Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Impressions of the iPhone 4

Surrounded by controversy in the media, the new Apple iPhone 4 has already sold millions. From the pre-release hype, it appeared that the new phone would be a substantial upgrade from my old iPhone 3G. When I returned from my family reunions, the new phone was waiting for me. Switching to the new phone was very simple but took hours of watching files backup and transfer. All of the Apps and data on the old phone had to be backed up to my iMac. That is a lengthy process which usually takes more than an hour. Once the backup was complete, I had to transfer all of the Apps and data to the new iPhone 4. But wait, first, I had to update the operating system on the new iPhone. There has been a substantial upgrade of the operating system since the phones were manufactured and sent out. Once the upgrade was done, all of the Apps and settings came over to my new phone.

Did I say all? What I really meant was all of the Apps came over and I had to do all the settings and log into all the accounts again.

The new iPhone 4 is slightly thinner than the previous models but weighs a little more. The added weight is not noticeable, but the thinner case makes it feel more hefty than than my old phone. The first thing I noticed was the upgraded screen. It is much higher resolution than the previous models, 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi. Pictures on the display beautiful and text is easier to read. I didn't really see any problems with my old phone, but the new one makes the old one look pretty shabby.

I haven't had any significant issues with AT&T service even though the media has made a big to do about dropped calls and etc. I have had both Verizon and AT&T and haven't seen that much difference from day to day. In my experience traveling across the country, Verizon has somewhat better connectivity but AT&T seems to work fine most of the time. I chose to stay with AT&T rather than wait and see if Apple adds Verizon as an option.

One of my first observations was that the battery life seems to be much better. I also noticed the new digital compass. that comes from the three-axis gyro, accelerometer and proximity sensor built into the device. As an adjunct to doing onsite research, the iPhone 4 has moved from into the really useful and helpful range due to its upgraded camera, photo and video capability. The iPhone 4 has:
  • Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
  • 5-megapixel still camera
  • VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second with the front camera
  • Tap to focus video or still images
  • LED flash
  • Photo and video geotagging
At 5 megapixels, the camera is now at least adequate for copying documents or other uses. The main limitation being memory storage space on the camera. But in situations where I can't haul in my large Canon camera, the iPhone's camera will now be an acceptable substitute.

It is easy to see why the iPhone 4 has already sold so many units. It is a fantastic machine in an amazingly compact case with vast computer capabilities.

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