18 Comments

Summary:

Apple makes very functional tech, certainly, but it also isn’t the only company that does so. What separates Apple from the rest of the pack is its attention to aesthetics and physical design.

iphone4design_thumb

Apple makes very functional tech, certainly, but it also isn’t the only company that does so. What separates Apple from the rest of the pack is its attention to aesthetics and physical design. I often want an Apple product not because I think it will be terribly useful, but because I just want to hold the dang things in my hand.

The new iPhone 4 is no exception, even if its name leaves a little something to be desired. It’s glass and steel, as you might expect from a company that lately loves the metal and gloss look (the iPad and iMac are prime examples). The front and back are optical glass, which is far more scratch resistant than the current plastic back of your iPhone 3GS, let me tell you from experience. Both will have an oleophobic coating, so you won’t get everything all smudgy.

A steel band rings the phone around its perimeter, striking quite the industrial impression, and on that band are located the various ports for the 30-pin dock connector, headset jack, microphone, speaker and sim card tray. You’ll also find the sleep/wake button, volume controls and silent switch here. No physical orientation lock like on the iPad, but there will now be a software button for that in iOS 4.0.

And that steel band isn’t just there for stunning good looks. It also doubles as part of the antenna system for the iPhone’s various radios, including Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS and Bluetooth. Integrated antennas not only frees up space to make this phone so thin, but it should also help out with reception, too, though you still have to deal with AT&T’s questionable service, unfortunately.

Speaking of thin, this iPhone is the thinnest yet, and possibly the thinnest smartphone available period. It’s 24 percent thinner than the iPhone 3GS, at an impressive 9.3mm thick. Now you have absolutely no excuse to keep this thing in your pants pocket instead of using a holster, except maybe if you want to show off your newest acquisition.

Combine all of this surface stuff with a new gyroscope sensor on the inside, the amazing new Retina Display, 40 percent more battery life and front and back cameras, the rear of which shoots full 720p HD video and you’ve got yourself quite the contender. The phone is also available in white or black, as per usual, but I’m thinking the white design could be quite a bit more popular now that it’s wrapped in optical glass instead of easy-to-discolor white plastic. Might sway my own decision on that front. What do you guys think, huge design improvement or what?

  1. goestoeleven Monday, June 7, 2010

    Sure, looks great — but the feature I was REALLY looking forward to was the expected storage bump to 64Gb. Am I the only one that noticed this conspicuous omission?

    VERY LAME!

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    1. Right, all the other new features and updates are meaningless because they didn’t increase the capacity ;}

      I’m bracing myself for a slew of “No [XYZ]? FAIL!” comments on the interwebs.

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  2. @eleven: Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be coming out in a couple months… for only an extra 150$-200$.

    You can’t deny though… that is one sexy piece of tech.

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  3. The new iPhone 4 not only looks great but I can’t wait to see how all of its new tech plays out in terms of video game development: HD portable gaming!

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  4. goestoeleven Monday, June 7, 2010

    @cptgibbs, no argument that it looks great, and the new features are certainly interesting. With the possible exception of the 5megapixel camera and LED flash, most of these features are “nice-to-haves” and are hardly “must-have” justifications for an upgrade.

    Adding 64Gb would have made this a very compelling new piece of kit.

    Without it, I will happily wait…

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    1. While you are at it why not ask for a 128gb….

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      1. why not just go straight for the terabyte iPhone!

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  5. “With the possible exception of the 5megapixel camera and LED flash, most of these features are “nice-to-haves” and are hardly “must-have” justifications for an upgrade.”

    The screen, the speed of the new chip, the better phone, all are must haves for me, while 64gb is definitely not. That’s the thing, we all have different must haves.

    But I think anyone that believes this isn’t a compelling upgrade for the majority of users is sniffing glue.

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    1. Alejandro Perez Monday, June 7, 2010

      I agree, I still Have the original 3G note the missing “s” con you honestly tell me it’s not a MUST HAVE UPGRADE.

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  6. forget about 64GB, who needs it anyway, for the price I mean :)
    even 32GB sales were very low, that’s why Apply didn’t bover to make 64GB, it would be just a waste of money for Apple..

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  7. iPhone 4GS anyone?

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    1. fill it full of powerade!

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  8. I agree, this is one sexy phone, and with the new screen, Face Time video chat, and the increased res, this will send all of the other phone manufacturers back to the drawing board.

    This is just apple doing it’s job and innovating once again. I can’t wait to see what happens come next year when the competition is just starting to catch up again. ;)

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  9. I really do not like the new square edge look. Reminds me of my old Nokia phone slit in two. All for the new features though!

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  10. Does anybody know about a new ipod touch??

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