Verizon iPhone 4 Review

Introduction and Design

Finally! It’s really here, and this time, it’s for real – no joke. Yes, Apple’s wonderful smartphone has been the topic of conversation amongst loyal customers for quite some time, and despite seeing an onslaught of high profiled Android devices being released, Verizon can now say that the iPhone is here. However, we’re basically seeing the same model we saw over 7 months ago – aside from the fact that it now packs a CDMA radio and a slightly redesigned antenna. And without taking much away from the fact that Verizon is just now getting it, there are still а lot to be excited about for Big Red’s handful of customers.

As much as people think that this is benefiting Verizon mostly, you have to look closely at the mobile landscape and comprehend the fierce competition that’s brewing. Naturally, Apple is going to reap the benefits of getting their product out to the millions of Verizon customers out there nationwide. Now that it’s front center competing against the growing and bountiful Android army, the iPhone 4’s presence may undoubtedly alter the landscape in due time. So are you ready for the Verizon iPhone 4?

The package contains:

  • Apple iPhone 4
  • USB Cable
  • User Guide
  • Stereo headphones
  • Wall Charger
  • Apple Decals


For the most part, the Verizon iPhone 4 is a near identical replica of the AT&T version from 7 months ago. As we already mentioned, the only thing different is the fact that it boasts CDMA radios internally, notches around the antenna are placed differently, and that the vibrate switch has moved ever so slightly.

In terms of design, it still radiates with a fantastic look that’s sure to impress Verizon customers – even more when every inch of its body resonates with a premium feel. In fact, it seems more luxurious versus the plastic exteriors found on other handsets since it incorporates two glass surfaces that are sandwiched together with a stainless steel brushed band. Employing a streamlined profile (0.37” thick), the handset is perfectly sized to accommodate every hand size – although, it does pack on some noticeable weight (4.83 oz). Even with its solid construction, it would likely take a beating if it were dropped from a good height. Still, its premium materials will repel the adverse effects of normal wear and tear. All in all, the Verizon iPhone 4 is just one sleek, sexy, and classy looking smartphone.

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

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest attractions with the Verizon iPhone 4 is nothing more than its stunning looking 3.5” IPS display that sports a very impressive 640x960 resolution and support for 16.7 million colors. Dubbed the “Retina Display,” it screams superb clarity that enables the naked eye to meticulously absorb every single pixel to the tooth – thus allowing for some serious high pixel density. At the same time, it shines with enough luminance and natural color production to make it more than visible during outdoor usage, while still offering perfect viewing angles. Overlooking that it might not necessarily offer the largest real estate on a smartphone, it’s still impressive to this day since very few handsets can match its blinding detail – which is attributed with its high resolution. Finally, the oleophobic coating on both glass surfaces allow for a smooth and accurate tracking of your finger – while at the same time, it continues to make the handset look clean at all times with a simple wipe.

Below its touchscreen, we find the same old springy home button that’s been improved with each design, but of course, it’s just about perfect with this one. Conversely, we find the earpiece and 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera directly above the display – with the proximity and light sensors perched inconspicuously close-by.

On the left edge of the iPhone 4, we find its separated volume buttons that are circle in shape, protrude enough for a distinguishable feel, and offers that usual tactile response when pressed. And if you plan on using a case that fits the AT&T iPhone 4, you’ll be sad to know that it’s not compatible with this one because the vibrate switch has been moved just a tiny bit up.

Looking at the bottom side, we find the microphone, speakerphone, and proprietary 30-pin connector port that charges and syncs the handset. Turning it around to the top edge, you’ll locate its 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancellation microphone, and a reasonably sized power button that’s springy and raised from the surface to offer a fantastic feel.

Finally, the 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with an LED flash are located towards the upper left corner on the back side of the phone with the prominent Apple logo stamped on at the middle. As much as people still complain to this day, the Verizon iPhone 4  contains an unremovable battery that requires you to send it away from replacement.

Verizon iPhone 4 360-degree View:


Beating profusely at the core of the iPhone 4 is none other than Apple’s A4 processor, which is to this day, still believed to be running at the clocked speed of 1GHz. Regardless of whatever it is, the end result is a fluid and stable platform experience that unequivocally bears in mind speed and responsiveness. From moving around its homescreens to launching applications, there is little to no pause in whatever simple to complex tasks you put the handset through. Honestly, once you experience the speed of the Verizon iPhone 4, it’ll instantly change your perception of what’s considered to be a respectable amount of speed with a smartphone.

If there is one thing that’s really beginning to show its age, it has to be the same usual looking interface that it employs. Overlooking its less than dazzling presentation, it still follows in line with the principles of being simplistic without being overly complex – and that’s exactly what we find with iOS 4.2.5 on the Verizon iPhone 4. Broken down by finger friendly sized icons that are arranged in a grid pattern, you can group them together to form folders for easy access, but the platform still lacks a high level of personalization. Sure you can rearrange the icons to your liking or change the background wallpaper, but it pales in comparison to the useful widgets and eye catching live wallpapers offered by Android. Nevertheless, what it lacks in visual presentation it makes up with its easy learning curve, simplistic navigation and swift performance.

Swiping to the left most homescreen pane, the on-screen keyboard will pop up and bring you to spotlight search. Essentially, you can begin typing and it’ll accumulate all the associated items related to your search. If you’re not particularly certain about what to look for, it’ll automatically aggregate any relevant content – like music, videos, contacts, apps, and bookmarks. But in the worse care scenario when it’s something not stored locally, it’ll provide you the option of either searching the web or Wikipedia for it.

Holding down the home button will access the iPhone 4’s Voice Control function which is basically a voice recognition application at its core. Needless to say, it works relatively well seeing that it accurately comprehends our spoken words without the need for much repetition. Obviously, it comes in handy if you don’t want to be bothered with searching your phone for specific items. For example, you can speak certain keywords, like “dial home” or “play music,” and the iPhone 4 will execute the command.

Now if there is one beloved feature that was a long time coming, it can arguably be multi-tasking because it was the last piece of the puzzle in completing the platform experience. Today, most applications are enabled to take advantage of multi-tasking element found with iOS, and that’s why it works almost seamlessly with the Verizon iPhone 4 – exactly like its AT&T counterpart. Performing a double press on the home button will uncover the running apps in the background. Not only do we adore the ability to switch between apps instantly, we also like how certain ones will continue to run in the background while doing something else. For example, you can play music through Pandora while using a GPS app for turn-by-turn directions – and of course, the two work in tandem flawlessly.


Thankfully, you can set up the Verizon iPhone 4 to sync with Gmail contacts – which takes away the burden of having to manually set everything up. Getting access to your address book is achieved by either running the “Contacts” app or phone dialer. Following the same routine as any other smartphone out there, your contacts are placed in a list view. Naturally, you can input the usual assortments of information with each person, like addresses and phone numbers, but the beauty of it all is the ability to link multiple contacts together. No longer will you have to deal with multiple contacts of the same person in your address book!


With the various organizer functions of the Verizon iPhone 4, there is still no major progression evident with the most recent iteration of the platform. Comparing the offerings to the original iPhone, we’re amazed to find that very little has changed in this category.

The alarm clock is accessed by going through the clock shortcut and then selecting the alarm shortcut at the bottom that appears. There is no preset limit on home many can be set, or at least none that we ran into. 15 alarms were successfully created without any issues and they all worked as set.

When adding an alarm, there are few fields to select from. The first is a repeat field. From here you choose when the alarm is repeated. If nothing is selected, the alarm will go off once and will turn itself off. If this is a more than a one-time alarm, you can set it to repeat every day of the week that you want it to repeat.

Next, you choose which ringer you want to go off when the alarm is activated. After that, you get to choose whether there is a snooze associated with the alarm and then you get to add the label for the alarm. Lastly, you choose the time that the alarm goes off.

The calendar has three views by which to see all of the events: list view of all the events which include date and time, day view which allows you to select a day by either scrolling through them individually or through the calendar and see all the events in that day, and monthly which allows you to see all days in the month and which ones have an event set. An event can be set through any of these fields. There are five selections in the new event menu, title and location, starting/ending time/all day event, repeat, alert, and notes.

The calculator app hasn’t changed much as well since the portrait option provides some basic functions, while placing the phone to landscape will present additional scientific functions.

There is a note pad function available. When a new note is added and saved, a small description is shown on the main screen with the time that the note was added. When adding a new note, the keyboard will appear, and from there, you can begin typing whatever you want. Luckily, you can now sync notes you have stored with your email services so that you’ll never have to worry about losing them.

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Since its inception, the iPhone continues to set the bar when it comes to messaging with a touchscreen – and the Verizon iPhone 4 follows suit. Granted that its on-screen portrait option might feel a bit cramped for those with larger fingers, its accuracy and responsiveness is almost unmatched to this day. Tilting it to landscape, we’re presented with ample room to enable speedy text messaging with few instances of delay or slowdown with input. Additionally, it incorporates the best predictive text function that will either automatically correct you or place a squiggly line underneath incorrectly spelled words.

Much like any other smartphone out there, email setup has taken a beeline approach which basically removes any burden. Setting up generic email clients only requires your email address and password to automatically set up. However, others will require you to input additional pieces of information, like server addresses and ports, to correctly set up. Furthermore, the Verizon iPhone 4 is a business friendly item seeing that it offers support for Microsoft Exchange. As far as the actual email experience, it’s fairly straightforward as it breaks down folders, offers threaded conversations, and the ability to select whatever client you want to reply with. And thanks to multi-tasking, you can instantly switch between emailing and something else – while still retaining whatever you’ve typed up.

Connectivity & Data:

Unfortunately, the Verizon iPhone 4 will only work here domestically and cannot be used overseas since it’s a dual-band (800/1900 MHz) CDMA device with 1xEV-DO rev. A connectivity. With that in mind, the AT&T iPhone 4 is the ideal candidate if you happen to be a global trotter since it’ll work in just about every part of the world. However, you can still obtain a data connection via its 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi – but don’t expect voice to work outside the US. Yet another thing lacking with the Verizon iPhone 4 is its inability to simultaneously talk on the phone and browse the web, unless you’ve got it connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot – but no talk and data via cellular connectivity. Finally, the handset features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR to enable wireless stereo headsets to magically connect and offer the full fidelity of blasting tunes.

Sure it’s almost unlikely to find Flash support with the iPhone, but it still nevertheless entices us because of mobile Safari’s superior level of performance. Specifically, complex pages manage to load in a timely manner and they render almost identically to what you see on a desktop computer. Moreover, the Retina Display is able to establish stunning detail and clarity with even the most tiniest of text, but it’s further supplemented by its fluid and smooth kinetic scrolling. Of course, you’ve got multi-touch gesture support for pinch zooming, which works wonderfully, but everything mixes so well together that it offers one of the best web browsing experience on any handset out there.


Say goodbye to your usual point and shoot camera because the Verizon iPhone 4 easily can substitute for one thanks to its overall great quality. Although you’ll have to learn the art of perfectly capturing photos with the device, like knowing what areas to press with touch focus, the end results are above average versus most other smartphones. In outdoor settings with plenty of light, images captured by the Verizon iPhone 4 offer plenty of sharp visuals that are eloquently matched by its production of natural color tones. Thanks partly to its backside-illuminated sensor, the Verizon iPhone 4 excels in low lighting situations since it’s able to absorb more detail – without much degradation caused by noise. And when it comes to using the flash, it does a respectable job despite its slight overexposed look – but touch focus doesn’t work too well in pitch black. Despite those minor shortcomings, you’ll be amazed by the kind of shots that you can take with the handset.

We’ve taken many high profiled smartphones and pitted them against the iPhone 4, and even with Verizon’s model, it’s able to dish up some fantastic looking high definition videos. However, one gripe that we still have is its lack of offering continuous auto-focus when shooting videos – which means that you have to rely on manually doing touch focus. Aside from that, everything else looks fine with the 720p videos recorded by the handset. Not only does it boast plenty of details, but it shoots at the fluid rate of 29 frames per second and automatically adjusts the exposure according to the scenery. Furthermore, the audio recording is almost crystal clear and eliminates most of the unwanted background noise. Without a doubt, the Verizon iPhone 4 equally makes the perfect companion for saving and cherishing precious memories.

Verizon iPhone 4 Sample Video:

Aside from using the main camera on the back, you can always switch to using the VGA front facing camera. It's blatantly obvious that the quality won't be the best, but hey, you've got the option to take easier self portraits and even rely on using it as a mirror – you can't go wrong with that!


Definitely not something new by any means, Verizon customers will surely appreciate the iPod function of the iPhone 4 – even more when it brings forth all the visual cues of Cover Flow. At its core though, there is barely anything different about its presentation versus what we saw with the original iPhone. Yet, the rich look and feel of Cover Flow easily trumps any doubts about its allure since it’s always so satisfying browsing through albums. Accompanying the strong visual appeal is its moderate tones emitted by its speaker. Comfortably blasting tunes at the highest volume level, it never begins to sound too overbearing or any evidence of crackling.

With its lightning fast A4 processor toiling away under the hood, video playback on the iPhone 4 was nothing short of beautiful – especilly when its “Retina Display” manages to squeeze in plenty of distinctive detail. Speeds were extremely smooth with no evidence of lag whatsoever which naturally highlights its prowess in this arena. Switching between portrait or landscape doesn't stop the flow of the video as it continues to play steadily – ultimately making it one handset to enjoy getting comfy while watching a long movie on the road.

Depending on your tastes, you’ll have two options to side with for the Verizon iPhone 4. On one hand, you’ve got the 16GB version that should appease most people, but we’d suggest moving up to the 32GB model if you’re heavy into high definition videos.


Considered to be common amongst high-end smartphones, the Verizon iPhone 4 offers video chat through its FaceTime service. Sure you’ll have to connect to Wi-Fi in order to use it, but it’s utterly amazing to see video chat work so well without the disruptive instances of lag or choppiness. If that doesn’t float your boat and you prefer something enabled for 3G connectivity, you can always opt to use other services like Skype or Fring – but don’t expect them to provide the most satisfying experience.

Google Maps is still the sole native location based app for the iPhone, and it doesn’t stray far from what we’ve seen previously. Although it functions normally in providing directions, it doesn’t offer free voice guided turn-by-turn directions that come along with Google Maps Navigation on Android. Looking past that, you can expect to still find features like satellite and street views – still, we’re itching to see its functionality expanded in the future.

Love watching videos online? Well, the YouTube app is there at your disposal and can instantly get you in touch with specific videos. Small refinements have been made with the app, but for the most part, it’s still relatively the same one we’ve seen on previous iPhones.

Last, but certainly not least, the App Store is available for all, with its industry-leading catalog of more than 400,000 apps. Quality games, productivity software, entertainment apps, it's all there and will never let you feel bored with your Verizon iPhone 4.


Impressively, we’re more than content with the Verizon iPhone 4’s calling quality since it isn’t bogged down by much pronounced static or background noise on our end of the line. Combining the ample volume emitted by the earpiece and the neutral sounding voices, we didn’t have much trouble in comprehending our callers words. Conversely, our callers easily understood every word uttered by us since our voice was more than clear and distinctive. Finally, the speakerphone pumps out at a high level which ultimately produces some sharp voices that are audible and distortion-free. In the end, we’re more than agreeable with the Verizon iPhone 4’s commanding ability to offer phenomenal calling quality.

Just when we thought that Apple killed all remnants of the dreaded death grip issue with its antenna on the Verizon iPhone 4, it appears that it simply only lessens the problem – but doesn’t totally annihilate it.  Using the death grip, we managed to get the signal bars go from 5 to 2 bars in a span of under a minute. However, we didn’t experience any dramatic effects from doing this – such as dropping phone calls.

For something that’s considered to be an always connected smartphone, the Verizon iPhone 4 follows suit in bringing aboard strong battery life. Setting it to auto-brightness, we managed to pull out close to 2 days of normal usage before requiring a recharge – which is stunning for any smartphone. Light users will appreciate the extended time it’ll offer, while heavy users will more than likely be satisfied by its single day tally.


Okay, so here is the most crucial part about the Verizon iPhone 4 that you need to ask yourself. Should you go out and buy one now? Before jumping the gun and making that impulse purchase, there are some key things you’ll probably want to keep in mind. First, we’re not too far away from Apple announcing the next version of the iPhone. So if you buy now, chances are that you’ll be paying full price for the new model when it’s released. Secondly, the Verizon iPhone 4 doesn’t offer the convenience of using SIM cards like what’s found with AT&T’s version – which means there are some added steps in swapping devices. Furthermore, you’re only going to be able to use the handset here domestically for voice calls – unlike the GSM model of the AT&T iPhone 4. Lastly, you’re not going to have the benefit of doing simultaneous voice and data via cellular connection.

If you can overlook those shortcomings and see the benefits of the Verizon network, then this handset might be ripe for the taking – especially when it contends against the other juggernauts in the market. For $199.99 on-contract, you’re getting a beautifully crafted device that embodies everything that you imagine a premium device to be. In addition, it’s very well rounded in all aspects and makes for a fantastic multimedia companion. Truth be told, but the Verizon iPhone 4 is still a relevant handset to reckon with seeing that it envelops all the great things we expect to see from a high-end device – not to mention that reliable network behind it.

Software version of the reviewed unit: 4.2.5 (8E128)

Verizon iPhone 4 Video Review:


  • Stunning Retina Display
  • Solid design & construction
  • Better calling quality
  • Good battery life


  • Basically a 7-month old model
  • Domestic use only
  • No Flash Player 10.1 support

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