I Too Have An iPhone 4 Review
Let me first admit to everyone that I’ve had an iPhone since the original iPhone release way back in June 2007. I waited in what I thought was the longest line ever and even fought with my future fiance about needing to get one on Launch Day. A year later I upgraded to the iPhone 3G. I told myself it was so I could get the 3G coverage with AT&T, but looking back I think I just wanted the first white iPhone. I skipped the iPhone 3GS because the upgraded features was not enough for me to shell out another couple hundred dollars. I knew that Apple’s competition in the app phone market, namely Google, would spur Apple forward for their next iPhone release. And that’s exactly what happened with the iPhone 4.
I will begin by saying this first: The iPhone 4 is GREAT! I feel that it’s the ruler by which all other smart phones and app phones are to be measured by and against. Apple has upped the ante once again with this year’s offering of the iPhone. With that said, the iPhone is just another iPhone. I mean, it’s not going to cure cancer (yet…) or pick the kids up for you if you’re stuck on the freeway in traffic.
I could go through each of the new features of the iPhone 4, but I think that’s all been covered by now. I also think that the reviews by Joshua Topolsky on Engadget.com and David Pogue’s reviews cover all the bases. What I will do is tell you what has impressed me and disappointed me about Apple’s latest serving of the iPhone.
As soon as you pick up the phone, you’ll notice how durable the new iPhone feels compared to the previous versions. This phone feels solid in your hands, but be careful with the Grip of Death. But hey, Steve caved and is giving away free bumpers or cases to all iPhone 4 owners until September 30, 2010.
The Retina Display is the sharpest and crispiest display I’ve seen on ANY electronic device that can fit in your hand. Hell, my iPhone 4 screen looks sharper than my HDTV in my living room! Haters will say that it’s not that much difference between the old iPhone displays and the new Retina Display, but these are also the people that told you that HDTV was overrated and that dial up internet is ok for them. Believe me when I say that the iPhone’s display is crystal clear.
This new iPhone is fast! If my 3G was NASCAR, and the 3GS was Indy, the iPhone 4 is a drag racer that can win the 500. I love how fast the apps download and load for use. I love how quickly I can download my podcasts and watch YouTube. It’s a noticeable difference if you are upgrading from the first generation or a 3G. It’s not as noticeable if you upgrading from a 3GS, but it is zippier.
I believe that most useful upgrade in the new operating system is the quick app switching or multitasking as Apple calls it. The last 4 apps that you used can be quickly accessed by double clicking on the home button. iPhone 3GS users that upgraded to iOS4 can do it too! It’s very convenient being able to jump between my Twitter app and my maps app then back to the Email app without first going back to the home screen. It saves you time. The seconds add up and you’ll be surprised how naturally easy it starts to feel.
I’m impressed by the inclusion of the HD video camera combined with the 5 megapixel camera and flash on the back of the iPhone. Too bad the front facing camera is only VGA, but I can live with that. Beware! That flash is bright at close range and it may wash your subjects out when shooting video. Take a few steps back and you should be ok. I’m still on the fence if the new iMovie for iPhone app is worth the $5. I need to take more video and give it more tries.
The Grip of Death is for real. I can replicate the signal loss on my iPhone almost anywhere. Sometimes all you need to do is cover the black strip on the left side the iPhone with your pinky! The problem can be easily alleviated by changing your grip or by using a case or bumper. I don’t normally experience the issue because I usually make my calls in the car fighting traffic on the 405 freeway using a bluetooth headset. I also tend to drop my cell phones, so I have my iPhone in a case from Griffin that covers the stainless steel band with a rubber lining. The rubber insulates the metal from my hand and works very well.
FaceTime is overated…for now. Once Apple rolls out more FaceTime devices, the this will be a great feature on the new iPhone. I can see Apple introducing FaceTime on iMacs, MacBooks, iPod Touches, and iPads. I could also foresee a Windows version of FaceTime via iChat bundled with an iSight camera? Until more devices are incorporated, I don’t see FaceTime living up to the potential Apple was hoping for. Although, I did see many first time iPhone buyers in line with me on launch day that were seniors who could in theory have a video call with their grandchildren clear across the country. Food for thought I guess…
I want to close on a positive, so let me say that the battery life on my iPhone 4 is superb. For the first time ever, I was able to go 2 days without charging my iPhone. I was impressed. This after taking a few calls downloading a few PTI podcasts, tweeting (is that an acceptable verb now?), taking a few pictures, shooting 2 quick minutes of a 2 year old, and working on a 2 week old NY Times crossword puzzle every now and then. I was able to get two days before my iPhone died and needed a full recharge. The iPhone 4 still does the job for me.