But it's not a game changer. I have to say, for a phone, the 3GS' display was perfectly adequate. While a higher resolution might be great when you're sitting down to watch a movie on TV, when you're just casting a glance at the Weather app, a lower resolution isn't an impediment.
Iconic screen: the as-yet-upgraded apps stand out
It's not like processing power, say, where an old machine will just take too long to complete a task and you long for something faster because you know you'll be able to do more with it. Because Apple tells developers to design their apps for the old screen size but use higher resolution image graphics, the Retina Display doesn't convey any more information than its predecessor could. So it's nice to have rather than a necessity.
Which defines the whole iPhone 4 upgrade experience, really. There's a lot here that you wouldn't say 'no' too, but you may not want to cancel a contract for.
The other in-your-face change Apple has made to the new iPhone is its design. The iPhone 4 is narrower than the 3G and closer in dimensions to the original iPhone. That makes it more comfortable to hold.
But by abandoning the 3G's distinctive shallow-curve casing, Apple has put aside one way the old handset stood apart from its rivals, replacing it with a look that, thanks to those flat sides, actually looks like some of the early iPhone wannabes.
Apparently the next generation of iPhone is called the Apple OneCell. Apple commented on the proposed name stating:
"We flatly reject any claims that the new OneCell name is any way reflects the number of un-banned applications, or the fact that users are in any way locked-in, and that OneCell in no way refers to either the battery life or average intelligence of Apple users."
Have really gone down hill lately. Time was you could chuck your nokia around and it'd survive no worries.
I remember back in the day dropping my 3210 in a river, could see the screen lit up and working at the bottom with full signal. Fished it out, dried it - worked first time.
This is the sort of thing I expect to see in a phone test.
no fixin' required
@Mr Burns and AC (assuming Smithers)
No fixin' required, just needs a s/w update apparently.
It does amaze me the amount of negative press Apple gets her at El Reg, or even the amount of vitriol spewed by people who have no clue in the comments, but at least one of you had the balls to sign their name against it.
It's a bloody good phone, but if it didn't exist, then I doubt the current crop of phones would be anywhere near the current state of technology.
Android wouldn't be a competitor, WebOS might actually have saved palm, and Windows 7 would be out in 2011 (oh wait, the last is probably still true)
"I experience zero signal degradation when i deliberately cover up the bottom left of mine."
Oh well then they must all be fine.
Panic over everyone; someone tell His Illustrious Steveness.
A fair review
It's nice to see a fair review of the iPhone 4 instead of the usual "ZOMG teh phonez doesnt wurkz when you hold teh bottum left". I can re-create the problem on my phone, but in general use I never hold it in the way that interferes with the antenna. That's not a conscious choice, it's just the way I naturally want to hold it.
I've had mine since launch now and I've been generally quite pleased, and the speed boost over my old 3G is brilliant. It used to take over a minute to load a web page on the 3G, the iPhone 4 does it in seconds. The camera also is really excellent compared to what was on the 3G. All in all though, it's actually more of the same, which is fine, but it's not as revolutionary as the 3G was for me after years of Windows Mobile.
I agree with the reviewer about the lack of need for multi-tasking most of the time. After Windows Mobile's way of handling things, I thought the elegance of only allowing one app to run at a time was a smart solution to limited resources, a small screen, ease of use and ensuring the running app is able to use the full power of the system.
As to whether it's a better choice than an Android device, I'm not sure. I've got quite a large array of games and apps on my iPhone now and I generally think iOS is a nicer interface to use. I am however very jealous that Android has Flash, as that's probably my biggest bug-bear with the new iPhone. I'd have preferred a 64GB model too as I've already filled the 32GB... If Android starts to get more games and the platform fragmentation problems are sorted out, my next phone might not be from Apple...