Living with the iPhone 4

Hello dear reader. So I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a week now and I thought that after the excitement of the Apple Store line, the pleasure of un-boxing and setting up, it was time to share my thoughts on the device.

I’d had my much-loved iPhone 3G for two years, so the advent of iOS4 made it an ideal time to upgrade to the latest version, particularly because many of the iOS4 features wouldn’t operate on my old 3G.

Holding iPhone4 in the hand is a sublime experience. The glass screen and back are so smooth to the touch that together with the overall weight of the phone, it makes simply holding iPhone 4 somehow satisfying. Strange you may think but perhaps you have to feel it to appreciate what I mean. I have quickly got used to the flat back and slightly angular sides (compared to the 3G) and the metal buttons on the metal sides are more direct and feel more solid in use.

In day to day use iPhone 4 is certainly faster, due in no small part to the faster chip and more RAM. It may be an illusion but the 3G and WiFi network speeds are faster as well. Another thing which particularly impresses me is the superb high resolution screen. Much has been made of the Retina Display containing more pixels than the eye can detect; whatever, the result is that your view the icons and text is “pixel free”, i.e. you can’t see the pixels at all! Battery life seems good too, although I haven’t carried out any tests yet.

Other highlights for me include the 5 megapixel camera. At last iPhone has a camera which I will enjoy using, the old one just didn’t take pictures I wanted to keep; now that has changed and I anticipate taking many more photographs using my “best camera” (the best camera, as everyone knows, is the camera you have on you when you need one!). The HD video looks good too, I’ve wanted to dabble in video for some time but have not been able to justify purchasing a video camera since my old VHS “brick” expired many years ago. So, look out for some “home movies” appearing here in the near future!

There’s also been much talk about the real benefits of folders and multitasking. I spent a couple of hours sorting everything into folders which means I currently have just two pages of Apps. Neat. I’ve also found multitasking very useful, especially since I had to reconfigure quite a few Apps on the new phone. This meant dipping in and out of my password manager (1Password) for login details, etc. (My memory isn’t what it was!). Being able to switch back and forth using multitasking with copy & paste was a real boon, this wouldn’t have been possible with third party apps before.

Cons. There have to be some cons, right? Well frankly not many. I have been able to replicate the “Antenna Problem” by bridging the gaps in the metal surround, however I personally don’t hold my phone like that so it’s not much of a problem for me. It’s still something Apple should resolve though. The only other complaint I have is that I have to be careful where I put iPhone 4 down. Place it on the slightest incline, such as one’s knee when seated, or a sofa arm and – presumably because of the low drag coefficient of the smooth glass back – it almost immediately starts to slide downhill. Rest assured it has only fallen off the sofa arm once!

So there endeth the lesson according to this Apple fan. Biased? Probably. Smitten by the iPhone 4? Definitely.

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