Apple's IPhone 4 Is `Major Leap,' `One to Beat,' Reviewers Say

Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 will “dazzle” consumers with its thinner redesign, “radically” sharper screen, higher-resolution front-facing camera and updated operating system, reviewers said.

The iPhone 4 feels “denser and tighter” than the 3GS, Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg wrote in a review today. Sound is “much better on both ends” of a call, according to David Pogue in the New York Times.

Mossberg called the phone a “major leap” over “its already excellent predecessor.” Apple’s fourth-generation phone goes on sale tomorrow at the same cost as the iPhone 3GS. The 16-gigabyte model sells for $199 and the 32-gigabyte model for $299, each with a two-year contract from AT&T Inc.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has received more than 600,000 preorders for the phone. Dallas-based AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone, said June 15 that it has booked 10 times as many preorders for the new model as it did for the 3GS last year.

USA Today technology columnist Edward C. Baig said the smartphone is “the one to beat, even as it faces fierce competition from phones based on Google’s Android platform.” Mossberg praised the video calling and long-lasting battery, writing that “even in heavy use, the iPhone 4’s battery never reached the red zone on a single day of my tests.”

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg called the iPhone a 'major leap' over 'its already-excellent predecessor'.

Fewer Dropped Calls

Pogue wrote “the new phone is also better at choosing the best channel for connecting with the cell tower,” leading to fewer dropped calls in New York and San Francisco.

Baig, Mossberg and Pogue all presented the phone’s drawbacks. The biggest is “Apple needs a second network,” Mossberg said.

Apple also has allowed only certain applications to “fully multitask” to avoid “a disastrous drain on battery life,” Mossberg wrote. There are more than 225,000 applications that run on the iPhone, according to an Apple statement.

“The technically inclined may find greater flexibility and choice among its Android rivals,” Pogue wrote. Baig added that “critics are left with reasons to whine.”

The iPhone 4 “is still, overall, the best in its class,” Mossberg wrote.

Apple fell $2.88 to $270.97 at 4:30 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have climbed 29 percent this year and have more than doubled in the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net.

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