I spent the weekend using the iPhone 4 as my primary device, and came away very impressed. First, the build quality. On design alone, Apple seals the deal in my book. I've always been a fan of the industrial look, and iPhone 4s squared edges do the trick. At first glance, it looks larger than its predecessor, but at 4.5 inches long by 2.31 inches wide by 0.37 inch thick, it's noticeably smaller in the hand.
Apple's iOS 4 is installed on the device, and offers new features like "multitasking" (which is really fast application switching), iBooks, threaded e-mail inboxes. It's a nice revision over iOS 3, but I feel as if iOS4 has fallen behind in the mobile OS race in comparison to the other OSes on the market. First, the iPhone is in desperate need of a good notification system. Nearly every notification on the iPhone is delivered via a pop-up. SMS, push notification, missed calls - they're all delivered using the archaic method. I'd like to see Apple develop a more productive and unobtrusive notification method like that found on Android or webOS. Widgets are another crucial element that Apple has left out of the fold. After using the iPhone for a few days, I find myself missing the convenience of flipping to a "page" on the EVO and checking weather without opening a separate application.
I've tested signal strength in Charlotte and the surrounding areas, and have had no problems making or receiving calls. Call quality has been very good, and my callers have told me that they've had no issues hearing me. I've spent the weekend trying to duplicate the left-side signal issue that's plaguing users across the world to no success. I'll keep trying, but in high and low signal areas, it hasn't dropped a single bar yet. I was hit with the dreaded proximity sensor issue, however. While on a call Saturday evening, the device tried to start FaceTime, switched off of speaker, flashed on and off, and hung up unexpectedly.
Battery life is absolutely fantastic on the iPhone 4. With moderate use including text messaging, e-mailing, calling, and internet use, I've made it almost two full days As it stands, I've logged 4 hours, 47 minutes of continuous usage and 1 day, 6 hours of standby, and I'm still sitting at 45 percent. It's a drastic improvement over past iterations of the device, and much better than most smartphones on the market today. A year ago, I struggled to make it through a day with the 3GS, and now, I'd place it right behind BlackBerry devices.
The iPhone 4 is an HSPA device, and as a result, data speeds have been pleasant. Apps, the web, and other data-centric things have worked without issue. I'm still working with specific times, but the PhoneDog home page loaded quickly, and mobile pages loaded with little to no lag.
With a stunning display, improved processor, better camera, forward facing camera, and multitasking (or fast app switching, at the least), there's a lot to like in the iPhone 4. That being said, it's the first production run, and like any other device, it has issues that will likely be rectified in the coming weeks. In today's world, most devices have issues at launch, but Apple's exposure in the press combined with stellar sales numbers have magnified the situation. As always, full review to come soon!