“Even its most strident critics — folks frustrated by AT&T’s dropped calls, people who never cozied up to a multitouch display — must concede that the iPhone is the smartphone by which others are measured,” Edward C. Baig reports for USA Today. “The new iPhone 4 I’ve been testing for about a week and a half — along with the major refresh of the mobile operating system software at the core of recent models — demonstrates once again why Apple’s handset is the one to beat,”
“Buyers won’t be disappointed,” Baig reports. “The killer feature is what Apple calls FaceTime video chat. The promise that you and the person you’re talking to on a phone can gaze into each other’s eyes dates back to when LBJ occupied the White House. No one has really nailed video calling through the years, at least not the way Apple has nailed it here, with certain limitations… Both you and the person you’re talking to need an iPhone 4, though Apple hopes to make FaceTime a standard that would permit video calling across numerous devices.”
Baig explains, “Both parties need to be connected to Wi-Fi. FaceTime doesn’t work over AT&T’s cellular network, even though you typically make the initial call through AT&T. It takes a few seconds once you tap the FaceTime button for AT&T to hand the call over to the FaceTime application.”
“There are other iPhone 4 features worth crowing about: high-definition video recording, super-crisp display, a handsome and thin stainless steel and glass design,” Baig reports. “Apple says the glass is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic. To reinforce the point, an Apple executive dropped it in front of me. The phone was undamaged. Inside is an A4 processor, the power-efficient chip used in the iPad.”
Baig reports, “As with previous iPhones, the latest model breaks new ground. FaceTime video calling on the iPhone 4 is one of those cool ‘seeing is believing’ features, and it arrives on top of several across-the-board enhancements. And iOS 4 is a mostly terrific software upgrade. Cutting through the hype, Apple has given longtime diehards, and first-time iPhone owners, plenty to cheer about.”
Much more in the full review here.