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iPhone 4 review roundup: Highlights and one big downside

iPhone 4 review posts sing Apple's praises. But will one stumbling block keep the new smart phone from being truly great?

By / June 23, 2010

iPhone 4 review posts suggest this is the best Apple phone yet.

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Even before the first iPhone 4 review went online, enthusiastic fans were queuing up in front of Apple stores nationwide. Good thing the new smart phone seems to be worth the wait.

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Early reviews of the iPhone 4 say this fourth model really is a leap forward for Apple – except for one persistent flaw that may have actually gotten worse. Here's the roundup:

The shape

"Thanks to a boy and a bar and a blog, we've already known for some time what the iPhone 4 would look like," jokes BoingBoing's positive but not glowing review. "The squared-off, thinner, steel-and glass form is more masculine, more substantial. Like a really hot designer watch.... It feels really nice to hold. Once my hand got used to it, the 3GS body felt more like a toy, and I didn't much feel like holding it anymore.... The display is a huge leap forward. It's really crisp, and hues are more true."

The battery

"In fact, we managed to squeeze more than 38 hours -- yes, 38 hours -- of life out of a single charge using the phone as we normally would," writes Engadget. "We're talking calls, some gaming, lots of push email and calendar invites, playing music over Bluetooth in the car, and just general testing (like downloading new apps, rearranging icons, tweaking settings). We went from 10:30AM on a Saturday morning till 1:00AM on Monday without needing to charge the phone."

The video calling

"Video calling is as simple as tapping a FaceTime button next to a Contacts entry when you initiate a call or tapping a button once you're on a regular voice call," explains USA Today, which felt FaceTime was one of the best new features. "You can seamlessly switch from front to rear camera and back during a call, allowing you to share your surroundings with a caller. Now the caveats: Both you and the person you're talking to need an iPhone 4, though Apple hopes to make FaceTime a standard that would permit video calling across numerous devices. Both parties need to be connected to Wi-Fi."

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