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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Another thing Apple has always excelled at is the internet experience on its phone – it used to be the leader in this area without a shadow of a doubt.

Then Android got its WebKit-browser together and with it came a real rival to the throne of best mobile phone browser – and we're not sure that Apple comes up trumps this time.

The Apple A4 processor under the hood certainly has sped things up though – the internet browsing experience is markedly improved from the iPhone 3GS, with web sites loading a shade quicker and scrolling through them a much more pleasant experience.

Apple iphone 4 review

We're still 'limited' to eight open pages at once though – any more than that and you're not allowed to start up another window.

Apple iphone 4 review

We can't see that being a problem though, seeing as nobody can need that much information on their mobile phone at once – plus the impressive thing is there's no slowdown in the operation either.

However, the same gripe is still there: no Flash video. Yes, we know the myriad reasons Jobs has for not putting Adobe Flash on the iPhone or iPad, but it leaves iPhone 4 users in something of a limbo state.

Jobs has stated that he believed HTML5 and other standards will take over from Flash video and be a better experience – which is a fine stance to take.

But in the meantime we're left heading to the official BBC site and being constantly exposed to the 'Flash not detected' messages strewn everywhere, which makes us feel like we've got an ancient device, not something that's supposed to change everything. Again.

Apple iphone 4 review

On the plus side, embedded YouTube works on most sites, jumping straight into the dedicated iPhone client and playing back with minimal loss in quality.

Other little internet tweaks we like are the ability to turn a bookmarked web page into a home screen icon, offering easy access from the start, and the ability to easily email a link to your friends.

However, when you look at the browser on the HTC Desire, you can see it's probably ahead in the overall functionality stakes.

Firstly, when you zoom into text on the iPhone 4, there's only one size that fits all the text on the screen. It's perfectly visible, but if you want to head in further (using the excellent pinch and zoom) some of the text moves off the screen.

Apple iphone 4 review

The HTC range will constantly resize text no matter how close you get, which gives you far more options, especially for the short sighted.

The Android browser also allows shipping links to Twitter, Facebook and SMS, as well as deploying the latest version of mobile Flash in version 10.1 – and doing it fairly well.

Apple iphone 4 review

In fairness, the iPhone probably does copy and paste that little bit better, as the little green pins are very easy to grab and drag with the magnifying glass around to help out.

We never thought we'd say it, but the iPhone is no longer top dog when it comes to web browsing on your phone.

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.