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30 Jul 2010
By Michael Lewis
Jul
30
2010

Great just became amazing

blog-apple-iphone4-telstra-update

First look at the Apple iPhone 4

Well its just after midnight on 30 July, 2010, and Australia has launched the Apple iPhone 4.

What’s the big deal? Its been out in the US for almost two months now – why get so excited?

Telstra iPhone 4 blog review

As I have just blogged on the Telstra Exchange, a lot of people, like me, are excited by this new member of the Apple family.

The sad part is that in a few hours I have to relinquish the iPhone 4 so it can do the rounds of other people to review. Oh well – at least I got to play with it first!

Given I only have a few hours – I will write a progressive report on a few features I have been keen to use – and hopefully will be able to give you a more thorough review in the not to distant future.

Packaging:

As with all Apple products – a work of art before you even turn on the phone. It cries quality. The contents are kept simple – the iPhone,  headphones, power plug and multipurpose cable (for charging and synchronising), and the basic “How to” foldout and SIM removal tool. If you want a user guide – its all online for you to use.

SIM Card:

Apple have changed the ground rules – starting with the iPad. They have opted to used a micro SIM – holds the same amount of information but takes up less space. If you thought real estate was a scarce commodity in your neighbourhood – imagine creating more space within a handset. How the rest of the market will react will

be worth watching.

A couple of things to remember if you are upgrading an existing handset and SIM to the iPhone 4 – back up your contact numbers from your old SIM card. It will not physically fit into the iPhone 4. If you are moving up the Apple family tree, then run a backup of your existing iPhone through iTunes before making the change.

Design:

Steve Jobs said it all at the international announcement of the iPhone 4: “You gotta see this in person. This is beyond doubt, the most precise thing, and one of the most beautiful we’ve ever made. Glass on the front and back, and steel all around the sides. Its like a beautiful old Leica camera”. Who am I to argue?

The iPhone 4 is a sleek looking number. Some immediate noticeable changes – the volume up and down rocker bar has been replaced with two buttons featuring a “+” and “-“ design. The SIM housing tray has moved from the top of the phone to the side. A wider metal band around the edge of the iPhone adds even more class to the handset. The flat strengthened glass back completes the package.

Apple have built the iPhone 4 with fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating front and back so you won’t have to constantly wipe away those annoying finger smudges.

Overall the iPhone 4 is  smaller than its predecessor – 115.2mm x 58.6mm x 9.3mm (115.5 x 62.1mm x 12.3mm).

Screen quality:

The iPhone 4 still boasts a 3.5” diagonal widescreen multi-touch display – but now has 960 x 640 resolution (previous model 480 x 320). Apple is heavily promoting Retina Display. Until now I had no appreciation as to what this was.  After a few minutes – I “got it”. Basically when you expand an image or

word on the screen, the pixels density is so high you don’t experience the jagged edge syndome! (Check out the Apple website (www.apple.com/iphone/features/retina-display.html)

Bottom line – things just look better on the iPhone 4.

Telstra iPhone 4 smartphone blog review

Light, Cameras, Action:

The iPhone 4 features a 5 megapixel camera (up from 3 megapixels), and a now has a front facing camera for video calls. Apple call this FaceTime. Due to the time I am writing this, I had to make do calling another phone I had in the same room – for some reason I doubt my family or friends would be that excited to receive a video call from me at 2am . Please note FaceTime currently requires WiFi.

The calling menu also allows you to access FaceTime with the a single icon touch. Simple. Effective.

Its true what I learned as a kid – all things come to those who wait. iPhone 4 has an LED flash – finally.

I love the video capability. Although I did not get to fully play with it in this encounter, I know you can shoot HD video, and edit it (including adding a soundtrack) without even closing the iPhone 4 down.

Multi-tasking:

Utilising iOS 4, the iPhone 4 has multitasking – another long awaited feature.  No more waiting for a task to finish before changing screens. Background processing take care of it.  Music can play in the background as you download an application from the App Store.

Another great feature of iOS4 is the ability to use onscreen folders. First seen in the iOS4 upgrade on the iPhone 3GS, folders help keep your phone’s desktop nice and clean.

As my eyelids are drooping, and my typing is getting worse, I have reluctantly decided to end my first iPhone 4 review here, and hope that I will soon have one for a longer period of time soon.

The Verdict:

The BEST smartphone I have used or seen. Mr Jobs – thank you and well done. The bar has been raised once again.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading your comments on the new iPhone.

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10 Comments

  1. Tyrone Lee says:

    You Aussies are strange. The phone has been out for 2 months and horse has bolted.

    The phone is a dud. Too small with antenna problem.

    All the excited has died here in USA. Nobody wants it and its a shame really.

    iPhone 4 is not even 4g.

  2. Hi Michael
    You are a tragic.
    I hope you’ve managed to grab some sleep when you get to read this post.

    You mention the Retina Display feature which makes expanded content much clearer onscreen. This is a great new feature for people with vision impairment who need to expand the size of text and images in order to see them properly. While the iPhone 3 has zoom text, this is terrific improvement.

    Were you also able to test two of the other fantastic accessibility features of the iPhone 4? – i.e. voice over screen reader which provides access to the many features and rich content available on the iPhone, making iPhones accessible to people who are blind (also on the iPhone 3), and the very new video calling feaure, which makes iPhone 4 more accessible to people who are Deaf and who use Australian Sign Language as their preferred language. They’ll now be able to add video calling for the first time to other text based communications options such as SMS, email and the IP Relay.
    Would welcome your thoughts on these.
    Bert

  3. SAPaleAle says:

    Its a phone nothing more nothing less and is it the best well thats a personal call and put it this way after being a 3G owner I now own a HTC Desire and chose it over the 4 and I had seen and used a 4 from a visiting friend.

  4. Michael Lewis says:

    Hi Bert. Tragic? In all the years you have known me nothing’s changed!. I did get a couple of hours sleep – just!
    Thanks for pointing out those great features. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to try the voice over screen reader – but I have read up on it and yes it does add a whole new dimension for the blind and visually impared community. Video calling – a feature the US is still to pick up on – is slowly getting through to them. We have had the capability and network bandwidth for video calls since the launch of Next G, and the majority of the handset range has included a front facing camera as a standard. The iPhone 4 can run video calls over a WiFi network only at this time, but I agree with your comments regarding the use of Australian Sign Language over this medium.

  5. Nick Kats says:

    To Tyrone,

    Just comes to show how average the U.S network is, i just ported from optus to telstra and have not been able to lose 5 bars for the life of me. I am working for telstra and everyone in the office has perfect reception even in the basement carpark its never been the phone its the over congested networks that cannot keep up.

  6. Don says:

    I just got iphone4 and have been synching with mac and itunes store apps.

    Has telstra got an app store for customers? One app I would like is a button to press showing me monthly usage so I can track it and not get surprises.

  7. Jim says:

    I really feel mistreated by a Telstra T Life store -

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1499397

    I’d like to get an explanation as to why Telstra T life stores think they can rip off unsuspecting iPhone 4 customers.

  8. Don says:

    Jim – I just read thru your comments and all I can say is I had the EXACT OPPOSITE experience.

    I was rolling over my $79 cap plan which included 16GB iPhone4 for $0. It actually reduced my plan by $10 a month as the data is now include in the plan.

    Yes I got the 1GB automatically – which drops to 500MB after initial period but as I use wi-fi mainly I will be fine with that amount of data.

    The only query I had which was explained very simply today at the CBD T-store was I logged into my account and it said I had used 50% of my data which only showed like small kb amounts. It turns out my plan rolls on the 10th so it has apportioned it fo rthe period and no way I’ll use it.

    Overall I have had a very good experience and no problems.

    Oh – while I am here I might add that I was walking thru the tunnel from Pitt St to Wynyard on the phone and the signal dropped out so maybe I do need that case I ordered online from the apple store.

  9. rickb says:

    Great article, you’ve made me want to rush out and buy one!!!

  10. I also got ripped of Jim.

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