Apple CEO Steve Jobs opened the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference June 7 by announcing the latest iPhone incarnation, the iPhone 4. As expected, the latest handset features a high-resolution display, a faster processor, and video calling, but it also sports unexpected additions like a new antenna and a gyroscope. It will be available exclusively with AT&T starting June 24. The price with service is fair--$199 for the 16GB phone or $299 for the 32GB device--and both models come in white and black versions. No, we did not hear a peep about the elusive Verizon iPhone, but we didn't anticipate any news on that front.
For more on iOS 4
, check out our full review
of the upgrade's new features.
Even from the outside, you'll see that the iPhone 4 marks the biggest upgrade since the iPhone 3G (the 3GS didn't add much beyond a compass). The profile is thinner and you'll notice a new front-facing camera (more on that later). The iPhone 4 also serves as the debut device for the newly named iOS 4 operating system, which brings such much-needed features as multitasking, a unified e-mail in-box, and app folders for the home screen.
On the whole, this iPhone 4 has us more excited than we were last year when the the 3GS was born. The new features, particularly those in the new operating system, are long overdue and we welcome any efforts to improve call quality (remember that it is a phone, after all). There were a few things that we were hoping for that we didn't get--a 64GB model, among them--but we look forward to reviewing this model.
Design The new iPhone's design is a sharp departure from the previous iPhone models. The front and back sides are glass, both surfaces are flat, and a stainless steel border circles the entire phone. Indeed, it looks very much like the photos that appeared on Gizmodo after an Apple engineer allegedly lost it in a Redwood City, Calif., bar back in April. Other new design elements include the aforementioned front-facing camera, split volume controls, a noise-cancellation microphone, and a new LED flash with the main camera lens. The iPhone 4 also switches to a Micro-SIM format, just like the iPad.
We welcome the new design elements on a couple of levels. The flat backside means that the iPhone will no longer wobble when it's resting on a table. Also, even though the overall effect is a tad boxy, the handset has a clean and unmistakeably Apple look. At 0.37 inch (9.3mm), the iPhone 4 also is 25 percent thinner than its predecessors. Jobs called it the thinnest smartphone around, but since that race changes daily, it may not hold the title for long. … Read more