Product Type: Apple Smartphone
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iPhone 4, lots of features, all easy to use
Apple iPhone 4 16 GB
Member Name: julwhite
Apple iPhone 4 16 GB
Advantages: Applications, maps, clear screen, easy to use
Disadvantages: Reporting no signal problem
This review is for the iPhone 4GS, the 16GB model.
It has been a while since I had a new phone, and so when I was able to get this on a Vodafone contract, I thought I'd see what I had been missing with all of the iPhone hype.
The packaging for the phone is quite minimal, coming in a small box, with a charger which can be connected to either the computer or to a normal plug socket. There are also a small set of instructions and headphones for the unit. Any further documentation that you need however can be easily found on-line.
I found the phone very easy to use. The amount of thought which has gone into this phone seems to me to be enormous, with the controls being logical and easy to pick up straight away.
My first impressions were that the phone looked good and seemed easy to use and so were very positive. I was also impressed at the quality of the screen, the images were very clear, although my old phone was quite old, so I'm really not used to high quality screens or phones!
On the main screen there are a number of options, the facility to send messages, look at photos, operate the camera, access maps, change the settings, load itunes, watch Youtube and also the apps store.
I was impressed straight away with the quality of all of these features. Messages are easy to send, and I soon discovered are grouped together so it makes it much easier to follow a text message discussions. Using the camera (more on which in a moment) was easy and it was useful to have links to itunes and some other features.
I have tried to access Youtube on a phone before and found it very clunky, but not so with this phone. It was easy to use and find videos, and the quality was good, and the loading time was superb.
More on maps as well in a moment, and also on the application store, which was easy to access. I was pleased how easy it was to change the settings on the phone and to be able to start to use it. My phone came fully charged and the SIM card installed, so I had to do just about nothing to start using the phone effectively.
There are two cameras, one facing forward and the other back, and I was impressed at the quality of the images which it took. Taking photos is really easy, and the zoom function is more powerful than I had expected. Photos are stored in the easily accessible photo album section, and I was also impressed at the feature where you can take a screenshot of the screen, which is then also saved in the photos section.
The camera quality has been improved since the iPhone 3, and is more than good enough to mean that I don't have to take my digital camera away with me, with the images looking fine for my purposes.
I travel quite a lot, and invariably also get lost quite a lot. I have on my old phone been quite reliant on Google Maps, but it didn't plot where I was, so sometimes I remained lost. With maps on this phone, your position is tracked very accurately, within a few feet, which is much more accurate than I thought.
This means that I now have no reason to get lost in the future! You can switch between looking at a traditional map, looking at satellite images and you can also get directions between two locations. Find the location you want is nice and easy, and takes very little time.
One of the great features about the iPhone is all of the applications that are available for it. I won't go into the applications in depth, as I note that dooyoo has separate sections for these, but there is a huge choice, and there are many thousands of free applications, games, utilities, ebooks and much more. You can easily buy the applications which are chargeable, and there's a great choice!
My favourite apps were the free games, such as Castle, Spot the Difference, Traffic Rush and similar games, and I immediately added the Facebook and eBay apps. There are also apps which let you use your iPhone as a torch, and you can even download the Tesco app so that you can use your iPhone as a clubcard when you're in Tesco.
I did have a slight concern about how easy it would be to use the keyboard on this phone, but I needn't have worried. I found the screen big enough to be able to type on effectively, so it was easy to send text messages. The phone also is easily able to work out what you meant to type, even if you didn't actually type that. Overall, another design plus.
The battery length isn't great, but is more than enough for my requirements. It lasts a few hours, but is dependant on lots of issues, such as whether you have Bluetooth on, how bright you have the screen, whether you're travelling and searching for wi-fi networks and so on. I was happy with the length of battery life, and impressed at how quickly the phone recharged when either connected to the computer or via a plug to the mains.
I personally have a Spotify account and don't use iTunes, but the integration with either is great. The music quality is good, and the headphones which come with the iPhone I found to be of very reasonable quality, and they also have an integrated volume control, for times when my iPhone is tucked away in my pocket or the like.
Accessing the internet is via Safari, the web browser often used on mobile phones. This, like just about everything else on this phone, is easy to use. You can open multiple windows and most web-sites are accessible, although Flash isn't supported in general, so you may find a few things won't work as you'd expect in a more usual Internet browser. For browsing on the move though, it's great.
I have a gmail e-mail account, and the integration between the phone and Google's e-mail service I found to be excellent. You can either have messages pushed to the phone, or choose how often you want the phone to connect to your e-mail. I was impressed how easy the e-mail system on the phone is to use, and it's easy to add multiple e-mail accounts to the phone.
CONNECTING TO WIRELESS:
This is the feature that I found to be the most impressive about the iPhone. I was have a 500MB allowance each month for accessing the Internet, but when I'm at home, I can connect to my own wi-fi so as not to eat into my allowance.
I hadn't expected the iPhone to connect so quickly to this wi-fi, within a second usually, and for it to be so fast. Applications download incredibly quickly, I can stream television programmes on BBC iPlayer to a high quality and very quickly and it all seems so seamless.
I've only really been able to scratch the surface of this phone in this review, but as you can no doubt gather, I'm very impressed. I am sure that technically other phones might have some advantages, but I found this phone to look good and more importantly, operate in a way which is easy and logical.
Attention to detail from Apple seems to be very good, whether using the keyboard, when the iPhone senses you are looking at the screen horizontally and flips it, and so on, it's a very easy piece of kit to use, but is powerful enough to meet most peoples' needs.
In terms of price, I paid 90 pounds for mine via Vodafone, with a monthly contract. They are much more expensive to buy unlocked, and expensive to buy on a pay as you go. If you are tempted by an iPod touch, then this is likely a good alternative, but otherwise you'd have to decide how important the functionality is to fork out a large sum for the phone.
In terms of the negatives, I like others have had problems with the phone reporting that there is no signal, when I know there is a signal and am having a call. This is irritating, but a free case is being sent to me via Apple's case provision programme, and hopefully this will help this issue.
So, in summary, I'm impressed!
Summary: I'm delighted to have one! Highly recommended.