1. Corey's Avatar
    At the beginning of the week I received my new-to-me iPhone 4. This is my first iPhone. For the past few weeks, ever since the Gingerbread update in fact, I've been having an increasing amount of problems with my previously reliable Droid X. Before I got to the point of smashing the everloving guts out of the thing, I hopped on eBay and picked up a really clean and lightly used iPhone 4 to replace it.

    So, review time. I try to be as unbiased as I can, and maybe this will help others looking to make a similar switch.

    First, the bad. Not because I'm a pessimist, but because there's really not much to complain about. Note, all these things are completely opinion related.

    Cons

    1. Size. I'm slowly getting used to it, but I really miss the 4.3" screen of the Droid X. My fingers felt a little less cramped, and it seems to stand out at the moment.

    2. It's slick. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful package (more in the pros), but the slick back has created near incidents a few too many time. It slides off any fabric surface that isn't completely level. A case will fix that.

    3. It needs too much protection. I feel like every little thing is going to ruin this phone. Part of it is because it's a damn fine looking phone and I don't want to ruin it if I can help it at all. But that bothers me to some extent. I hate cases for phones.

    3b. Kind of a sub problem of the above, but why does this not have Gorilla glass? At no time have I ever felt the need to have a screen protector on the DX. It's been in my pockets, smashed with keys, and I've done the heavy handed scratch test to impress the friends and still the screen looks brand new with nary a scratch. I hate screen protectors.

    4. SMS/MMS chat bubbles. Sorry, just not my style. They look goofy.

    5. I really miss a dedicated camera button.

    6. I really really really miss Swype.


    Pros

    1. Have I mentioned it's a beautiful design? I never liked the previous edition iPhones. I dislike the curved nonsense. The slab sides really appeal to me. It looks impressive at all angles. Even the volume buttons look sharp and well crafted.

    2. Camera. The DX may have an 8 megapixel camera, but it's got a crap sensor. Every picture I took with that phone had washed out colors and a grainy resolution. I've seen what can be done with that camera, but I can't imagine the b.s. that takes place to get a decent shot. The iPhone camera takes superior pictures.

    3. Screen. It's fantastic. The colors are bright and vibrant. I remember how dull the colors were when I switched from the first Droid to the Droid X. After a certain amount of time, I got used to it and it didn't bother me anymore, but when I switched to the iPhone, the colors were incredibly bright and vibrant in comparison.

    4. E-Mail. I have six email accounts hooked up to this phone and they all work flawlessly. On the DX, I had certificate problems with my hotmail accounts. Also, thank god for a unified inbox. I know there were ways to do it on the DX, but it was cantankerous. And what really bothered me was how there was a Gmail app/program, and then a completely separate app/program to handle any email that was not Gmail. I don't need two separate programs to handle on function.

    5. Mute switch. Why do all phones not have this?

    6. No fragmentation. Seriously, it's becoming a huge problem. There are android phones that I think are excellent in terms of hardware that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole because they ship with an old OS and have a dubious timetable for upgrades. I know some people don't care. I do. I refuse to pay 200 - 300 for a phone that's running and old OS.

    That's about it for the moment. It's still very early in the game. I have a case that should arrive tomorrow or Saturday that will hopefully take care of the slick/sliding problem and give it a bit of a boost of protection. I have an iPad that should be here Saturday or Monday to tinker with to get more of a feel of the iOS sandbox. So far so good.
    09-09-2011 12:44 AM
  2. jsntrenkler's Avatar
    Congrats on your new to you iPhone 4 ... They are great devices and I thought you did a great job with your mini review.
    Corey likes this.
    09-09-2011 12:47 AM
  3. BLiNK's Avatar
    great review. i have to say, at first, i did not like the fact that the 4 seemed very fragile but it is something you get used to. i only use a very thin clear case while at work as i work around construction throughout the day but after that i go "no case". my opinion is the 4 is too awesome to cover up. never dropped it, yet, due to my constant awareness. it's just something i learn to live with and to be honest most, if not all, cases just look hideous to me

    the camera and retina display are leaps and bounds ahead of any other phone i have seen, and it is only going to get better

    glad you are enjoying it!
    09-09-2011 01:41 AM
  4. CG68's Avatar
    I also came from a Droid X(which was a great phone) and thought I would miss the screen size but after a couple of days I didn't and got used to using the 3.5" screen. The retina screen definetly makes a difference. Plus the iPhone with case is more pocketable now! BTW when iOS 5 comes out you will be able to use the volume button as a dedicated camera button.
    09-09-2011 02:02 AM
  5. Vorpal279's Avatar
    Interesting you didn't mention battery life. Do you have any thoughts on that?
    09-09-2011 10:18 AM
  6. Corey's Avatar
    Interesting you didn't mention battery life. Do you have any thoughts on that?
    I've been keeping track. Honestly, it's looking like it's about equal. I'm getting about a day and change out of the iPhone battery, which is about what I got out of the DX battery. My use is moderate: decent amount of emails, about 50 - 100 texts a day, one or two phone calls at about 5 - 10 minutes, some internet, and 15 -20 pictures (no flash). It hasn't been a dramatic enough difference for me to really notice. To be fair, I have always put my phone on a charger before I go to sleep, but so far, I haven't scrambled to plug the phone in at any point in the day of my use. The battery at the end of the day seems to be about where the battery on the DX was at the same time. Until I get a good two or three weeks into the phone, I won't be able to tell you if anything deviates from where it is at the moment, but it's seemed consistent so far.
    09-09-2011 11:07 AM
  7. sting7k's Avatar
    The dedicated camera button you crave is coming soon with iOS 5. The front is supposedly gorilla glass as well. It will scratch if it gets hit just right but it is quite difficult.

    I agree about it feeling fragile and being too slick. I got a leather sticker thing with a 3M adhesive backing from SGP and think it really helps on that front. I also use a bumper for extra grip, bumpers on ebay are less than $5.
    09-09-2011 11:54 AM
  8. Eileen89's Avatar
    Hey, Corey, congrats on getting your first iPhone. Glad to hear that you're liking it so far. Also, I liked your review, it was nicely done.
    Last edited by Irish Rose; 09-09-2011 at 12:05 PM.
    09-09-2011 12:03 PM
  9. kicks's Avatar
    It would have to be with a tethered jailbreak due to iOS 4.2.10, but you can have swype on your iphone.

    Just google iswipe
    09-09-2011 01:57 PM
  10. Corey's Avatar
    Moderate update:

    Today I received my cases in the mail. As hoped, the slick phone feeling is taken care of. My concern with adding unnecessary bulk was overblown, thankfully. The case really helps tremendously, which brings me to a bit of review:

    Magpul Executive Field Case:

    Today I received the two Magpul cases that I ordered, one in FDE (flat dark earth), and one in Orange. The Orange was inspired by a post in one of the case threads. In the picture, it looked like everything I was hoping for. So, naturally, I was thrilled to tear into the package.



    First off, before even putting the case on the phone, the quality is excellent. I have Magpul products on one of my rifles, and I expected nothing less than excellent. I have not been let down in that regard. The material of the case is stiffer than the too soft silicon gel type cases, but has more give than a typical hard case. The texture is a very nice balance between slick and tacky. It's got just enough grip that it doesn't feel like it'll slip out of my hand without being so tacky that it attracts every molecule of lint. Also, it slips in and out of the pocket without snagging on anything. Once the phone is in the case, everything is very snug. No ill fit or mismatched holes, just a solid case.



    There is little added bulk to the phone. It's still quite sleek. The ribbed edges are perfectly spaced and find a finger with no problems, giving an additional feeling that I've got a good grip on the phone and it's not going anywhere.



    The cutouts for the various things like camera/dock/headphone/mute switch are all sized very nicely with clean edges. The volume buttons and power button are covered. The power button feels a little stiff but functions without a hiccup or hesitation.



    Even with the case on, the phone remains slim. There's an ever so slight lip that extends past the screen to give it a little cushion if the phone were to be placed screen down on a flat surface, but it's a little more shallow than some other cases, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing that.



    The colors are nice, without being to splashy. The flat dark earth has a nice sandy/khaki color to it. I was looking for a gray case but they're harder to find and seem to be made for the AT&T iPhone specifically, though from what I understand, a little trimming around the mute switch is all that is necessary for a solid fit. All of the latest cases are designed to work with the Verizon and AT&T version of the phone.

    The case works for me. It's slim, it gives the phone some much needed grip, and it's not ridiculously bulky. Quality is top notch, and a bonus (if you're into such things like I am): it's made in the USA. I like that, quite a bit. I've been a fan of Magpul products for a while now, and these cases are no exception. And they're (relatively) cheap. At $10 a piece, I figured I could get two to figure which color I like more without breaking the bank (I chose orange as the go to for the moment). I hope rodger3gs will forgive me for hotlinking his pics, but they show the orange case on an iPhone, and they're fantastic shots.




    So that's it for the update. More updates as I figure more things out and as qualities begin to stand out.
    bgl321 likes this.
    09-09-2011 02:19 PM
  11. Eileen89's Avatar
    It would have to be with a tethered jailbreak due to iOS 4.2.10, but you can have swype on your iphone.

    Just google iswipe
    The last time I checked the repo used for iSwype was down. Unless they fixed it, no iSwype.
    09-09-2011 04:09 PM
  12. jerseykirby's Avatar
    Very nice update, very interesting read as I am in the same boat as you. I switch from AT&T and had only used Android on that front. I will say this though, I do not miss it for the world. I switched over just as they announced iOS 5, after that I said there would be nothing I could miss. Great device, great build, great all around. Thanks for the review, I am gonna think about those cases as I am again in the same boat with not liking too much bulk.
    09-12-2011 09:54 AM
  13. bberrynewbie84's Avatar
    Im thinking of getting the iphone 4 when i return my droid bionic,but in the back of my head I wanna wait until the iphone5 comes out. WHAT SHOULD I DO??? I also had a droid x before i got this bionic,so your insight is helping me out.

    posted from a soon to be returned bionic
    09-13-2011 02:26 AM
  14. ProfessorTripp's Avatar
    Im thinking of getting the iphone 4 when i return my droid bionic,but in the back of my head I wanna wait until the iphone5 comes out. WHAT SHOULD I DO??? I also had a droid x before i got this bionic,so your insight is helping me out.

    posted from a soon to be returned bionic
    Hold off if you can. The iPhone 5 should be out next month; at that time you can decide on the new iPhone 5 or a dramatically reduced in price iPhone 4.

    Just my opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    09-13-2011 10:10 AM
  15. bberrynewbie84's Avatar
    Thanks!


    Hold off if you can. The iPhone 5 should be out next month; at that time you can decide on the new iPhone 5 or a dramatically reduced in price iPhone 4.

    Just my opinion.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    posted from a soon to be returned bionic
    09-13-2011 11:47 AM
  16. Wildo6882's Avatar
    Thanks for the review. I'm switching from my Droid Incredible 2 to an iP4 today. I really wanted to wait on the iP5, but I had already blown my upgrade, so it didn't much matter anyway (got a decent deal on CrackBerry for a used 32gb, sold my Inc 2 for nearly the same thing). Also, I could probably sell this and get a slightly used iP5 early next year if I want. There are always people in the market for an iPhone!

    Anyway, I'm hoping for better battery life, less laggy-ness, and just a simpler way to do things. I really like Android, and may go back at some point, but I hated having to tweak everything to get it right.
    09-13-2011 12:51 PM
  17. Corey's Avatar
    Ok, another update, now that I've had a good bit of hands on with the phone:

    The fear that I would regret this purchase is gone. I'm quite happy with the iPhone. There are things here and there that are moderately annoying, but definitely no deal breakers in the mix, at least for my use. The phone continues to work quite well without any hiccups. I made a few very minor adjustments to some of the settings and have squeezed out more than decent battery life without losing functionality.

    So, here's what I've come across so far:
    • The screen is beautiful. Colors are sharp and well defined with no bleed.
    • The camera, especially with the HDR setting, takes monumentally better pictures than my Droid X.
    • There are plenty of apps.
    • There don't seem to be as many free apps as in the Android Marketplace.
    • A case is a necessity, unfortunately.
    • The keyboard still annoys me.
    • How the phone handles email is far better than on the Droid X, and Android in general.
    • An iPad makes a damn fine compliment to the iPhone.


    That's about where I am right now. The keyboard and the need for a case are mildly annoying. The keyboard works in most regards, I just wish there were a few changes. For example, I'd much rather be able to long-press to select numbers and various punctuation, rather than having to hit a separate function key to access them. I could probably live without the punctuation part of that hope, but a more direct access to the numbers would make me quite happy. The design of the phone is beautiful, but a case is flat out required. The glass scratches too easily. If the front and back glass were Gorilla Glass, I wouldn't even bother with a case. It wouldn't be necessary. As it is though, I wouldn't have the phone without something covering it. In that regard, the Magpul cases I purchased have been stellar. Lightweight, just the right amount of grip, and excellent craftsmanship. I may not be fond of cases, but the Magpul case makes it acceptable. Their products have yet to let me down.

    One more thing that I wanted to list separately, and that's going from a phone with deep google integration to a phone without it. I have a lot of Google stuff. Emails, Google Voice, Google Plus, Picasa, and I even have an Orkut account as well. I was worried about finding replacements for them on the iPhone. So here's what I got, so far.
    - The stock email client works excellent, though not when set up as a gmail account. I don't understand why the gmail setup is so completely lacking and useless. That said, with the gmail accounts setup through the Exchange setup, it's flawless. It works far better and far more consistently than my DX did.
    - I still haven't found anything useful for Google Voice. I've tried a few different apps, but it feels more tacked on than integrated. I've somewhat given up on it. To be honest, it's no big loss at the moment. I only used it for the hysterically awful transcription anyway. The web client works just fine for that.
    - The Google+ app works fine. It wasn't a great app on Android, and it's about the same on iPhone. It's functional.
    - Picasa - I haven't found a decent app to upload to Picasa. I've ended up just emailing the photos to myself and then sorting them when I get to a computer. Not a huge loss, really.

    I think that about covers it as I move into week two of using this thing. An unexpected bonus of using iOS is that I no longer care about the latest and greatest hardware. That's not to say that the iPhone 5 won't be a nice phone, but rather, I don't have to worry about purchasing a phone now that could potentially be obsolete and ignored by the manufacturers and carriers in a few months time when the next latest and greatest hits. That's a nice little piece of mind to have.

    Hope this helps some of you. If you're on Android now and have specific questions that I haven't addressed or just want more information on something here, feel free to ask. I was pretty heavy into Android and have made the transition over to iPhone with few problems. I'm more than happy to help if I am able.
    09-13-2011 03:03 PM
  18. ProfessorTripp's Avatar
    The design of the phone is beautiful, but a case is flat out required. The glass scratches too easily. If the front and back glass were Gorilla Glass, I wouldn't even bother with a case. It wouldn't be necessary. As it is though, I wouldn't have the phone without something covering it.
    Have you scratched it? Just curious. I have been using a bumper without a screen protector for months and I don't have a single blemish on my screen. I am careful with my iPhone (I don't put other things in the same pocket as my iPhone, I don't leave it anywhere where it could get knocked onto the floor, etc.) but I don't baby it by any means and my iPhone 4 still looks new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    09-13-2011 03:58 PM
  19. bgl321's Avatar
    Corey, where did you get the cases? I like!

    Moderate update:

    Today I received my cases in the mail. As hoped, the slick phone feeling is taken care of. My concern with adding unnecessary bulk was overblown, thankfully. The case really helps tremendously, which brings me to a bit of review:

    Magpul Executive Field Case:


    So that's it for the update. More updates as I figure more things out and as qualities begin to stand out.
    09-13-2011 04:08 PM
  20. CG68's Avatar
    An unexpected bonus of using iOS is that I no longer care about the latest and greatest hardware. That's not to say that the iPhone 5 won't be a nice phone, but rather, I don't have to worry about purchasing a phone now that could potentially be obsolete and ignored by the manufacturers and carriers in a few months time when the next latest and greatest hits. That's a nice little piece of mind to have.
    +1 This was one of the main reasons I moved from the Android OS phones to the iPhone.
    09-13-2011 06:36 PM
  21. Corey's Avatar
    Have you scratched it? Just curious. I have been using a bumper without a screen protector for months and I don't have a single blemish on my screen. I am careful with my iPhone (I don't put other things in the same pocket as my iPhone, I don't leave it anywhere where it could get knocked onto the floor, etc.) but I don't baby it by any means and my iPhone 4 still looks new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Some superficial scratches on the back of the phone from it being in my pocket with my keys, accidentally before my case arrived. Nothing horrible, but I noticed it immediately and it annoyed me.

    Corey, where did you get the cases? I like!
    A site called gunkings, where I've gotten a good amount of stuff for my rifle. Their prices are excellent and shipping is free on almost everything, if not everything. They charge a buck fifty for handling on anything under $30, but that's way better than the $6 or $7 shipping costs for other sites. They've not done me wrong yet, and I've given them plenty of money.

    +1 This was one of the main reasons I moved from the Android OS phones to the iPhone.
    It's nice not having to worry about my phone being forced into obsolescence in less than 6 months.
    09-13-2011 08:31 PM
  22. hoosieriphone's Avatar
    Great job Corey...excellent reviews. Welcome to the "Dark Side".
    09-15-2011 10:17 AM
  23. anon(5298)'s Avatar
    - The Google+ app works fine. It wasn't a great app on Android, and it's about the same on iPhone. It's functional.
    - Picasa - I haven't found a decent app to upload to Picasa. I've ended up just emailing the photos to myself and then sorting them when I get to a computer. Not a huge loss, really.
    If you upload pics from the Google+ app for iPhone they will show in your Picasa account and do not count against your 1GB limit..

    Congrats on the purchase and iOS5 will boost your feeling regarding the iPhone WAY up!
    09-15-2011 02:03 PM
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