And, right on schedule (because they can’t let a something like an early release beat them), the reviews are pouring in. The general consensus is that the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market. Go figure.
Read on for links to reviews, summaries, and highlights!
Engadget was very happy with the iPhone 4, heavily praising its design, build quality, and retina display, as well as finding some interesting preliminary battery results.
We’re not going to beat around the bush — in our approximation, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market right now. The combination of gorgeous new hardware, that amazing display, upgraded cameras, and major improvements to the operating system make this an extremely formidable package. Yes, there are still pain points that we want to see Apple fix, and yes, there are some amazing alternatives to the iPhone 4 out there. But when it comes to the total package — fit and finish in both software and hardware, performance, app selection, and all of the little details that make a device like this what it is — we think it’s the cream of the current crop.
This review breaks the features down, one by one, so it is probably the most in-depth as of yet. Once again, the general reception of the phone was very positive, although AT&T was slammed for its poor network.
The display is a huge leap forward. It’s really crisp, and hues are more true. Side by side, the 3GS display and the iPhone 4 display show that the earlier device gives off warmer hues, more peach/red/yellow casts. The iPhone 4 seems more true to life. This is particularly noticeable when you are reading large stretches of text, or comparing one photo on both devices, side by side. On iPhone 4, whites are whiter, blacks are blacker, and the fonts really pop. It makes long reading sessions much more comfortable, and reading things in low light and high light environments are easier than before.
Gadget bloggers and tech reviewers have made much over the built-in antenna placement, and speculation that the body construction allows for greater signal conductivity.
I rode my bike around town with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and the original iPhone, and observed signal strength differences.
Here’s the thing:
AT&T still sucks, and the best engineering out of Cupertino won’t change that.
AT&T’s network includes black holes and Bermuda Triangles in many places around my town, Los Angeles. Even where signal strength was terrific, dropped or garbly calls did still occur sometimes with this new iPhone. But a little less often.
Overall performance and reception capabilities with iPhone 4 did seem improved, during my limited tests. The connectivity improvements engineered into this device seem to help you make the best of a very imperfect carrier (and, of course, none of them are perfect).
Standing in one familiar trouble spot that used to drive me crazy, I often had one or two “signal strength” bars on the first-gen iPhone, maybe one or two more bars on the 3GS, and 4 or 5 bars on iPhone 4.
Another blow-by-blow review, Edward Baig continues to praise the phone for its design, screen, and FaceTime video calling capabilities.
Buyers won’t be disappointed. The killer feature is what Apple calls FaceTime video chat. The promise that you and the person you’re talking to on a phone can gaze into each other’s eyes dates back to when LBJ occupied the White House. No one has really nailed video calling through the years, at least not the way Apple has nailed it here, with certain limitations. FaceTime is as simple as making a regular call. To help to accomplish this neat stunt, iPhone 4 adds a front-facing camera that complements the more traditional, and improved, camera on back.
There are other iPhone 4 features worth crowing about: high-definition video recording, super-crisp display, a handsome and thin stainless steel and glass design. Apple says the glass is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. To reinforce the point, an Apple executive dropped it in front of me. The phone was undamaged. Inside is an A4 processor, the power-efficient chip used in the iPad.
Cutting through the hype, Apple has given longtime diehards, and first-time iPhone owners, plenty to cheer about.
And there you are; three quality reviews of Apple’s iPhone 4.