iPhone 4

As usual, Apple detractors are turning their nose up at the latest upgrade to Apple’s iPhone line, the iPhone 4. Unfortunately for those people, the newly announced features make the phone more compelling (or even more compelling, depending on who you ask) than the Android phones that are on the market.

Here’s why this iPhone upgrade matters:

1. THE PROCESSOR

iPhone 4 features the same A4 processor found in the iPad. What this means is that the iPhone will be mind-numbingly fast. The iPad almost never lags, even as it is performing fairly complex processes. The A4 processor within the iPhone was almost certainly a necessity considering the iPhone 4 will ship with the new iOS, bringing multitasking to the iPhone for the first time. Speaking of which…

2. MULTITASKING

We’ve known this was coming for several months, but I felt it’s necessary to address Android and Windows Mobile users’ claims that multitasking should have been included all along since their mobile OS has featured it for quite some time. I respond with a question: have you actually used multitasking on an underpowered phone? It’s almost unusable, and it drains battery life quicker than you can say, “Cardinal Ratzinger.” And as we all know, a quickly-draining battery on a phone is unforgivable, especially when you’re out and about for long periods of time.

3. RETINA DISPLAY

In case you haven’t read up, the Retina Display is Apple’s way of saying, “Oooooooo, pretty!” According to popular tech blog Engadget (iPhone 4 Hands-on):

“We’re not being hyperbolic when we say it’s easily the best looking mobile phone screen we’ve ever laid eyes on.”

A screen that is easier to read means less strain on the eyes. It’s now running at a 960×640 resolution, and according to those who have seen in the device in person, it has to be seen to be believed (much like the iPad).

4. MIC + SPEAKER

Much like the A4 processor, people seem to be overlooking this feature as well. Apple has two mics: one next to your mouth, and another on top of the device. Why? It allows for noise-cancellation technology to do its work, helping you sound clearer and crisper to the person on the other end of the line. Nuances like this help make a product a cut above.

5. CAMERA, LED FLASH, AND FACETIME

The iPhone 4 now includes 720p high definition video recording. I’m sure it won’t replace my Flip Ultra HD, but it’s definitely a nice feature to have, especially now that you’ll be able to edit the video on the iPhone using iMovie for the device. The LED flash is no big surprise (and a bit late to the party, to be honest), but the front-facing camera which allows for Apple’s FaceTime video chatting is definitely a welcome addition. The ability to switch between the front-facing and back-facing cameras with a press of a button is nice. You’ll be able to show people what you’re looking at, then switch back with minimal effort.

The camera is now 5 megapixels, by the way. I just thought you should know.

6. HARDWARE REDESIGN

We’ve all dropped our iPhone a time or two (cracked screens, anyone?). The iPhone 4 will feature flat sites, along with a flat back. This might seem to be a subtle change, but I believe it will make the phone more usable and steady.

It’s gorgeous. 1/4 thinner than the current iPhone 3Gs, the iPhone 4 will also feature a new glass screen. I’ll use AppleInsider’s article to help explain:

The front and back are made of aluminosilcate glass, chemically strengthened to be 30 times harder than plastic, more scratch resistant and more durable than ever. The front and back glass have an oil-resistant coating that helps keep it clean, and encircling iPhone 4 is a highly finished stainless steel band made of a custom alloy that is forged to be five times stronger than standard steel.

Additionally, the structure of the phone is now connected to the antennas, giving the iPhone 4 stronger reception.

7. BATTERY LIFE

The new hardware also has a larger battery that offers longer uptime, including 7 hours of talk time 3G, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby.

Battery life is absolutely crucial to the value of a mobile device. Apple has clearly taken note of the incredible reception the iPad’s battery life has received, and made sure the iPhone 4 won’t skimp on the juice.

8. GYRO & ACCELEROMETER

The iPhone 4 will feature a 2-axis gyroscope and accelerometer that will be able to detect “much more precise movement,” according the Steve Jobs. This, in short, will be good for games and gesture-based commands. I’m not personally ecstatic over this upgrade, but there are quite a few who seem to be excited by it.

In short, this iPhone upgrade makes the most popular smartphone on the planet more functional, more usable, and cooler (it’s an Apple device, after all).

There is a reason that you hear countless stories about Blackberry users, Android users, and Windows Mobile users switching to the iPhone, but almost never hear of others going the opposite direction: the iPhone is still the best smartphone on the market. I’m excited that Android has brought legitimate competition to Apple, but after having used several of the devices (and gathering opinions from those using them), I can still say that I’m quite secure in being an iPhone fanboy.

And yes, I’ll be getting one to replace my barely-functional iPhone 3G. And I’m getting white.

And no, white is not girly.

For more reading, go to Apple’s web-site, laden with PR terminology – http://www.apple.com/iphone/

For Engadget’s coverage of the iPhone, click the following link – http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/07/iphone-4-announced/

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6 thoughts on “iPhone 4

  1. Matt Langford says:

    I will be pre-ordering mine next week!

  2. Brad says:

    Great post, but white is a little girly. Not gonna lie. 😉

  3. Chris Hunter says:

    Dude, but it’s still with AT&T!

    ARGH! Sorry, but that speaks volumes to me concerning Apple in general.

    And what’s up with FaceTime being wifi only? The EVO can do that with 3G and 4G.

    I don’t know, man. It does seem really nice, but I’m waiting to see some iPhone 4 vs. HTC EVO videos before I make a final decision…

  4. jeffreyjmarshall says:

    Great post Ryan,
    I do however think that it all comes down to personal preference. The fact is that the line between the innovation of apple and the competition is getting smaller, and that makes it better for the consumer in the end. As far as hardcore fanboys go, they will be loyal to whoever (apple or anyone else). But all in all the iphone 4 looks like a great phone. The line up of 2010 Android devices (Nexus One, HTC Incredible and HTC EVO) are right on the money too. If your in the market for a new phone, 2010 is the year of innovation across the board and I’m excited for this. Wether Apple or Android or Windows 7 phones, we now finally have a choice in phones that are not miles away from each other in terms of competition and base our choice on what matters, our preference. So get you some iPhone 4 and be happy about it. I’ll stick with my HTC Incredible and be happy about it. Happy phone hunting out there.
    <-Android User

  5. Jeffrey, my friend…you had me until you put Windows Mobile 7 up next to iOS and Android.

    Android is a great alternative to iOS, but (and that’s an awfully big but), it falls shorts in at least two areas:

    1. Apps. The App Store is loaded with apps, the vast majority of them not available on Android. And while most of the essentials have been met (Twitter, eBay, etc.), the Android platform has yet to make up any ground on the unexpected success that games have found on the iPhone.

    2. The Android OS is still not as elegant. Most of the people switching to Android are former Blackberry/Palm/WinMo users, so they don’t understand the hubbub about iOS. How many people do you know that have switched from the iPhone to Android? Android’s OS is definitely a step up from the other options, but Apple’s simplicity and elegance wins the day, especially among those who aren’t techies.

    Most often when people mention their decision to not buy an iPhone, it usually comes down to either networks (Verizon/AT&T) or anti-Apple sentiment.

    Many people hate AT&T (I’m one of them), but I can’t see how the iPhone being available on Verizon isn’t going to slow down Verizon’s much-touted network just as it has AT&T’s. iPhone users are by far the most data-hungry mobile user base out there. – (http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e354/Jawbone54/Screenshot2010-06-10at100336AM.png)

    That kind of hefty load would strain any network. Also, Verizon was the company that Apple approached first before they revealed the first iPhone, hoping they would sign a deal with them to be the exclusive carrier. Verizon thumbed their noses at Apple, and Apple was forced to go down the road to AT&T.

    Anti-Apple sentiment is either caused by eye-rolling at how “cool” Apple is, concern over Apple’s lack of openness in accepting apps for the App Store, or how Apple doesn’t allow a certain level of customization.

    1. Apple IS cool. Sorry, everyone.

    2. I fully approve of Apple’s rejection of Apps it deems inappropriate for the App Store. Apple has rejected many apps that don’t do what they say, apps they have deemed pornographic in nature, and apps which are unstable. They also have a right to maintain control over their own store. It’s called capitalism.

    3. Apple’s software is stable, intuitive, and beautiful. If someone feels the need to customize every little aspect of the OS, then they’d probably be happier hacking into the FBI’s network from their parents’ basement. I like it how it is, and the vast majority of people do too.

    Apple has shot to the top for a reason. If Apple WAS available for Verizon, T-Mobile, and/or Sprint, I guarantee you that Android would find itself tucked into a tight corner. Their original 5-year exclusivity deal with AT&T has prevented them from doing so, but I guarantee they’ll spread the love around when that deal runs out.

    I’m done.

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