After a hype-fueling scandal over a controversial "stolen" prototype, Apple's new iPhone has finally arrived. Speaking at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco Monday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the next-generation smartphone the "biggest leap since the original iPhone." And with over 100 new features, including a faster processor, two cameras (one front-facing), a higher-resolution "Retina" touchscreen, and video chat functionality, many commentators agree. But, as a growing array of comparable devices crowds the market, is the latest iPhone (which hits stores June 24) still the undisputed smartphone king? (Watch Steve Jobs unveil the new iPhone.)
It's okay to drool: iPhone 4 is "incredibly sexy," says Joshua Topolsky in Engadget. The phone is "shockingly thin." The high-definition Retina display is "easily the best looking mobile phone screen we've ever laid eyes on." The build quality is satisfyingly "solid." And the overall functionality of the operating system is "way snappier" than the iPhone 3Gs. What's not to like?
"iPhone 4 first hands-on!"
Don't believe all the hype: The "coolest new feature" in iPhone 4 is the "FaceTime" video chat feature, says Andrew Hickey in CRN. Unfortunately, it only works over Wi-Fi, with another iPhone 4. So if you're hoping "to have an impromptu video chat anywhere at any time, or attend a last-minute meeting on the fly," you're out of luck. And besides, the Google Android HTC EVO 4G, which is currently available through Sprint, "ties in a better camera and larger screen." iPhone 4 is cool, but not cool enough.
"5 bummers about Apple iPhone 4"
Success is inevitable: The new iPhone may not have the "staggering feature set" some hoped for, says Rhodri Mardsen in the Independent. But people will buy it anyway. "Technology is increasingly central to our lives. And regardless of what we might think of the manner in which people heap praise upon the iPod, iPhone, or iPad, these gadgets continue to define mobile entertainment, mobile computing, and the way the Internet generation interact." Needless to say, iPhone 4 will be a huge success, just like every iPhone before it.
"Rhodri Marsden: You might not like it, but Jobs has set the pace"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
Subscribe to the Week