A Byte of Apple : iPhone 4 is here

A new week brings with it our dose of Apple flavored news, but this is no ordinary week. It’s not every week that a celebrity device chances its way across to our hands, and this week saw both Varun and me having a go at the iPhone 4, fresh off the boat courtesy returning friends from the UK.

Initial impressions? Once you get past the oohs-and-aahs of holding such a finely crafted device and switch it on, the first thing that hits you (and I kid you not, it does hit you!) is the gorgeous screen. Forget all the Steve Jobs claimed about 326 pixels-per-inch pixel density and the 960×640 pixel 3.5 inch retina display, this baby has to be seen to be believed.  Put an iPhone 3GS next to it, and suddenly the 3GS looks almost hazy to the eye in comparison. The added horsepower under the hood – with the iPad’s A4 processor and twice (512MB) the memory – means that most graphics intensive games work quite well on the iPhone 4, and even everyday tasks seem snappier when compared to an iOS4 bearing 3GS.

The one thing I’m not over the moon about is the new phone design. Sure, it’s thinner than the previous gen by all of 0.11 inch – and the difference is felt because the new flat back design doesn’t have the same “fat” feeling of the 3GS and 3G. It’s just that the all-glass front and back feels a tad bulkier, and plus here’s something strange you figure out once you start using it a bit – you can’t intuitively ‘feel’ the front from the back of the phone without looking, say when it’s in your pocket, so you tend it pull it out all wrong and quite often, facing the wrong direction!

But to be honest, since I had all of one day to play with the device, these are exactly what I said they will be – initial impressions. Later this week, expect a full review from Varun with the absolute lowdown on the iPhone 4. One thing that I can say though – like every iPhone that came before it, this is very much an Apple device right down to the walled gardens for developers – you either play by the rules, or risk getting shut out of the iPhone platform. So, in that sense, if you hated the Apple way before this iPhone came out, you’re not going to change your mind much with this albeit revolutionary release. Unlike 2007 however, your choice in terms of Android handsets is growing by the day, so the options are solid.

Along the sidelines of what is being called Apple’s most successful launch in history, the iPhone 4 signal issues seemed to plague users enough to force Apple into a formal response this past week. Apple’s explanation is that the iPhone – including past models like the 3G/3GS – has always displayed too many bars for a certain given level of signal strength, a problem they put down to a formula error. Net net, if you’ve used a 3G/3GS or an iPhone 4, you’ve probably seen more signal bars than are supposed to be there in the first place. Truth be told, I didn’t see any particularly noticeable issues in the unit I played around with, and Apple claims that this issue is addressable via a firmware update that is on its way, but we’re just going to have to hold the jury out on this one. If the reception issues do end up being just a software fix, all will be sunny and hay shall be made. If not, the competition is going to have a field day with this – maybe changing their “Think Different” philosophy to “Hold Different”?

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  • rAg

    Awesome man.. I would like to see an in depth review from you guys soon!

  • rAg

    Hey, my iphone 4 got shipped to my cousin in UK. It will reach his place by 14th it seems 😀

    But it will be here in india only on august 2nd, am waiting desperately to get it in my hand..

    • its well worth the wait .. im sure u will love it 🙂

      • shak

        But what about issue of signal strength in Fanfare iPhone4. This is really crazy……eventually we use mobile phone for communication.

        • rAg

          Apple already posted an official letter on their site claiming that it isnt a hardware issue. They will post a software update solving the problem soon.

          Sure there is considerable amount of attenuation when you hold the phone in a particular way but it isnt that strong that the network goes down to zero. The formula they used is flawed which makes the phone think it is out of signal reception and will take it into a mode where it keeps searching for signals even when the signals are available. This can be changed by changing the logic they used for signal reception.

          So hold on for the new software update to come.

          And also i havent see any case outside of US where people were facing so much problem.. May be i might have missed some news online. But as far as i know people in US alone complained about this. Donno what exactly is causing such high problems!!

          Lets see what exactly apple comes up with.

          • user

            hi rag i m deciding of getting a new phone should i go for iphone 3gs or wait for iphone4 which is having some new features,is there really some problem in iphone4 as posted by some users,
            how would be nokia n900 which would also launch in some time,
            please tell me would be better(and why)
            awaiting ur reply…
            please reply

          • rAg


            For selecting any smartphone first list out your priorities in respect to screen, cam and OS

            If you want user friendly screen then go for capacitive screen (n900 doesnt have one)

            Then comes to cam.. Varun already posted an excellent post for testing out cam of some good phones. Almost all android phones perform equal so u can judge from that review.

            Then comes to OS which is a big part. As of now iOS wins hands down but android is picking up quite fast. It still has its set of drawbacks but so is iOS. For my kind of usage i prefer iOS.

            Coming to iPhone 4, there are a very few cases facing problems. I would still take my chances with an iPhone 4.

            The investment you will be making for a smartphone isnt less even if it is n900 or 3gs.. So to be safe wait for a week or two when apple will be releasing a new firmware update. Apple is quite confident that it can resolve the signal reception issue with a firmware update itself. So wait and see what they come up with. If you are satisfied with the news later on then go for iPhone 4.

            Else as i said list out your priorities and then go for a phone.

            My recommendations would be only for an iOS phone or a Android phone if you truly wanna experience a smartphone. In android consider Samsung galaxy S or HTC desire or a motorola droid. I feel Samsung galaxy will lead the pack. Hope varun tests it out and helps us with another review soon.

  • Kal

    How to get the microsim in India?
    I saw one of the fonearena guys on NDTV Cell Guru using iPhone 4 on BSNL 3G.
    Please email me on how to get the microsim.

    • Ankur Gupta


      The firmware update from Apple will not solve the signal issue. They said themselves that the update will only show the signal bars correctly and has nothing to do with dropping calls on touching lower left side of the phone. They have accepted the fact that this problem can only be solved with the use of cases like bumper.


      There are many videos on youtube describing the way of converting normal sim to micro sim by cutting it down.

      • Kal

        and how did you unlock it to you use with BSNL 3G?

  • user

    thanks a lot for replying me rag,whst do u think when would airtel lauch iphone4 in india,and also what about microsim

  • user

    can any one please arrange an iphone4 for me from us or uk,
    reply me i will give u my contact details

    • anant sharma

      me too want iphone 4 frm uk…

  • user

    hi rag what do u think should i go with iphone 4 or 3gs one, i m confused,as iphone4 is with some new features i m thinking for it