Friday, June 25, 2010

Review of iPhone 4 and iOS4

The friendly FedEx driver dropped of a highly anticipated package yesterday just before the 3PM deadline.  It was my new iPhone 4.  Several folks have asked about my opinions on it so here goes.

First off, if you have a 1st generation iPhone or a 3G, you can skip the rest of this review and just head down to your local Apple or AT&T store to try to get your hands on one.  You are now in the dark ages of iPhonery.

I was still on my first iPhone, a 3G which I've been using for two years, so this was my initial experience with migrating to new hardware.  It was a breeze.  Apple obviously has this right and the only delay was in getting the final activation from AT&T, which took about 15 minutes.  The migration is absolutely flawless--it even remembered what web page I had up on Safari. All of my settings are exactly as I had them on my 3G, except it added a new "lock" screen image and the Compass app.

I had upgraded my 3G to iOS4 last week.  The new OS is a much a part of the iPhone advance as the hardware of the 4, but it caused my 3G to run very sluggishly, almost to the point of being useless.  The 1st Gen iPhone will not run the new OS at all. My suggestion to those who plan to keep their old devices is not to upgrade to the new OS.  But the primary suggestion here is that you need to move to the 4.

If you have a 3GS and have not upgraded to iOS4, do so right away.  You'll love it.

When I unpacked my new iPhone 4 it was obvious right away it was a bit heavier.  Not clumsily so, but noticeable.  I think it must be the new longer-life battery that has added the weight.  In your hand it's also thinner on the edges as well as a bit so on the width, sort of like the Gen 1.  It feels good in your hand, very substancial, like a quality device.

The Retina display is fabulous, all that it has been puffed up to be.  But honestly, like most quality improvements, you don't really notice it after a short time.  I'm sure I would notice the difference if I had to go back to my 3G.  Looking at a book in iBooks, the text is crisp and readable.  Images look stunning but this is still a small device so nothing earth shattering here.

The new camera is great.  Users of the 1st Gen and 3G in particular will immediately notice no shutter lag time. The new zoom feature is great, and the focus select is new for me since I didn't move to the 3GS.  The image here was my first shot taken with my new phone.  I'm very happy with it,  plus it has an LED flash for low light situations.

Like any new iPhone, there are a lot of little things that have improved with the device, as with the new iOS4.  I'll let you enjoy those little surprises on your own.  But for me this is a major improvement and I cannot recommend it too highly.  A great device.

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