In case you've been under a rock, on vacation, or otherwise avoiding news of any sort, Apple's new iPhone is out and is a hit everywhere. I've been using mine for a little over a month, and have finally managed to put it down long enough to write this review.
To be honest, when the phone was announced, I wasn't crazy about the design, the straight edges, the rounded corners, the flat top and bottom. It just didn't look like the iPhone so many had come to know and love. But the moment I held it in my hand, any doubts I had regarding the styling faded to a distant memory.
I prefer to have my phone in a nice, sturdy case, on those rare occasions when I would remove it from its shell, I would always take a few moments to enjoy the feel of it in my hand, admire the size of the case, and generally appreciate the overall design aesthetics. Overall, I much preferred the feel of the original iPhone to the later iPhone 3Gs, but the feel of the iPhone 4 is much superior, I came to know and appreciate this feel quite well while I patiently waited for a proper iPhone 4 case to ship. It has a very solid feel in the hand, a good weight (4.8 oz, same as the iPhone 3Gs), but smaller and thinner than its predecessor.
The glass on the front and back is aluminosilicate glass, a high tech material used for helicopter and high speed train windshields, which gives great strength and scratch resistance.
Buttons, switches, and ports are all where they were on prior models, though somewhat redesigned. A new addition on the front is the front facing camera for video chats (FaceTime), and a welcome addition on the back is a flash for the rear camera which, thanks to several apps, makes a very handy, and bright, flashlight. Beneath the surface is a new noise-cancelling microphone, the rear camera is now offers 5 Megapixel resolution for still photos, and 720p HD video.
Talking more about features of the rear camera, we first have HDR, short for high dynamic range, which takes three separate photos at different exposure levels, and then combines these to bring out a very vibrant image, usually only possible with photo manipulation software to tweak exposure levels. Next we have the ability to zoom the image, and auto focus, so it's even easier than ever to get great shots.
Also under the hood is Apple's new A4 processor which, combined 512Mb of RAM, twice that of the 3Gs, makes performance noticeably snappier than the 3Gs, which was no slouch either. And finally, out from under the hood are the antennas used for phone, WiFi, and Bluetooth. And despite the perceived antenna issues widely sensationalized in the media, I have yet to experience any dropped calls even though I tend to hold the phone in the classic 'death grip'.
Finally, the most visible feature on the new iPhone, the display itself. Apple's new 'Retina Display' features an incredible 326 pixels per inch, and a much improved contrast ratio, 300:1, resulting in blacker blacks, whiter whites, and colors more colory.
For anyone still carrying an original iPhone or a 3G, this phone is definitely worth upgrading to. For anyone that's been carrying a 3Gs for a while, the features and performance are definitely worth looking into. And if you don't already have an iPhone, what are you waiting for?