Now that the dust has settled on yet another WWDC, we've had time to digest the events of Steve Jobs successfullly (and not so successfully) showing off the next iteration of the Apple smartphone, the iPhone 4.
After taking some time to talk up the iPad and rampant early sales, we were finally introduced to the iPhone 4 which Jobs claimed that, "For 2010 we are going to take the biggest leap since the original iPhone."
Now that a handful of tech journos have had some hands-on time with the iPhone 4, we find out how Job's keynote matches up with the early impressions and whether Apple has after some time, finally delivered an iPhone that covers all smartphone bases.
Jobs on iPhone 4 design: “This is one of the most beautiful designs you’ve ever seen. This is beyond a doubt one of the most precise and beautiful things we’ve ever made. Glass and steel… its closest kin is like an old Leica camera. And it’s really thin.”
PC World - "Whereas the iPhone 3GS looks and feels plasticky, the iPhone 4 is svelte and has a premium feel"
IGN - "We would almost go as far as to liken the 3GS to a sleek and sexy vintage Ferrari that you want to shield from the elements and tuck in at night, whereas the iPhone 4 is the luxury Mercedes that was built for both form and function."
Laptop Mag - " Because it’s so thin, it’s easier to cup your fingers around it, cradling it in your palm"
Jobs on iOS4: “It’s our most ambitious release to date — over 1500 developer APIs. Over 100 new user features, the biggest being multitasking. Some people were saying you weren’t first with multitasking — the same was true with cut/copy/paste. But we took some time to figure out how to do it right.”
Tech Radar - “iOS 4 will automatically optimize the text in all apps for this screen, but Steve Jobs recommended developers update the images in their apps too. “
Loop Insight - "The iPhone 4 is very snappy when using apps. For instance, switching between the front-facing and rear cameras is instantaneous."
Jobs on iBooks: “The same controls, the same highlighting, the same bookmarking, the same PDF reading. If you get a PDF in Mail, tap on that and you’ll go right to iBooks. And, of course, the iBook Store right on your iPhone. We’ll have it on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch."
PC World - “iBooks also gains a few new features previously unavailable on the iPad. You can now create notes and bookmarks, and see those notes, bookmarks, and highlights in the table of contents. I suspect that the notes remain trapped in line--for example, there's no way to create cheat sheets, summaries, or other such personalized shortcuts that you could then utilize on your computer or elsewhere--but these new functions are a step in the right direction.”
Jobs on iPhone 4 A4 processor: “Now, because we’ve made the battery bigger and the A4 is so good with power management, we’ve improved the battery life! 7 hours 3G tlak, 6 hours 3G browsing, 10 hours WiFi browsing, 10 hours music, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours of standby.”
Tech Radar - “Apple's A4 chip powers the iPhone 4, the same kind of chip inside the iPad. We noticed that apps opened and closed quickly and the iPhone 4 in general felt incredibly responsive and snappy, but not a night-and-day improvement over the already-zippy iPhone 3GS.”
Jobs on iPhone 4 camera: “Megapixels are nice, but what cellphone cameras are really about is capturing photons and low-light photography. So we’ve gone from a 3 to a 5 megapixel sensor with a backside illuminated sensor.”
Engadget - The general speed of the whole OS is way snappier. The camera app in particular is noticeably faster -- shots get snapped in an instant.
Jobs on iPhone 4 retina display: “People haven’t even dreamt of a display like this. It turns out there’s a limit around 300px per inch that the human eye can’t differentiate between the pixels — text looks like you’ve seen it in a fine printed book, unlike you’ve ever seen on an electronic display before. It’s extraordinary.”
Engadget - "The screen is truly outrageous -- you basically cannot see pixels on it. We're not being hyperbolic when we say it's easily the best looking mobile phone screen we've ever laid eyes on."
Slash Gear - "Icons are smooth, crisp and clean, and text is incredibly precise. We browsed through a few webpages and were blown away by how amazingly readable they were even at zoomed-out levels."
Laptop Mag - "We took both video and photos so that you can appreciate how sharp pictures and words look, even when magnified. It’s the closest Apple has gotten to a paper experience."
IGN - "During their keynote address, Apple didn't mention it, but the iPhone 4's new display also has a much wider viewing angle over the 3GS, making it possible to see what's on the screen clearly when it is tilted at an angle that would otherwise completely obscure it from view."
iPhone 4 verdicts
Independent - There are few other disappointments, though, at first glance. It would have been nice to have extra capacity (like the previous phone the new one has 16GB and 32GB storage).
IGN - "There seems to be little doubt that the iPhone 4 is an improvement to its predecessor in every possible way."