The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

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The anticipation is over. This morning Apple CEO Steve Jobs officially unveiled the new iPhone. Which means Spot Cool Stuff is now allowed to release our previously embargoed information and share our first thoughts on what is will certainly become the world’s best selling smartphone.

So what are the key new features on the iPhone 4? And is it worth upgrading if you already have an iPhone? Read on:

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?


iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

New Features

By Apple’s count, the new iPhone 4 has more than 100 features not found on the 3Gs. Those Spot Cool Stuff thinks are especially worth noting, in rough order of importance:

Photography & Video

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?The iPhone 4 doesn’t have one 5 megapixel camera. It has two cameras—one back-facing (as on all previous iPhones models) and one front-facing. Both will offer a 5x digital zoom, a feature that is technically new but that can be added to an “old” iPhone by way of a handful of apps sold through the App Store. The rear camera on the iPhone 4 has an LED flash that can also help illuminate subjects during video shooting.

The front-facing camera makes it easier to take self portraits. More importantly, it allows for FaceTime, the iPhone’s new video chatting capability. Video chat has been available on computers and home phones for ages, via Skype or a Grandstream phone, for example. But it feels more accessible having that capability in the palm of your hand. The coolest part: Users can swap between showing their video chat partner the view from the front-facing camera and the view from the back.

Initially, at least, FaceTime video chatting will only work over wifi (at least in the USA). That’s unfortunate for users but a huge relief to AT&T executives whose 3G network is already overtaxed by iPhone data usage. Expect to see a lot of ads featuring FaceTime that aim to make grandparents everywhere feel guilty about not being around to watch their grandchildren grow up.

As for the video capability, the iPhone 4 shoots in 720p HD at 30 frames per second. Apple is developing a new iMovie app (hmmm . . . wonder if that one will get
approved) that will allow for more complex video editing than what is currently on the 3Gs.

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

New screen

The screen on the iPhone 4 is absolutely amazing. The so-called Retina Display boasts pixels that are a mere 78 micrometers wide, which is a fair bit smaller than the naked human eye can see. 326 of these pixels squeeze into a single square inch of the screen.

The iPhone 4 screen will be the highest resolution of any smartphone screen on the market. For Spot Cool Stuff, the new screen is in itself a reason to buy an iPhone 4.

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iPhone OS

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?The iPhone 4 will run on a new OS that will itself have dozens of feature improvements. The one Spot Cool Stuff is most thankful for: Folders. We have so many apps on our iPhone that it has become unwieldy to scroll through screens hunting for them. In the new OS, apps can be organized into thematic folders—one for games, another for utilities, another for travel apps, etc.

Also new: multitasking! Can we get an amen? No longer will you have to jailbreak your iPhone to keep your music player playing while you check your email or check in on your eBay auctions, for instance.

We also love that the new built-in Mail program will allow for a single unified inbox. Currently, iPhone users have to check each of their mail accounts separately.

Take note iPhone 3G and 3Gs users: After June 20th you will be able to upgrade to the new OS free of change via the Apple App Store. Most of the features (such as the improved Mail program) will be available to you. Indications are that multitasking will only work on the 3Gs, not the 3G.

Gyroscope and Accelerometer

Anyone who has an iPhone (or iPod Touch) already knows how well the device can detect side-to-side movements. Well, the iPhone 4 has a built-in three-axis gyroscope that can also sense back-to-front tilting motions. Further, it has an accelerometer that can detect how fast these movements are made.

What benefits does this have to iPhone 4 users? First, it means that the iPhone should do better at not switching between landscape and portrait modes when you don’t want it to. Second, it should make for a more accurate compass (the one on the 3Gs is of dubious use). Third, and most of all, it should open all sorts of new possibilities in the realm of gaming. The iPhone 4 could almost double as a Wii controller. Or maybe there will be new flying simulator games that allow for climbing and diving based on the iPhone’s angle. We can’t wait to see how app developers will make use of this new feature.

Stronger, faster, thinner

The new iPhone is faster, thanks to the inclusion of a lightening quick A4 processor. It is also 24% thinner than the 3Gs—9.3mm (or 0.37 inches) thin. However the coolest new feature is the new type of glass that’s designed specifically to bend without cracking. This strong glass is used to coat the back of the iPhone 4 as well as the front screen.

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

Is it worth upgrading to the iPhone 4?

In a word: Absolutely!

There are only three initial disappointments we have with the new iPhone 4:

    The battery life. The iPhone 4′s battery is 40% more powerful than that on the woefully underpowered 3Gs. But 40% of not much is still not so much.

    • The new iPhone is a finger print magnet. It is very worthwhile buying an invisibleShield for the iPhone 4 (as it is for all the previous iPhones).

    AT&T is still the exclusive provider of iPhone service in the United States . . . at least for the next few months.

But in the larger scheme those are relatively minor complaints. The better camera + the brighter screen + video chatting + slimmer form factor + more durable body + all the other extras make the iPhone 4 a runaway winner.

The new iPhone 4 ships June 24th. You can pre-order starting on June 15. The subsidized AT&T price will be $200 for the 16GB version and $300 for the 32GB.

If you already have an iPhone through AT&T log onto their website and click on “check upgrade options” on your account overview page; you may be eligible for the subsidized price even if your original two-year contract hasn’t expired yet.

published: 7 June 2010
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

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iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?Related posts:
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iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading? iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?


iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?

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Read more cool iPhone reviews and articles

iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?
iphone  The New Apple iPhone 4—Worth Upgrading?


Responses

  1. logan says:

    November 12th, 2010at 11:59 am(#)

    good review. like my new 4. feels nicer, looks better, the reception is great for me. i love the facetime it helps me keep in touch with my partner and several clients who like to facetime. the processor is faster and it takes better pics and better video. love my new unlocked phones. simple to navigate around and emailing and texting isn’t too bad. my daughter and wife loves theirs for the facebook and games, also the aps are great for everyone. much better than my unlocked htc phones. the wifi and gps are great for my business and the fantasy football is easy to use. the speaker phone is loud and the touch screen is responsive. got my blackberry unlock codes and htc unlocking for free too for my wife and son. got our last couple 4?s at unlockthatphone.com 2 thumbs way up

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. jordan thompson says:

    October 4th, 2010at 12:55 am(#)

    this is jordan age:15 here and i am the nephew of robert thompson who you should know?.. this was a great review and im loving the idea of the iphone 4.. great review and keep more coming!

    [Reply to this comment]

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