6 July 2010 | Team Tamar

IPhone 4: Likes and dislikes

As you may have heard by now, Apple has launched their latest iPhone incarnation. Launched a couple of weeks ago as iPhone 4G, it has quickly become known as iPhone 4. The 4G element denotes 4th generation and not 4G Network as a lot of people initially believed. Note it doesn’t have 4G capabilities.

Iphone 4

Things I like:

1. More powerful: It has a 1 GHz capable CPU (called A4 if you are really interested). Based on the clock speed the CPU is able to achieve, the new phone should be more powerful by a factor of almost two, compared to the 3GS. However research has shown that it is only 31 percent faster, which is good enough for me mind. I wonder if there’s scope to write an app to speed up the phone’s clock speed, as it is actually currently running at a slower clock speed to have a decent battery life…
2. Ability to multi-task: Everybody hates waiting for apps to load up when switching between apps. Now, there’s no waiting.
3. Folders: You can now group apps into folders, which is really useful if you have lots of apps. Instead of having apps with a common theme, spread across pages, you can now group them all into a single folder.
4. Replaceable battery: To replace a battery, it’s now apparently simply case of unscrewing two Phillips screws on the bottom steel frame, to access the Li-Polymer cell.
5. Longer lasting battery: It’s been reported as having a surprisingly decent battery for a smart phone. Some people have said that the phone now lasts twice as long. Any improvement here from the previous model is a big plus for me.
6. Front facing camera: Even though it’s a VGA camera at the front, it’s now so much easier to take pictures of yourself against various backdrops and people. It’s nice to take self pics without looking like you are about to drop an expensive phone, as you fumble for that non tactile button.
7. A display that is four times sharper than previous models: At 960 x 640-pixels, the iPhone 4 is sharper and more vibrant than the iPad’s display. This is especially useful when using an iPhone as an eBook.
8. It’s not more expensive: You can pick one up for the same price as the previous model. It seems improved manufacturing technique, possibly from a simpler design and a strong brand mass market, has enabled the price to remain unchanged.

Things I don’t like

1. It’s a heavier phone: Nobody likes lugging heavy objects in their pockets. However, I can probably forgive Apple for this, given that it’s now a smaller and more robust (scratch-resistant) phone.
2. Memory capacity hasn’t improved: It’s still 16-32 GB. I think it’s a bit backward for Apple not to include a micro SD slot, or increase the memory capacity. When you consider a growing number of memory hungry apps, this will become more of an issue for some iPhone users in the future.
3. It has a dodgy aerial: This has been widely reported, so I won’t ramble about this. Apparently, the iPhone signal is significantly degraded if you cover the bottom left side of the phone. This is not supposed to be an issue if you are right-handed.  I’m right handed, but take phone calls with my left hand, so this is a problem for me. I bet Apple regrets lauding this ‘clever’ external aerial design now, given that it doesn’t actually work.


Iphone 4

4. Micro Sim: Erm, why do I need a smaller sim which is incompatible with everything else?  I think this has a lot to do with Apple wanting you to use your sim card exclusively for iPhone 4…

From the above lists, there are more things I like than things I don’t like about this new iPhone. If you own a 3GS and upgrade to the latest Operating System OS4, you will reap some of the benefits of the new iPhone 4.

With the imminent release of 1.5Ghz in the Smartphone market, I suspect it won’t be long before iPhone 4GS makes an appearance (Or is it iPhone 4S ?), with a fix for that dodgy aerial. If you don’t have an iPhone 4 yet, it might be worth waiting just a bit longer.

Team Tamar