Apple iPhone 4 Review

Introduction and Design
UPDATE: You can now read our iPhone 4s review!


Plenty of things can change over the course of three years in the mobile world as technology seems to leap new heights constantly when devices are being packed with intricate hardware and an accompanying platform experience to make it gratifying. The smartphone landscape changed heavily when the original iPhone first came to fruition back in 2007 to a wide audience that was initially skeptical in how an unknown figure in the mobile community could change the game. The events that unfolded over the last few years tell the true telling of how the iPhone substantially affected the industry with its ground breaking performance. However, we've seen the handset don two additional makeovers, the iPhone 3G and 3GS, that some still argue to not necessarily accompany that reinvention that came along with the original's release. It's summer and Apple's tradition of releasing a new version of the iPhone each year continues as the world has been well informed regarding the highly prized product which received plenty of attention in the last few months leading up to its release due to a bevy of leaks. It's here! Now and in the flesh! But will it be enough to withstand the onslaught of competition that's currently catching up, consistently evolving,  and closing the gap?

The package contains:
•    Apple iPhone 4
•    USB Cable
•    User Guide
•    Stereo headphones
•    Wall Charger


Quickly gazing at the smartphone for the very first time, it tastefully can be seen that Apple decided to go back to the drawing board this time around as it sheds the previous look of the iPhone 3GS with a totally new one. Clearly it looks like an iPhone from afar, but upon closer inspection, you can meticulously feel the love that went into building and crafting this device together. Essentially the handset is encased by two pieces of strong glass which are held together by the brushed stainless steel band – used also to help aid the handset in receiving better cellular radio connections. The smooth glass found in the back replaces the glossy plastic one that's been in use with the previous two iterations and essentially make it flat – even the lens on the camera follows the flush pattern. As much as we adore the strength of the material and radiance it offers, it's a prone for all the nasty baddies out there that take away from its shiny luster. Additionally, when holding it for the first time after being accustomed to the curved backing of the iPhone 3GS, it doesn't hug your hand as good as we'd like it to – still, it didn't take too long before we got used to it. Clearly it's one of the thinnest smartphones (it's actually said to be the thinnest) we've seen to date. It's also narrower than the previous versions of the product. Following suit, the iPhone 4's construction feels solid throughout every nook and cranny as there is no denying that it can repel the wear and tear of age. Flaunting an almost identical weight to its older sibling found with the iPhone 3GS, it's evenly balanced and makes the phone feel even more durable, however, we'd be appalled to think about the consequences of dropping it. Overall, the fresh look of the iPhone 4 has a somewhat nostalgic tone as it makes us harken back to the 80s when Sony's beta-max units were all the rage with their metallic exterior and knobs jutting out prominently. Its industrial design provides a modern update which tastefully exemplifies an old time favorite look that will surely keep gazers close-by.

You can compare the Apple iPhone 4 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

When you quickly look at the landscape of high-end smartphones currently on the market, they all mostly sport WVGA displays and utilize a range of technologies – such as LCD, AMOLED, or Super AMOLED. As we tend to see Apple stick with something very unique for their handset, they decided to employ an LED back-lit IPS LCD display packing a monster crunching 640x960 pixels resolution which quickly became more known as the “Retina Display.” At the same time, Apple opted to keep its screen size at 3.5” which naturally increases its pixel density immensely – making it THE most detailed screen we've seen to date. Compared to the WVGA displays in use with some of its competitors, the “Retina Display” on the iPhone 4 pack a wallop by making even the tiniest of text look detailed upon closer inspection. Honestly, we were able to clearly see the difference between the iPhone 3GS and 4 when looking at the display from a distance of a foot – text on the iPhone 4 was much smoother and didn't look fuzzy like on the 3GS. Colors continue to shine as it boasts support for the same 16 million colors we were first introduced to back with the original. And just like all of the previous models, the capacitive display was responsive to the touch which made navigating around the interface a breeze. Still being one of the few handsets to utilize an oleophobic coating on the touchscreen, we're always glad to see it looking so fresh and pristine every time we take it out of our pockets. Generally using any handset outdoors in direct sunlight can become a nightmare – making some look quite unviewable even when brightness is set to its max. Thankfully, it steers ahead of the pack as it manages to shine brightly in almost any lighting conditions – even in direct sunlight. In addition, the utilized IPS technology comes along with some pretty wide viewing angles. However, we still feel strongly that Super AMOLED displays provide for richer looking colors, which can even fool some out there to believe that the display is turned off when the color black is present.

This time around, Apple decided to make the single home button feel more springy than what we experienced previously. In fact, this actually applies to all of the physical hardware buttons found on the phone as every single one of them has that solid tactile feel. The left part of the phone houses the all too standard vibrate switch and volume rocker – the latter being two distinct and separate circular sized buttons. Jumping to the top, we have the 3.5mm headset jack and dedicated power button while on the right side you'll find the micro SIM card slot. On the bottom of the phone, you'll notice the  speakers and Apple's proprietary connection port. Flipping it over to its rear, the only thing you'll find is the 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with flash and the usual mirror looking Apple logo that elegantly brands the smartphone. Finally, in the front and next to the main speaker is the 0.3-megapixel front facing camera.

Apple iPhone 4 360 Degrees View:

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