Widening Generation Gap?

by Isuru Wijerathne

Apple is making a habit of putting out new versions of their mobile devices every single year. But this year Apple was not able to keep the level of secrecy that it had for its previous versions. Thus Apple’s next generation iPhone was neither a surprise nor a secret. The phone was surrounded by scandals where a prototype was left at a bar by an Apple developer and leaked photos of the stripped iPhone from Vietnam was a nail to the coffin of the iPhone surprises. So before the device was introduced, it was photographed, stripped in and out, man handled enough so that the announcement was just a mere formality.

By now you should know that I’m not a big fan of the Apple products. But finally Apple released an iPhone which looks brilliant from outside. This is exactly what a mobile phone should look like and I hope its followers would take a lesson. Here in United States, it is pretty boring to see all the people carrying the same type of mobile phone. From the 1st generation to the 3rd the iPhone design hasn’t changed much. It is the same slate design with a curved back which was very feminine. The iPhone 4G is much more appealing towards the less fairer sex with its bold edges and minimal curves. It is bit on the heavier side with 4.8 ounces, with a form factor of 115.2mm x 58.6mm x 9.3mm. The plastics and the glass has being replaced by aluminosilicate glass which said to be scratch resistant and also about 30 times harder than plastic.

Enough with the looks; lets dig deep. The heart of the device is the new A4 processor which was also used in the iPad. Even though it is clocks a 1GHz with the iPad, it is said that the processor is down clocked to conserve the battery. One of the biggest marketing points of the iPhone 4G is it is display which is branded as “Retina display”. This is simply adding more pixels to a 3.5inch display to keep a 960 x 640 resolution. This results in a pixel density of 326ppi (pixels per inch) which is much higher than a human eye can perceive. The display uses LED backlight with 800:1 contract ratio. Apple claims this technology is year ahead of its time but I’m skeptical of that statement. The battery life has improved marginally from 5 hours to 7 hours in talk time and 9 hours to 10 hours in 3G WiFi data. The iPhone is capable of 40 hours of audio playback and 300 hours of standby.

Apple has replaced its 3.2 megapixel camera with a 5 megapixel which is capable of capturing 720p video at 30 frames per second. It has two cameras in rear and front and the latter can be used to take self-portraits without much hassle. “Face Time” feature allows the iPhone users to communicate with others visually in real time. Its “backside illuminated” image sensor captures more light but by its choice of the sensor would be tested against Nokia N8 and HTC EVO which boast of much higher resolution. This time Apple has improved upon its compass to include a gyroscope which will be very neat for the iPhone game community.

If you think there is more in the new iPhone, I’m sorry to disappoint. This is not a revolution; it is a simple evolution of the device as they say. They improved its processor, battery life, screen resolution and camera. The biggest impact that it has is on the gyroscope which will enable very interesting games to be developed on its platform. The best features I can say it is design which feels much more solid in your hands. The aluminum frame is actually the antenna which is a beauty of engineering at its best.

So buy or not to buy? With over 600,000 iPhones preordered the last time I checked these features are enough for the public to go gaga for months to come until Apple releases another sugar coated device.


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