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Soon to be outdated?

The new iPhone has great features, but its main folly is that it doesn’t support 4G data speeds.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 15, 2010 14:14 IST
Shayne Rana

The iPhone 4 is gearing up to break records and Apple is really good at doing that, especially when it comes to their mobile devices. So let’s look at all the features this Apple mobile phone has to offer.

Great design
The design is outstanding. Apple has gone all out to make sure that if you buy the iPhone 4, this may well be the last phone you’ll ever own. It’s super slim at just 9.3 mm, and comes with a screen that is resistant to scratches and fingerprints.

The upgraded resolution and pixel depth on this ‘Retina display’ is intriguing. We’re talking about super clear scripts, better viewing angles, and vivid colours, possibly unlike anything we’ve seen in the mobile field.

The addition of a secondary microphone for noise suppression will make calls so much better, and the super strong aluminum border will surely enhance the reception quality.

It’s great that Apple designed a processor (A4) that was smaller and seemingly just as powerful as the speediest handsets, just to make room for a bigger battery, which was sorely required.

The iPhone’s light / proximity sensor has always been good. Just a few other devices were able to provide the kind of sensitivity and response as an Apple device. The three-axis gyroscope in cahoots with the existing smooth accelerometer can totally provide six-axis motion sensing, taking mobile gaming to a new level of intensity and interaction.

Tethering your handset to your PC or Mac Book is definitely a beneficial service. Just hook it up to your computer and surf the Web via the handset’s 3G service. Of course, it’ll be a while before that’s actually possible for us on this side of the pond.

File transfer
One of the biggest issues I had with the Apple iPhone (all generations) has been the lack of Bluetooth file transfer. This is a fix that we desperately need. Sure, issues of transferring music and videos without using iTunes could be a concern for Apple, but they should now give us what we want.

The iPhone 4 supports Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR but there’s still no word on native file transfer capability, although A2DP is not an issue anymore.

The Face Time function seemed like a great idea till you realise it works only with other iPhone 4s. It’s also limited to being used via Wi-Fi and not as a data plan. The lack of Flash support is, of course, a big concern for most mobile users and it’s highly unlikely that Apple will accept Adobe with open arms. This really makes browsing a difficult job. There’s still no native option for creating or assigning ringtones. It can only be done via iTunes.

It’s still just a 3G-enabled device, and considering it is the ‘Fourth Generation’, it should have had support for higher data speeds when they go live.

No wonder the HTC Evo 4G is already making things difficult for the iPhone 4.

Slow to catch up
The biggest folly with this ‘almost-perfect’ next-gen Apple handset is that even though it’s a remarkable piece of hardware overall, it’s possibly going to be outdated within 13-15 months.

And like the 3GS that only got here recently, the big questions are — should you wait for this, not knowing when 4G is going to get here, or simply opt for the 3GS and update to iOS 4.0?

And if around the same time HTC plans to launch the Evo 4G in India, it’ll only get harder for us to make a choice.