iPhone 4 - unboxed and compared to the 3G

A special delivery, courtesy of Optus, of the Apple iPhone 4.

By on Aug 2, 2010
13 of 16
It's an iPhone 4, in a box. Okay, so it's a very stylish box, but why are you reading this instead of clicking on the next image?

Perhaps you need to know that it's 130mm x75mm x 63mm (W x D x H).

Or perhaps you just like admiring that shiny silver iPhone 4 logo on the side, and Apple logo on the end?

Enough, next image!

Photo: Zara Baxter/PC Authority

With the lid off, the extreme flatness of the new iPhone becomes apparent. There's very few curves here, and the the microphone grilles are exceedingly fine. We're quite fond of the nicely machined screws, though. And who could resist that silver-chrome rim?
Everything about Apple packaging is tidy -- you'll see in some of our later images just how tidy it is. I have to tell you: I've seen the iPhone being unboxed before, and it still gives me a buzz. Some products are just works of art, ignoring their functionality.
The key components, gathered. Phone, Box and lid, shelf to hold the phone, paper-foldup containing instructions and tips, and the base to hold the cables.
The interior of the box shows exactly how well-packaged the iPhone 4 is. Take, for example, the ear bud headphones. Not only do they now answer your phone for you, but because they turn out to be slightly smaller than the USB-charger cable, they have a little shelf in the box, so that when packed, they both sit at the same level. The socket (with Australian plug), fits exactly in the cutout designed for it.
The full set of iPhone 4 components, unpackaged. You may not get a huge amount, but it all packs away to a surprisingly compact form.
Up close with the logo. See how crisp that logo is? That's the Retina screen showing off it's enormous number of pixels. The other thing to notice here is how, from the top, the differences between the iPhone 4 and earlier models isn't wholly clear. But our next two shots show the changes. Also note the little camera in the top, next to the speaker -- that's for FaceTime video calling.
This is the top-down view of the iPhone 4. Notice that there are no curves on the underside. It is completely flat, both top and bottom. The edges are slightly bevelled, and there's a lip where the chrome surround fits around the chassis. Here, you can see the on/off button and headphone jack, as well as the speaker and camera on the top surface of the phone.
Apparently, some models of the iPhone 4 -- early models, we hope -- had the volume up and volume down functions reversed. Next to the volume controls is the vibrate/silent switch, to instantly make your phone silent. Great for meetings.
Our older model iPhone 3G looks slightly battered, and its chrome finish may not be as shiny as it once was, but it's surprisingly not that much larger than it's newer sibling. The main difference is in the curvaceousness of the older model -- note how the edges curve, which makes it easy to slip in a pocket without jutting edges making your butt uncomfortable... ...the iPhone 4 is slightly more slender, depthwise, but it's overall width and height are almost identical. You can see the improvement in machining for the screws and microphones.
The underside of the older iPhone 3G (left) and the newer iPhone 4 (right). The iPhone 4 is flatter, and has more chrome, but we're not sure which shape we prefer. A few days use should give a better indication, but our first impressions were that the hand-feel of the iPhone 4 was less comfortable than the older iPhone 3G.
You can see here, hopefully, that the iPhone 4 is slightly longer than the iPhone 3G, and that the camera is slightly larger, too.Their width is, surprisingly given this shot, the same.
The big winner for the iPhone 4 (right) is it's Retina screen, with 960 x 640 pixels, compared to the iPhone 3G's 480 x 320 (right). Yes, the iPhone 4 has four times the pixels! If you look at the word "phone" under the phone icon at the bottom left of each phone, you should be able to see the difference in the crispness of the text. You may be able to see the Moiré pattern on the iPhone 4 -- an artefact generated by the additional pixels causing interference.
Another view of the screens. iPhone 4 (to the right) shows it's detail especially for the "Settings" icon. The new background capability, in the default iPhone 4 setting, has raindrops scattered across the background. It's a great way to draw attention to the extra resolution of the screen.
No iPhone 4 would be complete without it's much-needed fashion accessory: a case. Apple is offering free cases with the iPhone purchase, before September 30. The free case helps prevent signal dropout that may happen when the phone is gripped tightly -- the antennas are susceptible to heavy contact from the hand. What will happen after September 30 is not clear -- Apple may have changed its production specifications by then, or it may need to extend the freebies. Rather than go with one of the few cases available (and because Optus didn't send us one), we've added a stylish blue silicon case from Belkin.
Belkin has several cases designed for the iPhone 4, ranging from those that slip easily into a pocket, to this one, that is rubberised with ridges that make it easy to grip.

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