Page name: Apple iPhone 4 Black (16 GB) Smartphone review [Logged in view] [RSS]
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2011-06-08 20:10:35
Last author: Nioniel
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Apple iPhone 4 Black (16 GB) Smartphone review

A Quick Look

The Apple iPhone 4 is arguably the best phone on the market today. With a sleek, stylish design and the ability to do almost anything that the user could possibly want it to do, the iPhone 4 couldn’t really be better than it already is.   

A three-and-a-half inch display helps to keep the iPhone 4 slender and sleek enough to slip into one’s pocket easily, and the overall feel of it is considerably lightweight for such a grand piece of equipment, especially for how small it is compared to other phones. Made of glass and metal and considerably rectangular in shape, the iPhone 4 also is pretty delicate; dropping this phone is almost a guarantee for breaking it, though I’m not willing to risk mine to prove that absolutely. I recommend a Case for the iPhone 4; the glass and metal get slick beneath fingertips and in warm palms, making it far more likely that the iPhone will become damaged through a fall.   


The Apple iPhone 4 keeps the 3.5” display, though they upped the pixels from 320x480, which wasn’t bad in the first place, to a pretty incredible 960x640, which makes the iPhone’s display remarkably sharp. Right now, this is the best display available in any phone today. While the display may not appear to be so incredible in doing mundane activities on one’s iPhone 4, it is noticeably better while doing things like photo viewing while using this iPhone. As a photographer, this is something I find myself doing frequently with my iPhone 4, and not only is the resolution absolutely spectacular for doing so, but the contrast and colors are amazing as well.   

iPhone Operating System

The iPhone 4 is operating on the iOS4, which really improves upon other operating systems. Firstly, with the iOS4 (recently named the iOS instead of the OS), it is now possible to personalize one’s iPhone 4 with a wallpaper. Multitasking is also an option with the iPhone 4, which allows users to keep several applications running and open while a single application is being accessed in the foreground of the display. Multitasking on the iPhone 4 is simple and can be done by pressing the “home” button twice. This pulls up the applications that were most recently in use.

New Folders may also be created for individual or multiple applications in order to minimize the amounts of screens that need to be accessed to open applications. Folders will suggest a name based upon its contents, though the name may be changed at one’s discretion. Each folder may hold anywhere from one to twelve applications at a time. Once placed into folders, applications may be removed from them by simply dragging the application from the folder and dropping it elsewhere. As I have very few applications on my phone at this time, I only have the one folder, and I’m not sure how many folders the iPhone 4 will hold/allow. 

Additionally, the iPhone 4 has a new Email feature which keeps track of threads. Therefore, emails to and from a certain contact will always be kept together, which makes it incredibly simple to keep track of conversations via Email this way. 


As a photographer, I obviously have better camera equipment to use than my iPhone 4, but honestly, the camera on the iPhone 4 isn’t bad at all. In fact, I’ve gotten some pretty great shots using it. While many people are excited about using the iPhone 4 camera for video chat (via WiFi, which makes conversations using the iPhone 4 similar to conversations using Web-cams), I’m more excited about it for the photographic possibilities. I don’t mean to dismiss video calling options though, the Facetime feature is pretty cool, and it really is an incredibly convenient way for people to keep in touch, but it’s not so much my thing. Additionally, it is still possible to multitask while using the Facetime feature, though obviously the Facetime feature won’t keep the video up-to-date while other applications are being run in the foreground.

The camera is 5 Megapixel and takes amazingly high-quality photos. While the shutter-speed isn’t great, the quality is incredible for phone photos. It is possible to take clear photos in very low lighting using the iPhone 4 if the photographer is holding the iPhone 4 quite still. The LED flash also contributes to the high-quality photos that are possible even in darkness. However, using the LED flash (on, off, or auto) does bleach out a lot of images as the shutter-speed is so slow. Additionally, the zoom on the iPhone 4 is new, with a slider function, but the overall effect isn’t any different than it was on the other phones. 

The iPhone 4’s 5 Megapixel camera also takes videos, and these are pretty decent quality as well. At thirty frames per second, the iPhone 4 shoots 640x480 videos. I haven’t played with this feature very much, but I do know that the iPhone 4’s camera isn’t as great as other camera phones’. When I have played with the video feature, I’ve found that the sound isn’t as good as I expected it to be, in every video I’ve shot with the iPhone 4; the sound in the videos has been garbled and fuzzy. I know that there are apps that will allow users to edit their photos and videos, but I have yet to purchase any of them. 


To be honest, I haven’t noticed that the call-quality using the iPhone 4 is any better than I’ve found call-quality to be on other phones. That’s not to say that the quality is bad, in fact, it’s extraordinarily clear, even with a weak signal. With the iPhone 4, I still get the same number of bars in all the familiar spots around my home, so having the iPhone 4 hasn’t given me the ability to call in what have so far been “dead-zones” for me. However, the clear reception in areas where I have very few bars makes up for this. 

Other Apps

On the iPhone 4, the iPod application is used for playing videos and music, though it still requires iTunes to update content. The speaker sounds great, not as tinny as in other phones and the volume seems to have a bit more range than in other phones as well. 

The iBooks feature is the same feature as it is on the iPad, only smaller scale, similar to the iPod. There are no additional features within the iBooks application that are specific for the iPhone 4. However, reading on the 3.5” display of the iPhone 4 is pretty tiring and strains my eyes, so I don’t usually use that app. 

Battery Life

The longest conversation I’ve had on my iPhone 4 was about five hours, and after that amount of time, and beginning the conversation with a full charge, my battery was a little more than half-way drained. While it only takes about an hour or so to completely charge the iPhone 4, draining the battery completely can be done in as little as six-and-a-half hours of constant use of the iPhone 4.


I really think that the iPhone 4 is a good improvement on previous versions. However, I don’t think that this phone is the epitome of phone technology. Sure, there are plenty of cool new features that come with the iPhone 4, but in most cases, other companies did it first, and despite the fact that Apple has wicked marketing skills that push it’s products to the front of consumers’ minds when considering a new phone purchase, the iPhone 4 really isn’t as fantabulous as it was cracked up to be. 

The improved resolution was more than enough to win me over, and the camera quality combined with the great increase in resolution keeps me happy. Generally, I think that the sound and call-quality isn’t too much better than it ever was before, and isn’t really noticeably better in that “dead-zones” still are “dead-zones” with this phone. 

Additionally, while the design of the iPhone 4 looks sleek and chic, it is flawed in exactly how slick it ends up being in user’s hands. For a $300+ product, it sure is easy to break! However, the size and shape of the iPhone 4 really can’t be beat; it’s incredibly easy to carry around and does fit into most phone apparel. 

Overall though, I’d have to say that the iPhone 4 is a phone that I obviously couldn’t go without having. The iPhone 4 easily meets all of my needs as far as communications, web browsing, and photography goes, so I can’t do much else but recommend it!

/ [Nioniel]

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