Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iPhone 4: Retina display will turn you into a dirty Apple lover

Invisible Shield for Apple iPhone 4!“Here are the downsides to the iPhone 4: the glass on the front or back may break if you drop it, though that’s not a particularly new development in iPhone land. FaceTime chats only work with other iPhone 4 users for now, and may not work well if you try it at work. The HD video is generally not as good as what you can get from an HD Flip camera. The OS and native app situation is still quite locked-down under Apple’s sometimes-questionable policies,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica. “Finally, if you hold the phone funny, you may degrade your own call signal.”

MacDailyNews Take: Duh. Blame AT&T. We agree, but it’s quite good anyway and we’d rather carry one device, thanks. A vastly over-hyped issue that does not matter to 99% of users, despite what some fake iPhone-makers, analysts, pundits, and developers think. Let’s wait to see about that last one before we start etching it in stone.

Cheng continues, “Here are the upsides: the 326ppi display is one of those things that turns you into a dirty Apple lover and makes your friends begin to plot your death. The camera is top-notch. Battery life is improved over the most recent iPhone models. Even the data speeds are faster than previous iPhones with 3G thanks to the addition of HSUPA. The ability to take HD video at all is a nice benefit, and FaceTime calls are at least fun (if not an old concept and possibly useless). The hardware is fast—even when compared to the already-speedy iPhone 3GS.”

“During our time testing the device, numerous peers of ours who had no intention of getting an iPhone 4 began reconsidering it after seeing the screen—this was definitely the main reason why people started changing their minds,” Cheng reports. “At the same time, the signal/antenna issue appears to be a serious concern; we hesitate to straight-up recommend the iPhone for this reason, though in the real world, it may not affect you as much. If you’re considering upgrading from an original iPhone or iPhone 3G, the speed and camera benefits (on top of the display) certainly make it an incredibly attractive upgrade, though 3GS users may find themselves skipping a generation if they can wait that long.”

Full review, comprehensive as ever, here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone 3GS users who don’t want to update should never use an iPhone 4. Avoid it like the plague. Once you see the iPhone 4’s screen and feel the finish, you will not love your 3GS the same way ever again. So, obviously, we do not agree with Cheng’s overly negative conclusion. The best smartphone on the market today is Apple’s iPhone 4. Period. Trust us dirty Apple lovers. Anybody who tells you different is overly consumed with “walled gardens” (believe it or not, normal people can find plenty of apps for their iPhones among the quarter million apps in the App Store) and other vastly over-emphasized “concerns.” Besides being stuck on AT&T-only in the U.S., the worst thing about iPhone 4 is that it makes us wish our iPads had Retina Displays.


  1. “The HD video is generally not as good as what you can get from an HD Flip camera.”

    Along the same line of thought, the apps, accelerometer, gyro, GPS, cell phone, and web browsing performance on the HD Flip camera is not as good as on an iPhone 4. In fact, the HD Flip is only a camera. Similarly, a Garmin is only a GPS device, a dumb cell phone is only a phone, etc.

  2. The only reason I use iPhones is to access the ATT network. All the problems I have with calls are due to Apple. ATT has been excellent. Apple degrades the experience by such things as using the case for an antenna instead of investing in a real antenna. Also, the cheap glass is subject to cracks and smudges. ATT should get out of this exclusive arrangement with Apple. Why they chain themselves to a purveyor of closed defective products is very strange indeed. And MDN should get on the case – help us to free our ATT service from Apple.

  3. Kent, your rant makes zero sense, try using logic, it CAN be your friend.

    You must be a new professional iHater, your “work” still needs some polish.

  4. Hate to say it, but I disagree with MDN on the reception issue. Yeah, AT&T;’s network sucks to begin with, but you can’t blame AT&T;for the issue with the antenna and loss of signal. That’s ALL Apple. As for the upgrade point, I feel SO MUCH BETTER now that I am not using my 3G anymore. If I could go back to v3.1 or even the old OS v2, I would. With every upgrade of the OS the 3G became slower and more prone to problems and crashes. Last week I wanted to throw it into the wall more times than I could count. Unfortunately I was on vacation in Chicago and had to wait until I got home on Saturday to open my new iPhone 4. I’m planning on trying the Ghost Armour on it to take care of the antenna issue, tho I doubt it will help as the coating allows the touchscreen to still work. I’m not letting them put the coating on the front tho, I want nothing between me and that beautiful screen.

  5. As soon as Apple releases the software update that doesn’t reflect the attenuation of the antenna what will the Fandroids and pundits talk about then?

    The antenna is a non issue as you can tell by 1.7 million copies of the device sold. The only thing Apple shouldn’t have done is give the people correct information in their software. Better to leave the bars high even with a slight attentuation then reveal the truth about cellular phones and how they respond to being held. Amazing that the Nexus One had exactly the same problem but nobody gave a crap. Really, because nobody bought one? Actually, I think three or four people may have.

  6. Apple’s own dictionary:

    1 that note of irony in her voice: sarcasm, causticity, cynicism, mockery, satire, sardonicism. ANTONYMS sincerity.
    2 the irony of the situation: paradox, incongruity, incongruousness. ANTONYMS logic.

    I think definition 2 also sums up the stupidity of your post.

  7. @silverhawk

    Irony and sarcasm are not received well by people who aren’t very perceptive. Bear this in mind when people around you are laughing at a joke and you are left saying, “huh??”. Are you blonde?

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