iPhone 4 Hands-On

Yesterday we managed to get hold of an iPhone 4 to test and see what it’s like compared to other phones such as Android devices as well as a comparison versus the older iPhone 3GS.

Apple [AAPL] has finally changed the design of the iPhone with the new iPhone 4. Previously the iPhone original, 3G and 3GS only had slight cosmetic changes. The iPhone 4 has a complete redesign and I happen to quite like it.

It’s completely flat on the back unlike previous models. The back is covered in hardened glass and has a transparent bit of glass where the 5 megapixel lens and the flash can be found (note the improved camera and the addition of a flash… more on this later in the iPhone 4 review that we will be posting soon).

The front is covered in a sheet of what is believed to be Gorilla Glass which makes it durable. The two sheets of glass are then attached to a stainless steel frame that works as the antenna. The antenna is broke in to three sections with the right side handling phone calls and data connections and the left side handling GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. It isn’t without fault in this department but we’ll cover that in our review later on. Also on the front of the iPhone 4 is a front facing camera that allows you to capture pictures of yourself for contacts or whatever, or make use of video calling with the new FaceTime software.

The left side of the device contains the same functions as previous models in that there is a mute button for sound and a an up and down volume control. The iPhone 4 has changed from the single rocker switch to two separate buttons for up and down volume.

The bottom of the phone houses the regular 30 pin dock connector as well as a speaker and microphone. The top is home to the 3.5mm headphone jack, a secondary microphone for noise cancellation and the standby button. The right hand side is now the new home for the SIM card tray which now houses a micro SIM rather than a full SIM.

So we have a whole new design on the outside to look at even though the functions and buttons do the same job, it’s nice to see something different here. The phone it’s self weighs the same as the 3GS but as it’s thinner it feels good to hold. It feels more solid than previous models.

Switching the phone on reveals the retina display. The Retina Display was met with a bit of criticism by some technical folk saying that it wasn’t as good as this and that etc… Loading up the screen and not being able to see any pixelation makes working on the iPhone 4 a good experience. We noticed that when browsing websites zoomed out, you can still easily read the text on the iPhone 4. When viewing the site on the 3GS the text is unreadable when at it’s smallest point.

The iPhone 4 isn’t without fault and does have some big problems with the antenna when holding the phone a certain way. We’ll cover what we like and what we don’t in our review which will appear in the next day or two. We’ll also get some better quality pictures uploaded.

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