Apple iPhone 4 review: Love it or hate it

GSMArena team, 01 July 2010.
Pages: «12345678910»

Connectivity

One of the promising features of the iPhone 3.0 OS was enabling third-party developers to create apps that communicate with accessories or peripherals over a USB or Bluetooth connection. We didn’t see many results from that but might just get a boost from the new iPhone.

The iPhone 4 is Bluetooth v2.1 enabled with A2DP for streaming music to a compatible stereo Bluetooth headset or speakers. Bluetooth file transfers are not available. Peer-to-peer connections over Wi-Fi, and even Bluetooth, are a way around this but they only work between iPhones. Bluetooth connectivity also includes support for Bluetooth keyboards much like on the Apple iPad.

The latest iPhone 4 supports Wi-Fi b/g/n standards. Though we didn’t have a Wireless N router for testing, we can happily confirm that the Wi-Fi connection is much faster than that of the iPhone 3G over a G connection. What’s more, if you press your palm against the iPhone 4 Wi-Fi antenna – the metal strip on the upper left hand side of the phone – you even get a signal boost. That’s exactly the opposite to the issue we’re having with the cell signal.

Apple iPhone 4
Apple's external antenna detailed

Tethering over USB or Bluetooth is also enabled. Just hit the on switch and choose connection type.

Apple iPhone 4
The internet tethering is a great feature, but works only on PC's with installed iTunes

By the way, there’s no sign of the rumored USB file transfer feature that was supposed to be available in desktop iTunes dubbed as File Sharing. We first heard of it a month ago based on a beta version of the iOS 4.

The iPhone 4 has quad-band GSM and HSPA support, with download speed of up to 7.2 Mbps and upload of up to 5.76 Mbps.The iPhone 3GS didn’t have HSUPA support, so uploading content with the iPhone 4 over the cellular network should be times faster.

Faster Safari with Google suggestions

The iOS 4’s Safari browser has been updated too. Of course it inherits all the previous upgrades from the iPhone OS 3.0: auto-fill and password manager, Copy Link and Open in New Page options.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
The Safari browser • page options • multiple page view

The two new additions are Google Suggestions and bookmark suggestions in the address bar. Google Suggestions is self-explanatory: it’s the same as on any desktop browser. The regular address bar suggestions now covers not only your browser history, but also bookmarks.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
Google suggestions and the new address bar

The Safari web browser is very fast on the iPhone 4, with fluid scrolling and pinch-zooming, and excellent loading speeds.

Organizer

The few default apps aren’t enough to make the iPhone the ultimate organizer, but they will do well to get you started – the AppStore will take care of the rest.

The iOS calendar looks much like its average competitors – you can create and sync different calendars (Google and Outlook for example). Then you can add various events with alerts.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
The Calendar has only three different views • creating an event

What we still miss in the Calendar is landscape view and week view.

The typical Notes, Calculator, Voice Recorder, Stock and Weather apps are onboard too. By the way, the new Calculator icon – it’s a total WinMo 6.5 rip-off.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
Voice recorder • Calculator • Notes • Weather

In the Clock app you also get World Clock, Alarm, Stopwatch and Timer.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
World Clock, Alarms, Stopwatch and Timer

The free Apple’s iBooks app is not pre-installed, but you can get it for free from the AppStore. This e-reading app comes with one complimentary book – Winnie The Pooh.

iBooks offers various font and color settings, but on screen this size, it’s just not the best e-reading experience. Pages are side-scrollable only and on a mobile phone that doesn’t quite make sense.

iBooks is also a PDF viewer.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
iBooks

Finally there is the mobile YouTube app to make up for the missing Flash video support.

Apple iPhone 4 Apple iPhone 4
The YouTube app

Next Page »