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The Design, Display, A4 CPU & Camera

Gordon Kelly

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Apple Unveils iPhone 4

We all knew it was coming, even Steve Jobs started off his presentation with "Now, stop me if you’ve already seen this." So here it is in all its official glory: the 'iPhone 4'.

Yes iPhone HD and iPhone 4G were thankfully jettisoned as names and the long and short of it is we pretty much knew everything already, but there are some surprises so let's break it all down.

The first thing you'll notice is the new, flat design which harks back to the original iPhone. It is just 9.3mm thick (24 per cent slimmer than the 3G/3GS) and has a glass front and back to reduce scratches. The stainless steel sides of the handset feature breaks which Jobs admitted "don’t seem like Apple”, but these are actually quite clever housing the Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, UMTS and GSM antennas. Will putting them into the frame of the handset improve signal reception? Let's hope so.

Next is the display and while it sticks at 3.5in it does indeed sport a massive 960 x 640 native resolution which equates to 326px per inch - 4x higher than the 3GS and the human eye can't see past 300. That means text should be indistinguishable from that in a book and Apple dubs it the 'Retina Display'. It is backed up with an 800:1 contrast ratio (also 4x that of the 3GS). The panel isn't OLED, but Jobs claims "You can’t make an OLED display with this resolution, we think it’s quite superior."

Elsewhere is a front facing camera for video calls (expect networks to unveil brutal pricing for that soon), two mics so we finally get noise cancelling - a long overdue feature which should greatly improve call quality - and Apple has switched to a micro SIM to save space inside the phone. On the downside the ageing facia of the handset remains unchanged and that wasted bezel space is really starting to annoy me.

Duck inside and, again as expected, the iPhone 4 has made the jump to an Apple A4 CPU like the iPad. Jobs didn't say how much faster this will make the handset than the 3GS, but we do know the iPad is quicker than the 3GS. It will need to be given the new phone is driving 78 per cent of the pixels as on its 9in dumber brother.

Other good news is a switch to a 5MP camera with LED flash (sadly not Xenon). The promise here is an improvement in image processing and low light performance, not just a megapixel bump. 720p HD video recording is added as well at up to 30fps and Apple will be launching a mobile version of iMovie which can edit in transition effects and titles, overlay your iPod music, geotag and upload directly to YouTube or Mobile me. It won't come with the iPhone 4, but will cost $4.99 in the App Store.

The next biggie is the introduction of a three-axis gyroscope for detecting pitch, roll and yaw. When combined with the existing accelerometer it now has six axis motion sensing and all six will be available to developers. Expect flight sims galore.

Vectorious

June 8, 2010, 12:42 am

I can't believe that they didn't go to 64GB - that's the deal breaker for me. I was going to replace my 80GB classic, but now I suppose I am looking elsewhere.

DrDark

June 8, 2010, 1:24 am

So, apart from the screen resolution (which was leaked), everyone suitably unimpressed? Ok then, let's get on with our lives.





P.S. Nice of your server to fall and stumble just at the wrong moment there, TR :-P.

Kaben

June 8, 2010, 1:26 am

Any idea of which networks will have the Iphone 4 in the UK yet?

Castalan

June 8, 2010, 1:30 am

It does look pretty - but as ever the specs bring it up to the minimum I expect from a smartphone in 2010....





Magical, wondrous ...no





Meeting basic expectations ... yup

Geoff Richards

June 8, 2010, 1:31 am

Not sure you'll have much luck elsewhere either...

Hugo

June 8, 2010, 1:33 am

It should be in a MOMA exibit - gorgeous industrial design.

Runadumb

June 8, 2010, 1:33 am

I really like that new design and im glad to see that the hyperbole isn't overblown like usually happens with apples products. It looks like a very solid device but I fear we are quickly approaching a "good enough" mobile phone world where its hard to get to excited by a spec bump. Will be very interesting to see where the industry goes from here on out.

Tony Walker

June 8, 2010, 1:33 am

I too thought that 64GB would be a certainty. Must be all those iPads taking capacity. I've got two (both 64GB).





Need to know pricing and networks. Fortunately I've got the last two weeks of this month off - yippeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

Mattj

June 8, 2010, 1:36 am

The N900 has 32GB On board, and you can get 32GB Micro SDHC Cards now. Not sure how it copes with the additional card, 32GB is more than enough for me. There must be other phones with 32GB of onboard storage and a SD card slot.

morsch

June 8, 2010, 1:38 am

I agree about the bezel. The screen should take up a larger portion of the front side of the phone. Hm.

AJ

June 8, 2010, 1:38 am

Looks good to me - count me in.! I suppose the tariffs from Vodaphone and O2 will be announced in the next few days, but I'm expecting them to be the same as the 3GS ones really. If there's any extra charge for the FF camera usage then I for one won't be paying it. ;-)

savant

June 8, 2010, 1:39 am

@Gordon - the entry level is 8GB 3GS not 16GB.





Like AT&T, lets hope that UK networks allow six months early upgrade to iphone 4.

lifethroughalens

June 8, 2010, 1:40 am

Phew! I was half expecting Apple to come out with something new, exciting and 'magical', that might have been enough to temp even this old Apple hating cynic back on to the iTunes bandwagon. Mais non. Just looks like a little refresher and business as usual for Apple.





As soon as an HTC Android Evo 4G with Froyo 2.2+ equivalent launches here in the UK i'll be swapping out my HTC HD2. I'm sure the new iPhone will sell very well within the usual iphone circles...Estate agents, hair dressers, media types...etc ;)





(Only winding people up - it looks like a great phone depending on different people's lifestyles, love that screen resolution - but they should have pushed the physical size to 4" at least)

Andy0d2

June 8, 2010, 1:45 am

I prefer this design but when you mentioned the wasted bezel space and the ageing design I am really starting to see where you are coming from. I really wished you hadn't said that as I'm not sure I like the design at all any more! Its like when someone points out something that you never normally notice but it becomes more noticeable with time, which I really hope isn't the case. What's up with no 64GB when they put 720P video recording in there!

Soul

June 8, 2010, 1:50 am

WOW.... A front facing camera.... NO way, i'm going to use it it now...


wait hang on... i've always had one, nearly 6 years back with my first 3g phone. i used it once never again.





But iphone is doing it now, so now everyone will start using it... oh but wait its only iphone4 to iphone4...isn't that something.. (and over wifi... don't Nokia owe 3g video calling or something?)





Multitasking!!!, right had that for a while on nokia and htc's... and its not true multitasking it pauses while you look at something else.. which has its merits and bad points.





A 5 megapixel camera With LED Flash...Thats new! Hd recording yeh why not chuck it in.





Retina Screen, sounds like a cool bit of kit, and resolution increase is clever and well thought out. But sitting with my HTC Desire can read most webpages zoomed out and colours are amazing (even though at TR said the colours were unatural.. something many disagree on)


At the time Trusted reviews also said that the increase in pixel count in the desire was of "debatable use", i bet you'll say different now.


And contrast and colour side of things amoled should have the advantage.





The thing about Apple is they make good reliable hardware to match their great software. Both hardware and software on the iphone works well. Not like others who thinks its all about specs and specs but FAILS to deliver good experience with their software.


However the new selling point is the hardware, and to be honest its nothing new, or replaces something already out there. (Screen new tech.... but amoled is there.)





Premium phone? Yes, looks the part? Yes and has the technology to back it up? yess However it's had it's Concord moment, and is no longer game changing. ( the Isheep are going to have a ball here)





So I'm looking at the new i phone, and still happy to have my black htc desire, which is only lacking in my view in the apps department, and even then only minor point, there is no single app on the iphone which i can't get a version of on the android market for free.





This isn't enough to stem the flow of android phones.

Sunny 1

June 8, 2010, 1:51 am

Would have love to see it in 12 month contract.


I still think 18 month or 24 month £35 p/m and £200 for a mobile is too much.


they have already swindle money out of me once when I got my Apple Powerbook G4 for £2000 and they go around switching to Intel platform next month without warning.


may be if it comes out in 12 month contract I wont mind paying £200.


for the moment have to make do with Desire on 12 month £35 p/m free handset.

BOFH UK

June 8, 2010, 1:54 am

Uh, to all those complaining about memory - you do know that the iPhone only has space for 1 memory module whereas the iPad and iPod Touch has space for two right? So it's a fairly safe bet that the 64Gb module is still cost-prohibitive and/or unavailable in the quantities Apple would need for the iPhone.





As for the new model - it's got me wanting a smartphone for the first time in years. Of course final judgement has to wait until we can get our hands on them for ourselves but based on spec that screen looks stunning (and I don't want a phone with a 4 inch or bigger screen anyway, too large), design is now down to almost the same size as the iPod Touch which is about the thickest size I want my phone to be, battery life looks superb, the results from the camera are superb and, of course, it's still the most complete phone OS out there at the moment.

Ed

June 8, 2010, 2:01 am

@drdark: Speak for yourself, mate.





Can't say I'm surprised about capacity. Noone else offers 64GB on a phone and it's clear that the vast majority of people don't need even 16GB. And of course, it sets something aside for iPhone 4S.

Gordon394

June 8, 2010, 2:42 am

@drdark - oh yes it was quality timing and made me exceptionally happy...


@Kaben - just O2 confirmed so far, no pricing. We'll round up when we have more.





@all I also thought 64GB was a cert, but I don't fill the 16GB on my 3GS so not fussed. Biggest issue for me is getting over that data facia. Everything else is great, but that's the part you have to look at all day.





Everyone knows I'm not the biggest Apple fan (hater I think is the common perception!), but I may well get without a contract. I love Android 2.2, but you can't get it on enough handsets and fragmentation is a deal breaker for me. Furthermore the Nexus One is getting old in the tooth. A Nexus Two on the other hand...

Tony Walker

June 8, 2010, 2:48 am

@Vectorious





If you want Appleness, 64GB and decent sound quality, give the iPad a listen.

Ala Miah

June 8, 2010, 2:57 am

Can someone please wake me up when 'iOS 4' is jailbroken? other then the OS, this device is not worth the upgrade!

nirelandman

June 8, 2010, 3:19 am

@Soul: Inside you there is a fanboy kicking and screaming to get out!





So the new handset - I'm happily impressed without being overwhelmed - My iPhone 3G contract ended on May 31 so it's nice timing.





A lot of people invest more and more time these days tearing into Apple for drip feeding their tech or being closed off/controlling - some of which (in fact most) I agree with; but look, if you don't like it, don't buy it...





Some features on face value have been around for ages indeed - 5MP camera, video recording, video calling, 'proper' multi tasking etc; but I for one enjoy how an iPhone DOES these things - it performs these tasks better than the way other phones on the market currently do; a much nicer, slicker and enjoyable way to experience what you do on a phone daily. (Probably why those who don't need high levels of productivity enjoy iPad so much)





Hence my current loyalty, and exactly why I'll be pre-ordering iPhone 4. And if I and many others are willing to pay for that then sure why not :)

savant

June 8, 2010, 3:24 am

Here is the latest from O2:


http://mediacentre.o2.co.uk/Ho...

Sleeper

June 8, 2010, 3:32 am

I like this but I think I'll wait for the review before pronouncing it the best!





Not impressed at the WiFi woopsy during the keynote though.

Gordon394

June 8, 2010, 3:36 am

@Sleeper - I won't defend Apple for many things, but I believe that was a tech malfunction on the router side, not the handset. We'll likely soon see for sure though...

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