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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.
The iPhone 4 is the ultimate upgrade to the iPhone line.
I've owned each iPhone from day 1 of their launch dates.
(Please also read my reviews of the iPhone 1.0, 3G, & 3Gs)
I've owned a cellphone since 1992. I've always had a "top of the line phone" (I've always had AT&T = formerly Cingular = formerly BellSouth Mobility)
In 17 years having cellphones, I've had over 100 (Yes 100+) different models & makes.
I've also had a few days each with the Palm Pre and Motorola Droid - neither compare to the iPhone 4.
The screen on the new iPhone 4 (also known as the iPhone HD) has to be seen to be believed. One hing that not many people are saying about the iPhone is that the screen seems to be a part of the glass not slightly recessed behind a piece of glass.
Besides the screen that's been compared to a high end laser printer for text, the new iPhone has a new button arrangement that are easier to press and understand their functionality.
The iPhone 4 also has a new antenna that delivers almost twice the performance for cell signal, bluetooth, and wifi. The casing IS the antenna!
The wifi signal has been boosted from 802.11g to 802.11n - greatly extending the range, security, and bandwidth of the signal.
The new camera on the iPhone 4 bumps up from the 2 megapixel on the original iPhone and bumps up from the 3 megapixel on the iPhone 3Gs. (Original and 3G shared the same camera & processor)
I had an original Apple Quicktake camera and it was amazing even though it was below a megapixel - when Apple discontinued cameras in 1998 I longed for the day when they would again create a camera using their expertise. With the iPhone that happened - with the iPhone 4 the perfect camera now exists! A camera that can instantly share a picture or video on the internet, thru email, or save for later. A camera that has ON device editing - even through Photoshop using the Adobe Photoshop app.
The iPhone 4 also adds a front facing camera which allows you to video conference with other iPhone 4 users.
The iPhone 4 also brings a new operating system (to all iPhones) and multiple application use (multitasking) to the 3GS and iPad, and iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 uses GSM - an international standard technology for cellphones.
Verizon & Sprint use CDMA (& variants) - this technology is found in very few places widespread outside the USA & Europe.
While the iPhone 4 also has better GPS functionality - the Google maps app is decent but not the best - but the best app for GPS certainly got better with the better antenna and the new accelerometer/gyroscope in the iPhone 4 - try Navigon - it ROCKS!
Because an iPhone uses standard iPod sync & charge cables, accessories are easy to find.
Battery life is very good & improved from the previous generations of iPhones; even when utilizing power draining features like Wifi & Bluetooth.
I can actually use the calculator on an iPhone, unlike on other cell phones where you have to figure out corresponding keys.
I have a lot of music nearly 2000 songs and a GPS app that takes up almost a gigabyte, plus nearly 1000 pictures on my iPhone and the 16GB model is perfect for me - leaving me with 4 gigs of space left.
Get this "unlocked" version if you need your phone on a different network other than a network like AT&T in the US that is subsidizing your phone purchase.
I now have zero complaints about the iPhone 4. My complaints are relegated to AT&T!
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.