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