iPhone 4 review

HD video recording, gorgeous display - but can it justify the price?

The definitive Apple iPhone 4 review
The definitive Apple iPhone 4 review

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Apple iphone 4 review

Well, there's been so much to talk about on the new iPhone that we're actually impressed Apple had that much to update on this iteration of the smartphone.

From HD video recording to a completely new shape, it's intriguing to see record-breaking numbers queuing up to pick up this device – but after playing with it for a few days, you can see why.

We liked

Well, we liked nearly everything on the iPhone 4. The main thing we enjoyed is the fact the interface is still so slick, as nothing beats the fact the phone reacts to your slightest touch.

The gyroscope is beyond awesome on a phone of this size, or on a phone at all come to think of it.

The battery life has been well extended to work long enough to not hate your phone any more, which is a welcome boost, and the camera and video recorder have been updated more than adequately to consider them actual replacements for the cameras and camcorders.

The Retina Display is really something else to look at, and we're even starting to like the sharp angles of the chassis – although we're still not huge fans.

The App Store is still brilliant, and will continue to get brilliant-er, and things like Google Maps offer a superb mapping experience.

We disliked

Why, why did the reception problem have to happen Apple? If it wasn't for that, this would have been head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to smartphone functionality. Nothing can come close on paper.

The price is also ridiculously high - £600 for a phone is amazing, and more so when you think thousands, yes, thousands of people queued up in the UK alone to pick up one of these the second it was released.

The HTC Desire costs less than £400, is free on £30 a month deals, where the iPhone costs £170 plus the contract too.

We appreciate the sheer amount of tech and design packed into the iPhone 4, but that's still a LOT to shell out for a phone.


Trust us, we've gone back and forth over the star rating to give the iPhone 4 - it's been tricky.

Put it this way: if we didn't have to switch hands to browse the internet at any given moment, this phone would have been five stars, hands down. Apart from the fact your own skin makes you lose all 3G connectivity, there's pretty much nothing wrong with this phone.

And if you're still lusting after an iPhone, don't worry - this is by no means a reason not to buy it. Like we said, we had no dropped calls during our tests, and that's a big improvement on previous iterations - it was the internet browsing that got us.

Is it better than the 3GS? Yes - by a country mile. Is it better than the HTC Desire? In some ways yes, in some ways no... the iPhone 4 hits higher points but thanks to the reception issue hits lower points too.

Essentially it comes down to a straight choice: are you interested in the geek chicness of the rapidly-improving Android, or are you all over the slick iPhone eco-system?

You won't be disappointed by the iPhone 4 by any means - if you're happy to spend nearly £200 more on a phone and are willing to wiggle your hand a little bit then this phone will delight for the next couple of years.

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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.