Apple iPhone 4: Everything you need to know

You've seen the coverage, but you still aren't sure what's what. Either that, or you're just trying to make sense of everything your mates are saying in the pub and you want the complete guide to the new iPhone 4 from Apple

Well, the good news is that we've got you covered. Below, we answer pretty much any logical question we think you'll have, and some that you probably haven't even thought of. If we haven't, and you still have questions, feel free to ask them at the end via the comments and we will do our best to update the article to give you an answer if we can. 

By the end of this, you'll be able to choose the Apple iPhone 4 as your chosen Mastermind subject.

When, what, who, where

When is the iPhone 4 on sale?

Announced on the 7 June, the Apple iPhone 4 will be on sale from the 24 June 2010 and be initially available in five countries; the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan.

When can I pre-order the iPhone 4?

Apple has said that you can pre-order the iPhone 4 from them from Tuesday 15 June. In the UK, you can also order it from Orange, O2Vodafone, and T-Mobile. T-Mobile currently doesn't have a pre-order or interest page.

Apple pre-order page: apple.com/iphone/notify-me/

Orange pre-order page: orange.co.uk/iPhone4

O2 pre-order page: o2.co.uk/iphonelatest

Vodafone pre-order page: vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/iphone-4

You will also be able to buy it at Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u in the UK.

AT&T pre-order page (for the US): att.com/wireless/iphone/

Which countries are getting the iPhone 4?

The global rollout will see the US, France, Germany, UK and Japan as part of the initial wave, with a further 18 countries being prepped for launch in July. Those countries are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Apple hopes to add a further 24 more countries in August, and then a further 44 in September to bring the tally to 88 in time for Christmas.

Which carriers/operators are stocking the iPhone 4?

In the UK, it is Orange, O2, Vodafone, and T-Mobile, with rumours that 3 and Virgin Media will be joining the fold as well. In the US, it is AT&T, with Apple failing to announce details of a Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile flavoured version. In Germany, it's T-Mobile. In France, it is still Orange.

How much will the iPhone 4 cost?

As per usual, Apple hasn't yet announced international prices, and the operators are so far keeping quiet as to what they will be charging too. In the US, it's easy though: $299 for the 32GB iPhone 4 and $199 for the 16GB model. There is no 8GB option.

In the UK, based on the price and looking at the iPad for a comparison, the iPhone 32GB should cost around £257 while the 16GB model £171. You can expect, however, that operators in the UK will be keen to grab new customers and therefore offer plenty of deals.

Can you take a guess at what the price plans will be for the iPhone 4?

For the UK, nothing as yet has been announced, although you can expect it to be similar to the current iPhone 3GS packages. From a price perspective, the best deal for the 32GB iPhone 3GS in the UK at the moment is £65 a month for a free handset over 18 months with unlimited minutes, texts and data. For Vodafone, it's £45 a month with 1200 minutes, but £89.99 for the handset. And Orange offers £60 for 1200 minutes and 500 texts, but a free iPhone. Check out our mobile deals section on the site for more examples.

Can I upgrade to the iPhone 4 early?

So far, in the UK, only O2 has announced that its customers will be able to upgrade to the iPhone 4 early. AT&T in the US are also offering the same promise. Neither, to date, have said how much that will cost.

Hardware

What's new about the iPhone 4?

A new design, a new screen, a new processor, and a new OS. In fact, virtually everything has changed.

What's the iPhone 4 made of?

Stainless steel and glass mainly. While the MacBook Pro laptops and the iPad are adorned in aluminium, Apple has opted to clad its latest mobile phone within the metal you'll find in commercial kitchens, and has opted for tough glass front and back.

Won't that mess with my ability to make a call?

Yes, which is why Apple says that it's woven the antenna into the frame and then used glass on the back.

Time will tell whether it's enough or whether new users will be complaining of the dreaded "drop call" syndrome that plagues iPhone 3GS users.

What are the iPhone 4's dimensions?

It measures 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm and weighs 137g. To put that into perspective, the HTC Desire, probably its main competitor in the UK, measures 119 x 60 x 11.9mm and weighs 135g.

Don't lie to me, is the iPhone 4 big?

It's bigger than that Motorola Razr you used to own, but thinner than a regular CD case. It's not HTC HD2 big, nor is it Sony Ericsson X10 Mini small.

What is the screen size and quality like with the new iPhone 4?

Rather than move to AMOLED, the new iPhone sports a standard 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD. The resolution is 960 x 640 pixels, however, in an attempt to get more out of the screen, Apple has increased the pixel density so that there are 326 pixels per inch. If that wasn't enough there is a 800:1 contrast ratio. Given a funky marketing name, Retina Display, it basically means that the screen gives the perception of a crisper image without Apple having to opt for the more expensive AMOLED screen. As a benchmark, your standard magazine or newspaper is printed at 300 dots per inch (dpi).

What is the storage of the new iPhone 4?

The same as it ever was. You'll get two options; 16GB or 32GB. Except the 8GB edition is kaput.

Can I swap out the storage on the iPhone 4?

There are no external storage options.

What is the camera of the iPhone 4 like?

The iPhone 4 has had its camera bumped from 3 megapixels on the 3GS to 5.

If that wasn't enough to get you excited, you get an LED flash, too boot, and a second VGA (640 x 480) camera on the front to make video calls. The new camera sports a 5x digital zoom, and the ability to tap to focus something - a function not previously available on the iPhone.

Can I record video on the iPhone 4?

Yep, the new phone gives you up to 720p recording which you can then upload to YouTube straight from the phone. Like the still capture capabilities, you'll be able to tap to focus and use the LED as a light, although expect to run your battery down pretty quickly. You will be able to export your movies (even after editing them) in a range of sizes; 360p, 540p and 720p.

Can I do video calls on the iPhone 4 now?

Yes, although currently only over Wi-Fi and only using Apple's FaceTime app. The 3G networks in the UK might have been offering video calling since 2004 to deaf years, but Apple is determined to change all that. At least Skype has confirmed (exclusively to Pocket-lint) that it wants to work with Apple to bring video calling to the Skype for iPhone app.

What's the battery life like on the iPhone 4?

Apple is promising a talk time of 7 hours on 3G, 14 hours on 2G, 6 hours of internet usage on 3G, 10 hours on Wi-Fi, 10 hours for video playback, 40 hours for audio playback, and 300 hours for standby.

What processor does the iPhone 4 use?

Rather than opt for a Qualcomm chip, something most smartphones are carrying at the moment, Apple has decided to use the same processor it's put in the iPad.

It says that means it can offer a better battery life and more efficiency when multitasking.

Has the iPhone 4 got noise cancellation?

Yep. Like many phones already on the market, the new device introduces noise cancellation, hopefully stopping all those "you sound very quiet" comments you've already had if you're using an iPhone already.

Does the iPhone 4 come with any accessories?

In the box? No. You get the iPhone, a charger, the USB to 30-pin cable, and a pair of headphones with mic. Oh, and a small manual.

What accessories can I get for the iPhone 4?

What can't you get? While the design has changed, it is still likely to fit in virtually all the iPhone/iPod accessories (bar the cases) that you've already got.

Dedicated accessories already confirmed by Apple include a new dock and some colour cases, although the cases will only protect the sides rather than the front or back. Griffin, Belkin, iLuv, and others have already announced they are busy making protective doo-hickies for you.

Can i use my current iPhone speaker or accessories?

Yes and No. The iPhone 4 has the same dock connector (30-pin) so it will fit in the new phone, but it comes down to whether the accessory you want to use was a snug fit or not.  Luckily for most speakers that means you should be fine.  

What's this about a gyroscope on the iPhone 4?

Aside from the accelerometer, and proximity sensor, ambient light and GPS sensors in the phone, Apple has added a three-axis gyroscope that allows you to control pitch, roll and yaw, as well as work rotation about gravity.

Expect this to be huge in gaming as it gives the iPhone the same possibilities as the Six-axis controller from Sony for its PlayStation 3.

Will I be able to put my current SIM in the iPhone 4?

No. The new iPhone, like the iPad, uses a microSIM. The good news is if you are an iPad 3G owner you'll be able to swap SIMs between the two.

Will the iPhone 4 work around the world on all networks?

It's a quad band handset with UTMS/HSDPA/HSUPA support. To you and me, that means it will work for your business trips most places around the world, and with fast connections, as long as your carrier can cope with the traffic.

What's the iPhone 4's connectivity options?

Aside from being able to make calls, you'll be able to access any Wi-Fi network that supports 802.11b/g/n (that's pretty much all of them) and connect via Bluetooth for your headsets, speakers and car.

Software

Do I get a host of new features in the new iPhone 4 operating system?

Oh yes, you do. There are over 1500 new API possibilities (basically what the developers can access) plus a stack more. Read our detailed iOS 4 breakdown.

Can I multitask on the iPhone 4?

Yes. The phone's new OS, iOS 4, will let you multitask on the new phone.

Will the new iPhone come with built in Satnav?

You get Google Maps and that's it. Google hasn't yet announced Google Maps Navigation for the iPhone and neither has Nokia with their Ovi Maps so if you want services like TomTom or CoPilot you'll have to buy them. Bumper we know.

Will the iPhone 4 work with my PC?

Of course.

What about my Mac?

Now you're just being silly!

Can I search the Internet on the new phone?

Of course, the mobile Safari browser offers search via Google, Yahoo, and now Bing.

Will I be able to get iBooks on my iPhone 4?

Yep. New to the iPhone will be the iBook app first announced with the launch of the iPad earlier in the year. It's like the Kindle app for iPhone but from Apple. New to the app, in time for the 24 June launch, will be the ability to view your own pdf documents.

Are there any new apps from Apple being launched for the new iPhone 4?

iMovie will cost $4.99 and allow you to edit movies on the go, if that's your thing. It's promised to be an incredibly pared-down version of the Mac application and lets users add transitions and titles on the device, ready for uploading to YouTube or Mobile Me, as well as export the movie in 360p, 540p or 720p.

iWork, which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote is also expected to be available come launch day. Although Apple has yet to confirm this, the company posted a screen shot on the Apple site that showed a mail attachment having the option of being opened in Keynote.

Can I hear it in Apple's words?

Of course you can, although be prepared to get the sick bucket:

Upgrading

Can I just transfer all my data on my 3GS to my new iPhone 4?

Yes you can. All you need to do is back up your current iPhone and then when it comes to setting up your new phone, opt to restore it from the older model. 

First Impressions

We've already seen the iPhone 4 up close and personal at the launch event at WWDC. As to whether this really will be as revolutionary and game-changing as the first iPhone? It certainly puts Apple back at the front of the queue from a stats point of view, as it needed to since the 3GS was showing its age. 

But if history is anything to judge by, Apple will be looking for this iPhone design to last a number of years before they make any changes. It's the first handset to beat the original iPhone's styling in this reviewers opinion, and it is so beautifully engineered that it's bound to become an instant design icon. 

And yes, it still comes with those white hard plastic headphones.

Check out our Apple iPhone 4 - First Look review.

The competition

If not the iPhone 4, can I settle for the iPhone 3GS or iPhone 3G I've already got?

You can and, for the most part, you'll be fine, as you'll be getting the new iOS 4 update, for free on 21 June, 3 days before the official iPhone 4 launch. If you've got the iPhone 3G, then you'll still get the OS update but not all the features will work. That said, an upgrade will get you a new camera, new video, a faster device, a tougher design, that gyro for gaming and the video camera for FaceTime (yawn).

What are the alternative smartphones on the market to the iPhone 4?

There are plenty. From HTC we would recommend you check out the HTC Desire, the Nexus One, and possibly the HTC Legend. From Motorola the Motorola Milestone, and the just-about-to-be-released Motorola Milestone XT720. From Nokia, the N900. From Samsung, possibly the Galaxy S. And, if you're willing to wait another 6 months, a plethora of yet-to-be-confirmed Windows Phone 7 handsets.

I've just bought an iPad, should I bother with the iPhone 4?

That's the toughest one yet. You've clearly found enough reasons to buy a device that you probably didn't need, but at least this one will allow you to talk with and see your loved ones, making it, possibly, easier to justify.

If you do, all you've got to worry about is that your mate with an Android handset will be calling you fanboy for the rest of your days. Then again you could just slap him for trying to dictate what phone you use and tell him it's all about Open Source (your choice that is).

For more iPhone 4 coverage and all the latest on the new mobile phone from Apple, check out our iPhone 4 dedicated homepage