10 things you need to know about iPhone 4 ...
Published 31/07/2010 | 05:00
1. LET'S get the reception hoo-hah out of the way first. Yes, it's incredible Apple didn't cop that its iPhone 4 design incorporated a specific weak spot that can kill the signal when held firmly. But unless your grip always falls exactly there -- usually if you're a lefty -- or you don't want to use the free case which cures the issue, it's hardly going to be a deal breaker for most users.
2. The headline feature is the impressively detailed screen, which makes text and photos look noticeably crisp, bright and clean. With four times the resolution of its predecessor, it sets a new benchmark for screen quality, though competitors from Samsung and HTC aren't far behind.
3. Even though its predecessor was no slouch, the iPhone 4 is powered by a lightning-fast chip, the same one as in the iPad, meaning there are no pregnant pauses or hiccups when you ask the phone to do something.
4. Despite more power-hungry components, battery life has improved by about 10 or 15pc -- certainly on a par with many of its rivals.
5. While competitors such as Sony Ericsson and Nokia have included high-spec cameras in their phones for years, Apple is only now coming to the party, adding a five-megapixel snapper to its new handset. It's still no replacement for a separate camera but with an LED flash and the capacity for fairly high-res video, the iPhone 4 is now a contender.
6. An extra camera on the front now allows you to video-chat on the iPhone -- but only with another iPhone 4 and only while connected to WiFi. Another feature rivals have had for yonks.
7. Plenty of software improvements make the phone both simpler and smarter. Users with dozens of apps will welcome the introduction of folders to help organisation. But the one that makes the most difference is multi-tasking, where apps can keep running in the background instead of quitting when switching between them. Nonetheless, most of these software updates are available to previous iPhone owners as a free download.
8. It might be slightly thinner in dimensions but the iPhone 4 is actually slightly heavier than its siblings -- no doubt due to its bigger battery.
9. Good luck working out which of the three networks -- O2, Vodafone or Three -- offer the best value. As usual, contracts are a confusing morass of 'options'.
10. Most places are already sold out of the new handset and new stock will trickle in slowly. O2, for instance, will supply only existing customers for the time being.