Mossberg reviews Apple iPhone 4: The best device in its class, despite poor AT&T reception

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“I’ve been testing the iPhone 4 for more than a week. In both hardware and software, it is a major leap over its already-excellent predecessor, the iPhone 3GS,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“It has some downsides and limitations—most important, the overwhelmed AT&T network in the U.S., which, in my tests, the new phone handled sometimes better and, unfortunately, sometimes worse than its predecessor. But, overall, Apple has delivered a big, well-designed update that, in my view, keeps it in the lead in the smartphone wars,” Mossberg reports.

“The most important downside of the iPhone 4 is that, in the U.S., it’s shackled to AT&T, which not only still operates a network that has trouble connecting and maintaining calls in many cities, but now has abandoned unlimited, flat-rate data plans,” Mossberg reports. “Apple needs a second network.”

MacDailyNews Take: Hear, hear!

Mossberg continues, “However, on at least six occasions during my tests, the new iPhone was either reporting ‘no service’ or searching for a network while the old one, held in my other hand, was showing at least a couple of bars. Neither Apple nor AT&T could explain this. The iPhone 4 quickly recovered in these situations, showing service after a few seconds, but it was still troubling.”

“Just as with its predecessors, I can’t recommend this new iPhone for voice calling for people who experience poor AT&T reception, unless they are willing to carry a second phone on a network that works better for them,” Mossberg reports. “For everyone else, however, I’d say that Apple has built a beautiful smartphone that works well, adds impressive new features and is still, overall, the best device in its class.”

Full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: The AT&T millstone around Apple’s neck pollutes what should be a wonderful review. Read it and weep, Mr. Jobs. Then wise up – unless you continue to want your beautiful products to be obscured and marred by inept, greedy third-parties whose exclusive deals outlived their usefulness at least a year ago.

53 Comments

  1. Not to worry iPhone lovers in poor reception areas, the reason that AT&T;is giving early renewals is because they know that their exclusive contract in near its end. As in the next six months.

  2. I live in eastern pa between phila and Baltimore have had an iPhone from the first model .dropped calls less than 1% over 3 years .if you don’t live in ny or sf and I have visited those places several times with very few problems ,I think the service is the same as my verizon buddies.bottom line it makes a phone call just fine. I can’t wait till it’s on verizon or whoever and then see hoe their networks handle it!

  3. Q for MDN: Please tell us the exact day and time you abandoned your long held position that lord Jobs was omnipotent.

    This is bigger news than some announcement that a new version of his phone is going on sale. Thank you very much.

  4. Gone is the Uncle Walt entry in the address book of Steve Jobs. Steve was already just barely suffering Walt because of his pesky questions that seemed to suggest that Steve may not be the most revolutionary, magical, amazing and smartest person on the planet.

    Or, even more frustrating to Steve, that Walt would hold those opinions about any of the revolutionary Apple gear.

  5. I have both AT&T;and verizon pomes, also a mifi with verizon. I travel the country as a truck driver. From my experiences with both phones side by side, I get more 3 g coverage throughout the US. I am a very heavy data user since I use ootunes radio app on iPhone to listen to sports radio back home. I use about 2 gig on AT&T;& 7- 11 gigs on verizon per month. Another problem I have with AT&T;, is that I have more dropped calls in larger cities like Dallas, Texas of all places. Would prefer iPhone on Sprint and T-Mobile instead of Verizon. They are the greediest bastards. They will probably try to force apple to sell apps for each device, just to make more money.

  6. I have had an iPhone from day 1. I have never had an issue with AT&T;coverage in metro west Boston. I just traveled to Hilton Head SC and had NO 3G coverage anywhere and no cell service in many areas. WTF
    This is one of the wealthiest places in the US and there is no coverage. Come on!

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