Axew's iPhone 4 (GSM) review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by chris888222, May 31, 2011.

May 31, 2011
  1. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Well, I'm also itching to do this... So let's get this over with. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/happy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="^_^" border="0" alt="happy.gif" />

    <b>NOTE: This is a review for the GSM model... I have no idea about the CDMA sets.</b>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;"><!--sizeo:5--><span style="font-size:18pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->iPhone 4 review<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></div><!--h-->
    <img src="http://osxdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/iphone-4-pricing2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">What is the iPhone 4?</div><!--h-->
    <p align=" " class="none">The iPhone 4 is a touchscreen smartphone developed by Apple. It is the fourth generation of iPhone, and successor to the iPhone 3GS. The main difference between the iPhone 4 and its predecessors is the new design, which uses a somewhat metallic frame and also acts as the device's antenna. The internal components of the device are situated between two panels of chemically strengthened aluminosilicate glass. It has an Apple A4 processor and 512 MB of eDRAM, twice that of the iPhone 3GS. It also boasts a 3.5-inch LED backlit LCD with a 960×640 pixel resolution, also popularly known and marketed as the "Retina Display", which the iPhone 3GS doesn't have.</p>

    Credits to wiki for this one <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">What I liked/disliked about the iPhone 4</div><!--h-->
    <p align=" " class="none">Of course... I have my own likes and dislikes about this phone. Let me list them out first and then give a further breakdown.</p>

    <b>What I <i>liked</i>:</b><ul><li>The 'Retina Display'</li><li>New Metallic Feel</li><li>The Overall Design</li><li>Organised OS</li><li>Easy-to-use</li></ul>

    <b>What I <u>disliked</u>:</b>
    <ul><li>Poor Camera/Video Performance (compared to other phones)</li><li>Everything opens as 'apps'</li><li>Fragility of the phone</li><li>Known 'antennagate' issues</li><li>No 3G video calls</li><li>Laggy Safari and buggy facebook!</li><li>Very, very little third-party system support</li><li>No SD/MicroSD slot</li><li>Accepts only MicroSIM cards</li><li>Relies a lot on the internet and iTunes</li></ul>

    I will hence separate this review into sections:
    <ol type='1'><li>Hardware Design</li><li>iOS</li><li>Camera/Video performance</li><li>Call quality</li><li>Applications</li><li>Price</li><li>Conclusion and final verdict</li></ol>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">1. Hardware Design</div><!--h-->
    <img src="http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/iphone-4-uk-price6.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <p align=" " class="none">I have to say, the iPhone 4 was one of the most <b>classy and beautiful</b> phones which I have used. It isn't cheap, but it doesn't feel cheap either. The metallic (or rather Stainless Steel) borders of the iPhone 4 make a huge difference and not only looks sleek and gives the user a better grip, but also makes the phone feel solid rather than some cheap plastic. However, phone being solid also means a heavier phone. The iPhone 4, weighing 137 grams, is one of the heaviest phones I've used up-to-date.

    Apple has also made a horrible mistake to have the antenna in the metallic borders, arising to an 'antennagate' issue. <b>'Antennagate issue' basically means that the phone signal will drop <i>drastically</i> when a particular spot of the phone is being held at.</b>

    <img src="http://techstreet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/antennagate.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    <img src="http://www.techinfo-4u.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/iphone-reception-pc-0867-rm-eng.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Weird though, I had no such problems of bad reception holding my iPhone in a particular position (no case at all). Same goes for other phones. However I dislike this fact as some of my friends said to me, "what for get a sh**ty phone worth S$1000 which has such an issue?" It just feels so odd getting your phone at launch with these comments... However you'll get used to them soon enough. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

    One more part I dislike about the design is the glass backing and front. Apple claims that the aero-glass is "Chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic". Well, it doesn't seem as such. Yes, it doesn't break when you first drop it... but remember, <b>no matter the chemical technology or nuclear fissions or whatever, <u>glass is still glass</u></b>, it will still break. Hence, I don't really like it. It does add to the sleekness, but also to the weight. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/frown.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="frown.gif" />

    No MicroSD slot as well to extend the memory... Hmph! Smart Apple. Wants you to get the 32GB version I suppose?

    Also, one thing which is absolutely annoying is that the iPhone 4 uses a MicroSIM card rather than an ordinary one. I need to pay additional SGD 20 for a MicroSIM and an additional SGD 45 for an adapter for the SIM to work on other phones. In addition, almost nowhere sells MicroSIM prepaid cards... unless the shop offers to cut the ordinary SIM to fit the iPhone 4 (which is apparently my case).

    Credits to Engadget and various Independent sites for these images. </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">2. The Apple iOS</div><!--h-->
    <img src="http://i.testfreaks.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/ios4.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <p align=" " class="none">The iPhone 4 comes shipped with at least on iOS 4 firmware, and latest ones come shipped with iOS 4.3.3. The iOS is solely made by Apple, and in fact it has quite a few great things about it.

    Firstly, I like the iOS's organisation. The iOS is catered to iPods/iPads/iPhones alike and they share a common row of icons and preloaded apps. Hence, it is very neat and well organised. Just one page and I can already see all my basic apps such as Messages, Camera or Phone.

    Secondly, I like the neatness of the iOS. The iOS allows you to organize your downloaded apps into folders (and even auto-names them!) by just simply dragging the app you want with another app. If you are unhappy with the given name, you can as easily rename it. All apps are also packed in one, like 'clock' having the world clock, stopwatch, alarms and timer and 'phone' having the dial pad, call log, contacts etc.

    Finally, as the iOS is solely made by Apple, it should also be considered (at least a little) safer than firmwares of other companies. Maybe lesser virus attacks when you accidentally head into a malicious site? <i>NOTE: This is debatable though, there is no given evidence that the iOS is indeed safer.</i>

    Of course, I also dislike the iOS for one main reason. <b>Every single thing opens up as apps and they cannot be closed by simply pushing the 'home' button</b>. Open an app? Sure! But pressing the 'home' button doesn't close the app but just leaves it to standby. The more apps being opened/on standby, the more it will affect the battery performance after a single charge. The correct way to 'close' your apps is to double-press the home button till you see the multitask bar, press and hold any icon until it wiggles, then tap the dash at the corner of each app to close it fully. Also, the iOS doesn't support true multitasking... what a bummer.

    Many apps on the iPhone are also dependent on 3G/Wi-Fi connectivity. Want to use the GPS? Sure, you need 3G. There is no satellite or whatever on your iPhone. Weather, Stocks and many others won't load when there is no internet connectivity. If they could make it as such that these apps will show the previous recordings instead of always the latest, it could actually be better (Like XE Currency for iPhone). </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">3. iPhone 4 Camera/Video performance</div><!--h-->
    <img src="http://images.fonearena.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/iphone-4-camera.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <p align=" " class="none">The iPhone 4 features more than the iPhone 3GS, and one of the obvious ones are the enhanced camera and video support. The iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, together with HD video recording, compared to the 3GS's 3.2 megapixel with no flash at all. Oh, and the iPhone 4 also features a front-facing camera at 0.3 megapixels, same as the one on the Nintendo 3DS.

    It is a really nice upgrade... but considering the current phones today (and even at that time), 5 megapixels may seem a little lackluster. In fact, the iPhone 4 uses a digital zoom for the camera; and images get really blurry after a 3X zoom. However, without the zoom on, the images look pretty good (even at 5mp) <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" /> The flash however isn't really powerful enough and only concentrates more on a certain area. Bad third-party cases also may <i>reflect</i> the flash and cause your images to have weird halos and light streaks (I have experienced this before).

    Video recording is a little disappointing. It cannot zoom and the quality of them seem to not even match HD 720p. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/frown.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="frown.gif" />

    The front-facing camera of the iPhone 4 can be used to take snapshots of yourself and also for video chat (facetime, under call quality). However, like the 3DS, the images are grainy and not really top-notch. The front of the iPhone does have an ambient light sensor though, hence say goodbye to those lighting issues for the front cam. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":lol:" border="0" alt="laugh.gif" /> </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">4. Call qualities</div><!--h-->

    <p align=" " class="none">The iPhone 4 has an 'antennagate' issue alright, but excluding that, how is the call quality?

    Normal calls are great; I called using my phone and the calls were always crystal clear. Very good, very good indeed. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" />

    Now, the iPhone 4 offers a new feature of calling which was not in the 3GS. You've guessed it... Facetime.
    <img src="http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/iphone-4-face-time.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I have used Facetime before and I have to say, call quality was overall very good. Although the video is grainy (expect that on a VGA sensor), at least voice is crystal clear.

    Two massive downsides to Facetime, however, is that it doesn't work on 3G (only Wi-Fi) and only calls to other iPhones/iPads rather than other phones. (Now you know why in the contacts list there is an 'iPhone' column and a 'mobile' column.) No video calls in 3G really ruins the experience as well... I can only use this at home or outside in a cafe where there is free Wi-Fi access. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/frown.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="frown.gif" /> </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">5. Applications</div><!--h-->
    <div align='center'><img src="http://cdn.funkyspacemonkey.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/iphone-apps.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>
    <p align=" " class="none">There are more than 150,000 apps on the AppStore for downloads. Most of them I find really short and somewhat a waste of time. However, be sure to check out promotional apps though... Some apps may be free for a limited time and many others on sale! Average app prices are about US$2.99, many are free (short ones like lite versions or with ads).

    Here, I will mainly talk about Apple's safari, Facebook and the overall of the minigame apps.

    Safari is the default iPhone browser and it suffers from a few noticeable things. It sometimes doesn't load pages fully, lacks flash support (caused me to panic for a project when an important page with flash couldn't open) and also lags. <i>For quick and casual use, safari is actually pretty good</i>. I can easily check prices for admission, bank opening hours and whatever I need quick on-the-go. <b>For long term use and projects however, safari can be a bit of a pain</b>. Lacking flash support is one of the main things to note when using long term. You will realize that many animated pages will not open as well as many videos (YouTube an exception). Last time I had a group project and the my whole webpage on the aquarium couldn't open up as there's just too much animation.

    Facebook on the iPhone is a popular option for on-the-go social networking... However it suffers from numerous bugs. Sometimes I need to login twice, sometimes doesn't show my online friends, sometimes doesn't let me logout... Many IRCs and free social apps suffer from such bugs. Paying a little for an enhanced third-party facebook app solves all the bug problems, but yes, you need to pay.

    Many games, although short and many a waste of money, work beautifully on the iPhone 4. Angry Birds suffered no lag on the iPhone 4 and graphics are pretty decent. Other games working well also included Fruit Ninja. The fruits were pretty colorful (thanks to the 'Retina Display') and the app overall also suffers from no lag. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> </p>

    <!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">6. Price</div><!--h-->
    <p align=" " class="none">The iPhone's pricepoint varies with region. With the US selling it for US$499 onwards without a contract with AT&T, it is <i>considered the most expensive phone you can ever get</i>. Singapore is selling the iPhone 4 16GB at SGD 480 with a 2 year contract with any carrier, however there are phones (particularly the SE Xperia Play and Xperia Arc) which are even more expensive than the iPhone 4.

    But generally, many ask, is the iPhone 4 expensive? My answer would be: <b>at all regions, YES. IT IS EXPENSIVE.</b> Expect to pay on average US$270 - 600 for this phone even with a data contract with the carrier. Remember, this is the 'i'Phone we are talking about. That unique name already gives me a sign that this phone is going to be expensive. </p>

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><!--h--><div style="background: #DDE6F2;border: 1px solid white;border-bottom: 1px solid #5176B5;border-top: 1px solid #5176B5;color: #5176B5;font-size: 12px;font-weight: bold;margin: 0;padding: 5px;">7. Overall</div><!--h--><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    <img src="http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/9/2010/06/500x_iphone_4.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <p align=" " class="none">Overall, the iPhone is an impressive piece of hardware; with sleek looks and a solid feel. Indeed, the design is fresh and changes everything again, however what doesn't change? You cannot change that the iPhone is indeed one of the higher-end phones in the market with a higher price tag, no flash support in the browsers and somewhat lacking the stuffs from third-parties such as iPhone 3D transition home pages and emulators. With things improved and including better features such as Facetime over 3G and a wider third-party support, the iPhone would definitely change things for real, and possibly even for the better. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/happy.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="^_^" border="0" alt="happy.gif" />

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><b>Overall rating for iPhone 4: 7/10</b><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></p>
     


  2. azoreseuropa

    Member azoreseuropa GBAtemp Psycho!

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    That's your opinion. This rate is not a fact.. Just people's individual opinions. The opinions are stupid. People have different taste. By the way, I love this iPhone 4 Verizon.. No problem for me. Thank you very much.
     
  3. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    I hope you realize that saying that is completely redundant as every review is an opinion. Going to a review and basically saying "I don't like it! It's just an opinion!" is absolutely worthless.

    Great review though, rather thorough and well formatted.

    Side note, I see you always referring to yourself as "Axew". I'm sure if you want a name change to "Axew" you can ask one of the higher ups about it.
     
  4. chris888222
    OP

    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Nah, it's okay. My nick shows my actual name though. I am just crazy over axew (no idea why) and I like it very much.

    I can change the title perhaps?
     
  5. bowser

    Member bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    Nice review [​IMG]

    When I visited Singapore in October last year, I bought a factory unlocked iPhone 4 for S$968 [​IMG]
     
  6. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    What would you want it changed too? I don't think regular members can edit their titles.
     
  7. ShawnTRods

    Member ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Great review!
    I would like to add the battery life. Smartphones these days SUCK in terms of battery life, like REALLY. But from 3GS to 4 there has been great improvement. Like it was mentioned in the review, using App feeds on your battery life and so does if you have WiFi/3G(mobile data) turned on.

    I always switch off mobile data, even though I have unlimited data allowance. You ask why? battery lol. This gives me about 24-30 hours of use+standby.
    If I have mobile data/3G on, it doesnt go too well.

    Still, the iPhone 4's battery lasts much longer than the Galaxy S and many other smartphones.
     
  8. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    MY GOSH. Where did you buy your iPhone from?!?
     
  9. Smartpal

    Member Smartpal The Guitar Guy

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    Very nice review! I'm actually thinking of buying one and this helps. [​IMG]
     
  10. bowser

    Member bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    Some store called Talk & Play in Vivo City.

    I guess it was pricey because it was factory unlocked. No need for a contract with any provider. Works with any SIM card.
     
  11. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    You should get it from major chains like Juzz1 or Nubox instead.

    $888 for 16GB, factory unlocked. Works with any MicroSIM.

    Hmm... You mean ordinary SIM cards?!
     
  12. azoreseuropa

    Member azoreseuropa GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Yes, its absolutely worth because the review is only an opinions for people's taste and not a fact as I just mentioned. Great review ? LOL> Very funny for it is just drama. Later. [​IMG]
     
  13. Zerousen

    Member Zerousen 【=◈︿◈=】

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    Hey, the guy obviously put alot of work into this, so we've got to at least give him credit. I actually liked the review, as he pointed out many things that may have been important to the reader. I tend to use the internet alot, so that safari part would've helped me out if I had not already bought an iPhone, which disappoints me, because the reviews that I have read beforehand haven't said anything about this, and only gave the iPhone's good points.
     
  14. bowser

    Member bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    No way man, that's impossible! [​IMG]

    I meant with any micro SIM. [​IMG]

    Well I guess I got ripped off. [​IMG]
     
  15. iFish

    Member iFish Slower than a 90s modem

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    I haven't finished reading the review yet but, I can tell you "Buggy Facebook!" isn't Apple's fault.
    It's Facebook's fault for making a shitty app.

    (I honestly have no issue at all with the Facebook app...)

    EDIT: It's an OK review. Cannot say I agree with everything you said, but I'm biased~
     
  16. bowser

    Member bowser Mwa ha ha ha!

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    I didn't know I could close applications on the iPhone! Thanks for that, I'm gonna close all apps and see if the battery life improves! [​IMG]
     
  17. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    Yup Facebook's fault apparently.

    I gave them only a 2/5 rating on the AppStore. I couldn't even logout
     
  18. Nujui

    Member Nujui I need something to do.

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    Every review is someones's opinion. Even if its' for what you said.
     
  19. chris888222
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    Member chris888222 GBAtemp's Flygon Fan

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    At least you didn't get your set from Sim Lim Square/Lucky Plaza. It could have been worse [​IMG]
     
  20. nando

    Member nando GBAtemp Addict

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    why even mention antenna gate, that was fixed long ago. the fram is split into 3 sections instead of 2.
     

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