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iPhone 4 Preview: First Look at the iPhone 4

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iPhone 4 Preview: First Look at the iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 has an almost impossibly slim profile and a stunning display.

Courtesy of Apple

The Bottom Line

This is a preview of the iPhone 4, based on Apple's announcement at WWDC 2010. The newest member of the iPhone family breaks new ground by offering the highest resolution display yet seen on a mobile phone. The display quality changes everything, allowing the iPhone to be used successfully as an ebook reader, high-resolution web browser, or mobile movie production studio.

There's only one major disappointment with the new iPhone: You're still locked into AT&T as the only sanctioned carrier in the U.S. market.

Pros

  • High-resolution Retina display produces clear sharp text and images.
  • Three-axis gyro + accelerometer.
  • Digital compass + assisted GPS.
  • Multitasking.
  • Video recording.

Cons

  • AT&T network only (U.S. models).
  • FaceTime available via WiFi only.
  • Front-facing camera is low resolution.

Description

  • Apple A4 processor (same processor used in the iPad).
  • 960x640 resolution 3.5-inch glass touch display at 326 ppi.
  • Available in 16 GB and 32 GB models.
  • Dual cameras; 5-megapixel camera on back, VGA camera on front.
  • Bluetooth, WiFi, 4-band phone UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA, GSM/EDGE.
  • 4.5 inches tall by 2.31 inches wide by .37 inches deep. 4.8 ounces in weight.
  • Lithium-ion battery with 7-hour talk time, 300-hour standby.
  • Available in black or white.

Guide Review - iPhone 4 Preview: First Look at the iPhone 4

At WWDC 2010, Apple took the wraps off the iPhone 4, the successor to the popular iPhone 3GS. The newest iPhone still embodies the look of the original iPhone, but boy, what a difference a few design tweaks make.

Retina Display

The iPhone 4 is 24% thinner than its predecessor, with a stainless steel body and a 3.5-inch glass touch display that has a 960x640 resolution. The display, which Apple calls a Retina display, is amazing on its own. It can reproduce images and text with above average clarity, thanks to its 326 pixels per inch. That's about 4 times sharper than the current iPhone display.

If you want to see just what the Retina display looks like, and what it can do, check out Apple's Retina Display page.

Cameras

Apple was able to mount two cameras in the ultra-thin body. The camera on the back of the iPhone 4 has an LED flash and a 5-megapixel image sensor suitable for capturing still images or recording video at HD quality (720p at 30 fps). You focus by tapping on the target area of the displayed image. The front-facing camera can also capture stills or video, but is limited to VGA resolution at 30 fps.

FaceTime

FaceTime is Apple's first foray into video calling. FaceTime will work between any iPhone 4s that have access to a WiFi network. No setup is required; simply select the FaceTime feature when you make a call. You can use either the front- or rear-facing camera, in landscape or portrait orientation.

FaceTime is built around open standards, including h.264, AAC, SIP, STUN, TURN, ICE, RTP, and SRTP. Apple plans to release FaceTime to a standards body to ensure that other manufacturers can use its technology to bring videophone service to all the newest smartphones.

Multitasking

Apple has added multitasking to the iPhone in the form of a multitasking bar, which displays active apps you can switch between. You can run apps in the background, or suspend them until you're ready to switch back from another app.

iBooks

iBooks, the eBook system used in the iPad, is now available in the iPhone. Reading an iBook on an iPhone might sound far-fetched, but the Retina display makes it doable, if still not your first choice. Any iBooks you purchase with your iPhone will also be available on your iPad.

iMovie

Speaking of far-fetched, who would have thought you could use 'iPhone' and 'movie-making platform' in the same sentence? In addition to a nice video camera, the iPhone 4 also has iMovie, so you can create and edit movies right on your iPhone.

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