It’s finally here. Yesterday was the launch day for Apple’s iPhone 4 and it has been selling like gangbusters. Normally, iPhone launch weeks are nightmares for Android fans but this one had the unveiling of the cool-looking Motorola Droid X and Android 2.2 got one step closer to getting in mainstream users’ hands. Read on for a thorough round-up on one of the most important weeks in the mobile industry.
Apple iPhone 4 rocks
The lines were long and deep friends, as several thousands of people waited up to eight hours to get the latest smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 4 has a stunning redesign and it really does feel nice in the hand. I wasn’t blown away by its looks at first, but, once you get it in your hand, the device feels like a luxury handset.
Inside, the iPhone 4 packs an A4 chip and this is the same chip that powers the blazing-fast iPad. The camera has been boosted to 5 megapixels (with HD video) and the Retina Display could be one of the best screens on a smartphone today.
The iPhone 4 also includes a gyroscope for motion controls and this could lead to a new generation of mobile games. The thinness of the handset (9.3mm thick) was made possible by Apple making the stainless steel bezel double as the antenna. This is pleasing to the eye but it may be leading to some issues (more on that below).
It’s not just hardware, as this is the first device that has been optimized for iOS 4. The latest version of the OS includes multitasking and companies like Pandora are already taking advantage of this. The new firmware also includes the ability to manage apps into folders, improved e-mail support and more.
The iPhone 4 is already being viewed as a hit, as some analysts think Apple sold more than 1.5 million units on launch day alone. Apple must be on cloud 9 right now, right? Well, there have been a few issues that I’ll cover in the next segment. In the meantime, check out our unboxing video and initial impressions below.
Apple iPhone 4 sucks
Why is Keanu so sad about his iPhone 4? Well, the handset was barely outside of the Apple stores when multiple reports came out about problems with the “magical” new phone.
The biggest problem is that it appears touching the antenna – the stainless steel band of the phone – can actually have a negative impact on your call quality and reception. Yes, if you hold the phone the way normal people hold phones, your call quality may go down.
What’s worse is how Apple has responded to the issue, as it basically said, “Buy one of our $30 cases or just stop holding it that way.” This is just gross and I have a big bowl of f*ck you for Apple regarding this.
The best take came from a commenter on TechCrunch, “It’s not a design flaw. Steve is just trying to bring gentility and good manners to mobile phone usage. The correct way to hold an iPhone 4 is with the thumb and index finger on either side of the phone, while extending the pinky outward as if holding a fine china cup (the pinky will also act as a supplemental antenna). Once the user is holding the phone like a Regency dandy, he will naturally tend to behave like one, showing the world what a well-mannered chap he is. Pure genius.”
There have also been reports that the screen is experiencing discoloring and there are also reports that these handsets are easy to shatter. How has your iPhone 4 been holding up, readers?
The Droid X cometh
It wasn’t just the iPhone 4 making waves this week, as Verizon, Motorola and Adobe introduced the Droid X and the Android-powered handset will make you think twice about Apple’s smartphone.
The Droid X rocks a large, 4.3-inch screen. It boasts the same resolution as the Droid (854×480) but Motorola isn’t concerned about the high-resolution on the Retina Display or on Samsung’s Super AMOLED because it said consumers will overwhelmingly choose a larger screen over a smaller one with a higher resolution. That remains to be seen but I do like the Droid X screen a lot in my short time with the device.
Inside, the handset rocks a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor and I haven’t seen any lag yet when switching between apps. There’s also an 8-megapixel camera that can do full 720p HD video and it sports all the goodies you’d expect from a device of this class (HDMI out, WiFi, 3G, GPS). It’s similar to the EVO 4G (except for the 4G part, of course) but Motorola has thrown in a few cool design flourishes that make the Droid X stand out.
The software could be an issue for you, as it rocks Android 2.1 with a hint of MotoBlur. I know many of you were expecting Android 2.2 with full Flash support but that won’t be coming until “late summer.” Thankfully, the MotoBlur has been toned down since its in-your-grill debut on the Cliq and it’s actually pretty useful now.
The Droid X launches July 15 on Verizon for about $200 on a new, two-year contract and it will come with 24 GB of storage (8 GB internal and 16 GB via microSD). In a play out of AT&T’s book, If you’re eligible for an upgrade in any part of 2010, you can get the handset for the entry-level price on launch.
I’ll put this thing through the ringer over the weekend, so look for a full review on Monday. Check out our hands-on video below until then.
Hey Froyo, nice to finally see you
I guess I can’t be too harsh on Motorola for not putting Android 2.2 on the Droid X because the software finally went open source on Wednesday, which enables handset makers to play with it.
The latest version of Android includes a host of new features but one of the biggest may be full Flash support. This means sites like YouTube could play videos within the browser and you can get your fix of casual games across the net. We’ll have to see how this works out on some of the older devices, but things like the Droid X promise an compromised Flash experience. Check out how Flash ran in Froyo on the Nexus One:
The latest software will also include improved performance thanks to a JIT compiler and you’ll also be able to tether and create a mobile hotspot natively (if your carrier allows it). Also, look for improved camera software, new home screen widgets and more.
Blake, our resident Android head, took a deep look at Froyo a while ago, so check out his Android 2.2 preview for more details on the next version of the little, green robot.
Until we meet again
It was a busy, hectic and fun week friends, but the action doesn’t stop because I’m heading out for the weekend. The IntoMobile team will continue to post over the weekend and we’re in store for some big news next week, as well (hello Samsung Vibrant). In the meanwhile, follow IntoMobile on Twitter (@intomobile) and on Facebook and feel free to follow me too if you want. No pressure (@marinperez).
I’m going go read about Lady Gaga now. Don’t laugh, check out the cover of Rolling Stone.