After a short and delayed wait back in Melbourne, my phone provider finally sent me my new iPhone 4 on a new contract! I got myself the 32GB model (as you don’t pay anything for the phone) along with a timeless plan (allows me to call an unlimited amount of national numbers). Some unboxing and comparison pictures here with the older model…
It got sent with the free rubber casing to protect the phone from the infamous “DEATH GRIP!” as you may have heard. I’ll talk about the signal issue later on…
Slick new phone comes in a nice little box with new ear phones (needed new ones, my old ones have lasted me for two years and while they’re still usable, they’ve “decomposed” quite a bit! It starts with the rubber rings around the ear pieces followed by either the cap on the ear piece breaking and coming off (what happened to my iPod ear phones) or the rubber rings, which shield the area where the cables are attached to the ear piece, tearing…
A charger and USB cable are also provided along the nice packaging that is typical of Apple. Apple stickers are also included, but NO CLEANING CLOTH! I found it quite useful as it would clean the dust and smudges off the device quite efficiently. Oh well, I won’t return the device just because they didn’t provide it.
The new phone is flatter than its predecessor and more squared. I have heard mixed opinions of how it holds in your hand. I actually like the feel of it. I believe it is only slightly heavier than its predecessor (by a few grams), but fits nicely in your palm. I think the flattened sides of the phone allow you get a better hold of the phone and even if you hold it with three fingers like I do most of the time (thumb, index and middle on three ends), you feel like you’ve got a firm grip on it.
If you compare the screen of the iPhone 4 with the iPhone 3G (my previous model) you’ll be able to see the difference in sharpness and brightness. Apple definitely have a point in promoting their new retina display. The appearance of text and colour on the new display is quite impressive. Some other points worth mentioning include:
- Battery Life: I have noticed that the battery life on the phone has improved. Even though I still have my habit of sticking it in its dock every night before I go to bed, I notice that the battery level does not drop as much as my old phone. I also believe that I seem to be running more things on the new phone during the day, which may chew through more of the battery than usual. There has definitely been improvement in that area.
- Operation Speeds: With the release of iOS4, I have noticed that my old phone was starting to slow down. Working the new phone in comparison has been great as the upgraded hardware has sped up the opening, closing and processing times of the applications.
- New Operating System Features: As the previous model I had was the iPhone 3G, I had the opportunity to look into the multi-tasking feature and background wallpaper functionality. I am having a bit of trouble with the multi-tasking at the moment. Some programs like Skype and Windows Live Messenger keep me logged in even after I return to the home screen and despite being able to simply sign out of Skype, I have on occasion forgotten numerous times to do so.
- Nike + iPod: I’m thinking of buying the Nike sensor and using my phone to assist me in my exercising, has anyone tried it? Any good?
- Camera: The new phone has a front and back camera. I have had the opportunity to try both, I will post pictures of the front camera in another upcoming post soon (will link it to this page). The front camera is a new feature that allows for video chat. I have not been able to try out FaceTime (the video chat interface developed by Apple) yet, but will do so eventually. Handling the camera has been great, the software has been improved, is a lot more responsive thanks to the upgraded hardware and allows you to take pictures in quick succession. I have yet to take a high definition video clip and view it on my computer. Will get to that soon as well.
- The DEATH GRIP: Apple has been dealing with the issue of bad signal quality when you grip the phone with your bare hands. This is because they have made the gamble to turn the entire outer metal rim on the side into an antenna. To solve the issue, they gave out free rubber casings to protect the metal from human flesh. While this problem has caused some consumers to shy away from the product, I would like to mention that it is not a problem that is plaguing all phones. I myself have not seen this happen with my phone or any of the phones my friends have obtained recently as well. The phone calls I have made so far have been crystal clear and have not dropped out either.
Overall, I am happy about the new phone. I can say a lot more things about it, but I think what has been written above are the essentials for now. If you’re wanting to know more about my experience with the phone, leave a comment. I have just about finished setting up the device (transferring all the applications from the previous phone). Just a bit more data transfer and the old phone can be opened and equipped with the SIM card for my Malaysian (or Austrian mobile phone number)…