“Straight on it looks like just another iPhone. You get the black face with a shiny trim,” Brian Klug and Anand Lal Shimpi report for AnandTech. “From the side it is the redesign that Apple has needed for a while now. It’s not revolutionary but it’s the type of improvement that makes its predecessor feel old. And that’s exactly what this does.”
“The straight lines, smaller dimensions and lack of unnecessary bulk make the 3GS feel like a car from the 90s, unnecessarily curvy,” Klug and Lal Shimpi report. “The styling is now so much more compact. Compared to the iPhone 3GS the 4 is around 5% narrower (but no more difficult to type on) and nearly 25% thinner.”
“There’s been a ton of discussion lately surrounding iPhone 4 cellular reception,” Klug and Lal Shimpi report. “From my day of testing, I’ve determined that the iPhone 4 performs much better than the 3GS in situations where signal is very low, at -113 dBm (1 bar). Previously, dropping this low all but guaranteed that calls would drop, fail to be placed, and data would no longer be transacted at all. I can honestly say that I’ve never held onto so many calls and data simultaneously on 1 bar at -113 dBm as I have with the iPhone 4, so it’s readily apparent that the new baseband hardware is much more sensitive compared to what was in the 3GS. The difference is that reception is massively better on the iPhone 4 in actual use.”
Klug and Lal Shimpi report, “With my bumper case on, I made it further into dead zones than ever before, and into marginal areas that would always drop calls without any problems at all. It’s amazing really to experience the difference in sensitivity the iPhone 4 brings compared to the 3GS, and issues from holding the phone aside, reception is absolutely definitely improved. I felt like I was going places no iPhone had ever gone before. There’s no doubt in my mind this iPhone gets the best cellular reception yet, even though measured signal is lower than the 3GS.”
Klug and Lal Shimpi report, “The main downside to the iPhone 4 is the obvious lapse in Apple’s engineering judgment. The fact that Apple didn’t have the foresight to coat the stainless steel antenna band with even a fraction of an ounce worth of non-conductive material either tells us that Apple doesn’t care or that it simply doesn’t test thoroughly enough. The latter is a message we’ve seen a few times before with OS X issues, the iPhone 4 simply reinforces it. At the bare minimum Apple should give away its bumper case with every iPhone 4 sold. The best scenario is for Apple to coat the antenna and replace all existing phones with a revised model.The ideal situation is very costly for Apple but it is the right thing to do. Plus it’s not like Apple doesn’t have the resources to take care of its customers.”
Read the full, extremely comprehensive review – highly recommended as usual – here.
MacDailyNews Take: If you’re going to read one iPhone 4 review, this is the one to read. As for the antenna issue, as we’ve been saying ever since this issue arose, “If the iPhone 4 requires a ‘case’ or rubber ‘bumper’ in order to operate properly, then Apple should provide one in every box free of charge.”
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dale S.” and “Snow Leopard” for the heads up.]