Apple iPhone 4
The iPhone 4 is Apple's fourth generation smartphone. Is it worth having if you already own an older iPhone?
Ratings BreakdownEditor's Rating:
- Value for money:
- Value for money:
Data services: Y
Media player/capture: Y
The iPhone 4 is the successor to the 3GS and is Apple's fourth generation iPhone. Is it worth your hard earned cash?
In terms of looks and design the iPhone 4 is a very handsome handheld and easily trumps its predecessor. The smartphone feels very solid in hand and the tactile sensation you get from interacting with Apple's latest smartphone is superb. There simply isn't another phone we've come across that we just wanted to hold on to.
The reason the iPhone 4 looks brilliant and feels so great in hand is because of two aluminosilicate glass panels, one which sits on the front of the device and the other, on the underside. Apple claims the glass has been chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic and while enhanced scratch resistance and durability are said to be much higher than previous iPhones, we actually noticed a few scratches on the device's underside after a week.
One of the big features of the iPhone 4 is 'FaceTime'. This embedded video calling applications allows users to use either the front or back camera to make video/voice calls over a WiFi connection. While this is an amazing feature that the 3GS lacks, the application is seemingly locked out on all Etisalat and du supplied iPhone 4 handsets. Bummer.
Thankfully, for 3GS users looking for a reason to upgrade, that isn't the end of the story. The iPhone 4 is powered by an Apple A4 processor with an integrated PowerVR GPU and 512MB of eDRAM. The combination of processor and memory (the latter is double that of the 3GS) coupled with the iOS 4.1 operating system provides sublime performance. Opening applications, executing features and loading photos and websites is a snappy affair that simply leaves the 3GS in the dust. At the same time the iPhone 4 also boasts multitasking support.
The 3.5-inch display, which Apple refers to as a 'Retina Display', is perhaps the iPhone 4's greatest selling point. The screen runs at a native resolution of 960 x 640 pixels and the visuals it produces are the best the WinLabs team has ever seen from a smartphone. Every visual is razor sharp, the colours it produces look ready to jump into your eyeballs and best of all, the multi-touch screen is just a dream to work on. Even if you're a speed demon when it comes to touch typing, the phone just never skips a beat, while the predictive text makes backspacing and retyping a thing of the past.
Ultimately, the iPhone 4's combination of a super fast processor and ample memory coupled with vivid graphics makes the user experience a truly unique one that no other phone we've tested to date can best. We were even impressed with the phone's battery life as it lasted a little over two days, even after intensive, mixed use.