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Old 06-23-10, 04:25 PM   #1
Sazar
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Default ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

I think we REALLY need to get a mobile devices section on these forums

Also, no pictures since there is a TON of them online. Everyone knows about the device and has seen pictures of it.

I received my phone late this morning, went in to AT&T to get it activated since it refused to do so over iTunes and blam, all was good.

I am moving from a previous generation iPhone 3G (not 3GS) so for me, this is a significant speed bump.

Initial impressions:

The phone is very compact and looks quite solid. The design is not really revolutionary or magical, but it definitely stands out. Both the front and back are covered entirely in glass and the sides and top are aluminium. The only plastic bit is the Home button. Nicely designed, high-end looking but no where near revolutionary.

The screen though, now THAT is amazing. I didn't really believe the hype until I held the phone in my hands and saw it. This thing looks phenomenal. I pulled up sites I used to have to zoom into on my old phone and I actually found them somewhat readable. You can scale the size of the text now apparently, since this screen is so high-res.

Speed

The main thing I wanted to check was the speed of the bugger and I was astonished. Granted pretty much any phone would have whooped my 3G, but iPhone 4 launches and moves across apps so much more smoothly. For example, I have a navigation app to supplement the one in my car and it took about 20 seconds to load on my old phone. With the new one, about 2-3 seconds. Since it is HDD based (all maps and data on the phone), it is a significant example of speed.

Another example is an app like Google Earth. Previously, while not exactly slow, it stuttered a little. Now, butter smooth transitions and movements.

Also, the N wifi setup, gimped or not, it is significantly faster.

My old phone on my network typically netted about 4000kbps/1200kbps down and up. Now, I get about 11000/2000, which probably explains why websites load so much better.

Multi-tasking

I was pissed when I learnt it was not TRUE multi-tasking, per-se, but as long as I had some apps, like Pandora, in the background, I was fine. And, that is exactly the case. Pandora ran without a hiccup all day today while I surfed, texted, made calls (it paused) and so forth. It even ran in the background while I used my navigation app, which was significant.

No slow-downs or pauses. All my previous apps worked splendidly, except "Fluid", which instantly crashed for some reason. Not all apps are supported for multi-tasking, such as Orb. Orb, while it worked, would instantly lose the feed and position when I switched to another app. I could return to Orb, but I would have to re-acquire my feed. I guess I understand given the nature of the data being received, but I was hoping it would work better

Still, I have not yet noticed or been hindered by the lack of true multi-tasking. It works as it is supposed to, it is easy and it is VERY easy to kill apps (press finger on app in launcher till it jiggles and then kill it by clicked on the - next to it).

Signal Strength

This is one area I was VERY surprised at. Before while driving home, I would drop to edge at multiple locations and cause Pandora to pause/skip a little on some tracks. Not so anymore. Whatever they did by moving the antennae into the surround (the aluminium thinger around the phone) seems to have worked. Signal seems to be a little better and I didn't have issues walking around my home during phone calls. Again, anecdotal and less than 1 day's use, but I am happy

If Orb plays the footy match tomorrow without any issues, I will consider this a massive success.

Cons

Well, the first thing is, obviously, AT&T. We definitely need a little competition for better rates and so forth. I was lucky I got grand-fathered into the old plan so I am satisfied with that.

The phone's design is perfectly fine but the rear being all glass == magnet for potential scratches, as seen on Engadget.

I am keeping the plastic protector on till I get a screen protector type clear plastic jobbie to slap on there. I am likely going sans case for the phone since it is not plastic.

I wish there was flash. I cannot express how annoying it is NOT to be able to surf freely and enjoy some games online and so forth. No hulu even

I also wish there was non-gimped multi-tasking. I haven't had an issue yet and this could yet be a moot point, but I would have liked the option to select my own preference.

I REALLY want to see widgets. For a company that has worked with Konfabulator and other items, a lack of live widgets is absolutely ridiculous. Why can I not have a live weather feed on my locked page or my home page? I love the folders, very intuitive and ALL phones should have them in this category, but no widgets? Come on. The competition has had widgets for years. Massive oversight.

Final Thoughts

Overall, for people who have a 3G, this will be a massive leap and definitely worth it. I only purchased the 16GB personally because I stream most items and I also use dropbox. I have most of my hdd free, even with my APPS.

The fit/finish and the new OS definitely raise the level from the previous phone (which, under iOS4, is a lot more sluggish than the previous OS's).

For someone with a 3GS, it is a mixed bag. The speed is much the same from my experience and therefore you may not need to kick it up a notch.

The additional memory helps, undoubtedly. My friends 3GS lags a little bit when he has a lot of items in his background for quick switching. Mine does not. Also, various apps open a little quicker and operate more smoothly.

Overall, a nice device with the standard pitfalls of a controlled environment (pretty much all Apple devices), but enough for me to justify the purchase. The battery life alone is worth it as I have been hammering away at it all day and am still pretty charged up.

4/5 stars I reckon. Massive deductions for no flash and AT&T and lack of widgets, but otherwise, I like it a fair deal

***

Follow-up regarding the signal issue.

I can actually duplicate it when holding it in portrait mode with my left hand while typing or using my right hand for any sort of interaction. My left hand naturally covers the portion of the phone that is apparently the trigger.

Note, this is a natural holding position.

Using a bumper case does seem to resolve the issue but I hate the damn thing. I am on the waiting list for the Element Vapor case so hanging on to see whats up there.

The other option appears to be the follow Incipio case.

http://www.myincipio.com/iphone-case...oft-shell-case

It has some good reviews from people online and is much more rigid than those typical rubbery cases that pick up lint and start stretching out within a few days.

Last edited by Sazar; 07-17-10 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:40 PM   #2
Imbroglio
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

just make sure you hold it the right way


http://gizmodo.com/5571171/iphone-4-...e-antenna-band


on a more serious note. nice informative review
(also could you do this hand test too for signal strength?)
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Old 06-23-10, 10:12 PM   #3
Sazar
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

I did try the signal strength thing and thus far, I have not seen an issue, but then I have not had my palms all sweaty when doing it either.

I am looking for clear screens for the back to cover it, but I might end up getting something like the bands Apple is selling.

I do like the buttons on this thing. So solid. The old one, you had to CLICK on the top (power) button. This, almost gentle tap. I find myself pushing too hard sometimes, but its a matter of practice. Much better button weighting
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Old 06-24-10, 12:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

how is the battery life?
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Old 06-24-10, 01:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

I got my phone today and I also plan on doing a review vs the original 3g and Nexus One.

Also I would like to point out they confirmed 512MB ram. So this phone is more powerful then the ipad.

I agree mostly with what you said. I do love this phone moving stuff from my 3G took half an hour I had everything including 5GB of apps and pictures moved over. took no effort at all.


The phone is very very smooth. loading webpages is very fast even compared to my N1. Pandora loads instantly and plays right away even freshly loading the app. N1 sometimes took 10 seconds to start playing, and thats with a class 6 memory card. I love the way the phone looks. Its an attention grabber. While feeling very sturdy and stiff it feels like im more libel to break it from dropping it. Feels like im holding a wine glass or something. Ive never droped any phone ive ever had so hopefully this continues. Im not willing to test the durability.


2 things i want to point out

1. The sound quality and volume level of this phone is WAY better then the 3G and even my N1. it has a much deeper tone compared to the 3G. It dosnt distort at all. Even when playing my ringtones that I have added +3 DB to. Sounds great.


2. Because of the the sound quality improvement Speaker phone is useable. I work in a noisy enviorment so the previous iphones speaker phone was too quiet. This phone is much louder and as said the quality of sound is much higher. I have not tested yet but im sure the 2mic also helps my speaker phone calls so they can hear me better.

Overall first impressions coming from a top line Android phone are great.

1 think I think is useless that I do miss from android is the voice controll. Apples built in sucks. Google Voice is amazing. I here there is a way for me to set this up but i have not tried yet.


And for Zelda I have not charged my phone sense I got it (came 100%) I ran the phone at full brightness all day and still at 45% left. And I was playing with it allot.

I know thats not a good test but being that the phone uses a more effecient CPU then the previous 3GS and has a bigger battery I assume it will be better.
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Old 06-24-10, 04:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

Great review. It makes me even more excited for iPhone 4. I'm still on first gen iPhone so it'll be a huge leap for me.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

Great reviews guys. A lot of good stuff there.
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Old 06-24-10, 07:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

i don't have any iphone....or a phone -.-...

plan to get a iphone4....any ozi's getting it? any tips?
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Old 06-24-10, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

There are reports popping up all over the place that there's a problem with the new iPhone 4! It seems that you will lose reception when holding the iPhone 4 in your hand.The band around the phone is the antenna and by holding the phone where your hand comes in contact with this band you will be experiencing signal drop. Here's a video I found on the tube.






There's more but I'll let you guys find that out your self.
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Old 06-24-10, 08:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imbroglio View Post
just make sure you hold it the right way


http://gizmodo.com/5571171/iphone-4-...e-antenna-band


on a more serious note. nice informative review
(also could you do this hand test too for signal strength?)


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Old 06-24-10, 09:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imbroglio View Post
just make sure you hold it the right way


http://gizmodo.com/5571171/iphone-4-...e-antenna-band


on a more serious note. nice informative review
(also could you do this hand test too for signal strength?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Airbrushkid View Post
There are reports popping up all over the place that there's a problem with the new iPhone 4! It seems that you will lose reception when holding the iPhone 4 in your hand.The band around the phone is the antenna and by holding the phone where your hand comes in contact with this band you will be experiencing signal drop. Here's a video I found on the tube.






There's more but I'll let you guys find that out your self.
Yea, Imbroglio beat you to it.

Good review Sazar. The power of the phone is definitely appealing. Too bad I will never use the iPhone, because I am not leaving Verizon.
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Old 06-24-10, 10:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: ** iPhone 4 mini-review **

I wish it was on Verizon. I would switch in a second. Cheaper plans AND reception/coverage/call quality is TEN FOLD.
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