about this phone.
* Requires using iTunes for management. I didn't use iTunes before and found it annoying to have to use it.
* Metal surround around the edges are too soft. I accidentally bumped into a round brass door handle at a mall and it gouged the metal edge somehow, maybe 2 mm wide, and 6 mm long. I need my free case to arrive soon.
* Restrictive (Can't access advanced settings/features)
* Slightly confusing to create folders, remove apps, and kill running apps.
* Typing is awkward at first, I have thick fingers and it was hard for me to feel what letter I was typing at first. I got used to it now, can go at 20-30 WPM.
* Batteries don’t last long enough.
*Will corrupt iPhone if you run out of hard drive space on C drive and try to update the OS via iTunes.
There are a lot of points that I love about this phone.
* Good intuitive interface for basic operations, dragging across to go to the next page, pinching and spreading for zooming, drag for pan, and touch for click.
* Rich and varied Application base in the App store this was a very strong point that sold me on the iPhone versus other phones. Especially the free ones.
* Wide array of detection/input hardware (accelerometers, audio pickup (microphone), two visible spectrum EMF detectors (cameras), magnetic field detection, GPS receivers, WiFi, Cell antenna’s) I probably missed some.
*Multi-function: camera, video camera, sound recorder, phone, organizer, internet browser, portable gaming system, social network device, gps navigation, flashlight, music player, movie device, photo album, etc.
*Good Display resolution
*Tilt Orientation detect is well done
*Fast enough CPU
*Facetime for video conferencing
*Screen capture built into the OS.
*Loud speaker for navigation in the car on the highway
*Easy to learn how to use
*Able to VPN into my work network
*Able to remote desktop to my workstation
*Able to log into my secure wireless network
*Sturdy, I not fearing that I would drop my phone accidentally.
Here are a few of my favorite apps.
Junos Pulse, RDP, RSA Secure ID, Flashlight, Sonar, RedLaser, Key Ring, MapQuest, EMD PTE, PTEExplorer
There are a few things I wish was different.
For the keyboard, I wish there was a way to lock it in the landscape orientation, since it's bigger. But I think I'm finally used to the small keyboard. I now know the point of my left index finger that protrudes the most with my eyes closed.
I considered that I made a good purchase decision on the iPhone, and would make the same choice again.