The iPhone 4

© 2010 Apple Inc.

It’s shiny, new, and emblazoned with the Apple logo. But is the iPhone 4 better than ever? The reviews are positive, but user reception is mixed. Pun intended.

Design

With a flat design and a wraparound stainless steel antenna along the outside edge of the phone, the look has been updated. The phone also boasts a higher screen resolution thanks to what Apple has branded “retina” technology – at 960 x 640 pixels, the display is supposedly more detailed than what the human eye can actually see. Factor in an extra microphone to help eliminate background noise, and the sound quality should be an improvement.

16 or 32G models are available. A white option is advertised as an alternative to the standard black casing, though manufacturing problems have delayed the release of the white version until July. A larger, removable battery promises to increase usable hours.

Multitasking

Multitasking keeps track of your most recently used apps and allows you to toggle between them, suspending them where you left off so the app does not have to load again. Audio from one app can play continuously in the background as you check your e-mail or snap a picture. Waiting for dense files or websites to download should be less of a hassle since the operation will continue even as you switch to a different task.

Videoconferencing and camera upgrades

The new FaceTime feature allows you to video chat with another iPhone 4 user over a WiFi connection. Users can take pictures from the front or back of the phone with the built-in 5 megapixel camera. An optional flash and a 5x digital zoom are added features. The iPhone 4 also has the ability to record HD video (with tappable focus). An iMovie app can now be downloaded for $4.99, enabling advanced video editing directly on the phone.

iOS4 Operating system

Key features include the ability to combine your e-mail feed into a universal inbox and create message threads. Up to 12 apps can now be stored within folders on the home screen, allowing app enthusiasts to load up their phone with even more special features – 2,160 total if all 180 folders are filled.  iOS4 can be downloaded for the iPhone 3G and 3GS as well.

Concerns

Soon after customers left the long lines at the Apple Store with their new gadget on Thursday, ominous messages started popping up on user forums. Disgruntled Mac enthusiasts complained of yellow splotches on the screen, failed camera commands, scratches appearing rapidly on the brand new case, and the most troublesome complaint – dropped calls based on how the phone is held.

David Pogue of The New York Times, initially enthusiastic about Apple’s newest product, posted a follow-up article attempting to debunk “The Mystery of the ‘iPhone Death Grip,’” Basically, if a customer with slightly sweaty hand holds the phone in a certain way, reception is cut off. This issue is more prevalent among left-handed individuals. Apple has released a statement acknowledging an issue via PC Magazine.

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Comments

  • Cho

    There should be no ‘G’ in ‘iPhone 4′.

    iPhone 3 -> iPhone 3GS -> iPhone 4

  • Cho

    ooops…

    iPhone 3G -> iPhone 3GS -> iPhone 4

  • Ben

    Bought it at 1030 am on Thursday, and other than what appears to be poor reception, possibly from ATT or the design of the new phone – I bought the apple case, so I haven’t experienced the much discussed problem – I think the phone is great. Fast, small, functional… Just hope the network problems are worked out and the two companies make it right. If I don’t hear specifically what’s up by my return date, I will seriously consider going back to my original iPhone. Apple has always done what is right in recent years, in my experience at least, and I don’t expect anything different this time around.

  • Mohamed

    Macbook tiger 10.4 & iphone 4g are not compatible i calked apple they gave the most stupid reasons for this issue and told me i have to upgrade my macbook for 169 $ to make it compatible with my iphone 4… Bs