iPhone 4 Review

Apple iPhone 4When it comes to choosing a phone, everyone’s different and it’s important to bear that in mind when you read this review. It’s important to remember to focus on the features of the handset that are important to you, writes Lauren Percival.

 

If you actually took the time to compare the features of an iPhone to its closest competitors, the physical differences are diminutive. For me it was the kudos behind owning an iPhone that initially attracted me. However beyond that, the iPhone is a blank canvas. It allows the user to turn it into something truly unique and incredibly personal. Quite ironic when there are millions of people using the same phone.

 

I own the 16GB iPhone 4 in black, and is what I’ve used to write this review on – although it’s also available in white and with 32GB of built-in memory.

 

Design and construction

For me, design was hugely important. Every phone available out there looks like an iPhone now, wouldn’t you agree? No-one does design quite like Apple; they’re like the Prada of technology design and, just like if you turned up with fake Prada, if you pulled out a ‘copy’ of an iPhone in the wrong situation (e.g. catching up with friends in the design industry) I can’t even begin to tell you about the repercussions.

 

Telephony

If you don’t already know, Apple cleverly built the antenna of the handset around the circumference of the handset to improve signal strength, and free up space for other useful components inside the phone. Sadly their intelligence backfired when it didn’t work particularly well. Subsequently the calling capability of the iPhone 4 isn’t its strongest feature.

 

Despite this, it’s still arguably the most popular phone right now which speaks volumes (or not, as it were) about how important the telephony feature is on a handset these days: not very.

 

Instead we’re given features such as iPhone’s Facetime, which connects through the WiFi rather than your network. This feature is great and, unless you’ve downloaded the Skype app, isn’t available on any other handset – yet. Screenshot images of Blackberry’s upcoming 10 Operating System, featuring a video chat icon, have been ‘leaked’ so watch this space!

 iPhone 4 phone review

 

Camera

As far as cameras built into a multi-purpose mobile phone goes, it’s pretty amazing. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t recommend that David Bailey trade his Olympus in, in place of an iPhone 4, but I used mine whilst travelling around Europe and (until I upgraded to iOS5 and lost 800 photos, 700 songs and my entire phonebook) I had some sensational photos’ using the 5MP camera. The image quality from the iPhone was much better than my friend’s purpose built camera, although admittedly she does still have hers.

 

Here’s a photo taken in Singapore earlier this year to prove its quality:

 

iPhone 4 photo

 

I suppose the scenery does also help!

 

The iPhone 4S, at 8MB, is even better so although the iPhone 4 camera is fantastic; if photography is an important feature for you, the 4S is superb.

 

Video Recording

The video recording is also great and features a “[email protected]” camera. If you’re unfamiliar with video specifications (as I am) 720p (progressive scan) is standard. Newer phones, including the iPhone 4S, are working at [email protected] – much higher definition. The difference between the video clarity on the two handsets was particularly profound on Bonfire Night; the recording on the iPhone 4 was dull in comparison to the sharp clarity of the 4S however, that’s the only time I’ve been disappointed.

 

I shot the following video at a James Morrison concert earlier this year, and I think demonstrates its quality well.

 


 

Music Player

I’m quite sure there’s no difference between listening to music on an Apple iPod or an iPhone and in fact any other phone with music player capabilities. Arguably, some are probably better, but for me, ever since I’ve owned an iPhone, I’ve never considered listening to music on anything else. Why? Because I’ve never come across an easier platform, than iTunes and the iPod app, to download and listen to music on, instantly.

 

Music on the iPhone 4

 

Browsing the Web

Browsing the web on an iPhone is just as easy, and quite often quicker, than browsing on a laptop. The only restriction is that Apple doesn’t support Flash players however it isn’t as popular on websites as it once was, so it shouldn’t be used against the iPhone. And with HTML 5 gaining popularity, this should be a redundant problem in a few years anyway.

 

The new version of Safari, Apple’s web browser, permits background web page loading which allows you to browse other pages in a new “tab”, whilst a heavy page loads up.

 

Safari also allows you to find convenient ways of saving, sharing and printing information that you’ve found whilst browsing, with features such as:

 

  • – Add a bookmark
  • – Add to reading list
  • – Add to home screen
  • – Mail link to this page
  • – Tweet
  • – Print

 

Email

The email application is what it is: simple. The iPhone’s e-mail app enables access to multiple saved e-mail accounts, so you can access your personal and business accounts quickly and easily.

 

Social Media

If I’m not taking a sneak peak over on The Daily Mail website (for research purposes, not for pleasure, obviously…) I’m getting lost in the world of Facebook or Twitter. I don’t need any more encouragement but with notifications and easy access via great apps, it’s increasingly difficult to avoid a quick look.

 

Maps

I’d probably still be trying to find my way around Croatia, as we speak, if it wasn’t for the iPhone’s map application. Not only was the camera incredible, the music helped pass the time on eight hour train journeys, the maps helped us to find the way to our Hostel at 4am in the morning on many occasions. Reliable and easy to use, (excuse the pun) we’d have been lost without it!

 

If your map reading skills aren’t quite up to scratch (when did you last leave the house without a TomTom?) a blue dot marks where you are with a navigation tool which points you, literally, in the right direction. Further to this there’s a step-by-step list of directions and a satellite view.

 

iBooks

Like iTunes, but for books. Rather than carrying War and Peace around in your handbag (I’ll be truthful, it would definitely fit in it, and save me a gym membership) you can carry it around on your reading it on your phone. Alternatively, you can download the Kindle app and read your collection through that.

 
Notifications

If you’re away from your phone for a while, the iPhone has a notifications feature, similar to Facebook, which allows you to catch up with everything with one list. It lists everything from text messages to eBay and makes sure that you don’t forget to reply to anything important – I use this feature a lot.

 

Verdict

I’ve come to rely on the iPhone for virtually every aspect of my life. From planning a night out to a few weeks away, writing my blog to reading a book, eating out to locating a cash point. Apple weren’t lying when they told us there was “an app for that”. I’ve become to rely on it so much, that I’ve bought the iPad; Apple make browsing the internet so much easier.

 

I don’t care if they lock you into their operating system, Apple make it their duty to make our lives much more productive – lock me in for as long as you like, I’ve got no intentions of escaping!

 

I’m giving the iPhone a remarkable 4.5 stars out of 5 with the note there’s always room for improvement and that’s what I like about Apple.

 

Mobilesplease rating: 4.5 out of 5

Four and a half out of five

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