The i-Phone 4G will be released tomorrow in the UK. With that in mind, we thought that we should give our opinion on whether business mobile phone users should be taking the afternoon off to queue up to get hold of the latest and greatest smartphone from Apple.
The i-phone 4 is a tiny bit thinner from its left to its right edge, because of this you can stand the phone on it’s side to take pictures and shoot videos.
This i-phone is smooth – it’s stainless steel strip casing does look beautiful and it feels a good weight and sits in the hand nicely. The flat body is only 9.3 millimeters thin, 24% thinner than the i-phone 3GS.
It’s also fairly lighweight at 4.8 ounces, just 0.1 ounces heavier than the iPhone 3GS. The SIM card slot now sits on the side of the phone rather than on the top and it’s now a micro SIM slot.
There is also a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on the front and the back of the phone.
The camera on the back of the phone has a bright LED flash that you can have on or off. volume can be controlled by 2 small metal buttons for louder and quieter, but the Hold and Silence switches are pretty much the same as on the i-phone 3GS.
There is also noise cancellation thanks to a second mic on the top of the phone. There are 3 antennas running around the phone which are integrated into the strengthened stainless steel band that runs around the edge of the phone.
It is hoped that this new design will aid call quality which has been widely criticised on the original and 3GS i-phones.
A major improvement of the iPhone 4 is it’s 960×640 screen. It’s got 326 pixels per inch – they are tiny – only 78 micrometers wide. That’s 4 times as many pixels as on the i-phone 3GS – the picture is just incredible – if it can cope with streaming better then they are definitely onto a winner here.
Everything looks sharp and crisp on this, including the text – even when you zoom in the text still looks nice and smooth.
iOS 4 will automatically optimize the text in all apps for this screen so it is not necessary to change your apps images if you are a developer, although apparently it will make for a better user experience if you do so.
The i-phone 4 has a great camera with a 800:1 contrast ratio, four times better than the iPhone 3GS.
IPS technology in the screen gives the business mobile phone user a wide viewing angle, which is a nice feature but possibly not quite as good as the OLED technology on some android phones such as the HTC Desire.
Apple claim that the i-phone 4G’s screen will be stronger and more durable than ever with the glass also being much more scratch resistant.
The i-phone 4 has a screen resolution that is above the threshold of pixels that the human eye can make out (about 300 pixels per inch). It is set at 326 pixels per inch so Apple have labelled the screen ‘retina display’ – as mentioned above it is extremely good and clear.
Apple’s new A4 chip powers the iPhone 4, this is the same kind of chip as they have inside the iPad. The apps opened and closed quickly which made the iPhone 4 feel fast and responsive.
With a larger battery Apple claim that you can have up to 7 hours of talk time (a 40 percent increase), 6 hours of 3G browsing or 10 hours over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, or 30 hours of standby.
The iPhone 4 also has a three-axis gyroscope that senses the phone’s pitch, roll, and yaw so should be great for gaming and also a range of other apps that use movement sensors.
iPhone 4 comes in 16GB and 32GB only and is priced in the US at the same levels as the i-phone 3GS. So pricing will probably follow suit in the UK.
There is a 5MP camera on the back, a VGA camera on the front allows self-portraits and FaceTime calls. You can also make HD video’s on the phone, in 720p at 30 frames per second.
Using the camera is very simple with the touchscreen. You just tap the area that should be in focus, both for still shots and for video.
The LED flash can be on or off, it seems pretty bright, and can provide continuous illumination while you’re recording a video.
The front-facing camera is VGA 640×480, and Apple says it’s been “tuned for FaceTime” with a field of view and focal length appropriate for focusing on a face at arm’s length. You can take self-portraits with the front-facing camera too, but with this functionality you cannot use the tap-to-focus and flash capabilities.
You can edit images with the Camera’s app. You can also record video into a new MMS message in the Messages app, plus attach video to an email or send it right to YouTube and MobileMe.
But with Apple’s iMovie app you can also combine video clips you shot with iPhone 4 photos, and music to create little movies.
The controls are not at all intrusive, the phone easily switches between portrait and landscape, you can record video straight into the timeline, and if you use theme transitions and then switch themes, all the transitions are updated to the new theme.
Apple i-phone 4’s video calling (Facetime) is only available on Wifi for now, but it’s built in and easy to execute right from the Contacts list, or during a current phone call—as long as your colleague/clientt also has an iPhone 4. The other person has to accept the request, but there’s no setup or screen names or anything.
As there are two cameras you can easily switch from a picture of your face (in the new front-facing VGA camera) to what you’re seeing when you switch to the rear-facing 5-megapixel camera. It works in portrait or landscape.
They are making FaceTime’s protocol an open standard, though, so a lot is possible. In the photos on Apple.com, the FaceTime button takes the place of the Hold button when the iPhone is mid-call.
The iPhone 4 are all running iOS 4, this new upgrade to the software has numerous benefits such as better multi-tasking and a great app-switching interface, and newly revealed software audio controller that works with any background audio app, not just the iPod app. Here is a summary of the upgrade.
Apple flips the switch on its iAds business July 1, so get ready to see a lot of ads coming to your favorite iOS 4-optimized apps.
iAds are tagged as such, hopefully to entice you to click them, since doing so keeps you inside the app instead of kicking you out to a web browser to view a web ad.
Overall the i-phone 4 is a beautiful new upgrade that we think will be extremelly popular – all of the weaknesses of the i-phone seem to have been addressed and done well.
The high points of the phone are the Retina display screen, which is definitely the clearesest screen we’ve seen on a handheld device, and there is a great deal of technology within the phone as well as the extended battery life which will make the phone a lot more useful for business mobile phones users who use a lot of media.