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Dominic’s iPhone 4 Review

I was teaching in San Ramon, CA when my new iPhone 4 arrived at the house last week.  My wife and I have had some of the original iPhones for several years and liked them (we also protected our phones using the iSkin revo).  We decided to continue with the new iPhones due to being grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, and I can use the phone when I travel internationally (because it uses a GSM radio versus CDMA).

I activated our phones after getting back on Friday (7/2) and started using our iPhone 4s.

I can say these phones are beautiful and no picture I can take will do any justice to the ones on the Apple website here.  My brother Pat, who is an expert working with stainless steel was impressed with the new industrial design.

I was disappointed to find the lack of cases available for the new iPhone 4, it’s one of the first things I put on any mobile device that I will own for any number of years.  I did hear about the “bumper” through Apple, but I don’t like the lack of protection at the front and back of the phone (2 pieces of glass to worry about now).  I’m going to wait for the new iSkin case for the iPhone 4.  I really like this case because of the removable plastic display cover to protect the multi-touch screen.  Since one is not available, I’m using the original iSkin revo case on our new iPhones, they work quite nice.  Here are some pics (original iPhone on left, iPhone 4 on right):

I’m not too concerned about the antenna issue that seems to be swirling around the new iPhone (maybe because I have a bit of background in the electrical engineering area 😉 ), but the exposed antenna on the edge of the device did surprise me (things like this are usually insulated), glad the iPhone will be in a case.  It’s funny, the “bars” on the phones are from the analog days of mobile phones, with the new digital phones, either there is a signal or not, pretty simple, more bars don’t mean better call quality.  Most of the newer phones have internal antennas and can experience the same effects when a hand or body gets in the middle of the phone and the tower it needs to talk to (also because of the cellular technology one can be switching between towers at any time).  This also reminded me that not too long ago we had antennas on the outside of our mobile phones, I still have one lying around:

Of course, the new iPhones are quicker, many of the tasks I performed on the older iPhone are so much faster now.  But then again, when you let almost 3 years pass before updating hardware, it will be faster since hardware technology changes so fast today.

Here is some test video from the iPhone, the video was shot, trimmed, and uploaded all from the phone.  Even though the iPhone records in 720p HD, the process (without iMovie) compresses the video BEFORE uploading to youtube, hence there is no HD on the sample video here.  I guess that can be expected when uploading using the 3G connection, AT&T does not want all kinds of HD video clogging up it’s already stressed network.  Will try iMovie for the iPhone sometime soon and see what happens.

Here is the same video, I used iPhoto on the Mac to “copy” off the .MOV file then uploaded this version to youtube.  As you can see this video has the HD option and is a bit clearer when you switch to the 720p setting.  The raw .MOV file details are:  1280×720 res, 24fps,  AAC mono 44.1kHz, 10.4 mbits/sec.

BTW, the iPhone was held in the tripod using the ProPrompter Wing hardware.

Overall, the HD video will be nice for on the fly video recording, replacing the Flip HD we have.  Moving up to GPS is a plus, and it looks like we are going to enjoy our new iPhones once we have cases that fit well.

– Dom

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