Apple iPhone 4 Review

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iphone4 9I’ve been using the Apple iPhone 4 since the day it was released. I ended up buying one without a contract since mine isn’t up for renewal till March of 2011. It was a pricey gadget purchase at over $500. Of course that never stopped me before 😉 But let’s see if I’m still happy with my purchase after 45 days of living with this smartphone.

Hardware Specifications

Operating System: iOS 4
Memory: 16GB or 32GB versions available
Display: 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch retina display, 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
Wireless: UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz only)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR wireless technology
Digital Camera: 5.0MP, Video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio
Battery: Rechargeable lithium-ion, Talk time: up to 7 hours on 3G, up to 14 hours on 2G, standby time: up to 300 hours
Internet use: up to 6 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
Video playback: Up to 10 hours
Audio playback: Up to 40 hours
Size: 4.5 x 2.31 x 0.37 in (115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 mm)
Weight: 4.8 ounces (137 grams)

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Package Contents

iPhone 4
Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic
Dock Connector to USB Cable
USB Power Adapter


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I really like the updated physical design of the iPhone 4. It’s thinner and sexier in my opinion. I really like the way the display and back surface go from edge to edge without a bezel for dirt and dust to collect. This phone feels like it has been carved out of a solid block of glass. I love the feel of it in my hand. It’s really solid and easily passes the gadgeteer squeeze test. This baby doesn’t flex, creak or crack when I squeeze it and there are no rattles when I shake it.

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Here it is next to my iPhone 3GS. You can’t tell much of a size difference looking at them from above…

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But from the side, the difference is very noticeable. The iPhone 4 now has a stainless steel band around the sides. This band is the antenna of the phone. I’m not going to go into the whole deal with the antenna problems with this phone. I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about this issue by now anyway. I’ll just say that I’ve been using my phone without a case and have not had one dropped call in the 45 days that I’ve been using the phone. That’s not to say that everything is peaches and cream with my call quality though. I’ve been an AT&T customer for years and my call quality has pretty much sucked for all of those years. It’s not unusual to have clicks and the occasional outside call that bleeds in.  The number of bars go up and down for no apparent reason. I’ve had this with any and all GSM phones that I’ve ever used. Phones will go back and forth from 1 bar, to full bars and all bars in between, while sitting in the exact same spot. So go figure.

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On the left side of the phone, you’ll find the mute switch and volume buttons. I like the individual volume buttons and find them easier to operate than the rocker switch that the previous iPhone versions used. The buttons are raised and have good tactile feedback, making them very easy to find and press with your thumb while in a call.

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The right side is the new location for the SIM card slot. Good old Apple decided to go with a micro SIM card, which means that you’ll (I’ll) need an adapter if I wish to use the same SIM in a different GSM phone. Grrrrr. I still haven’t ordered an adapter.

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Along the top edge, you’ll find the on/off wake/sleep button, 2nd microphone and headphone jack.

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The bottom edge has the main microphone along with the dock connector and speaker.

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The front of the phone has the familiar home button, speaker and a front facing VGA camera that can be used for the built in FaceTime application, as well as for self-portraits.

The previous iPhone had a great display, but the new iPhone 4’s retina display is just plain gorgeous. It’s true, you can’t see the individual pixels at all. Screen sensitivity remains the same. It’s still easy to scroll, pinch and zoom using your fingers. The iPhone remains my favorite finger friendly display.

FYI: the display is still difficult to see in direct sunlight…

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One the back you’ll see the 5MP camera lens and the new LED flash next to it.

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Here are a couple sample pictures taken with the iPhone 4. You can click them to see the original sized image. I’m pretty happy with the image quality of this phone. The colors are vivid and the images are sharp. I’ve always been pretty impressed with the cameras in iPhones, so I don’t notice much difference except for more pixels.

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The iPhone still does great with macro shots. That’s one of my main criteria for a mobile phone camera and the iPhone passes the test.

It also does a pretty decent job of capturing video. My Flip UltraHD video camera doesn’t get used anymore because the iPhone 4 does such a good job. The only thing to keep in mind though is that even though the specs say that it will record at 720p, if you upload to Youtube via your iPhone or email the video file to yourself, it will compresses it first. The resulting 568 x 320 resolution video looks pretty bad (see first video sample below). If you want the uncompressed video off your iPhone, you can import the video into iPhoto (on a Mac), or use a free iPhone app like Pixelpipe to transfer the files. Check out the samples below.

Video exported from iPhone directly to YouTube

Video imported into iPhoto on Mac from iPhone, then uploaded to YouTube

Video imported into iPhoto on Mac from iPhone, then uploaded to YouTube

So, we have a new form factor / case style, a better display and a better camera (actually dual cameras). You might be wondering how the phone performs as an actual phone and how well the battery lasts.

Call-wise, I don’t really notice anything different than my iPhone 3GS. I can make calls and receive calls. Call volume is fine. Call quality will depend entirely on how good AT&T is in your area. Although the coverage is good here in Columbus, Indiana. Call quality isn’t the best. I don’t blame the iPhone for this though. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve had the same issues with all GSM phones I’ve used with this carrier. I thought things might improve when we recently received 3G coverage, but nope… it’s still the same. In other words, it’s crappy. Although I don’t experience dropped calls, I often problems with clicking and bad audio quality.

Another thing that annoys me is that I can have full bars and not be able to check the temperature with the weather app or my stocks with the stock app. It will just sit there and spin and spin and spin. It’s pretty embarrassing when I’m out to lunch with someone new and want to show them something cool with my phone and the data connection just doesn’t work. 🙁

As far as system performance, the iPhone 4 is very snappy. Apps load almost instantly. I have no complaints at all as far as that is concerned. I also have no real complaints about battery life. I tend to charge the phone every other day and that works fine for me. My typical daily usage ranges from 10 or so text messages a day, 1-2 calls, 1hr of ebook reading with Stanza, a few minutes of app store browsing and / or app updating and a few minutes use here and there of various apps.

So I pretty much love the hardware minus AT&T’s special sauce. Now let’s talk a little bit about software.


The two main new software features on the iPhone 4, which are also included in the iOS 4 update that you can also put on your iPhone 3G and 3GS (not all new features are available on the 3G), are folders and multitasking.

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Organizing your apps into folders is really easy to do. Just hold your finger down on an icon and then drag it on top of another icon to create a new folder with those two icons inside it. Each folder can have a maximum of 12 icons. The folder will be named automatically depending on the category of the programs, but you can rename it to whatever you wish.

I like this new feature, but I do wish that there was the ability to change the folder icon. As it is, it shows a teeny tiny icon view of several of the apps that it holds.

I should also mention that you can’t drag a folder into a folder…

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Multitasking is a feature that iPhone users have been begging for since the original iPhone was first released 3 years ago. Apple has finally given it to us – sorta. It should really be called task switching. And it’s important to realize that not all apps are multitaskable (yes, I just made up a new word). Check the App Store or the developer’s webpage to verify the application supports multitasking.

To switch between apps, you just double press the Home button. When you do, you’ll see your recently opened apps at the bottom. This strip of icons scrolls left to right. If you scroll all the way to the left, you may see some special options depending on the app you have open. For example, if Pandora or the iPod app is running, you’ll see play controls.

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If you want to close an app, you just hold your finger down on the icon till you see the minus symbol. From there, you can just tap the icons to close them. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Close All open apps feature.

Other new OS features include:

Unified inbox – Allows you to see messages from all your accounts in a unified inbox, organize messages by threads, open attachments in third-party apps, and more.

ibooks – eBook reader and book store app.

Home screen wallpaper – Change the background wallpaper on your Home screen.


It’s probably not going to be a surprise that I have a love / hate relationship with the iPhone 4. I’ve enjoyed using the iPhone since I purchased the original one. I love the display, the camera and of course, the wide variety of quality applications. That said, I am not a fan of AT&T’s call quality and data quality issues in my area. It really annoys me that for the last year,  I paid extra for 3G capability when it wasn’t even available in my town. Then when we finally did get it, the experience has been pretty blah. I am not going to blame the iPhone for these problems though because I think it’s more of a local carrier issue. But at the same time, it has introduced frustration into the equation and in some ways I regret that I spent so much for this phone.

At the end of the day, I will happily recommend iPhone 4 as a capable and fun to use phone – IF the AT&T coverage in your area is good. If it’s not so great, you’ll have to put up with the same issues I’ve dealt with for years. I guess it says something positive about the iPhone that I have lived with the problems because I’ve enjoyed the phone so much.

Now it’s your turn. For those of you that purchased the iPhone 4 for the first time, or as an upgrade, are you still happy with your purchase after 45+ days?


Product Information

Price:$199 - $299 with contract$599 - $699 without contract
  • Gorgeous display
  • Thinner case
  • 5MP camera with LED flash
  • Can't turn off video compression before sending to Youtube or Email
  • Multitasking feature is really task switching

85 thoughts on “Apple iPhone 4 Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Great review, Julie . . . I doubt anyone with an iPhone chained to AT&T could disagree with the assessment of the phone itself against the good ‘ol craptastic cell network grandaddy. . Out here on the left coast, we have 3G almost everywhere . . sort of . . same stalls on trying to check weather, etc. Sometimes a voice mail may come a day or 2 late . . . got a dropped call this morning with ALL bars on both phones, etc.
    But I do love the phone . . . hope the Verizon rumors come to fruition soon.

    Beautiful flowers . . . if that is your yard, I’m jealous!! 🙂

  3. AT&T has been good for me here in Southeastern, Virginia but I’ve heard the horror stories elsewhere. Very good article. I transfer my videos from the phone to my PC then upload to YouTube, etc to get my HD uploaded.

    I heard that Jobs had said pretty soon we would be able to upload HD quality video directly to Youtube, etc from the phone. Has anyone heard anything about this?

  4. @ Julie . .
    Yes, I upgraded, but gave the new one to my wife, and unlocked her old one to use as a data WiFi only/ cell phone for me at work (saves the 30 bucks iPhone charge). Of course I am always “fiddling” with hers when I am home driving her nuts!! 🙂 The only thing I haven’t done yet is download iMovie and tried the video editing, but I am satisfied with the HD video and audio shot with the phone. I still am “unchartered” on Face Talk as well.

  5. It is true what those psychologists say. Apple buyers/fans DO suffer from the Stockholm syndrome. You aren’t capable of finding one single fault, because the second you kind’a find one you shuffle it under the carpet with comments like “I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about this issue by now anyway” (as if that makes the issue disappear), “I’ve had this with any and all GSM phones that I’ve ever used” (yeah, sure and the rest of the complainers are plain stupid, huh?) of the best one, “I am not going to blame the iPhone for these problems though because I think it’s more of a local carrier issue”. Hahaha, as if Apple had no say in closing an exclusive deal with that same carrier. Steve Jobs is as much a victim as the millions suffering from AT&T’s bad network.

    I wonder if you would not blame Delta Airlines for losing your luggage, because they outsourced their baggage handling to a third party. Wake up and free yourself from your self applied chains.

    If you want to be taken seriously as a reviewer, than you should take off those apple shaped glasses before you do a next review.

    PS: For example, no word about Apple imposed censorship on applications in their app store? Or they way they handle the antenna issue? “Oh, it doesn’t exit. Oh no! It’s a software problem. Oh noooo, you guys are holding the phone all wrong! Okay, okay, we’ll give you free casings….” What a joke, but I’m sure you’ve heard similar things from all other phone manufacturers you’ve used (before 2007) as well….

  6. Thanks Julie for a great and thorough examination and advice.I have just ordered the iphone 4 32gb in the uk.Hope it meets up to what everyone is saying

    Julian From Nottingham in england uk

  7. Great review, as always. I am waiting for the white one. In the meanwhile I am dealing with annoyance of loading OS4 on my 3G. It is so frustratingly slow and freezes a million times. No resetting works. Hope Apple listens to the customers and issues some firmware upgrade.

  8. @ Roger . . . .
    Sorry, but in Julie’s defense, the antennaegate issue is a non issue . . I tried on one to get the bars to drop w/o a case on it (I always use a case anyway, but tried) and I couldn’t duplicate the problem . . maybe I hold it like Steve says is “the right way”? LOL

    I’m willing to bet you are just angry about Apple’s success, and want trash the company without even trying out the phone. . . I wouldn’t though if I were you . . you MIGHT like it!!

    1. @Roger I appreciate all your comments and can see where you’re coming from. But here’s the deal… I purchased the original iPhone, and then the iPhone 3GS. I’ve complained about both of them over the years. I have not used the iPhone exclusively. I switch back and forth between different phones pretty often, but come back to the iPhone because I enjoy using it, warts and all. I purchased the Nexus One and used it for awhile before I hopped back to the iPhone. I am lucky to be able to use pretty much any phone I want, but I keep coming back to the iPhone. So for me, it works.

      Like Don, I have not suffered from the antenna issue. I see the bars go up and down, but I’ve always seen the bars go up and down. That’s NOTHING new. But like I’ve said in the review, I’ve not had one single dropped call with this phone.

      And as far as complaining about the way that Apple handles their app store, it’s their prerogative to do so and anyone that buys an iPhone knows what they are signing up for. If you don’t want to deal with a censored app store then either don’t get the iPhone, or jailbreak it and use the alternative app stores. It’s simple.

      If I had to sum up the main reasons why I like using the iPhone over other phones, it’s the apps, display and the camera (in that order). As of 2 weeks ago, those reasons have been 100% true for me. Things have changed though… but that’s going to be another article that I’ll be posting in the next day or so. 🙂

  9. Sadly, Apple let me down with this one. I just didn’t feel compelled to upgrade from my 32GB 3GS. The Facetime would be useless to me, as I don’t know anyone else with the iPhone 4, and the processor bump just wasn’t enough to push me over the edge. Had they put 64GB of memory in it, I would have bought it. Instead, I purchased the HTC Incredible to ride alongside my iPhone. The iPhone will still be my primary, but when I get into a poor reception/data area, I’ll have the Droid to fall back on. Plus, now I have a new operating system to play with. As a gadget geek, I’m now in heaven, with the best of both worlds.

  10. Where I am verizon is the dropped calls it all depends on where you live and it is ashame that 3 city speak for the intire Posted by: eldub | 08/7/10 | 1:27 pm |
    From my perspective, I look at Apple’s history as a victory in providing the world with exquisitely-designed, life-changing tools. If the rest of the world is willing (or forced) to settle for commoditized products that are less than that, that’s sad, but for me enjoying Apple’s products has made my life a happier journey.
    the new load and it my take up to 3 years to get a tower aproved and the iPhone has only been out 4 three years. I think the problems will go away in those city.

  11. Overall, good review. I bought the 3G in July 2007 when it came out, never upgraded to the 3GS, but pre-ordered the iPhone 4 and got it on 23 July, the day before release (that was way cool).

    Mine DID suffer from the death grip. When I held the phone normally, like I have with the 3G for over two years, I watched the antenna bars drop from 4-5 to 1, and without releasing the grip, clicked on inbox or any other app and it wouldn’t download, it would just search. That was my only issue with the phone. So, I returned it just before my 30 days were up — after the Steve Jobs video where he said there wasn’t a problem, but if people want a free case, let’s give them a free case.

    The arrogance is definitely palpable.

    But having said all that, I am hopeful that Apple fixes the problem because I plan to purchase the next one where this isn’t an issue. My friends, other iPhone users swore there’s didn’t have the same problem, but when I showed them that while you’re holding the phone and try to click on an app, it doesn’t download until you release it. It really isn’t scientific and I am no tech geek.

    Lastly, I would have about 3 dropped calls in a 30-minute conversation. I’ve always had problems w/dropped calls w/my 3G, but the iPhone 4 is worse. Like I said, I returned mine and re-activated my 3G and continue using it, but I have YET to find another iPhone user that returned one.

    And like Julie and other’s have said, with Apple there isn’t any surprises – for the most part, people know what they’re getting into and the iPhone is cooler than any other phone that “I’ve” seen. Who knows, maybe I’ll find someone with the Droid X and I’ll think that their phone is cool too — but I hear stories about the battery not lasting more than a few hours and the phone getting so hot that you want to put it down.

    To each his/her own…

  12. One thing users should always be warned about is that the Apps sold in Apple’s App Store (or Cydia for that matter) are NOT safe from viruses/trojan horses.
    Be careful with what you install and consider downloading the firewall app available in the Cydia store.

  13. It’s amazing to me how the “apple haters” and the droid fan boys are stuck on the antenna issue, I have an i4, and not once have I experienced any dropped calls. It’s 100% to do with how good AT&T is in it area.. N btw I live in san Diego, California. Without using an i4, you talk about antenna issues.. That’s cute. Don’t get mad cos you’ll never experience hd like how all is iPhone 4 users are experiencing. See you would have a valid point if u compared a non jailbroken iPhone 4 to the droid x or the hero. But my phones jailbroken.. I get everything the droid people get, except my video and photo qualities are much higher.. AND I get video calls and oh btw thru jailbreaking I can make video calls over 3G. So good luck with hating droid fan boys, maybe your the one that needs to hop off the droid, and open your eyes?

  14. Good review, I’ve updated to from the 3gs to the 4. When I first got the 3gs it was like a breath of fresh air, after 4 years of working in mobile phone retail it was a world apart from what motorola, nokia, sony ericsson, etc could offer. Now there is a lot more choice for us consumers. I was tempted to do for the HTC desire, I kind of regret not going for it as I’m usually one for changing and trying out different tech.

    I guess what stopped me was the money invested in iphone apps and accessories. I do like the new display and design of the iphone, the OS update was ok, would be nice to have more customization (without having to jailbreak) other than just changing the background.

    Not sure if I’ll last two years without getting bored of this phone, still, it’ll hold a good price so can trade it in when I do.

  15. Bought my iPhone 4 as a preorder and have had it from day 1. No problems at all with dropped calls or weak signal – it’s certainly no worse than my iPhone 3GS was in weak signal areas. Antennagate is a complete non-issue as far as I can see. I do get around twice the battery life on the iPhone 4 that I did on the 3GS – I can easily go three or four days between charges on the iPhone 4, and I was lucky to get two days out of the 3GS.

    Screen and camera are both useful upgrades over the 3GS, and I much prefer the styling of the 4 to the 3GS, which I thought was a step back from the original iPhone design.

    Not perfect, but pretty close. The best smartphone I’ve owned – and I’ve had a lot of them!

  16. Nice, review in my opinion the iphone 4 is just a splendid looking piece of kit. It’s so sleek and hi tech looking. It’s a shame about the deathgrip problem thankfully i’m right handed and don’t use it in my left hand much, kinda lucky i guess.

  17. I live in Australia where the iPhone 4 was released on July 30. I, of course, bought it on day 1. The great thing about getting one here is choice. All the major telcos have the iPhone on their network and you can pick and choose to suit. So coverage for me hasn’t been an issue at all – neither has ‘antennagate’. I have the phone mainly for movies, music, games & apps – all excel on the iPhone 4. I never heard the phrase ‘retina display’ before this phone came out, but I can tell you one thing…my retinas are in love with this phone!

  18. I had an iphone 3GS and in order to get the iphone 4.0, I had to pay the additional surcharge of $200, making the total come to $504.00 for a 16 gig iphone 4. So I went and did just that last month.

    I really liked: the gorgeous screen and the movies and photos it took. I loved how quickly and responsive the internet was in comparison to my 3GS.

    I did not like: how I experienced so many more dropped calls either with out without a bumper. With my 3GS, I rarely had a dropped call and with the iphone 4, I had more in half a day than I had experienced in 2 months with my 3GS.

    Bottom Line: I returned it and am happy with my 3GS once again. For $504.00, I expected more than I got from the iphone 4 for that much money.

    I am eagerly awaiting the iphone 5 and then I won’t have to pay a surcharge and know that Apple usually learns from their experiences so that the iphone 5 will be spectacular.

    In the meantime, I continue to really enjoy my 32 gig iphone 3GS and the great phone reception that I get.


  19. @Julie.

    No, I’m not an Apple hater or basher. I’m not jealous at their success. Not in any way and the fact that I have (and have had) iPods, iTouches and even an iPhone should be sufficient proof. I tend to buy my gadgets based on my needs and reviews. I don’t subscribe to a brand or – even worse – worship it to such a point that I get defensive with any single criticism.

    My point is in my opening line. I see and know many Apple buyers, but a lot of them convert from buyer to follower. It’s a strange phenomenon where consumers become religious followers. And now even reviewers of respected tech sites! Undoubtely it is a great phone and I already ordered mine. But keep it real!

    My point is that you, as a reviewer (!) “defend” the few negative points you find. You shouldn’t! unless you’re not an independent reviewer. You should simply point out that the reception has issues (As by now confirmed by Apple, Don!), that FaceTime is nothing new (as almost every smart-phone over the last 3 years came with a front facing camera and video-calling. At least outside the US) and that the bad network quality is also for a large part the responsibility of Apple. They DID sign that exclusive deal.

    On the other side of the pond (Netherlands in my case), we are stuck with the same issue. Apple signed an exclusive contract with T-Mobile, but T-Mobile’s network cannot handle the load. I blame them both for not doing their homework and providing what THEY promise!

  20. The bad reception is partly a design flaw of the iPhone 4, it’s as simple as that. Bad network quality contributes to that problem, off course. Some people will experience problems, and some will not.

    For me however, there are plenty of other reasons why not to buy an iPhone:
    – closed platform with only one official source of (heavily censored!!) software
    – no compliant USB connector (only proprietary)
    – no (micro)SD slot
    – no hardware keyboard
    – no real multitasking
    – no real file system

    And that’s a shame, because the hardware design and the GUI are absolutely fabulous. So I’m hoping the Samsung Galaxy Q will combine the best iPhone assets with the above mentioned missing assets.

    @Roger: the iPhone isn’t exclusive to T-Mobile anymore (only the iPhone 4, for now). You can also buy it with a Vodafone of KPN contract.

  21. @roger

    Give it a rest will you, this argument is on pretty much every iphone article/blog on the internet. There are plenty of people who like products and stick to particular brands, whether it’s tech, clothing or whatever. It’s their preference, just let it go and lighten up…. What a load of nonsense.

  22. @Valcon

    Yes, you are right. I could get the 3Gs with Vodafone or KPN. I’ve always really enjoyed left-overs. Just recently I bought Michael Jacksons ‘Thriller’ album (vinyl, of course) at a really good price and listened to it for the first time in my life. I think there are a few songs on it with some hit potential. What do you think?

    All kidding aside. Come on, man! This is about having the nicest and newest gadget! You know as well as I do, that we’re not discussing old phones here.

  23. 7 days into owning an iPhone 4, I have already run into several problems. The first, the speaker. Pandora can only be used 3-5 minutes at a time because the speaker begins to crackel and then go silent. I must resart the phone to get it working again. The screen, and no not the yellow spots, but it has been blinking and going black. After less than 30 minutes of use. I have contacted AT&T and I was told to contact Apple. Apple tells me I must send my phone away and it will take 3-5 business days for a replacement to be sent. My husband is deployed and I refuse to be without a phone for a week. The rep told me my next option was to drive 270 miles (the closest apple store) to pick one up… again, not going to happen. My last option was to front the $599.00 for the new replacement iphone and when Apple recieves my broken phone, they will credit my account. Poor customer service… and Im stuck with the choice to send the phone back and switch to another provider while Im in the 30 day decision period or deal with it???

  24. @ivy that post is so fake and just made up bullcrap to make the phone and apple look bad. Talk about obsessive apple followers. What about obsessive apple bashers? They are everywhere.

  25. @Roger: that comparison doesn’t make sense. A 3GS is still a relative “modern” device, and people are even willing to pay 400 euro’s for a second hand device. I don’t get it either, but reality can’t be denied.

    But what I was trying to tell, is that Apple eventually will abandon the “provider exclusive” strategy because many customers prefer a good provider and won’t make the switch to T-Mobile, just for the iPhone.

  26. iPhone is a life changing technology for most reasonably smart or better people, a fact Apple haters (many) will deny with all their sincerity.

  27. I switched from a 3G to iP4 on day one and immediately had problems with dropped calls. The bumper helped, but I was dropping a quarter of my calls at home and at work where my old iPhone worked fine and my wife’s 3GS continues to work today. I get dropped and failed calls even with 3 reception bars.

    I went to the Apple store and was told to drive to the AT&T store for a new SIMM. They replaced the SIMM, and I walked to the sidewalk in front of the AT&T store and tried to call my wife. The call failed. Went back in to the AT&T store and was told to go back to the Apple store.

    At the Apple store they said to reinstall the software as a new phone. I did, and it didn’t help. I returned to the Apple store and they gave me a new phone. As a quick aside, I picked up the new phone, put it into a death-grip without the bumper, and in front of the Apple Genius and the screen went blank in about 5 seconds. He looked at me and basically said, “Sorry, that’s the way they are.”

    Now after a week with my second iPhone 4, I still get continual dropped calls in locations where others with older iPhones have no problem (I’m the only one at work with an iP4, the others have 3G’s and 3GS’s and they have no issues).

    Clearly in my case, the iPhone 4 is a dysfunctional product – both of them. I’ve been purchasing Apple products since 1979, my small business is all Apple, but this is the first time I’ve regretted buying a Apple product.

    But what I find really interesting is the controversy around all this. There are people on this board who will accuse me of being an Apple hater, people who will say I’m making this up, and were I to post this message on the Apple board, their moderator would delete it. There will be people who say this is all a non-issue because they have no problem. It’s as if there is an organized effort to minimize issues like this.

    What I don’t hear are any helpful solutions, only polite apologies from the Apple Store Geniuses who seem to be caught in the middle.


  28. In the last month I have purchased an iPad and now an iPhone 4 and have changed my opinion of apple products. Both have proved easier to use and more functional than previous windows and palm based products. In Oz we have a choice of all carriers and the provider with the better network (Telstra) has finally come up with competitive plans. Performance has been fantastic with speeds of up to 5mbs although this drops to 1mbps if I hold the phone in a death grip.

  29. Thank you for the great detail!!! My husband and I purchased the new iPhone 4 yesterday. We LOVE it. We were long time customers of Verizon and after bad customer service, we decided to make a change to At&t. The only problem we have found is not being able to turn off our ITunes.

  30. I too, like Colin, have purchased both an iPad and an iPhone 4 in the last 2 months, having never owned an Apple product in my life.

    My experience is the same. Easy to use, fast and smooth interface, and add a jailbreak to each device and you’ve got one very nice and functional piece of gear.

    I was never an Apple basher as such, but being so impressed at the Apple IOS after buying an iPad, I was sold.

    I was going to buy a HTC Desire after seeing my colleagues phone, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Seeing the two side by side, there is absolutely no comparison. The iPhone and IOS are simply better in every way than the Desire and Android.

    Well done Mr. Jobs. Its taken around 20 years to get my business, and I doubt anyone is going to impress me this much again.

  31. I’ve asked for an iphone 4 christmas,but what iphone is quicker and has the least problems ? the iphone 4 or 3gs .. i just cant decide !!!!!!!!! 🙂

  32. I too have been trying to decide on which iphone to get. I always read reviews on everything before I purchase it,but, now I am more confused than I was. I have never owned an iphone before so it is completely new to me ….can someone make suggestions?

  33. I left my 3G at the grocery store 2 days ago and it was not turned in. I can’t afford to buy another one until the end of this month. I was going to buy the 3GS because of the price but started thinking maybe I should invest the extra $100 and go for the 4. I had pretty much convinced myself but now after reading the above, I’m back on the fence! 🙁 I have 10 days to decide! :O

  34. Hey guys, I am from Egypt…I have bought the iPhone 4 like 3 days ago…never owned an Apple device in my life…

    I bought the phone to pamper myself with the cool option…I like the way it handles my business usages as well…

    Never had a call dropped (I am on Vodafone)…but from time to time I just can’t log online :(… Some other times it downloads web pages faster than my pc…

    I overuse the Internet, so I was thinking about
    giving it back and getting an HTC Desire or something, but I really don’t want to…I would be like settling down for less if I did… I ordered some cases to deal with the antennas issue…do u really think it will do the trick?

    Also, I have to charge it everyday 🙁

  35. Great review!… I work most of the time in Mexico City and go back to Los Angeles every two months. The carrier in Mexico City is Telcel and their 3G coverage is great, I’ve never had a call drop and need to be underground for all signal bars to dissapear. However, when i go back home, i notice that the signal bars rarely reach 5, and some of the calls will be slightly noisy, so it’s obvious that there is an issue with At&t network. I was hesitant to purchase another Apple product(don’t like control freak companies), but I am very pleased with my iphone4. I use it mostly for work; mail, messenger, internet and to read books or take pictures while I travel. It’s easy to use and love the screen, I defenitely recommend it.

  36. Wow, first I liked the review…second, to all those who DON’T own a phone that truely does EVERYTHING it’s supposed to do then you won’t be dissapointed with iphone (3G, 3GS or I4). And, I do mean EVERYTHING!!! I’ve had just about every smartphone out there from Blackberrys, Palms, motorola, to Droid platforms (X, aries, and evo) and while SOME features appear to work better in some sort of fashion, The iphone does everything it’s supposed to do, which is by far true for any other company, which might I also add are COPIES of the iphone, I mean really it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the HTC Evo “pinch and sqeeze” feature is copied and also doesn’t work like my iphone. Apple should sue in my opinion.

    Now I know that someone is going to say that I’ve “drank the apple koolaid” and you know what…

    If liking a product that I bought with my own hard earned money and appreciating it for fullfilling it’s promises and more is “drinking the koolaid”…THEN CONSIDER ME DRUNK!!!

    Peace out, A-town Down

  37. I have the 3Gs in Atlanta and occasionally get dropped calls and stalled out data streams. Atlanta is the home of AT&T so it’s probably as good as it gets here.

    I also have a old Blackberry Curve on AT&T and it NEVER drops a call, EVER. It always instantly and flawlessly delivers every single email, YIM and BBM and PIN.

    So, for me, there IS something real to the iPhone / AT&T network issues many are experiencing.

    I go back and forth between the phones. Funny, when I’m traveling and know I will need great battery life and ultra reliable emails, YIM and BBM, I always take the Blackberry.

    Boring phone but man it works!

  38. I’ve been using other AT&T cell phones for years… love AT&T so when contract renewal date came around I thought I would try upgrading to the new iPhone 4. Lots of neat bells and whistles, but VERY unsatisfactory calling experiences. Virtually unusable as a cell phone with incomplete or dropped calls left and right. After calling tech support, resetting, rebooting, etc, etc… no luck. The number of bars showing would drift back and forth from 0 to 4 bars all the time. Calls would not go through with 3 bars. Had to return the phone as unusable. Otherwise the device is a required learning experience. The sensitivity of icons on the face make it very difficult to use. I kept selecting things by mistake. One other HUGE issue for me anyway was that with 300+ contacts on my phone, I need a way to keep my contacts backed up on PC. Turns out the only way for the iPhone 4 to be synced is with a the included USB cable and iTunes or the PC address book. The iPhone 4 does not support Bluetooth connectivity with iTunes. And there does not appear to be any other contact management software that runs on a PC. I tried the Chinese iPhone PC Suite but could not get it to run on Windows and a version for iMac is not available. Very disappointed.

  39. Julie, are you a reviewer or an Apple marketer? Sounds like you are getting a slice of apple, from the tone of your review. Please come clean and don’t hide behind the name “Reviewer”.

    1. @Nova Hahahaha 😉 Funny. Apple doesn’t know I exist. I guess you don’t visit here often… I’ve actually dumped the iPhone for a Droid X months ago. I do miss it though and will probably/possibly switch back to an iPhone if/when it comes to Verizon.

  40. Right. So I’ve not even bought the iPhone 4 and I think it’s great. And sadly, there IS the death grip problem here… if you hold it on the left side TOO hard. I’d be thankful I’m right handed.

  41. I just got an iphone 4 for an early Christmas present. Dropped it in the driveway last night and the screen is cracked. I’m sick about it. My kids have an itouch and my husband has an iphone 3 and both of those have been dropped numerous times and haven’t cracked. The iphone 4 is beautiful and I love it but the new design with the glass situation makes it very breakable. The only case in stock when I bought it was lime green and $20. Guess I should have bought it. I’m sad.

  42. woww…. i am so up in the air on which way to buy. i’m seeing that you’re either an iphone person or a droid person and i don’t know which one i am yet! i need a new phone and want one of the smart ones, hence the reason i’m in reviews. i think there’s really only one thing holding me back [from drinking the koolaid] is the ‘dropped call’ issue. my older son (an original ip user & “iphone person”) says that the dropped calls are from the “deathgrip” that people have mentioned in these posts. sooo… if that is the reason, then that is a manageable issue. i haven’t seen those two things connected here. does anyone else think that is the reason for the dropped calls?

    1. @andria Yes, the deathgrip aka antenna gate problem will cause dropped calls. That’s not the only thing that will cause dropped calls though… Of course a low signal will too. So you’ll want to check out how good AT&T coverage is in your area before you pull the trigger on an iPhone.

  43. I am not particularly happy with my new iphone4. The keyboard is very difficult to use with a degree of accuracy…for example, when you hit “a,” instead of the letter “a” I often get the caps key. Also, I need use of a comma, and it is not on the face of the keyboard. I have to go to the numbers keyboard to locate punctuation. Last, I was so disappointed that you cannot just push a button to block a caller. My former phone, Samsung Impression, was just magnificent, plus, the incredible photography that you could do with the camera was stunning. I wish I’d bought another one. (It broke after 2 years of heavy use.)

  44. Will the entire Raborn Family Switch to the new Verizon iPhone? I will need to see your review! Boy, I wish I had gotten the Verizon iPad with the 4G USB slot possibility! I do wish there was easy method to block callers!

  45. It looks like your only complaint about the network will be solved Feb 10 when the iPhone 4 hits Verizon. As a VZW subscriber, I have been anxiously awaiting this release and I am VERY excited to soon have a complete Apple collection. Thank you for the very thorough review.

  46. I have been reviewing both the 3gs and iphone 4 and still cannot decide which one to get, my sister has the 3gs and suggested if I wanted to get an iphone that I wait as she thinks apple will be releasing an iphone 5 soon.

  47. After reading all the comments on the iphone 4, I am totally confussed.
    Are there really so many dropped calls? I live in Queens, New York and am not totally in love with AT&T, but I am going to stick with their service for now.

    Should I wait for the iphone 5 to come out or buy the 4?
    Thanks for your advice.

  48. Hi,To be honest,I’m not pleased with the sound quality of iphone 4.I’ve been using a Nokia N95 before and the sound clarity/quality is much better then iphone4 especially when the speaker is on.I know this is nothing to do with the providers as I tried different sims.No antenna issues or anything like that so far but I cant delete a specific incall from the call lists…weird?Can anybody help

  49. I have just literally tossed my iPhone 4 out of my car onto the motorway, where i hope it was run over. This phone was a piece of shite. It wasn’t reliable enough for me to do business with as it kept dropping out in too many places around the city, and the problem with the antennae was also a problem. iPhone 4 is an over-hyped piece of Apple junk. I have since purchased a ‘Blackberry’ and must say that this phone is far superior to the rubbish apple product called the iPhone!

  50. Trust me I love Apple products… But I am starting to doubt my beliefs in Apple’s iPhone 4. I got myself an iPhone 4 and had to return it as the camera was faulty. Three weeks later I received a replacement, and guess what – the phone had software issues and once again I had to take it back!? I really looked forward to my iPhone 4… Now all this for major disappointment…..

  51. I am the proud owner of the iPhone 4, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. This is an amazing phone with exceptional strength. I was a former Android owner, and I had hesitation with switching to Apple…but let me tell you that I have absolutely no regrets! This phone is solid. Take it from someone who owned a BlackBerry (Curve & Storm) and Android! This is simply an amazing phone.

    And for those of you who believe that they should wait for the iPhone 5 because of possible LTE service, I highly doubt that will happen this year. Verizon spends quite a bit of time testing their phones, and since LTE is not fully established yet, I don’t think they would release a product that isn’t fully functional yet. My guess is that the iPhone 5 will actually be a iPhone 4S, similar to the 3 and 3GS, with a slight enhancements. The next big upgrade will come when all carriers are on board with LTE and Apple can make ONE type of phone that’s operational on ALL networks. This will probably be a 2012 release.

    In conclusion, those of you who are questioning the purchase, you won’t be sorry. I am IN LOVE with my phone!

    That’s just my 2 cents 🙂

  52. Im completely sold from the review.. expecting my white iPhone 4 in a week or two… definately ready for it!


  53. so this is probably really random. I have never owned a smartphone in my life, im finally upgrading and staying with at&t, but it’s come down to the good ol android vs ios. More specifically the Samsung Infuse 4g vs iphone4.
    I can’t decide. I know at&t has a return policy, but I don’t want to have to deal with it.
    Is there anybody that has personally used both?
    I know i’m probably just being really picky, but i’m sticking with this future smartphone phone for a while, and don’t want to get bored of it really quick.

  54. @anon – I have an iPhone 4 and tried out the Samsung Infuse – I hate my iPhone 4 – extremely unrealiable and the home button fails all the time. I have taken it to the apple store and they said it can happen and isn’t an issue. I fell in love with the Samsung Infuse. Skip the iPhone and move on to Samsung. Apple is losing its edge as Samsung copies the technology and improves it for users.

  55. I’m on a Verizon Wireless contract and I’m in need of a new phone. I’ve watched the reviews for the iPhone 4 and I’m truly impressed with the phone. My 2 year contracts runs up in December, allowing me to upgrade my phone (currently an outdated EnV Touch). I’d really like to purchase the iPhone 4, but I would like to talk to someone who’s had personal experience with the phone, just so I know whether or not I should really get it. I’m looking for a phone that will be reliable for the next 2 years, of course if I have insurance on it and it breaks then I’d purchase a new one. Can this phone easily break when dropped? How much is a monthly bill? So many questions..

  56. Hi Kati. Previously on this page I complained about the iPhone, reason being: I got a new phone that was faulty. But, now that I actually had the phone now for some months, I can only tell you good things with regards to the iPhone 4…! One iPhone, always an iPhone – I will never buy another phone again. Not sure where you live… I pay about R500 pm for my phone on a contract. R1 = +-R9 U.S. dollars. In short…: Truly amazing phone, and it does what you need it to do, instantly.

  57. I own a iPhone 3GS and a iPad 1 and am very pleased with both, I decided to buy an iPhone 4 in White on Three (UK Network) looking forward to it, got to wait until Monday 🙁

  58. I was warned when I purchased my IPhone 4 that they weren’t very reliable and that it was a real hassle to get if fixed if something went wrong. Sure enough a month and a half after activating my phone it went completely dead, can’t turn it on and even plugging it in won’t activate it. I am going to have to drive 80 miles to get it to an Apple store. I really liked using it but am very disappointed with it right now. I needed it badly last night and had nothing to fall back on.

  59. I have an Apple IPhone 4. I have never used droid at all. I go thru Verizon. The IPhone drops 95/ of my calls. It doesn’t stay in network. The Internet doesn’t connect half the time. The phone quit charging on me, so I had to get another one. Same problems with the second IPhone. I am not a hater. I’m being honest. I have really bad reception anywhere I go. So it’s not a network thing.

  60. the iphone 4 is crap i mean i love gagets and stuff and im not even 15 years old this is a bad phone i thought it was good at first then i realised all of the bad things like the bluetooth is so bad it can only connect with really late versions and stuff and you cant even transfer stuff from your computer to you iphone even the crapest phones in the world can do that its a rip off dont buy it

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