“Like a beautiful old Leica camera.” That’s how Steve Jobs trumpeted the arrival of the iPhone’s most radical redesign to date – iPhone 4. And despite the numerous spy shots we’ve seen over the past few months, it’s even more beautiful in stunning pictures. We’ll have a gallery up soon, but first, the details...
iPhone 4 has glass on the front and the back. The flat aluminium sides carry machined buttons. And it’s the MacBook Air of smartphones – the world’s thinnest, at 24 per cent thinner than the 3GS, a mere slither at 9.3mm. The base has a mic, while the top-mounted headphone jack is joined by a noise-cancelling mic. The entire siding is an antenna system. Nice.
Apple has maxed the display quality to 326dpi – that’s magazine print quality. They’re calling it Retina Display. Despite rumours of a smaller screen, iPhone 4’s screen is also 3.5in with a 960x640 resolution and 800:1 contrast ration. Like the iPad, it’s gone for an IPS LCD which has a better viewing angle and sharper colour definition than TFT. Steve Jobs says, “nothing else will come close.” Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?
Until the iPad, A4 was a paper size. Then it became the iPad’s 1GHz engine. Now, fairly predictably, it’s landed in the iPhone. To get the most out of the space, Apple has also gone for a micro-SIM and used the extra space for more battery – 300 hours of standby! Apple’s also claiming seven hours of 3G talk, six hours of 3G browsing (now over wireless N), ten hours of Wi-Fi browsing, ten hours of video and 40 hours of music. Crumbs.
Did someone say ‘portable gaming’. We are now, because the iPhone 4 has added a three-axis gyroscope. By combining that with the accelerometer and compass, Apple’s made it effectively a six-axis game controller. There are going to be some cool apps made with this. Hopefully we’ll think of the best one and become millionaires.
And about time, too. Finally, the iPhone joins the legions of other smarties packing 5MP shooters. It’s got an LED flash and the sensor is backside illuminated, plus Jobs has promised pixels as big as in previous iPhones. The proof will be in the pudding on this, as with all cams. But that’s not all, iPhone 4 shoots HD video (720p) at 30fps. Plus, iMovie from the iLife suite is joining the iPhone (US$5) for improved in-phone editing with transitions and titles. Videos look fantastic on that new hi-res screen. Oh, yeah, and there’s a front-facing camera. Yawn...
Who? Yep – iPhone OS 4 is now iOS 4. Mail, as was announced previously, supports conversation threading and unified inbox. And there’s news for search, too – Bing is now on the iPhone.