Saturday, October 30, 2010

The iPhone 4

Now that I've got a clear mind, I'd like to write a little bit about the phone that I bought a few months back:

The iPhone 4.

Costing at AUD$859 for the 16GB, and $999 for the 32GB, which made it $20 and $60 cheaper compared to the previous model, the iPhone 3GS, which costed $879 or $1049 for the 16Gb or 32GB model respectively.

They announced the iPhone 4 being available in both black, and white. But the problem recently, they ripped off the white iPhone off the online Apple Store. Some say that it will be available in Spring 2011 (US time, so that's Autumn here in Australia; somewhere in April). But by the rate that it is going, they should not have announced it at all.

Now, basic specs of this phone:

960*640 resolution
Apple's very own Retina Display (at 326 pixels crammed into an inch)
Flash storage of 16gb
Apple's very own A4 processor (where if you scrape the A4 and black wrappings, you'll see "SAMSUNG" on it.)
Front and rear camera where front is 0.3 (VGA), and rear is 5mp camera with built in LED-flash.
Full glass body with a matte-finish stainless steel band.
512MBs RAM.

Those are the things that really captures that my attention. Another annoying fact that captures my attention is:

Uses micro-sim card.

For a smart phone, it is pretty dead slim. I never thought a slim phone would make a serious difference in pockets and putting them on surfaces. That compared to my Nokia 6151, boy, it makes my jeans look really bad.

Then again, they boast about it being the slimmest smartphone. We'll have to see about that when Windows kick back into the phone category, and when Android updates their OSes and related phones.

Now, there is a really huge difference after using the iPhone 4. The display is astonishing. It is as uncanny as waking up to a fine morning right beside to Cameron Diaz. After using this phone for months, I am able to see pixels. I have a 64GB Wi-Fi iPad, and..I'm seeing pixels on it. I also see pixels on my brother's iPhone 3GS, and we never really bothered to take all this into detail.

The processor is really snappy. I was convinced by the iPad's A4 performance, and on the iPhone, it worked nearly as well as the iPad.

Don't get me wrong. They're both iOS devices, with nearly the same specs (except for resolution and.. obviously, screen size), but the iPhone 4 tends to lag a bit in between of applications.

Maybe because it is a smart phone. Or it's because of iOS 4.1. You never know. Eventually, the Apple iOS developer team is going to scout around for blogs like these that provides an indirect feedback, and have an update on "performance improvement", so that issue should be eliminated soon.

I just found out that the camera is smart. But what would make it smarter is that instead of giving it HDR and the ability to switch the flash on or off, is the ability to choose the ISO setting and allow the camera to adapt to the settings depending on the shot being taken. I flipped open my ACDSee (after months of not uploading pictures through my laptop - all were uploaded directly via my iPhone), I noticed that the iPhone has ISO settings of 80, 500 and 1000.

And the shots at 1000 ISO does not look that bad at all, actually.

The HD Video Recording feature is acceptable. At 720p, I definitely won't complain much. There is a link that I posted on YouTube in giving one of its app, iMovie, a shot. A short compilation of my Takara Masterpiece MP-01B .. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IvMzDsKoAc

But that's all I used it for, anyway.

The front camera.. works. No comments on it. It's a VGA, so what else can I say?

FaceTime, Apple's very own monopolising (what else is new) video-calling for iOS devices (now, the iPod Touch has it as well), and FaceTime Beta is out for Macs. This works in two ways; either you FaceTime with an iPhone-based number, or from an iTunes account to another iTunes account, where the iTunes account is under your email address. Smart.

One good thing is that FaceTime is free.

One bad thing is that FaceTime works only over Wi-Fi. I'd give Apple 5 years for them to allow FaceTime to be done over 3G (Like how long it took them to approve viewing Flash over Macs).

I think I've mentioned this before, but although they made it slimmer, it feels like that the battery took a diet as well. They stuffed in a bigger battery, only to catch up with the amount of pixels and colours being generated over a 3.5 inch screen.

I find that an engineering genius, really. It could have been worse; like they would have not bothered to show up with a better battery solution. Or not do anything at all.

But battery is the main issue with all of these smartphones, anyway. My housemate's running on some Android-based OS. It was a Samsung Omnia or something like that, and it doesn't last long either.

But the display on Android devices are pretty good actually.

And they don't have a 960*640 resolution either.

Sound quality on calls on the iPhone 4 is clear, and good. I am running on three phones at the moment; my Nokia 6151, Nokia E71 and this iPhone 4. Obviously, it is not fair to compare and contrast these phones as they're from different leagues, but the iPhone really does provide an odd experience.

Now, some people will mention that Apple is dumb for introducing a 2nd microphone on top of the phone, right beside the headset jack.

But for people like us who are involved in sound engineering, that is a very very smart idea. The 2nd mic is placed on top of the phone, the opposite direction of our mouth, so it picks up anything - like noise, and filters it out, to allow the caller to hear us better.

And the stainless steel band. The genius of the antenna, and the beginning to a neverending criticism of the well known antennagate, or death grip, or whatever they would call it.

I never had issues with calls being dropped so far. But my Nokia 6151 is on roaming, and it's under Telstra. My Nokia E71 is under Optus, and same goes for my iPhone 4.

When I head into my kitchen, my Nokia 6151 gets maximum signal, the Nokia E71 varies from 2 - full somtimes. And the iPhone only stays as.. 1 and below.

I'm not sure if it's a false reading, or just a bad reception from the iPhone 4. My guess is that it produces less frequencies to send and receive. Another issue is the stainless steel band itself.

Doesn't steel act as one of those conductors for frequencies, anyway?











Overall, I won't complain much about the iPhone 4. It works perfectly the way it is. And sometimes it works better whenever I shut my iPhone off. Maybe because I get distracted less by it.











That's about it. Nothing much about the iPhone 4. Now, I'll go continue reading rumours about the iPhone 5.

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