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My take on the iPhone 4....

July 6, 2010 - Steve Schulwitz

I had it in my hand! I was allowed to tinker, examine and critique it. It rocks.I am talking about Apple's new iPhone 4. Now let it be known that I have owned the last two model iPhones ( the 3G and the 3GS) and know them through and through. It is for that reason I am going to give a brief review of the highly sought after gadget. It only took a few minutes to notice some of the welcome improvements that were made to the device. The most glaring is when you turn the phone on. The screen and its display are like candy to the eyes. When Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the device at the World Wide Developers Conference it was hard to see how the screen actually looked, but it is exactly what he said it would be. The new retina display is a LED screen, with an image that is the clearest, sharpest and most vivid on the market today. It is blu-ray quality in the palm of your hand. I sampled several applications to compare graphics and text and there was a marked improvement from prior iPhones. One game I played featured flying dragons that breathed fireballs at enemies and its quality is that of any portable video system. Besides being a fine game, it was gorgeous. The colors and clarity were unmatched. If Apple implements this technology into the iPod Touch, Nintendo had better watch out, because it could take a significant chunk of market share from the popular DS hand held game.

The other app I tried was iBooks. I currently have that application on my 3GS, so it didnát take long to notice how much clearer and bolder the print was on the pages of the Winnie the Pooh story I sampled. Seriously the display rivals my hi-def television and I canát wait to watch more video on the new phone.

As the word of hi-def continues to expand the iPhone 4 has continued to keep pace. The camera is greatly improved. I have always been disappointed in the camera in my iPhone, but after clicking a few photos of my unexpecting girlfriend I was excited by the fact that now I can leave my bulky SLR camera on my desk from time to time and not have to worry about missing a quality picture for the paper. The photos are that clear. The new hi-def video camera is also a plus. It will allow me to record, save the files to my iTunes account and playback in hi-def on my TV if I choose. It will also be popular with people that like to upload clearer clips to YouTube.

There are many other features on the phone, including a gyroscope that lets the user play the game and operate certain functions of the phone in a 360 degree proximity and the phone will react with it. Once again, this will be a popular feature for gaming. The biggest upgrade is the Facetime feature. It allows two iPhone 4 users to have a face to face conversation, while connected to the call. This program only works when in reach of a wifi signal, but one can bet that as AT&Tás 3G network continues to expand it will be available via call towers as well. The Facetime quality is top-notch. No noticeable lag, and with the help of the retina screen, the picture of the person you are talking to is sharp as can be. Since there is a camera on the front and back of the gizmo, the users can also send real time video of what each other is seeing. Check out the video link to get a better idea of what Facetime offers.

The new body design and remodeled buttons make the phone lighter and much more comfortable to hold in your hand. The glass is the same as what is used in military helicopters and are more shatter-proof than the other iPhones (that is a plus for me. I have already broken one). Apple has admitted that there are reception issues with the device, because the antenna is located in the band on the outside of the phone. I tried to reproduce the problem, but to no avail. Apple is scheduled to issue a patch that will correct any issues some users may have.

The only real way to appreciate this phone is to see it, feel it and use it. There is a demo unit on display at the AT&T store in Alpena. The store is currently out of the phone, as demand has been extreme. There was a line of about 25 people that spent the night outside the store, to ensure they got one of the phones on the day of its local release. I didnát wait outside and it may be a month or two before I get it, but make no mistake I will have one. My current iPhone has become so much more than a phone to me. It is my laptop, my video camera, my bookshelf, my iPod and my video game system. The thought that they are all going to be upgraded with one purchase seems very worth while to me.

Facetime commercial-


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