The dons of technical writing have published their iPhone 4 reviews. Apple has charmed them all, including Uncle Walt. Calling the iPhone 4 “…a major leap over its already-excellent predecessor,” Mossberg’s review was largely positive. From All Things D:
“I’d say that Apple has built a beautiful smartphone that works well, adds impressive new features and is still, overall, the best device in its class.”
The downside? AT&T. Mossberg:
“Just as with its predecessors, I can’t recommend this new iPhone for voice calling for people who experience poor AT&T reception, unless they are willing to carry a second phone on a network that works better for them.”
I hoped the antenna-as-casing would improve reception for those of us who struggle with reliability. I’ll have to test it in my own neighborhood, of course, but this is disappointing to hear.
Joshua Topolsky wrote Engadget’s extremely thorough iPhone 4 review, complete with HTML5 videos that play on the iPhone and iPad. Not only does Topolsky offer the best representation of the Retina Display’s clarity that I’ve seen yet, he also contradicts Mossberg’s assessment of the phone’s call reception:
“…in our testing, we had far, far fewer dropped calls than we experienced on our 3GS. Let’s just say that again: yes, the iPhone 4 does seem to alleviate the dropped call issue.”
David Pogue’s piece for the New York Times is also out. One of my favorite bits confirms my assertions about Apple:
“It’s not the first phone with both a front and back camera. It’s not even the first one to make video calls. But the iPhone 4 is the first phone to make good video calls, reliably, with no sign-up or setup, with a single tap.”
David’s experience with iPhone 4’s “killer app” — making calls — was similar to Joshua’s:
“The new phone is also better at choosing the best channel for connecting with the cell tower, even if’s not technically the strongest one … Does any of this mean no more dropped calls in New York and San Francisco? No. But there do seem to be fewer of them.”
I’m still waiting on Andy Ihnatko.