iphone 4 vs iphone 3gs.


i took the plunge. i purchased the iphone 4.

the phone was released in norway on july 30th and a couple of minutes after midnight i'd placed my order for the 32gb version with my provider. a couple of days later the phone was in my hands and one of the first things that really struck me about the phone is how apple manages to release a product which looks really elegant and beautifully designed - until they release the next version of said product.

the iphone 4, esthetically, destroys it's predecessors: slimmer, taller and with superior materials.

before the release here in norway i'd read quite a lot about the phone. the hysteria concerning reception, issues with the display and so on and so forth. i also checked it out during my recent visit to the states in a couple of apple stores (i was hunting for an ipad - i don't usually spend my vacations hanging out in apple stores...believe it or not).

my main concern about purchasing the iphone 4 was: is the upgrade worth it? i was already a happy owner of a 32gb 3gs and would the improvements be enough to justify the cost?

i'll cut straight to the chase and answer that question right away. it depends on how you use your phone! :-D

to me, the single most important reason to upgrade was the improved camera - and it is indeed improved. check out the shot below - straight out of the camera. check out the latest cover of macworld magazine(read about it here): it's a shot of the iphone 4 done with an iphone 4, using apps for treatment. on top of that you can shoot movies in 720p hd and edit them in-phone using imovie for the iphone 4.


[click to view full size]

[click to view larger image; macworld.com]

pretty cool.

then, there's the display. it's awesome. of course there's nothing called a retina display. oh - but now there is. seriously, though. if you plan on watching a movie, reading an ebook or showing off some photographs: it excels. because of the resolution, the display actually seems to be bigger than it is, at least to my eyes...probably because of the increased 'depth'.

one thing that bothers me, though, is the new yellow-ish tint to the display as opposed to the slightly pink-ish tint of the 3gs. the display on the 3gs seemed more bright, and actually more white, than the retina display on the iphone 4. the retina display does, however, give you a greater feeling of 'warmth' if that is your thing.


[click to view larger size]

something i hadn't picked up on, was the improved sound quality of the iphone 4. it's a  h u g e  difference. i can't stress that enough. especially during phone calls you can now turn the volume down and still hear everything clearly. the noise canceling works!

last, but not least: reception. what can i say? the way i hold the phone during a conversation when i'm placing the iphone to my ear, the infamous antenna issue are a non-issue. if i use the hands-free set and hold the iphone in front of me, sure, i lose a bar or two. when i have the bumper on - no loss. also, the bumper makes the phone a lot more comfortable to hold.

i have to mention this, though: i actually have a 1 bar stronger reception on the iphone 4 than on the 3gs everywhere i've tested the two against each other.

a little recap of the strong and not so strong things about the iphone 4:


  • + better camera
  • + better display
  • + better sound
  • + better reception
  • + better battery
  • + the design...


  • - yellow-ish tint to the display
  • - a bit uncomfortable to hold without a cover providing a 'grip'
  • - unfortunate placement of the antenna, although not the major issue it's said to be
  • - expensive


i feel very fortunate to have been able to do the upgrade as the iphone 4 has a lot going for it. it's pretty exciting to see where apple is going to take this product.

i hope you enjoyed my little 'review'. please leave a comment in norwegian or english and let me know what you think!