Video:iPhone 4 Reviewwith Sam Costello
Whether you've had every version or never owned smartphone, purchasing the iPhone 4 comes with pluses and minuses. See how the iPhone 4 measures up with older models, and also if it's right for you.See Transcript
Transcript:iPhone 4 ReviewHi, I'm Sam Costello, the About.com Guide to iPhone and iPod and today I'll be reviewing Apple's latest addition to its flagship product line, the iPhone 4. While the iPhone 4's predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, was all about speed, the new model is all about the visuals. The question is: does that make it a must-have upgrade?
iPhone 4 ScreenThe first thing you'll notice about the iPhone 4 in terms of its visual changes is its screen. Apple is using what they call a Retina Display screen, which packs many more pixels into the same size screen the previous iPhones have had and makes the pixels per inch denser. The screen on the iPhone 4 is the best-looking screen I've seen on any smartphone. The text is remarkably clear, curves are very smooth, there's no more pixilation of text in some situations. It's just a really remarkable experience. It's far and away the best screen I've seen on a smartphone and may be the best screen I've seen on any portable device.
iPhone 4 CameraThe other major change to the iPhone 4 is its camera - or should I say cameras? This one's actually got two cameras. The first one is a 5-megapixel camera, which is a good upgrade from the 3GS, to take great pictures, and it can also record HD video at 720p, which is a pretty great addition to the phone.
There's also a user-facing camera, which allows the user to take part in video chats or video phone calls using Apple's new FaceTime application.
iPhone 4 ProcessorThe iPhone 4, of course, also features a number of under-the-hood improvements. For instance, its processor is the Apple A4 processor, which was introduced on the iPad - and it makes the iPhone 4 noticeable speedier than the 3GS. It's not a tremendous increase in speed, but when launching apps or loading web pages, you'll definitely see that the iPhone 4 is a little bit peppier.
iPhone 4 SpeedSpeaking of loading web pages, though, that is the place the iPhone 4 really stands out as compared to the 3GS. With a WiFi connection the speed is substantially greater - probably a 50-66% increase in speed over the 3GS.
iPhone for Battery LifeAdditionally, the battery is significantly improved. Whereas the 3GS tended to need a recharge every day or day and a half, the iPhone 4 in my testing was able to run for 35 consecutive hours without needing a recharge. In that situation, I was playing music on the phone the entire time, as well as sending emails, taking phone calls, and doing other normal tasks with the iPhone 4.
iPhone 4 AntennaOne drawback of the iPhone 4, of course, is the antenna problems that many people have been experiencing with it. These problems arise when a hand or finger cover the antenna on the left side of the phone and cause it to drop signal strength. You can address this problem by getting a case for the phone. Apple has also instituted a free iPhone 4 case program for purchasers of the phone to address this issue.
iPhone 4 OverviewSo, the iPhone 4 packs in a number of major improvements, from the visual to the under the hood changes to support for iOS version 4, which adds a number of useful interface features and software features. The question is, though, is the iPhone 4 a must-have upgrade? For people who don't own a iPhone yet, or for owners of the original iPhone or iPhone 3G, I think that answer is yes. So if you're using an older iPhone, this might be the time to upgrade. And if you've never had an iPhone, now's a great to start.
For iPhone 3GS owners, though, the necessity of upgrading is a little less clear, especially because the 3GS can also run all the features of iOS 4. If you really like taking mobile video, would like to see some improvements in speed, or battery life, love the look of the Retina Display screen, or are a just a big gadget lover, you may want to upgrade your 3GS to an iPhone 4. Otherwise, this might be one you can sit out and wait for the next model of the iPhone.
Overall, the iPhone 4 is a great upgrade over the 3GS. It packs in a lot of new features, both on the hardware and software side, and is another example of Apple putting out increasingly good phones with each new model.