June 27th in Gadgets by .

Apple iPhone 4 review

Here at Todays Top Tech, we can’t deny that we are self-confessed Apple lovers. So it was with great joy that one of us, joined the queues on Jun 24th and got our hands on the iPhone 4. Read on to find out what we think of this much-hyped smart phone.

Was it worth the queues?

Here in the UK as the release date loomed closer, we were told that due to limited number of the iPhone, only existing customers of O2 would be able to get their hands on the phone on release date, people wishing to join would have to wait until some time during July to get one from O2. I think some of the other network providers did it differently, but as I am already a member of O2, I was happy. On the release date, I gladly joined the queues at my local store at 4.30am in order to ensure I got my phone on the earliest possible date.

Well, I’ve had the phone for a few days now, so what do I think?


Excellent design of the iPhone 4

click for a larger image

I absolutely love the new design. Although the view from the front looks very similar with the layout of the home button, the speaker and the border around the screen exactly the same as before, the square edges and totally flat back make this a great leap forward for me in the overall design of the phone. And I find that with the back being made from glass as well now, and the sides in the lovely brushed metal, it really seems to fell like a slab or tablet now. It feels solid, and well built. Now I never owned a 3GS, but compared to my old 3G phone, it feels so much better in my hand.

What about this “retina display”?

The Retina display gives excellent results

click for a larger image

After watching the keynote speech by Mr Jobs a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to see the Retina display in person. Watching the video on my laptop, you couldn’t really tell the difference between the displays, but he did make it sound really good (960×640 pixels, and 326 pixels per inch) Wow, I thought.
Well now I’ve seen it in person, I can say I am not disappointed. It is an unbelieveable screen, text is so clean and crisp, photos look fantastic, the resolution is just so fine. If, for example, you open up a book in iBooks, you can adjust to text to a really small size and its still so crisp and readable. I love it. Unfortunately this image doesnt do it justice, so might I suggest you head over to your nearest store, and take a look yourself. You will agree with me, I am sure

What’s it like to use?

iPhone 4, only 9.3mm thin

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I have to admit that I am comparing to my old 3G phone and not the more recent 3GS, but it really seems to fly, thanks I am sure to the A4 chip inside. Applications load quicker, even going back to the homescreen happens quicker, and I don’t seem to get as many “hold ups” whilst waiting for the keyboard to catchup like I used to.
I can immediately see how much the stills camera has improved, and from the small test I’ve done so far, the addition of the HD video recording is something I can tell I will be using an awful lot. So much so that I think one of my next purchases from the App store will be for the mobile version of iMovie, and here in the UK, at only £2.99 it really is not worth considering whether to install it or not. The idea of being able to shoot, edit, and then upload without going home is just fantasic.

Any negatives?

Well sadly yes. . . . .
One of my big gripes with the iPhone ever since the first incarnation is the absolutely terrible choice of text tones that you get. I simply cannot believe that a phone that does everything that this is capable of, still only comes with a choice of 6 text message tones, and they are all terrible. As far as I can see we STILL cannot choose to download additional text tones. What the hell is wrong with the people at Apple, why oh why can we download as many ringtones as we like, but still cant do it for text tones? I will never understand. I wish someone would ask Mr Jobs what they are thinking on this one!

And of course, I could not omit the fact that certain peple are already complaining that this phone has a problem with reception if held a certain way. Now at this point, it is difficult for me to comment properly about this problem, as so far it has not affected me. I believe it’s something to do with holding the phone in your left hand in such a way as to touch both the left side and opposite side somehwere near the bottom, then the signal strength apparantly drops away. If it does prove to be a serious problem, then I can only hope that Apple can do something better than say “hold it differently”.

So, overall then?

Despite the, frankly, silly text message tones, and the signal strength question mark, I can’t help but love my new phone. Very unusually for me, I have even bought a cover for it. I dont normally like covers as they spoil the design, but I am, at the moment, so scared of scratching my beautiful gadget, that I went against tradition and got one. Partly also because that at least it’s not really making the phone any bulkier, with only some extra thinkness around the edges. Strangely enough, I have just read this morning that they say having a case also sorts out this sill signal dropping problem, so lets hope I continue to be lucky and don’t fall foul of this particular headache. For now, I will just continue exploring all the wonderful things my phone can do, including sometimes, maybe even making the odd telephone call. Perhaps. .

Today’s Top Tech Review Our overall rating:   4/5

What we liked…

  • Gorgeous new, slab-like design
  • The Retina display is out of this world
  • Better camera and HD video recording
What we weren’t so keen on…
  • Text message tones. Arrgghh !!
  • Signal srength drop out question mark!

Vital info

Gadget: iPhone 4
Supplier: Apple
Price: Sim free= 16GB £499. 32GB £599

I love anything and everything to do with tech and gadgets. Having dabbled in graphic design, I like things to look stylish as well as functioning well.

VIsit Steve Smith's website

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