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Apple iPhone 4 Black (16 GB) Smartphone
Price Range:$209.95 to $539.90
The iPhone 4S builds on the success of the iPhone 4 with several improvements, boosting performance, usability and connectivity.
93 Reviews from Epinions.com
Feb 21, 2011
Revolutionary, Amazing, and Finally on Verizon: The iPhone 4 is an Absolute Stunner!
Pros: EVERYTHING! Incredible operating system, features, and interface.
Cons: Expensive. High monthly fee. No 3G FaceTime.
The Bottom Line:
The iPhone 4 is absolutely incredible, and it is the best smart phone around. It is well-designed, intuitive, and downright revolutionary.
The day that I, along with millions of others, have finally been waiting for is here. Arguably Apple's GREATEST creation, the iPhone 4, is FINALLY on Verizon Wireless. And you better believe that I got it the first chance I could. And why wouldn't I? It has been hailed as one of the most innovative, useful, downright amazing smart phones of all time. But is it really THAT amazing? Is it worth the $300 with a 2-year contract, or the WHOPPING $750 without a contract? Will the (essentially inevitable) large monthly fee be worth it? Well, read on and find out!
What's in the Box?
In the box for the iPhone 4 is the iPhone 4 itself, a pair of Apple Earphones, a dock to connect to your computer, a USB power adapter (which you attach your iPod dock to to become your charger) and all of the necessary documentation. You can also charge your iPhone directly from your computer, if you'd like. The box is just a little larger than the iPhone, and is actually a nice way to store it if you are going on vacation.
To activate the iPhone, you simply plug it into iTunes and follow the onscreen instructions. It is truly simple.
The design of the iPhone 4 is incredibly sleek, and it has a slightly different design than any of the previous models. It is 4.5 inches high, 2.31 inches wide, and 0.37 inches deep. Its weight is 4.8 ounces (or 137 grams). It is slightly heavier than the average phone, but not significantly so. It has a fingerprint resistant coating on the front and the back, that works fairly well. Yes, you will get a few smudges from time to time, but if you wipe them off with a cloth the screen will still look as sharp as ever. However, with a glass back, this phone can shatter rather easily when dropped. I have only dropped it once, and not from a high height. Luckily, it was fine.
Anyways, the phone has a stainless steel bar that wraps around its ends. It contains two volume buttons, and a switch that puts the phone on vibrate in one position, and sound on in the other. As usual, on top is the power button (which is also the sleep button) and on the bottom is the home button (which will return you to the home screen). The stainless steel band is a nice addition to the already stellar-design of the iPhone 4.
A new and amazing addition to the design of the iPhone 4 is the front-facing camera. Perfect for video-chatting (which I will get to eventually) and taking pictures of yourself. The real gem, though, is the camera on the back of the iPhone. It has been upgraded to a 5-megapixel camera, with an LED flash. It can record HD video (up to 720p) and you can geotag all of your photos and videos.
The built in battery is capable of 7 hours of talking, 300 hours of standby, 6 hours of internet surfing on 3G (or 10 on Wi-Fi) 10 straight hours of video, or 40 hours of audio. Now you are probably going to mix a lot of those uses together, but there are brilliant apps that allow you to see exactly how much battery power you have at any given moment, and what that can do for you (in terms of phone calls, videos, etc).
The screen itself is 3.5 inches (diagonally) of multi-touch, fingerprint resistant glass. It has a beautifully sharp retina display, with an adjustable brightness. The touchscreen is still the absolute BEST, most responsive touch screens I have ever had the pleasure of using. The multi-touch (meaning you can touch in more than one area at once) is still wonderful, allowing you to squeeze and pinch to zoom in and out.
There is a headphone jack for listening to music, or you can play your music out loud through the built-in speakers. It sounds nice, and goes pretty loud. While they are not the best speakers around, as PHONE speakers go, they are the frontrunner. EVERYTHING sounds great on the iPhone 4, including music, movies, and more. As you would expect, from Apple. As I'm sure you know, there is also a built in microphone (how else would you carry out phone callls?).
In short, the iPhone 4's design is still one of the sleekest, most high-quality designs ever to be found in a smart phone. It is unparalleled, and absolutely wonderful. It is the PERFECT design to harness all of the power that the iPhone 4 is capable of.
When you turn on the majestic iPhone 4 for the first time ever, you will directed right to the home screen. For those of you who have never operated an iPhone or iPod touch, the home screen is filled with icons that lead to different built in applications. There is a great calendar app where you can import events, set reminders, and more. There is a photo apps, to simply store your photos and view them in slideshows. The camera app, a YouTube shortcut, a Stocks app (where you can simply import your stock portfolio and easily see how many points it has gone up or down). There is a Maps app to give you directions for completely free.
There is a weather app, a note pad, a utilities folder (including a clock, calculator, compass, and voice memos). There is a notepad, the iTunes store, the incredible App Store, and then the essentials at the bottom. The phone app, safari, mail, and iPod. Pretty much all of these speak for themselves, and they are all incredibly well-designed.
The phone app includes a touch sensitive keypad, your visual voicemail (which you can setup at no additional charge), your recent call list, and your favorites list. The iPod app is..well..you iPod! You can sync all your music, videos, and photos from you iTunes library in a matter of minutes. The safari app is an incredibly fast at surfing the web, and most web sites look EXACTLY the same as they do on an actual computer.
The mail app is incredibly simple. In fact, all you have to do is put in your information: and it does the rest for you. It syncs all of your emails automatically, and gives you notifications when you get new ones. It is seriously one of the best mobile email apps EVER.
The phone app has incredible clarity, and sounds great with all calls. There is a nice speaker phone, and adjustable volume during calls. A nice feature is that you can ex out of the call, go on the internet, or even run some apps WHILE still being on the phone. It is incredible.
The messaging app is well-done, presenting all of your texts in a conversation style setup. The touchscreen QWERTY keyboard (which goes in portrait or landscape) is SO responsive, and incredibly easy to use. There is an automatic spell correct feature, but it is easy to ex out of if you choose to.
One of the BEST things about the home-screen is that you can rearrange the icons in any order you want. Also, you can drag apps on top of one another to create a folder (that you can name). For example, I have a games folder that holds over 10 games that would take up a ton of spaces otherwise. Also, whenever you download an app from the app store, it will add another icon to your screen. I currently have 2 pages of apps, and it would be QUITE a bit more if I didn't bunch together quite a few in folders.
The iPhone 4 utilizes Apple's brand new operating system: iOS 4. It has tons of new features, folders (as mentioned earlier) being one of them. It is EVEN MORE powerful than the previous operating system, and it allows you to go from one task to another seamlessly. It is lightning fast, and there is never any lag or freezing. Another wonderful addition is multitasking, which allows you to run more than one app at once. It is about time Apple added that.
One of the notable new features is the (seemingly) revolutionary FaceTime. FaceTime is a wonderful little video chat tool that allows you to communicate from iPhone to iPhone through video chat. It is amazing to see relatives from across the country, right from your iPhone. However...they also must own an iPhone (or any other smartphone that supports this feature). The other downside is that you HAVE to be in a Wi-Fi area, no 3G video chatting. Still, having the video chat feature is a really nice touch that is great to take advantage of. However, on the free Skype app, you can video chat via 3G.
Also, it is undeniable that gaming is getting increasingly popular on the iPhone and the iPod touch. iOS 4 adds a brand new feature called "Game Center". It integrates a whole new social gaming experience that allows you to add friends, see what they are playing, earn achievements, and even compete with one another. It is a really nice feature.
The most notable, and to be honest, mind-blowing feature is that you can record HD videos (720p), edit them in iMovie, then upload them straight to the internet. I mean honestly, it is SO user friendly, so wonderful, that it IS truly worth the steep asking price.
"Theres an app for that" is an incredibly popular phrase, explaining how with the app store, you can do basically ANYTHING you want on the iPhone. Honestly, you can. It is amazing what the app developers have been able to accomplish, and they add SO much to the iPhone 4's brilliance. I'll describe a few of my coolest apps, just to show you how great they can be. I have an app where it automatically sense where I am, and I can find out what restaurants, movie theaters, gas stations (etc.) are around me. I have an app where I can hold the iPhone up to my speakers, and it will tell me what song is playing. Then, I can go straight to iTunes and buy it. Turning off your lights, opening your garage door, even FINDING your iPhone when it is lost: all of these are the incredible things that you can accomplish from downloading apps. Oh, and not to mention the THOUSANDS of fun games. In total, there are 350,000 apps, and continually growing.
You can download apps on-the-go, as long as they are not over 250 MB. If they are, you'll have to download them in a Wi-Fi area. Another cool feature is that on the iTunes mobile store, you can download music, movies, TV shows, and more: straight to your iPhone. The "on-the-go" appeal is one of the things that makes the iPhone so wonderful.
Verizon Plan and Coverage:
Despite what any TV commercials say, Verizon Wireless truly does have excellent coverage. I have been on Verizon my whole life, and I can count ALL the call I've ever dropped on one hand. You get service EVERYWHERE. For example, in my house, I have maximum service. On the road, no problems. Even in deep rural areas of basements, I have enough service to make a call or send a text; even logon to the internet! Verizon is, in my opinion, the BEST wireless service. I am SO happy that the iPhone has finally come here.
Now, no matter WHAT network you are on: the iPhone brings around a HUGE monthly fee. It is unpleasant, but for me, it is totally worth it, considering all of the amazing features that my iPhone is capable of. In total, my iPhone is $50 a month. That includes unlimited texting ($10), a family share plan for minutes ($10), an unlimited data plan ($30, but not the professional version) and full insurance ($10) Does $50 a month seem excessive to me? Yes. But in all honesty, it is only $20 more than my last phone, and I am willing to pay that for the DRASTIC improvements that this phone gives me.
Overall, the iPhone 4 is undoubtedly the BEST smart phone around. I can say that with confidence considering I've owned QUITE a few. It is revolutionary, amazing, and absolutely worth the money (both up front and monthly). I love my iPhone 4, and it is hard to picture myself ever getting another phone (except when a newer model comes out). As always, thanks for the read!
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