In spite of the good things I have heard about the iPhone 4, I was not easily drawn to it. I blame it on the experience I had with the first generation iPhone. Issues with connectivity, forced restarts and missing text messages made me think that the iPhone was over rated and I would be better off with a Nokia handset.
I also dismissed the iPhone 3G and 3GS as over rated devices, and with the arrival of Google Android, my hate affair with the iPhone went on. Then the iPhone 4 came.
- 3.5 inches, 640 x 960 pixels retina display
- 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, Apple A4 chipset
- 16/32 GB storage, 512 MB RAM
- 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 720p video recording @30fps,
- Front-facing camera
- Video calling over Wi-Fi
- iOS 4.2.1 operating system
- 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm dimensions
- 137 g weight
I have expressed my first impressions of the iPhone 4 in a previous post. Nothing has changed since then.
If I am to judge the phone purely on looks, the iPhone 4 is simply the most perfectly designed phone out there. Its slim profile and minimalist design make it really attractive. Apple did good in retaining the single button design and in ditching the curved back of the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The silver metal wrapping the sides of the phone raises the iPhone 4’s appeal higher.
The iPhone 4 is very nice to hold. Holding the phone which gives you the feeling that you have something expensive in your hand.
The retina display of the iPhone 4 is easily one of its strong selling points. The screen resolution is really sharp. You don’t see the pixels even if you try hard. With the retina display, you get a better experience when playing games and high resolution videos. Viewing pictures is also very pleasurable on the iPhone 4.
iOS 4.2.1’s main features include Find My iPhone App, Multitasking, Folders, Game Centre which allows users to play against friends online, Airplay for streaming music, videos and other content wirelessly, and AirPrint for sending documents to print.
The iOS very smooth and a pleasure to use. It renders transitions beautifully and launches apps with nary a hiccup. The fast processor certainly helps the performance of the iPhone.
Web browsing on an iPhone 4 is also a nice experience. The stock web browser is fast and highly intuitive and pages load fast. However, if you usually visit flash enabled sites, you’d get frustrated as the iPhone 4 has no native flash support.
A search button appears when you swipe the screen to the right when on the home screen. The search bar churns out results really fast pulling out every data available and searches all sources including emails, messages, apps, contacts, etc. At the bottom of the results is a Search Web and Search Wikipedia button.
If you do not need DSLR quality photos, the iPhone 4 doubles as a highly capable camera. The 5-megapixel camera takes clear photos and the auto-focus is surprisingly effective.
The camera’s controls are rather simple. You get a flash button, a camera selection button, a shutter button and a gallery button. If you tap the screen while the camera is on, a zoom bar appears at the bottom. There’ no special effects or special scenes options.
As to image quality, the iPhone takes sufficiently clear photos and offers a good balance of exposures. if the scene has a strong bright and dark contrast, you can easily use the iPhone 4’s HDR feature.
iTunes and Speakers
The iTunes UI has not changed much from previous versions. You still get the same functions and options. If you are into music, the iTunes is still the best music player and organizer out there .
The speakers of the iPhone 4 leaves much to be desired, however. Playing songs or movies on low volume is quite acceptable but when you turn the volume on full, the sound cracks. But this is quite understandable. Some things get sacrificed when you cram everything into a really thin device.
Battery Life and Reception
Under heavy use, the iPhone 4’s battery will last you about 12 hours. Heavy use is playing games and watching videos constantly or using Wi-Fi connectivity a lot. Under normal use, the iPhone 4 surprisingly lasts more than 24 hours.
The iPhone 4 gets good reception on Globe’s mobile network. If you are in Metro Manila, you usually get full signal on the iPhone. Calls are crisp and clear. I took a call from an elevator once and I was surprised the call was not cut off.
If you intend to use Globe’s 3G network, you will find the Internet speed sufficient. Do not expect blazing speeds though. After all, it’s still just 3G.
There are many free apps on the app store. If you are the stingy kind, you should not worry since there are many apps you can download from the Apple App Store for free. To get these apps, you first need to register on the App Store. And registering your iPhone requires credit card details but you will not be charged unless you download a paid app. Stay on the Top 25 Free Apps tab and you’ll be safe.
The iPhone 4 is arguably the best-looking phone right now. The design is well thought out and iOS 4.2 perfectly complements the device. Although the iPhone 4 may have some flaws like the lack of flash support, these flaws are easily forgotten when you take into account the phone’s bright spots.
Overall, there is no other phone which can give a user experience as pleasurable as an iPhone 4.