Well the iPhone 4 is here, and it was met with much anticipation and speculation. Leading up to the announcement of the iPhone 4 were many different speculations on the look and feel of the new iPhone as well as the internal specs. Our dreams were answered when the iPhone 4 was leaked to the public by being left in a bar by an Apple Engineer. When Steve Jobs presented the keynote at WWDC 2010 we were all in awe as we watched him displayed his newest creation. The new iPhone sported some new features that made us drool such as, Apple New A4 Chip, Gyroscope, Camera plus LED flash and front facing camera, and the new Retina display. Now lets take a closer look at all of these new features.
Look and Feel
The iPhone 4’s new design is the most obvious change. The design seems more industrial and makes the iPhone feel tough and not so ‘plasticy’ as its counterparts. The stainless steel band around the iPhone gives it a elegant feel as Steve Jobs said ‘that of a beautiful, old Leica camera’ and he was right it feels and looks amazing.
The phones design has changed in a simple yet complex way. The phone consists of 2 pieces of strengthened glass with a stainless steel band sandwiched in between them. The volume buttons have changed from a single button to individual buttons, Silence/Mute button was redesigned, there are now 2 microphones one in the bottom and one on top for noise cancelling, 2 notches on the bottom left and right for the speakers. Along the top of the phone includes the standard sleep/wake power button and the headphone jack. The front side of the phone includes a sheet of strengthened glass, a front facing camera, speaker for phone calls, and the standard iPhone home button. On the back of the phone you are again greeted with a sheet of strengthened glass, another camera 5MP and an LED flash, and of’ course the Apple logo.
The design of the iPhone 4 gives it more of an expensive feel that makes you feel good holding it.
Apple has completely redesigned the inside of the iPhone first by using the same processor that is in the iPad, the Apple A4 processor. The phone is definitely much more snappier if you are upgrading from the iPhone 3G and not the 3GS. The upgrade from the 3GS is noticeable but not huge.
I noticed a change in the speed that websites load it is definitely much quicker. On the iPhone 3G, the Internet would crawl at times and now websites load faster than some computers I use. Apps are also performing much faster, even ones that have not been updated for iOS 4 yet.
We all saw the new design of the iPhone 4 at WWDC 2010. We were in awe that the antenna was actually going to be built into the primary structure of the phone. Well we didn’t anticipate the interference that could be caused with the antenna built this way.
You probably read all of the issues regarding reception on the iPhone 4 when held a certain way. The issue was that if the iPhone were held in the bottom left corner, you would experience signal loss or dropped calls.
I did experiment with my iPhone 4, and sure enough when held in my left palm and in contact with the bottom left side of the phone the signal would degrade. But with recent reports, this wasn’t an issue with the iPhone 4 alone, there are reports of the problem being replicated on the iPhone 3G and 3GS.
So the problem was not new on the iPhone 4 but I believe that it was much harder to replicate on the 3G and 3GS and more people had bought cases for them. With the antenna being on the outside of the phone on the iPhone 4 the issue was easier to replicate being in direct contact with the antenna.
Apple also had issued a statement regarding the reception issues, stating that it is a software bug the inaccurately displays the correct amount of bars. They stated that if you are experiencing a signal drop it is because you are in an area that has a poor signal and iOS 4 is misrepresenting that on the phone. I understand where they are coming from, but such a dramatic drop? I have never heard of this happening with other phones such as flip phones, only on the iPhone 4.
Apple had also stated that you should hold the phone a different way, such a way that you are not making direct contact with the bottom left side of the phone. I honestly don’t think I should be told what way I need to hold a phone, it should be engineered in a way for it not to matter, also I am a lefty so that is what I am used to.
There are easy fixes for the antenna issue, Apple sells a bumper case for $29.99 and many third parties sell cases as well. The case will solve the antenna problem for you at the cost of spending a couple more bucks. I do think Apple should distribute cases as a temporary fix for the iPhone 4, mostly because the signal decrease is so dramatic. Hopefully Apple will do this in the future.
Apple said “Its about more than the megapixels” and they were right. The iPhone 4 has a 5-megapixel camera while some of its competitors have an 8-megapixel camera. Every picture I have taken with the iPhone 4 have been stunning, I just don’t believe that they are coming from a phone. Here are some pictures below that I have taken from my iPhone.
The camera also includes a LED flash that definitely does work very well. I was skeptical at first, but the LED flash is very bright and does the job.
Video recording on the iPhone 4 is also stunning, the phones records video in HD at 720p. Who needs a digital camera or camcorder anymore when your phone can do it all! Here is a short video taken in HD with my iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 now has to cameras, one on the back for standard pictures and video and one facing you for video chat! FaceTime is Apple’s attempt at video chat with the iPhone.
FaceTime does work, as long as both parties have an iPhone 4 and are connected to WiFi. It is easy to use and only involves one click (or touch) on the iPhone. Now I would like to see this feature worked into 3G in the future because I am not always near a WiFi access point. Here is a demo of FaceTime.
Apple also states that FaceTime will be open source, so App developers will be able to use it in apps. Can we hear Skype with video chat?
The iPhone 4 has a all new display which Apple calls the Retina Display. At the same screen resolution as previous iPhone’s the new iPhone manages a 326ppi pixel density. With this density, the display just looks amazing. Apple actually had stated that the iPhone 4 displays more pixels than the human eye can perceive. Even though there has been some debate on Apple’s facts this is the clearest display I have ever seen on a phone to date.
Go ahead compare the older iPhone’s to the iPhone 4 and see if you can see the pixels on the old phone and new phone. Now this may not matter to everyone in the world, but it matters to me because this display pushes smartphone technology further.
I think that the iPhone is one of the best smartphones on the market today. Apple does need to address some issues but the overall phone is great! The combination of the new display, front facing camera, new internals, external antenna, and FaceTime make the iPhone very competitive. I honestly think the iPhone is ahead right now in terms of innovation. Now I know that not all of you like the iPhone and I have nothing against Android. The Android phones are great, but they need to make some improvements to keep up with the iPhone. Lets keep our eyes peeled and watch for what Apple has in store for us next.