iPhone 4 by bayumarghaseta

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									iPhone 4: The Macworld review
Apple’s latest phone improves on predecessors with new
design, impressive features
Posted on Jun 28, 2010 by Jason Snell, Macworld.com




Apple is a company with some clear priorities when it comes to designing mobile
devices. The ideal Apple mobile device is razor-thin, with a simple design and killer
battery life. You can see those principles at work in the iPhone 4, the latest generation of
Apple’s smartphone hardware. This is a smaller, thinner phone, with a stripped-down
design and an impressive improvement in battery life compared to previous models.
16GB iPhone 4 (GSM, AT&T) Complete Coverage »

Ratings
4.0 out of 5 Mice Jun 28, 2010

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32GB iPhone 4 (GSM, AT&T) Complete Coverage »

Ratings
4.0 out of 5 Mice Jun 28, 2010

Pricing
Best current price: $699.98

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Three years ago, the original iPhone blasted a hole in the side of a listless, boring phone
market. That initial success has spawned numerous strong competitors, but with the
iPhone 4, Apple seems to be competing more with itself than trying to respond to the
competition.

A pair of fours
If there’s one thing that defines Apple as a company, it’s the idea of creating products
that are a synthesis of hardware and software. Apple makes Macs and Mac OS X. It
makes the iPhone and the iOS. Many tech products are the melding of two different
visions; Apple’s products are generally singular.

As a result, much of the appeal of the iPhone 4 is in its tight integration with iOS 4, the
latest version of the recently-renamed operating system that drives the iPhone, iPod
touch, and iPad. My colleague Dan Moren has already reviewed iOS 4, which adds
features such as multitasking support and App folders to the mix, and I won’t repeat those
points here. However, many of the iPhone 4’s hardware features wouldn’t make sense
were it not for corresponding additions to iOS 4. It’s the Apple way, and iPhone 4 is no
exception.

But first, the hardware
The iPhone 4 is recognizably an iPhone, bearing most of the same traits as all the other
iOS devices Apple has released over the past three years: Glass front, rounded corners,
big screen, circular button at the bottom. The white model, sadly unavailable on launch
day, exposes that the iPhone owes a design debt to the classic iPod as well.

This iPhone differs in details of design. The faces of previous iPhones have been
surrounded by a chrome bezel, but that’s gone. Instead, there’s just the phone’s glass face
and the thin silver edge of a stainless-steel frame that wraps around the device’s
circumference. The frame’s matte texture is more in line with Apple’s current design
aesthetic than the shiny bezel of previous models.

Another big change is on the device’s back, which is now a flat glass surface rather than a
curved polycarbonate shell. By swapping out the bezel and replacing the curved back,
Apple has dramatically changed the feel of the iPhone. The curved edges of past iPhones
are gone, replaced with 90-degree angles and flat surfaces, like a cake that’s been
removed from its pan.

In general, the product feels like a remarkably solid slab of technology. It’s thinner and
narrower than its predecessors, but the same height. Since it packs its 4.8 ounces into a
smaller space (4.5 inches by 2.31 inches by .37 inches), it’s noticeably denser—and I
mean that in a good way. Like the iPad, the iPhone 4 feels like a remarkably solid, well-
built product. The fit and finish are immaculate; not a single thing about the iPhone 4
feels cheap. If you don’t like my cake metaphor, try this one: in terms of styling, the
iPhone 4 feels like the most expensive electric razor ever made, or maybe like a finely-
tuned luxury watch.

Apple has designed the iPhone’s steel frame to act as its wireless antennae; the strip of
frame on the device’s left side serves at the antenna for its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios,
and the strip on the right side and bottom works as a cellular antenna.

Attempts to quantify cell phone reception are always dodgy—reception varies from city
to city and even block to block within a city. One of our editors reports that her iPhone 4
can actually get a (weak) signal in her apartment, where her iPhone 3G simply reported
no service at all. Our colleagues at PCWorld report that the iPhone 4 has faster data
speeds than the iPhone 3GS. In my testing, the iPhone 4 was extremely fast, especially
when it came to data uploads. This boost in upload speeds is due to the iPhone 4
supporting HSUPA, a high-speed 3G upload protocol, in addition to the HSDPA protocol
that was added to the iPhone line with the 3GS. In any event, the iPhone 4 was so fast, it
put my poky old home DSL connection to shame—so much so that I’m finally going to
replace it! But unless you live in my particular suburban San Francisco neighborhood,
your mileage will likely vary.

Now about that cellular antenna. Reports all over the Internet suggest that if you hold the
iPhone 4 in such a way that your hand makes contact with both antennae (generally by
holding the phone down toward its base, specifically touching on the left side), you can
drastically decrease the iPhone 4’s cellular reception. The method of holding the iPhone
in question is actually how I hold my iPhone—and I discovered, sitting in my own house,
that I could slow or even stop my iPhone 4’s cellular data transfer by holding the phone
in that way. It was such a dramatic effect that I was able to cause cellular data transfers to
fail mid-stream just by shifting the phone in my hand.

Judging by the Internet, just as many people have failed to reproduce this problem as
have reproduced it. Maybe it varies based on your skin type, or what kind of cellular
tower you’re connected to, or the relative strength or weakness of your cellular signal.
Apple released a statement late last week saying that this sort of thing is common with
cell phones.

I’m not a cell phone engineer. Nor have I had the time to compile a detailed, scientific
study of iPhone 4 performance to nail down just what’s causing this signal loss issue.
(One would hope some Apple employees who qualify as the former are busily doing the
latter right now.) What I do know is that when I hold the iPhone 4 as I am accustomed to
holding it, in many cases the phone completely fails to transfer cellular data. And that’s
not good.

If you’re someone who doesn’t hold their iPhone that way, you won’t be affected by this.
If you wrap the phone in one of Apple’s $29 iPhone 4 bumpers, they’ll insulate the phone
from your hands and prevent them from causing interference. (I was able to hold the
phone in the style to which I am accustomed, and with a bumper affixed I saw no
connection problems at all.)

I expect Apple will address this issue one way or another, either with a software fix or a
hardware recall. For everyone’s sake, I hope it’s fixable in software; at the very least, I
think Apple owes a free bumper to everyone who is affected by the problem while the
company figures it out.

Ports and sorts




Four generations of iPhone, from oldest to newest. The new iPhone is much thinner than
its predecessors.
In terms of ports and the like, the iPhone 4 is similar to its predecessors. There’s a
standard Apple dock connector on the bottom, right between the speaker and microphone.
The device’s left side still has a hold switch and volume up/down controls, though
they’ve been redesigned: the hold switch is broader and slightly harder to budge; the
volume rocker has been replaced by two discrete volume buttons, etched with plus and
minus symbols.

On the phone’s top is the Sleep/Wake button, a standard headphone jack, and a new
addition: a second microphone. This new microphone can be used in a few different
ways: when you’re shooting video or video chatting via the new FaceTime feature, it’s
the primary microphone. When you’re holding the phone to your face and speaking via
the microphone on the bottom of the phone, the top microphone is gathering in ambient
sound to be used for noise-cancellation purposes. The trick seems to work, too: One of
the first calls I made with the iPhone 4 was to a colleague, also with an iPhone 4, who
apologized for the loud alarm going off in the background. ―What alarm?‖ I asked him—
because I couldn’t hear it at all, only the sound of his voice. The iPhone 4’s noise
cancellation won’t make your voice sound like you’re whispering into the ear of your
interlocutors—it’s still a cell phone call, after all—but it does seem to do a decent job of
dropping out extra junk and leaving just the sound of your voice behind.

The iPhone 4’s right side is barren of landmarks, save a micro-SIM slot like the one
found on the 3G iPad. By using a micro SIM, Apple freed up some space on the inside of
the phone, while also ensuring that your old phones with full-sized SIM cards wouldn’t
be compatible with your new devices without some SIM surgery.

If you’re a fan of the curvy style of previous iPhone models, you may be disappointed by
the design direction Apple has taken with the iPhone 4. Personally, I’m liking the flat
surfaces and sharper angles. But Apple’s iPhone 4 bumpers, while providing some degree
of protection for the device itself, also return some of that classic curvy feel when you
hold it in your hand. (They also conveniently insulate the phone so that your hand can’t
cause interference on the cellular antenna.)

The only part of the iPhone 4 design that gives me pause is the all-glass back, which
doubles the chance that if you drop the iPhone, you’ll end up hitting with the glass side
down. I never really liked the polycarbonate back of the 3G and 3GS, but at least it was
nearly bulletproof. As gorgeous as the iPhone 4 is to look at, I fear that most people will
be cloaking them in protective cases in order to avoid shattering this shiny new toy.

Pixel perfect




Macro shot of the iPhone 4 display (top) and the display on the iPhone 3GS.
If there’s a single feature that defines the iPhone 4, it’s the device’s new high-resolution
screen. Dubbed the ―Retina display‖ by Apple, it’s got four times the pixels of previous
iPhone models, packed into the same space. This 960-by-640 pixel display has a screen
resolution of 326 pixels per inch, up from 163 ppi on previous iPhone models.

When the first iPhone was released, its screen was amazing because 163 ppi was already
a much higher resolution than the average computer screen. I shouldn’t even use the past
tense there: the original iPhone screen is still quite good. Looking at it by itself, you can
notice some jaggedness, but it’s nothing compared to what you’d get on a traditional
computer.

But technology has moved along. When I spent a week with a Google Nexus One
smartphone earlier this year, I was impressed by its higher screen resolution, which made
text on the Nexus One noticeably smoother than on my iPhone 3GS.

Apple’s response to the improvements in display technology has not been to create a
larger phone—a direction some of its rivals have taken—but to increase the number of
dots in the existing space to the point where the average human eye (hence the ―retina
display‖ moniker) can’t even tell they’re there.

The result is marvelous. The retina display is an enormous improvement on the already-
good iPhone 3GS screen, brighter and with better contrast as well as a slightly warmer
color temperature. The screen, which uses the same IPS (in-plane switching) display
technology found on the iPad and iMac, has a massive viewing angle, so even at an odd
angle you can see everything on the screen clearly. And since the screen is bonded to the
layer of glass immediately above it, it’s a bit closer to your eyes—there’s less of the
sense that you’re looking at a display through a layer of glass than there was on previous
iPhones or the iPad.

As for the increased resolution, it’s staggering. High-definition videos play back with
such smoothness and clarity that you feel like you’re looking through a tiny window into
the real world. Tiny details on photos are clear as day. When I watch a video on my
iPhone 3GS, I don’t notice that the individual stalks of wheat in the Van Gogh episode of
Doctor Who aren’t clear. But when I watch that same in HD quality on the iPhone 4’s
screen, I can see the individual kernels on the stalks. It’s the same scene, but with
exquisite detail that was lacking before.

Text is similarly gorgeous. Yes, black text on a white background in Safari or iBooks
looks like it was printed on paper. But what really exposes the power of the display is
colored or gray text, which tended to look a bit jaggier on previous iPhones. On the
iPhone 4, even light gray text is immaculate.

If you’ve not yet seen an iPhone 4, you may stare at your current phone (or even PC
screen) and wonder how this new display could be that much better than what you’ve
already got. After I handled the iPhone 4 a few weeks before its release, I couldn’t quite
believe what I had seen. When I stared at my iPhone 3GS display, I saw a really good
screen. How could the iPhone 4’s screen have put it to shame? And yet, when you view
the two models side by side, you can see that the difference in quality isn’t even subtle.
The iPhone 4’s screen is so good, it’s shocking.

Smile for the camera(s)




We are rapidly approaching the day where every device we own will be able to shoot HD
video. Is the oatmeal in the microwave boiling over the side of the bowl? Check the HD
video. Did the washing machine get that stain out of your favorite shirt? HD video. A
mountain lion ran right across the trail in front of your bike? HD video or it didn’t
happen.

The iPhone 4 is the latest device to bring HD video to the party, and is capable of
shooting 720p video at 30 frames per second. That’s not the only upgrade over previous
models, though: the device’s rear-facing camera is powered by a 5-megapixel sensor.
With the iPhone 3GS, Apple managed to build a cellphone camera that outperformed
other phone cameras with higher megapixel counts, and that story continues with the
iPhone 4. Though some comparable phones offer 8 megapixels of resolution, in our tests,
the iPhone 4 (with its strong low-light performance and backside-illuminated chip
design) outperformed all but dedicated point-and-shoot cameras.

There’s no doubt that the iPhone 4’s camera is good. HD videos are clear and crisp and
stills show remarkable detail. The redesigned Camera app in iOS 4 keeps things simple—
rather than fiddling with settings, you just touch to set the point you want to use for focus
and spot metering, and the camera adjusts immediately. There are simple controls to turn
the iPhone 4’s new LED flash on and off and flip between the iPhone’s two onboard
cameras (more on that second camera in a bit), as well as a digital zoom slider.

I’m not a fan of the concept of digital zooming, which is more like an in-camera cropping
effect than an actual zoom. It would be nice if the iPhone 4’s camera had an optical
zoom, but given the space considerations it seems impossible. If you’re taking pictures of
a kids’ soccer match, you might want to bring a camera with a real zoom. But if you can
fill the iPhone 4’s frame with whatever you want to shoot, you’ll get good results.
The iPhone 4’s included LED flash addresses one of the big complaints about previous
iPhone cameras: They just didn’t work very well in the dark. Well, now there’s a flash, so
you can check that box. But quite frankly, I was disappointed by the flash. If you’re in a
pitch-black room and there’s simply no other way to get a shot, you should use it. But in
dim light, I found myself more satisfied with images I took without the flash. Using the
flash generally left me with strangely colored shots full of red eye and (more often than
not) an ugly mix of overilluminated and underilluminated sections, as if I had been
shining a flashlight on a small portion of the frame.

I appreciated the quality of the iPhone 4’s HD video, which approaches that of the Flip
video series of cameras. I bought a dedicated HD camcorder last year, but it’s too big to
carry everywhere. Having an HD video camera in your pocket all the time has got to be a
good thing. I’m not saying the Flip products are doomed, exactly, but devices like the
iPhone 4 are narrowing their potential market pretty severely. If you’ve got an iPhone 4,
you don’t really need a Flip.

Another reason an iPhone 4 beats a Flip: the introduction of iMovie for iPhone, an app
that lets you quickly edit the videos you shot and then post them online. You can read our
full review of iMovie for details. iMovie is by no means a perfect app: I find that I tend to
shoot a bunch of stuff in one go with the intent of splitting it into different clips later on, a
style that is completely useless with iMovie since it can’t split clips. But the fact remains,
it lets you edit HD video on a phone, quickly and with a minimum of hassle. I can’t tell
you how many times I wished I could stitch two or three clips together and mail them to a
family member while on a trip; with iMovie, I can.

Still, I’m not dumping my HD camcorder. The fact is, video shot with a dedicated
camcorder will be of vastly better quality than video shot with any cell phone, including
the iPhone 4. Like nearly all pocket camcorders, there’s no image stabilization, and bright
colors against a dark background are badly blown out. The lack of a physical zoom limits
your shooting options. And the audio recorded by the iPhone 4 when shooting video is of
poor quality.

On the other hand, the quality of still photos from the iPhone 4 is much more impressive.
The iPhone 4 can’t compete with the still image quality of a current point-and-shoot
camera, but the images are still quite good—on par with a dedicated camera from a few
years ago.
Actual-size image samples of the same object taken by all four generations of iPhone.

Of course, there’s a second camera on the iPhone 4, just to the left of the speaker on the
phone’s front. In terms of tech specs, it’s nothing to write home about: its resolution is a
meager 640-by-480. But of course, this is Apple we’re talking about. That camera exists
for a reason, and the reason is a software feature of iOS 4 that’s only available on the
iPhone 4.

Get some FaceTime




FaceTime images will automatically rotate as your iPhones rotate.
People have been placing video calls on their computers for years, and in some parts of
the world phones have been capable of video chat for a while now. Recent smartphone
releases in the U.S, such as the HTC EVO 4G, have integrated forward-facing cameras in
order to enable face-to-face videoconferences.

And yet, for all of that, Apple has managed to get people to talk about iPhone 4’s
FaceTime feature with a degree of buzz that it doesn’t seem to deserve. Although some of
that has to do with Apple’s marketing genius, I suspect a lot of it has to do with the fact
that no video call implementations on cell phones have really gained momentum. People
have come to expect that when Apple implements something, that technology has finally
arrived.

The interesting choice Apple has made with FaceTime is implementing it as a part of the
Phone app, rather than creating a unique FaceTime app devoted to videoconferencing.
There are a few ways to start a FaceTime session with someone; you can dial their iPhone
4 and, once you’ve connected, tap the FaceTime button on the screen. You can also just
tap on a person in the Contacts list, scroll down, and tap the FaceTime button, bypassing
the traditional cell phone network altogether. All FaceTime calls appear in your recent
call list, just as if they were traditional phone calls.

It’s a simple approach that makes a whole lot of sense in a system that’s designed to
connect iPhone 4 phones to each other. But in announcing the iPhone 4, Apple said it
would encourage the adoption of FaceTime by other devices as well. As a result, it’s a
little perplexing that FaceTime appears to key off of something as mundane as a
telephone number. (For now, FaceTime also requires a Wi-Fi connection, and uses the
Internet for all its communication—adding a little cognitive dissonance to the choice of
the Phone app as the place where all FaceTime communications happen. If the person
you’re trying to call is using a Wi-Fi network that’s behind a strict firewall, you may also
have trouble connecting to them—just as it’s sometimes impossible to do a iChat video
conference with some people on tightly controlled office networks.)

It’s also unfortunate that, at least for now, iPhone 4 owners can only use FaceTime with
other iPhone 4 users, and not interoperate with other video-chat clients such as Apple’s
own iChat. (Given that FaceTime uses all the same sound effects as iChat, it seems
inevitable that the two products will one day interoperate. Then again, the Messages app
looks and sounds like iChat, and Apple has steadfastly resisted creating an iOS version of
iChat.) It’s likely that Apple has tried to keep FaceTime as simple as possible for its
initial roll-out on the iPhone 4, and then will modify it as needed as it adds other devices
(such as Macs, iPads, and iPod touches) to the FaceTime party.

Details of the implementation aside, FaceTime worked flawlessly for me. I connected
with several fellow iPhone 4 early adopters and could see and hear them without any
trouble at all. I even made an international FaceTime call, to Scotland, with ease. The
iPhone 4’s speakerphone is loud enough to hold a FaceTime conversation. FaceTime’s
smart enough to rotate the video window properly depending on how you’re holding your
iPhone—and how the person you’re talking to is holding theirs. When someone rotates
their phone, their window rotates as well. It’s very well thought out and couldn’t be
easier to use.
My only question is, will people use it? Despite the hype when iChat AV was released, I
don’t find myself video chatting routinely with anyone except my family on business
trips. (And even if I take my iPhone 4 with me on those trips, I won’t be able to chat with
my family on our iMac until iChat is updated to talk to FaceTime.) Video phone calls are
very much something we all expected to happen in the future, and the future is clearly
here—but were those visions of the future right? A video call requires your full attention;
I can wash dishes while I talk on my iPhone, but not if I’m using FaceTime. Holding that
phone so that the camera is pointing at your face can also tire out your arm.

My guess would be that user adoption of FaceTime will grow over time, as more devices
support its protocols and especially once you can make those calls via the cellular
network. And, of course, other apps should be able to access the iPhone 4’s front camera
for their own purposes. (Skype, for example, should be able to build a version of its app
for iPhone 4 that’s compatible with other Skype video chat services.) I’m not sure video
calling will ever be as common as it is in science fiction, but if anything’s going to
popularize it, FaceTime will.

Bigger, Faster, Longer
Although Apple doesn’t like to talk about specs, we know that the iPhone 4 is, like the
iPad, powered by a custom-built A4 processor. It’s also got 512MB of onboard RAM,
twice the amount found in the iPad, iPhone 3GS, and third-generation iPod touch (and
four times the amount found in the first two iPhone and iPod touch models). As a result,
it’s the fastest iPhone ever made, and even faster than the iPad in some tests. Its larger
amount of RAM means it will be able to take advantage of iOS 4’s multitasking features
to keep more apps open simultaneously, as well.

iOS speed tests: How the iPhone 4 compares
                        BootPeggleStar DefenseSunspiderV8 v5NYTimes.com
          iPhone 4      33 3      18.3        10.3     87.7 14.7
        iPhone 3GS      34 8.5    22.7        14.0     44.6 20
      iPod touch 3G     26 6      20.9        13.6     68.3 15.8
         iPhone 3G      51 16.5 43.8          39.1     DNF 45.1
     iPod Touch 2G      36 11     32          30.7     DNF 30.5
       iPad (OS 3.2)    24 4      16.4        10.4     99.7 10.8
iPhone original (OS 3.1)34 15.2 36            43       DNF 45.4
 iPod touch 1G (OS 3.1) 30 22.9 35            44.9     DNF 60

Best results in bold. Smaller numbers are better except in the V8 v5 test.

All devices tested with iOS 4.0 except where otherwise noted. Boot time in seconds.
Peggle and Star Defense tests measured time from tapping the app on the home screen to
reaching first interactive ―game ready‖ screen. Sunspider is a WebKit JavaScript
performance test, with results in seconds. V8 is version 5 of Google’s V8 JavaScript
benchmark. NYTimes.com test measured number of seconds to load home page of
nytimes.com.
You can feel the iPhone 4’s speed everywhere you turn. Apps launch in an instant.
Switching between apps happens in the blink of an eye. Actions that cause even the
speedy iPhone 3GS to bog down, such as bringing up playback controls on streaming
video such as in the MLB At Bat app, are instantaneous on the iPhone 4. Even high-
resolution game graphics move fluidly.

According to Apple, the A4 processor has the advantage of bringing more power to the
equation while consuming less energy. That, combined, with the iPhone 4’s larger
battery, gives Apple the confidence to claim that this model has 40 percent more talk time
per charge than the iPhone 3GS. Testing a battery this large takes time; we’re in the
process of running some tests and will report on them in the near future. From my first
few days with the iPhone, my impression is that battery life is improved, making it a bit
easier to get through a day without needing a charging session.

Media master, with caveats
Since the iPhone was introduced, there’s one app that I’ve used more than any other, by
far: iPod. I use my iPhone to listen to music and podcasts during my public-transit
commute, when I’m mowing the lawn, and when I’m washing the dishes. Media
playback is where the iPhone shines, both in the hands-down excellent iPod app and
(especially thanks to the multitasking features of iOS 4) third-party apps such as Pandora
and MLB At Bat 2010.

If I’ve got the choice between an iPad and an iPhone, I’ll choose the former to watch
video, owing entirely to its larger screen. But the iPhone 4’s high-resolution display is
spectacular for video playback, and finally there’s an iPhone that’s capable of playing
back HD-quality video files. (Previous models couldn’t handle resolutions higher than
standard-def.)

Unfortunately, those 720p video files that play back with aplomb on the iPhone 4 can’t be
played back on an HDTV via the iPhone. The iPhone 4 has the same external playback
limitations as its predecessors: it can use an RGB, composite, or component adapter to
display standard-def video, but that’s pretty much it. I’m not sure whether it’s a limitation
of the iPod dock connector or just the onboard video circuitry, but it’s a shame: A device
with the muscle to handle HD video should be able to display it on an HDTV.

Macworld’s buying advice
The tech world has changed in the year between the announcement of the iPhone 3GS
and the iPhone 4. In the intervening time, Apple released the iPad, and created a whole
new way for people to interact with iOS apps. As someone who has both an iPhone and
an iPad, I’ve discovered that the amount of time I spent using my iPhone has been
dramatically reduced, as I’ve moved my attention to the iPad versions of my favorite
apps.
So I have to view the iPhone 4 as something other than the ultimate expression of the
iOS. Though its total screen resolution is nearly that of the iPad, the goal of the iPhone
4’s display is to ramp up detail—which is good, because otherwise the iPhone 4 wouldn’t
fit in your pocket, and what good would it be then?

The iPhone 4 is, in many ways, the best iPhone Apple has ever made. It’s faster than the
3GS, yes, but it’s the screen that is the biggest leap forward in quality. The new face-
forward camera not only works well with FaceTime, but opens the door to all sorts of
other videoconferencing possibilities in the future. And the rear-facing camera has taken
a big step forward from the 3GS, offering quite high-quality stills and Flip-class HD
video. With the addition of iMovie, you’ve got an entire home video studio in your hand.
If only the iPhone 4 could play those HD-caliber videos back on an external HDTV itself.

The iPhone 4 is also the first real design departure for the iPhone in two years; I like the
metal styling and the solid feel, and the flat glass front and back are gorgeous. But I’m
concerned that the glass back adds an unnecessary level of fragility to the product.
What’s the point of designing a beautiful product if it’s so fragile that your customers
need to stick it in a case (or wrap it in a rubber bumper) in order to protect it? And of
course, I'm concerned about the fact that touching the phone in the wrong places can
hamper cellular reception.

The recent changes to AT&T’s wireless data plans means that a base level of iPhone
service costs $15 less a month ($15 for 200MB versus $30 for unlimited data), which
may entice many bill-averse consumers to finally take the iPhone plunge. For them, and
for owners of original iPhones and two-year-old iPhone 3Gs, the iPhone 4 is a perfect
match.

If you’re a user of the iPhone 3GS, though, this new model is less of a step up–and you’ll
probably have to pay a large upgrade fee to get it. If that’s the case, you’d probably be
better off waiting until you’re eligible for a fully subsidized upgrade. Though you’ll miss
out on the high-quality screen and front-facing camera in the meantime, the 3GS is still
quite a fast device and takes full advantage of iOS 4.0.

[Jason Snell is Macworld’s editorial director.]

								
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