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iPhone 4

The fourth generation of iPhone, and successor to the iPhone 3GS.

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A Disappointment, But I Still Can't Live Without It!

  • Dec 30, 2010
  • by
I was very much looking forward to the release of the iPhone 4. My 3G battery life was poor and the system performance was getting increasingly worse. It was high time for an upgrade. I had high hopes that the 4 was going solve all my problems.

Unfortunately, the 4 did not live up to my high expectations, but all-in-all it is a much better phone and I still use it extensively with high satisfaction. Here is my subjective grading of the various features of the new phone:

A - Excellent
  • Retina Display - This is by far the best new feature of the iPhone 4.  In fact, if this was the only new feature, I think it would justify the upgrade by itself.  It is amazing how much sharper the display is over the 3G.  I now use my iPhone extensively for reading because the display is so clear.
  • Multitasking - I didn't jailbreak my 3G, so being able to run simultaneous apps and switch between them was another great upgrade for me.  I suppose this is available on the old phones now, but my 3G was already so slow I can't imagine it would have been as useful.
B - Above Average
  • Form Factor - I really like the new glass front and back plates.  In typical Apple style, the phone is very ergonomic and beautiful.
  • Memory - Although I had the 16GB 3G, it did not have enough memory to hold all of the music and apps that I wanted.  So the 32GB option is a helpful upgrade.  I can now get all of the music I want onto my phone.
  • HD Video - Since I didn't have the 3GS, the video is a very nice new feature for me.  It isn't quite a nice as my Flip HD, but it is great in a pinch when I am not planning to video in advance.  And the ability to edit videos on the phone using iMovie is pretty cool, if not real practical.
C - Average
  • FaceTime - As a wiz-bang new feature, FaceTime adds something special.  Unfortunately for me, I don't have much of a need to video conference very often and when I do, the other person doesn't necessarily have an iPhone 4 or WiFi connectivity.  But in theory, this is a really cool feature and for others it may receive an A grade.
  • Cell Reception - AT&T's cell coverage is bad enough without compounding the problem by introducing antenna issues in the new phone.  This is well-documented, so I won't belabor the point.  Fortunately for me, I don't actually use the iPhone as a phone very often so this isn't a deal-breaker.  As long as I can send a text, I am usually ok.  Most of the time, I have WiFi connectivity.
D - Below Average
  • Battery Life - The good news is the iPhone 4 battery last longer than the 3G battery.  The bad news is that it still does not last for even 8 hours for me.
  • 5 Megapixel Camera - This is my biggest disappointment with the new phone.  I was really hoping it would have sharp, focused photos and I could get rid of my digital camera.  I can hardly believe it is actually a 5 megapixel camera.  The photos quality is just not anywhere near what I had on my BlackBerry over 2 years ago.  I wish they would get this right.
For me, the iPhone is more of a mini-computer than a phone.  I use it extensively to do my job and the variety and quality of the applications keep getting better and better.  It is an amazing device and I can still recommend it even if it doesn't do everything right.

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January 08, 2011
Excellant review Dave...
January 07, 2011
Great review! You just raised the bar on what a three thumb 'Well Organized' review should be.
January 04, 2011
What a neat way of organizing your review! Love it! I'm still waiting for the next upgrade :-) So far I seem to live reasonably well without it!
January 04, 2011
If you have the 3GS, you can probably wait it out six more months for the iPhone 5. Who knows what cool things it is going to do. But you really don't know what you are missing with the retina display. It really turns the phone into a reading device.
January 05, 2011
I hear ya! I'll be getting a Samsung Galaxy Tab for free next month and am hoping to read from the Android baby :-) Btw, perhaps you might like to move this review to the Hi-Tech Travel Companions Community? I do believe you're already a member there ;-) Thanks!
December 30, 2010
...I still want it :P  I like the way that you graded these features.  I might adopt that sometime over my usual pros and cons list!  That's really too bad to hear about the battery life and the camera.  I expected a huge improvement over the older generations, but oh well.  Have you read this post on the Apple site on how to optimize your iPhone battery?  I think its done well for me.  Thanks for sharing, Dave!
January 04, 2011
Thanks for the battery optimization link, Debbie! I am going to give that a try. Hope springs eternal. :-)
More iPhone 4 reviews
review by . September 10, 2010
Outstanding.       On election day in 2008, instead of waiting in line to vote, I was at an AT&T store activating my new Blackberry Bold 9000 (I still voted, don't worry.) Two years later, that same Blackberry is now a thing of the past as I made my official switch to the Apple iPhone 4. It's now been close to two and a  half months now since I've had it and I'm finally ready to tell the world the answer that they've been waiting to hear.    …
Quick Tip by . September 23, 2010
I like iPhone 4
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
It's selling like hotcakes & almost sold out after its first day of launch! That's 1 over million of this baby sold in a single day?! Wow! Definitely a must-have!!!
About the reviewer
David P. Nesbitt ()
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Soul: The first thing to know about me is that my worldview is decidedly Christian. Therefore, my chief end in life is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. My content on this site and my life in general … more
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The iPhone 4 is the fourth generation of iPhone, and successor to the iPhone 3GS. Introduced on June 7, 2010 at the WWDC 2010 at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, it was released on June 24 in six countries, prior to anticipated release worldwide.

The iPhone 4 has all the features associated with an iPhone; only major changes from the iPhone 3GS are listed below. The most noticeable difference is a new industrial design. The primary structure is a stainless steel frame, which additionally acts as both antennae. The internal components of the device are situated between two panels of chemically strengthened aluminosilicate glass. It has an Apple A4 processor and 512 MB of eDRAM, twice that of its predecessor and four times that of the original iPhone. Its 3.5 inches (89 mm) LED backlit liquid crystal display with an increased 960-by-640 pixel resolution is marketed as the "Retina Display." It comes preinstalled with the iOS 4 operating system, and is currently the only device to support a new video conferencing capability, FaceTime.
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