My iPhone 4 Review

So I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a couple of months now. There are four outstanding features

  • Battery
  • Screen
  • Speed
  • So-called “Multitasking”
  • Ease of Migration


The battery performance of the iPhone 4 is outstanding. On a standard day my iPhone 3G would always be flat by six or seven in the evening, even with light use. With the iPhone 4, it likely 70% charge remaining. A heavy day on the train might see this drop to 30% without charging. Therefore I no longer seek out USB ports for charging and every opportunity.


The screen is astonishing. Even now, after several weeks of use, I’m still struck by how visually rich it looks and, for those applications which have uprated the graphics resolution, it’s quite an experience. The image looks like it is on top of the glass not behind a piece of glass.
I don’t have too much problems in the daylight: meaning, it’s not great but no phone works well in the light of the daystar.


Everything goes fast / Its feel fast.Doesn’t matter which. Most likely Apple have identified those bits of the display that users perceive as slow and made them prioritised to make this what your experience is, but it’s still great.


So far I’ve used the multitasking for two things – iPod and Skype. Running Skype in the background is a bad idea, it chews through the battery very quickly. Nice to have messaging and alerts, but you can’t put it in your pocket and leave it there. I suspect that Skype needs to optimise their software (both server and client side) to use less resources on a mobile device and that hasn’t happened yet.
Conversely, the iPod uses almost no battery, and causes no problems.
So multitasking is a flop as far as I’m concerned.

Resume Mode

I’ve also noticed and that a lot of software is being updated to support resume mode. That is, when you switch away from a program it halts, and next use it comes back where you left off.
That’s a win.

Antenna / Dropped Calls ?

I haven’t had any call problems with my iPhone 4 in the UK. However, on my recent visit to Sacramento I had a lot of problems with the 15 minutes of calls. Combined with comments from friends, I think the antenna problems are local to the US.
I have had problems with the sensor that blanks the screen when I hold the phone next to my ear during a call. It can turn the screen on at strange times which can see my cheek press the End Call, Mute or Hold buttons on the screen. That’s annoying and rumoured to be fixed in a software update soon.

Ease of Migration

I almost forgot to talk about this. My next-to-last phone was a Nokia N95, which I spent weeks researching and finally buying. And what an astonishing disappointment it was to use. Frankly, I hated it.
But the day that I bought it, I had to enter all my user data in by hand. All the information in my Nokia 6110 couldn’t be migrated.
When I upgraded from iPhone 3G to iPhone 4, I didn’t even have to go to a shop. I went online and they shipped a new SIM, put the SIM in the iPhone, it started the activation, waited two hours for SIM activation. Then iTunes synced all my applications, data, mail settings, phone preferences, screen settings…. EVERYTHING.
Saved me a good twenty or thirty hours. I found that impressive.

The EtherealMind View

I’m forced to conclude that the fuss about the antenna is localised the US and their choice of carrier – maybe due to lack of spectrum in key areas. All the usual things about apps, and ease of use, and good hardware quality apply: but for me, the five things above make my iPhone 4 well worth the price.

  • nemith

    So what you are saying is everything that Android had first is why you like the iPhone 4? Cool.

    • Greg Ferro

      I have to say that the Android doesn’t appeal to me. The ecosystem looks like Windows: uncontrolled, full of hacks and workarounds, not much quality and full of bugs.

      Android owners seems to complain about battery life, and buggy software quite a bit. But I guess it works for a lot of people, good for them.

    • Greg Ferro

      Oh, and I’ve had the advantages of good software on the iPhone for two years, I didn’t have to wait. I don’t find any of the things that people say the android is good at doing to be very compelling.

    • Stuart Howlette

      Who cares who had what first, use what you like, and stop moaning about people not using the same as you. If you’re that bothered about it, go buy everyone an Android phone.

      • nemith

        The same can be said about iPhone4 review blog posts :)

        It’s just an opinion, and I am typing this on my Macbook Pro right now :)

        • Stuart Howlette

          I’d say theres a big difference between “This is what I think of the phone I’ve got, some people may get a benefit out of this as they may want to know user experience” and “ANDROID DID IT FIRST” :)

  • Justin Wilson

    What about the proximity sensor issue? I am going to take mine back for a replacement soon. I hit buttons with my face, hang up on people, put them on hold, and all kinds of things.

    • Greg Ferro

      As I said it’s rumoured that a patch for the issue is coming. I’ts bloody annoying though, and wondering if I should get my handset replaced to see if that fixes anything.

      OTH, I hardly even use the telephone part. Kind of creepy making phone calls instead of using text.

    • Greg Ferro

      As I predicted, the fix for proximity sensor is in the next version of iOS, possibly released next week.

  • Andy

    The antenna issue isn’t contained to America only, but it is hugely dependent on strength of signal and congestion for where you’re at. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin I’ve seen less than 1% dropped calls (better than the 1-2% Apple quoted as probable) yet when I travel to Chicago or New York or San Fran the dropped calls/time waiting to place calls compounds exponentially. Additionally when I travel mid-state Wisconsin/Illinois where signal strength is low it also gets bad.

    If you are in an area with strong signal strength and little congestion it works as expected. If you are in an area of high congestion or low signal strength itís a horrible phone.

    • Greg Ferro

      I can prove that to be wrong. Just because that’s your experience in the USA, does not make it universally true. I live in an area of the UK with very low signal strength, typically less than three bars at any time, and have very few no problems with dropped calls.

      I believe that the most likely explanation is that a combination / interoperability of the AT&T network and the iPhone is the cause. Not the iPhone itself, and not exclusively the AT&T network.

      • Andy

        I should have added that we also have users in the UK and traveling to the UK who experience dropped calls when in areas of 1-3 bars. So my experience isnít just relative to America but my example was, my bad. Iíll ask them what areas they typically see the low signal strength and dropped calls.

        I won’t argue that AT&T has issues, but I will argue that from my experience, this problem occurs with the iPhone 4 everywhere. I would add however that it doesnít occur with all iPhones either, only some.

  • MikeInSeoul

    Am I the only one that noticed the list of “4 outstanding features” has 5 items in it??

    • Greg Ferro

      OMG – Someone actually reads what I wrote ? :)

      Ah well, I’m just an amateur.

  • logan

    good review. like my new 4. feels nicer, looks better, the reception is great for me. i love the facetime it helps me keep in touch with my partner and several clients who like to facetime. the processor is faster and it takes better pics and better video. love my new unlocked phones. simple to navigate around and emailing and texting isnít too bad. my daughter and wife loves theirs for the facebook and games, also the aps are great for everyone. much better than my unlocked htc phones. the wifi and gps are great for my business and the fantasy football is easy to use. the speaker phone is loud and the touch screen is responsive. got my blackberry unlock codes and htc unlocking for free too for my wife and son. got our last couple 4?s at 2 thumbs way up