Apple calls it the “Retina Display,” which quadruples the number of pixels on the iPhone 4 to 326 pixels per inch. The end result is extremely fine print and smooth curves. Jobs demoed the new display against the 3GS, and the difference was striking. He claimed that its IPS technology is “quite a bit better than OLED.” The contrast ratio is a pretty impressive 800:1.
At 9.3-millimeters thick, the iPhone 4 is 24% thinner than the iPhone 3G S. “Glass on the front and back, and steel (for strength) around the sides. It’s like a beautiful old Leica camera,” said Jobs. He also claimed it’s the thinnest smartphone on the planet. It’s essentially the same phone we saw in May that Gizmodo stumbled upon in a San Francisco bar, looking like a 3G S that’s been planed into a smooth, straight wedge. It’s available in white or black, in 16GB or 32GB models.
Like the iPad, the iPhone 4 runs on the Apple A4 processor. “You take the back off,” said Jobs, “first thing you notice is that the iPhone 4 is packed to the gills. There’s the A4 right there.” It should make the handset more frugal when it comes to power, and speedier with apps and web browsing.
Thanks to the increased battery size and the dexterity of the A4 processor, the iPhone 4 boasts “7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music, and 300 hours standby time.” That’s a decent step up.
“Everybody loves to talk about megapixels,” said Jobs, “but we tend to ask the question how do we make better pictures? Megapixels are nice, but what these cameras are really about is capturing photons and low-light photography.” To that end, there’s now a 5-megapixel camera with a backside illuminated sensor, 5x digital zoom, tap to focus, and LED flash.
That camera lets the iPhone 4 record in 720p HD video at 30 fps. Not only that, but the iMovie app lets you go to town with editing — cutting, splicing, and adding titles and effects — right on the phone. It looks fairly substantial and the video quality looks stunning.
My Favorite Feature
Introduced right at the end of the keynote, video calling is also coming to the iPhone, thanks to a front-facing camera. The feature is called FaceTime and does pretty much what you’d expect from a video calling app. Now you can get real nasty with your jumpoff not only hear the voice of the person your talking to but see them. Both parties have to have an iPhone 4 for this feature. It’s only available over Wi-Fi at present too, but 3G will probably follow in 2011 at extra cost. Apple offers a slew of other new features and upgrades, you can find out more info here.