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Calling all technophiles: the iPhone 4 is here

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Last time I blogged about the iPhone, I was singing its praises while simultaneously warning that it could lead to serious relationship problems if it found its way into the bedroom. Don't get my wife started on Angry Birds, for instance. "Just one more level before I switch off, darling." (it's just occurred to me how appropriate the name is...)

But the story doesn't end there. Oh, no-indeedy. It's only just beginning. If my iPhone 3GS didn't already have me in a bit of a lather, imagine how widely my jaw opened when I sampled the new iPhone 4, due out on 24th June. Wow. It's amazing. No, no...I mean AMAZING. Simply in every way. There wasn't very much I didn't like about it before, but those minor niggles I had have vanished. Take, for instance, the fact that I had to stick a screen protector on to protect from the inevitable scratches. Quite apart from the fact that I did, admittedly, think that it was a bit silly to have spent so long perfecting the iPhone and then make it so scratchable, sticking the ruddy protector on without getting any air bubbles caught underneath was the most annoyingly difficult thing ever. It was like trying to thread cotton through the eye of a needle whilst wearing oven gloves - in the dark. I also felt that the 3GS was slightly let down by the plasticky back, necessitating the purchase of some form of tougher case to protect it from the knocks and possible drops (though so far so good in that respect). Now, though, between a toughened steel surround, both the front and back of the phone are encased by glass comparable in strength to sapphire crystal - or, to look at it another way, as resilient as a helicopter screen.

Packaging aside, there are some amazing features which really do have the potential to revolutionise the very nature of making a phone call. FaceTime makes full video calls as clear and simple as you could imagine - although only if you're talking to somebody else with an iPhone 4 at this stage. Because it's equipped with two cameras, you can either talk to them directly, face-to-face, or talk and show them what you're looking at with the camera on the back. Worried that the sound won't be so good? There's another mic on there too.

Another of my niggles was the fact that the camera on the 3GS was, in all honesty, rubbish. Admittedly, if I want to take a decent photo then I'm more likely to want to use a proper camera in any case, but given how good some cameras were on relatively modest Nokias and Samsungs (like my old G600, for instance) then I was a bit baffled by this flaw. Now, though, there is a super-crisp 5-megapixel camera with, joy of joys, an LED flash. Finally! Plus the HD video capabilities are not merely good, recording at up to 30 frames per second (standard film is 24fps) but you can also edit your Spielbergesque efforts in iMovie, right there on the iPhone. Once you've done that, you can see your handiwork in the crystal clear "Retina display", with 326 pixels per square inch - that's 4 times sharper than the 3GS.

Add to all this a processor as fast as the iPad, capable of multitasking between a number of apps at once, as well as 40% more battery life, and it's clear that Apple have really raised the bar in this highly competitive smartphone market. Owners of the 3GS version (or earlier) will already have found their iPhone to be indispensable thanks to the myriad of apps which make it suitable for businessmen, gadget-hungry technophiles and general social users alike. Now, though, it's a whole new experience. As the slogan goes: "This changes everything. Again."

by Ashley Morrison

Ashley is a freelance copywriter, blogger and editor

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