Apple iPhone 4


The iPhone 4 is no small thing to review. As most readers of Engadget are well aware, in the gadget world a new piece of Apple hardware is a major event, preceded by rumors, speculation, an over-the-top announcement, and finally days, weeks, or months of anticipation from an ever-widening fan base. The iPhone 4 is certainly no exception in fact, it may be Apple's most successful launch yet, despite some bumps on the road. We've already seen Apple and AT&T's servers overloaded on the first day of pre-orders, the ship date for the next set of phones pushed back due to high demand, and die-hard fans in line outside of Apple locations a week before the phone is actually available. It's a lot to live up to, and the iPhone 4 is doing its best with features like a super-fast A4 CPU. By now you should know that iPhone 4 has an all-new display, as well. Apple is calling the LED backlit, 960 x 640 IPS screen the "Retina Display" due to its high resolution and pixel density. At the same 3.5-inches as the older screens, the new display manages an insane 326ppi pixel density along with an 800:1 contrast ratio. Steve made a huge point about the science behind this technology during his keynote, claiming that the resolution of the screen essentially tops what is perceivable by the human eye. There have been some debates as to whether or not this argument holds water, but we can tell you this: to our eyes, there has never been a more detailed, clear, or viewable screen on any mobile device. The cameras on the new iPhone are going to be a topic of much debate, since this has been an area where Apple has been slow to innovate. The 3GS sported a measly three megapixel shooter with few bells and whistles (and no flash), and while it was fine for quick snaps, it wasn't an artist's tool by any means. The company finally seems to be listening to a public that's interested in leaving the point-and-shoot at home in favor of a phone with a capable camera, by adding a five megapixel shooter to the backside of the iPhone 4 and a VGA camera up front. Let's first take a look at the higher-res main camera. At his WWDC keynote, Jobs said that getting great looking images wasn't just about upping the camera's megapixels, but had more to do with grabbing more photons. Increase the photon count, let more light in, and your images will look better, the thought goes. So Apple's using a newer backside-illuminated sensor that's more sensitive to light in addition to upping those megapixels -- and we must say, pictures on the iPhone 4 look stunning. Our shots looked good right out of the gate, with few problems when it came to focusing or low light. With the flash on, we managed decent if somewhat blown out results (fairly common with smaller LED flashes) though impressively, the iPhone 4 was usually able to take completely useable and even handsome photos in fairly low light without the flash. It seems like that photon situation is definitely in play, because even shots taken in fairly dark lighting came out looking good. Autofocus worked well in most situations, and we were actually able to get some impressive looking macro shots (see the flowers and Penny below). In general, we'd have no trouble using the iPhone 4's camera as a stand-in for a dedicated camera. Not only did it take beautiful shots, but the A4 and iOS 4 combo have considerably sped up the time it takes to snap pictures it's now almost instantaneous. Otherwise, you have options for a 5x digital zoom (which produces results that look like a digital zoom) and basic on / off / auto settings for the flash. It's pretty bare bones, and we wouldn't have minded a few basic options like white balance settings but c'mon, this is Apple we're talking about. Luckily, the App Store is chock full of applications that improve upon the stock camera app. Most striking about the iPhone 4 is its new design. While the front is classic iPhone with its single piece of glass, single button, and symmetrical black bezel, the back has moved away from the curves of old to be replaced by a completely flat sheet of aluminosilicate-toughened glass (what do you mean you haven't heard of it?!). Combined with the new flat stainless steel sides, this gives the phone a particularly industrial, minimalist look and feel that is sure to split opinion even more than existing iPhones have. If you didn't know anything about video calling, Apple would definitely have you convinced that they just up and invented the concept based on never-aired Jetsons footage judged too futuristic for TV. Of course, the truth is that in lots of other places (and even in the US to an extent), smartphone video calling isn't exactly a new thing. In fact, in much of Europe and Asia, this technology is old hat. But Apple isn't going to let a little thing like facts get in the way of a good marketing play, and in their (slight) defense, no one's effectively brought video calling to the masses just yet. (One of our European editors says that he's gone ten years without seeing anyone make a video call in his neck of the woods.) While this may be an unscientific perspective, it suggests that it's not enough to just have the tech the feature needs to be sold to people. The battery life on the iPhone 4 has been outstanding thus far, exceeding our expectations for longevity during testing. We've only had a short time to use the phone, but in the week or so we've been carrying the device as our main phone, we've had pretty amazing results under normal to heavy use. In fact, we managed to squeeze more than 38 hours -- yes, 38 hours of life out of a single charge using the phone as we normally would. We're talking calls, some gaming, lots of push email and calendar invites, playing music over Bluetooth in the car, and just general testing (like downloading new apps, rearranging icons, tweaking settings). We went from 10:30AM on a Saturday morning till 1:00AM on Monday without needing to charge the phone. Of course, it switched itself off just after the clock struck 1, but it was thrilling like that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer and the car salesman see how far they can get in a car with the tank on E. Sitcom references aside, the battery life seems markedly improved in the iPhone 4, and why not? It's got a much larger battery coupled with that iPad-powering A4, which has already shown that it can sip rather than gulp power. The iPhone 4 is a terrific package. It offers major upgrades over the 3GS in the areas of display, camera, speed, and battery. If you don’t have an iPhone, or have the original iPhone or iPhone 3G, this is probably a must-have upgrade especially since it runs iOS 4 and takes advantage of its many excellent features.



Price in USA $397

Price in UK £269

Price in EURO €290

Price in PAK Rs.43,500

Price in INDIA Rs.23,500


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