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?
Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4 review – Design
One of the key principles of all things Apple is to put a premium on design, and this is definitely true with the iPhone 4. While the handset received a lukewarm reception when first leaked a few months ago, the final product has received a much better reception. The iPhone 4 is marginally heavier than it’s predecessor, but is in fact much thinner – at just 9.3mm thick, it is in fact the thinnest smart phone on the market. The extra weight, no doubt, comes from the newly designed and engineered chassis. The old plastic rear has now been replaced by pair of aluminosilicate glass panels, according to Apple of the same type used in the windshield of helicopters and high-speed trains. The glass has been chemically strengthened and as a result is some 20 time stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, and also offers greater scratch resistant, again according to Apple. Not only is the glass chassis stronger, but it also results in a handset that feel much more solid in the hand, and generally feel more like a quality piece of engineering than a phone
The antenna of the iPhone has also seen a design change, and is an area of some impressive innovation. Around the exterior of the phone runs a stainless steel band – formed of Apple’s own custom alloy no less – and is forged to be five time stronger than standard steel. Not only does this provide extra protection for the device, but it also serves as the phone’s WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM, UMTS and GPS antennae. The button configuration on the side of the phone has also changed – two separate buttons now control volume rather than just the one. The iPhone lock key also now features on a recess on the camera, and as such is sturdier and less likely to be easily flicked on and off.
Another interesting addition to the device is the introduction of a second microphone. The aim of the second microphone is to operate in conjunction with the main microphone during your phone calls and serves the role of suppressing unwanted background noise in a noise cancellation role. Furthermore, the second microphone operates in FaceTime calls for better audio quality.