The latest in Apple's iPhone 4 series is heralded by the manufacturer as the next big step forward in mobile phone technology, but is it enough to regain Apples place at the top of the smartphone tree?
It has been argued that the recent surge in the development of smartphones is in no small part thanks to the launch of the iPhone. In 2007 Apple introduced its first device to the mobile phone market, and the iPhone was an instant hit, taking the market by storm.
The company’s latest, the iPhone 4, boasts an impressive feature set and the first-class design for which Apple has become synonymous. The handset features a 3.5in display, which is by no means class-leading in size but does boast world-leading performance. It’s labelled the ‘retina display’ – a moniker referring to the fact that the individual pixels are indistinguishable to the human eye. The handset also features Apple’s A4 processor, designed specifically for the handset, while a three-axis gyroscope also now features.
The camera for the iPhone 4 features a 5MP sensor that is backlit with the goal of reducing image noise. The camera also features a Xenon flash, as well as touch-to-select focus points, the ability to geo-tag images and Full HD video capture. The iPhone also benefits from Apple’s App Store – with over 200,000 applications available for download, including a vast number of photography apps, the out-of-the-box camera functionality is just the start of the experience.
Apple iPhone 4 review – Features
The first and most striking feature of the iPhone 4 is the new ‘Retina Display’. The resolution now stands at 3.5in and 960 x 640 pixel, with a pixel density of 326ppi, making it the highest-resolution phone screen ever. The retina moniker comes from the fact that, owing to the incredibly small size of the pixels it renders detail finer than the eye can distinguish. What this means in real terms is that the display is particularly eye-catching, displaying text much akin to the printed word and photos with excellent contrast and levels of detail.
The iPhone 4 also features a host of improvements under the hood. The device now features a gyroscope as well as the accelerometer seen on previously. What this means is that the iPhone 4 can now sense motion in 3D, rather than just on horizontal and vertical planes. The device also features an improvement in the processing department, with a brand new A4 processor, the same as that in the iPad, present. In fact, there’s so much tech inside the iPhone 4 that the device now utilises the smaller micro SIM card format rather than the previous larger SIM card.
The arrival of the new iPhone also heralded the launch of a new operating system for the iPhone, cunningly titled iOS4. The operating system is available as an upgrade for the two previous generations of the device – the 3G and 3GS – though the iPhone 4 ships with it installed out of the box. As is the case with the iPhone 4’s camera, a lot of the functionality introduced with iOS 4 simply serves to bring the iPhone 4 up to speed with its competitors. For example, the device now supports multitasking with apps – a feature already present on many other smartphones – though you’ll to have to wait until app developer’s issue updates to fully utilise it, as apps have to be designed specifically for the job. Apple also claim that the latest version of its operating system is its fastest and most stable yet, offering extended battery life as a result.