The iPhone 4 sold like hot cakes on its first day, but that was the Apple faithful running out to buy it? We’ve gathered up the summaries of 40 iPhone 4 reviews to help you separate the fact from fiction when it comes to the newest version of the iPhone.
Overall you’ll find the reviews are pretty positive with a caveat here or there. It all boils down to what you need out of a cell phone, but it’s sounding like the iPhone 4 is a solid option for just about everyone out there.
As for speed, the iPhone 4 is fast. It’s hard to perceive the differences between an iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, but it’s definitely on the speedy side, on par with the iPad.
Still, there’s one flaw it can’t completely eliminate: the unreliable quality of calls placed over AT&T, which remains the iPhone’s only U.S. carrier.
Would I buy it? Yes.
It’s the must-have gadget and I recommend you have it to.
As I said before … Memorable. Amazing. Awesome.
With the iPhone 4, Apple again shows that it is a powerful player in the smartphone wars. It won’t be for everyone, the call quality and reception remain sticking points, and AT&T remains a sticking point, but the handset’s striking design, loaded feature set, and satisfying performance make it the best iPhone yet.
I recommend the iPhone 4 without reservation, even with the ‘Death Grip’ antenna issue, which initially freaked me out, but now looks like no big deal.
But overall, the iPhone 4 is an excellent, beautifully built device that cements Apple’s position as the leading smartphone maker.
So was it worth the wait?
The iPhone 4’s cool factor alone will grab your attention, but unless you’re a current AT&T customer sans iPhone, we would say hold on to your 3G S for a bit. Apple iOS 4 is a major upgrade, but it brought improvements to the 3G S as well, mitigating functional differences and perhaps lowering the reasons to upgrade. If you’re a Verizon, Sprint or even T-Mobile customer, you have plenty of worthwhile iPhone 4-like choices.
But when it comes to the total package — fit and finish in both software and hardware, performance, app selection, and all of the little details that make a device like this what it is — we think it’s the cream of the current crop.
Putting it up against the best of the Android competition – the HTC Evo, which went on sale in the US on Friday – the iPhone 4 is still lacking in some features.
The Evo uses faster 4G networks, has an 8Mp camera and the capability to turn itself into a Wi-Fi hotspot. It also has a much larger screen and its video calling can take place over 3G – the iPhone’s capability is limited to over Wi-Fi.
Sure, there are great alternatives to the iPhone on other carriers like the aforementioned EVO and Droid X, but none are as polished as the latest creation from Apple. A remarkable display, beautiful hardware and intelligently designed software all add up to now make iPhone 4 the phone to beat.
4 Seals of Approval Out of 5
As for the phone? Well, I already had some one-on-one time with it after the WWDC keynote earlier this month, but after seeing it again the second time, it was rather clear that this iPhone was miles ahead of its predecessors.
Instead, our advice is as follows: buy into the iPhone 4 solely if you’re in a city established to have reliable 3G coverage and are making the switch from an older phone. Get a case quickly and avoid dropping the phone. If you have an iPhone 3GS, you can probably afford to hold off on this one until next year’s update comes, but the camera and screen improvements may tempt you to jump in anyway. We’d wait, but we’d also understand if you couldn’t. Issues aside, the iPhone 4 once again inspires the kind of lust that will only seem foolish when it’s replaced.
Whatever may be the outcome of the complaints registered by iPhone4 users, there is no denying the fact that Apple has successfully launched its super slim and world’s thinnest smartphone. The device is a superlative in engineering, design and style, leaving apart the small glitches, which I am sure, Apple will soon rectify.
But you can get these features on your 3GS and if you’ve got one of the older ones with plenty of capacity for your needs, you may want to think long and hard before you decide on splashing out or waiting another year to see what Apple pulls out of its hat. We expect you’ll love it if you’re coming from the original iPhone or iPhone 3G, though.
If you currently have an iPhone 3GS and don’t have the early adopter itch that requires you to always obtain the latest and greatest gear, a simple upgrade to iOS 4.0 will likely suit you just fine. For the average non-geek, all of the must-have features on the new iPhone can also be had by simply updating your 3GS to this new OS build. Once the kinks are ironed out, you’ll be good to go.
If you currently own an iPhone or an iPhone 3G, it’s very difficult for me to recommend holding onto it while keeping a straight face. You’ll be missing out on the best iOS 4.0 has to offer — the multitasking workaround — and the difference in hardware and performance is night and day. For the $199 or $299 one-time fee and no change in your monthly plan pricing (unless you opt for a new, cheaper, future-killing data plan), you’d really be crazy to not indulge.
Apple’s device easily has the best industrial design, and we would argue it has the best camera and camcorder of any cell phone we’ve tested. It’s also more reliable than its predecessor, and its Retina display and FaceTime app really push the envelope.
The iPhone 4 is a sleek, smooth, super-powerful smartphone, with some impressive additions on the iPhone 3G S. The design is modern and compact, and the Retina screen brings everything you view to life with a crispness and richness previously unknown on a phone.
If you’re looking to switch from another carrier, don’t have a current contract with AT&T or it expires within the next 6 months, I think the $199 for the 16GB is a great deal. This phone has everything you’ll need to last you for 2 or 3 years, so the initial investment will be worth it. If you’re constantly traveling or you run a small business, or you’re really involved with multimedia and social networking, this phone is the best of the best. It replaces the Flip Video camera, iPods, eBook readers, and even some point-and-shoot cameras! For everyone else, I would say to wait on it. Don’t spend more than $199 for this phone. In another year, they’ll make another update to the phone, and they’ll drop the price. Only make the upgrade if the money won’t break your bank. If you have to choose between paying your rent or buying this new iPhone, don’t be dumb! Will I get this phone? Ohhhhh, you better believe it!
Now, the iPhone is no longer the undisputed king of app phones. In particular, the technically inclined may find greater flexibility and choice among its Android rivals, like the HTC Incredible and Evo. They’re more complicated, and their app store not as good, but they’re loaded with droolworthy features like turn-by-turn GPS instructions, speech recognition that saves you typing, removable batteries and a choice of cell networks.
If what you care about, however, is size and shape, beauty and battery life, polish and pleasure, then the iPhone 4 is calling your name.
Overall the iPhone 4 is a great little smartphone and stands well ahead of other smartphones on the market. It’s closest competitors include the HTC Evo 4G, Samsung Galaxy S and possibly the upcoming Motorola Droid X. If these super Androids aren’t your cup of tea then don’t hesitate springing for the new iPhone already (unless you’re waiting for the white version).
From our early look at the Apple iPhone 4, this handset appears to be a must-have for anyone with an original iPhone or iPhone 3G (the former won’t get the iOS 4 upgrade at all, while the 3G won’t support some features). And people who have an iPhone 3GS will find this a worthy upgrade, too. Unlike the previous jump, from the iPhone 3G to the 3GS – which focused on slight performance improvements – the Apple iPhone 4 bolsters the hardware’s digital imaging capabilities and its display, making it a comprehensive and measurable upgrade over its predecessor.
The iPhone 4 is pretty great, in many ways. But one size doesn’t fit all. There is no perfect, end-all device. Google could learn a whole lot from Apple about how to encourage game developers, and Apple could learn from HTC and Motorola about antenna design. The iPhone 4 deserves its place in the pantheon of cell-phone gods, but as part of a distinguished group, not as a single overlord.
The iPhone 4 is a major upgrade from its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, in everything from the camera quality to data speeds.
It all comes down to personal preference. The Apple iPhone 4 has a display of better quality, but smaller size, when compared, for example, to the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola DROID X or Samsung Galaxy S – some of the best Android phones out there. The iPhone 4 lacks the 4G connectivity (which, as a matter of fact, you might never get), but its App Store sports about 4 times more apps, with each being about 5 times better in value. Its iOS 4.0 does not feature active homescreen widgets to show you what the weather is like on the outside, like Android does, but it would never freeze, crash or lag. As we said, it’s all a matter of personal taste.
So our advice is… simply decide for yourself what you want from your smartphone, and how you want it.
The iPhone is still one of the best smartphones on the market, but it’s no longer safe to simply call this The One and go home. Depending on your needs, there may be better options out there for you. But if you want great multimedia, superior gaming and app options, and a screen that looks picture perfect, the iPhone 4 is the one to choose.
Altogether, the iPhone 4 feels like a tour de force performance by a company hitting on all cylinders.
While it’s hard to make the case that the iPhone 4 represents a breakthrough, that misses the point. In true Apple fashion, the value of the overall package is greater than the sum of its already impressive parts. The long lines and rapturous reviews that have greeted the iPhone 4’s debut are by and large justified.
If HTC is crazy enough to launch their Evo 4G here (as redundant as that my be for quite a awhile), the choices we’ll have to make will only get harder. The race is on and I’m extremely curious to see who makes it to the finish first.
Put it this way: if we didn’t have to switch hands to browse the internet at any given moment, this phone would have been five stars, hands down. Apart from the fact your own skin makes you lose all 3G connectivity, there’s pretty much nothing wrong with this phone.
But however you slice it, no matter its detriments, from just about any angle you approach the iPhone 4, it really is a marvelous device. Assuming the reception issues are addressable, this iPhone is the best yet, and that’s saying something.
Ultimately, though, while our reflections on price – and this review in general – may have a slightly dour tone this is largely because the iPhone 4 looked to be something truly amazing and has only proven to be a solid improvement. But, be under no illusion, the iPhone 4 is still far and away the best smartphone on the market. It’s build quality puts others to shame, it has a style all of its own, its operating system is still the easiest and slickest to use, its app store is unsurpassed, and it has some class leading features
Cutting through the hype, Apple has given longtime diehards, and first-time iPhone owners, plenty to cheer about
Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal
… however, I’d say that Apple has built a beautiful smartphone that works well, adds impressive new features and is still, overall, the best device in its class.
Apple’s new iPhone 4 is in no danger of being mistaken for any of its three predecessors. Its angular contours and precision-engineered metal buttons feel dramatically different from the smooth, streamlined shapes of the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS.
WIRED Incredible display. FaceTime video chat is futuristic fun. Thinner profile feels great in your pocket. 5-megapixel camera could replace your point-and-shoot.
TIRED The phone — one of the most important features — is still frustratingly unreliable. Antenna flaw for some lefties is lame. White balance in photos and videos is slightly off.
So let’s say that after reading everything you can about the new iPhone, you’re simply not willing to take the risk of a shattered screen. And you’re also not sure about that antenna thing (maybe you believe that bumpers are for cars). No problem. I would suggest that you can come pretty darn close to the iPhone 4 by purchasing the 3G S for $99 with a two-year contract. One of the benefits of a closed system like Apple’s is that your OS smoothly runs across all your hardware, and iOS 4 is almost as impressive on the more durable 3G S as it is on the iPhone 4.
If you already own the iPhone 3GS, you might want to hang back before coughing up the cash for the iPhone 4. After all, the 3GS is already a relatively slim, peppy device, and though it’s lacking FaceTime video chat (which, alas, I haven’t had time to properly test yet) and the crazy-tight Retina display of the iPhone 4, last year’s model has almost all the best new iPhone features thanks to Monday’s iOS 4 upgrade.
If you’re still using the iPhone 3G or even the original iPhone, however — and assuming you want to keep going the iPhone way — you’ll get an impressive bang for your buck by trading up for the iPhone 4, particularly in the performance and battery-life departments. You’ll also be able to take advantage of two key iOS 4 features: multitasking (still not perfect, granted, but getting there) and home-screen wallpapers, which iPhone 3G owners must do without. (The first iPhone can’t be upgraded to iOS 4, period.)
So, yeah, the iPhone 4 is a winner – nice new hardware design, as well as some cool stuff with the software, which we kind of already heard about back at the iPhone OS 4 event in April but is still impressive, nonetheless. But there was one major improvement that the iPhone needed and didn’t get in this new version – a new carrier in the U.S.