iPhone 4 Review(ish) & Comparison .pdf
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IPHONE 4 REVIEW(ISH)
23/01/15 - 17/02/15
This article contains derogatory statements that can possibly kick the colons of Apple
extremists and fanbases, in which if you belong to such category,
Do Not Proceed.
If you end up offended by this article, consider the possibilities of it's cause being not
by the amounts of hatred that is directed at specific products and companies (I
consider myself a satirist), but by the fact that this is an opinionated review (like all
reviews). Though I have switched to a welcoming and open-minded view for the sake
In early 2012, I faced a difficult introduction on the smartphone world with a BlackBerry,
leading me to ethically destroying the thing, a year later. And when I mean by 'ethically', by
ripping off it's plastic housing to leave a slice of cardboard and wiring (it still works). My
loving (and angry) mother in response got me a Sony Xperia M.
I. Adored. The M. Not just it was a superior upgrade from the BlackBerry, but it's appealing
exterior and more-than-decent performance made the M a desirable device. And I didn't
complain for a year. After that...
Problems started to arise, in contrast to the Blackberry's torrents of minor setbacks, there
was one, impacting problem: The headphone jack.
Long story short, music flows through it again, though leaving a cracked screen and hours of
disassembly in it's wake.
Again, things were perfect. Until...
This Isn't Fish Food - Introduction
Upon killing my Sony Xperia M by feeding it
the wrong food, my still loving (however
infuriated) mother came prepared in case
such matter occurrs. Except that the M's
replacement wasn't a basic Samsung 'brick';
or anything of that sort, but a glitzy-looking
For many of the readers, you might think that
Poor thing. It has been like this for 8 hours.
the iPhone is better than the Xperia (you've
probably never heard of it), thus I should be happy. Or that you have aquired some form of
respect because I now own an Apple product, even the same device. Still, my closest friends
reading this article are thinking of this as a heinous and tragic event for me.
Because I pretty much loathe Apple. The substandard state of their line of products in
comparison to others, the company's greed and tyrranical reputation through countless
lawsuits, and worst of all; the stupid fanbases it's built up in, simply makes my blood boil.
More importantly, the problem that truly snaps the log in half is the amount of sheep that
surround me, always following trends, always defending their products/companies like
they're a distressed pup (and I'm not talking about iPhone sheep, but Android sheep, Beats
sheep etc.), so it's time for me to leave such fanbase, to join a miniscule group, who are avid
Android fans that venture on the other side: Apple's side.
As far as I know, the only member of this group is me. I'd love to hear your input, whether
from Android to Apple, or vice vera.
Is It A Rock? - Exterior
For a while, Sony's Xperia M has been a beautifully-crafted thing: yes, it's plastic, though a
premium rubber-coated type, it's aluminium power button, and how the middle of the
phone is thinner than it's top/bottom; represented by smooth curves and an overall
rounded design. But the iPhone 4 is more premium in terms of build quality. In giving credit
when credit is due, I've grown to like the 4's laterally angular design; the front and glass
panels bordered by it's stainless steel frame is clever, and admirable, and consistently thick
in contrast to the Xperia. The volume rockers, lock button and switch (to silence it) too feels
first-class and fun to press. Though the home button hasn't stuck on me, as I've gotten used
to tapping it on screen: it feels like I have to exert more force to return. And the 4 hasn't got
a dedicated camera button, like the M; even incorporating a half-press function for prefocusing. It seems that a lot of effort has been put to make this device feel like a rock. And it
does. Yet I've seen countless amounts with screen cracks more complex than the New Year
fireworks. In Dubai. And the iPhone's supposedly-praised sharp-angled back feels terrible in
the hand, almost as if the thing will slip out in any moment. Mind you, we are comparing
with the Xperia M (with a rounded back, matte rubber-like coated plastic that too aids in
grip), and to briefly say, the iPhone 3/3GS (also pleasantly rounded. Also to give credit
where credit is due, thanks to Winsland for his time (and timely device)). To conclude, the M
is a slightly larger, technically thinner device, being 124mm tall, 62mm wide and 9.3mm
thick, and it's curved back makes it thinner in the middle, feeling very ergonomic in the
hand. It's light too, only weighing 115g. The iPhone to compare, is smaller, technically
chunkier and heavier device (115.2mm x 58.6 x 9.3mm, weighing in at 137g), and believe
me, a gram creates quite a difference.
At Your Convenience - Hardware Features
Let's face it; even before physically aquiring the iPhone, I had been dreading at the device's
physical and software limitations. Like the smaller screen, for a start. Changing from a
4”(inch) display at a 16:9 aspect ratio, to a 3.5” at a '90s television-like 4:3”. This obviously
means that when viewing photos/videos of the popular 16:9 ratio, there are black borders
that are simply irritating. Though the only positive that comes out of this subject is the 4's
pixels-per-inch (PPI), being much higher than the M (326PPI vs. 245PPI). This results in the
4's screen as more pleasant to look at. And I thought the M's is of great definition;
somewhat giving the outdated ratio justice. The mono speaker is pretty much terrible. The
mid-range of the sound spectrum is pleasantly clear, yet the highs are lesser and bass much
so. I can't even equalise it without using a third-party app. Sony on the other hand, also uses
a mono speaker, and is directed at the back, but not only I can equalise it's sound signature,
features such as 'ClearAudio+' and 'XLoud' boosts the sound up, and clarity. The bass is
present and punchy, mids are clear, the highs are soaring, and it's very. Very. Loud.
Possibly the problem of most importance is it's proporietary charging port;
yes, as fancy and complex as you fanboys bragged about it, I hated the fact that I have to
retain myself in Apple's own ecosystem. MicroUSB cords are everywhere in the household,
even in the bathroom; none of these are of any use to me, thus I quickly gotten sick of
carrying its 1-meter cord around me, and instead left it for my device to rot out of battery.
But it's surprisingly-quick charging capabilities erased the worry of last-minute charging, and
it survives two days with light use. Maybe because of the battery's low capacity (1420mAh)
that aids in charging speed, or that it's such a low-powered device that silently sips on the
juice, or both; it marries pretty well.
To compare however, the M has not only a higher capacity (1750mAh), the battery is
removable: a feature in many, many, many phones. Sony incorporated a power feature
called 'STAMINA' that turns off data and Wi-Fi when the screen is off; resulting from a 1-10%
drop in battery life on a school day, when turned off for most of the time. Sure, you can
argue that no-one carries a spare battery with them, though no one complain(s)(ed) when
carrying Nintendo game cards, when the DS is/was (incredibly) popular. Which transitions
seamlessly to storage limitations. I have the 8GB version (2012). In fact, the iOS system fills
up a part of that storage, so I have much less. And I can't expand it or of some sort. Meaning
that I have to force myself to delete certain (and important) applications in favour of more
important ones. Still, it's much better than my Sony phone, as I only have 2GB free internal
storage (4GB half-filled with OS); I'm having to delete apps more often. However the
standardized feature incorporated not only in Android devices, but in Symbian OS Nokia's in
the 1990's and Nokia 'brick's the decade(s) before: is the ability to expand storage via. SD
cards. Again, brag all you want with your 64GB or 128GB iDevices, Apple's pricing on storage
is ridiculous: Take the iPhone 6 for example; 16GB for £539, extra £80 for the 64GB, and
another £80 for the 128GB. I can purchase a 64GB Mirco-SD for £20-25, buy a custom
boquet of flowers, and be heartwarmingly happy and rich. In the words of George
Ouzounian (Maddox), hot-swappable Micro-SDs equal to infinite memory, as long as you
keep these 'getting cheaper' cards coming. Oh, and Cloud Storage doesn't count, as I can get
it, and it doesn't eat-up internet data. More on that in the next paragraph. Under the hoods
of these devices...I'll let the specs sink in...
Sony Xperia M
Apple iPhone 4
System on a Chip (SoC)
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
CPU (Central Processing
Unit), Cores, Speed
ARM Krait, Dual Core 1GHz
ARM Cortex A8, Single Core
800MHz (0.8GHz (*retch*))
GPU (Graphics Processing
Unit), Cores, Speed
Qualcomm Adreno 305,
Single Core, 400MHz
PowerVR SGX535, Dual Core,
If you still haven't figured out, the iPhone is weaker. Upon running 3DMark (Graphics Test)
on the device, it barely scraped more than 2 frames-per-second. *retch*. And I can't even
create a verict on the M, as it's dead.
A Tuneless Experience - Software Features
I dislike Cloud Storage. Not only I'm having to wait for files to load (wasting time and
internet), I have diminished both drawbacks through wired file-transfer on my laptop. Yet,
Apple's limitations in their iOS (especially the inhibiting of the simple file-transfer
procedure) forces me to use a similar app: Dropbox. More on that later. The major obstacle
for me is that all of the 498 music files
(that I legally bought), 5GB worth of
photos, and PDFs aren't allowed in the
iPhone. And yes. Which I have to point
out is a major drawback. Say, at least I
got my PDFs in the 4 by downloading
bloatware called 'iTunes', and through
a long, irritating process. And as for
Dropbox, it's a very useful application
to not only in the 4; or laptop; any
device that has internet access. It
solved my 'music and photos' problem
almost flawlessly. Almost (remind
At least I can read 'Ye Olde Book' - Digital Remaster.
yourself in the paragraph's beginning).
Shame it isn't finished. Shame it never will be.
At least I can play 'Super Massive
Explosion' on my briefcase, and review photos taken by my Fujifilm.
Now for the main show: the iOS. 7.1.2, to be exact. I am aware that many of you find it's
simplistic and colourful appearance appealing, but this article is majorly opinionated: I hate
it. My iPhone looks like an expensive VTech® mobile toy. In comparison to the app blocks of
iOS 6, they suffer from little thought and consideration of design (those who had taken
Graphic Design is recommended to have a look). Secondly, as useful as the swipe-up
notifications bar and swipe-down control panel are, it's what we've seen on Android for a
few years. And lastly, iOS has been notorious for it's customisation limitations; this version is
no exception: Change the wallpaper, re-arrange the icons, place them in folders...
That's about it. But I want to be kind here. The OS gives a smooth experience, whether
swiping, or transitioning through apps, with little skips and lags. It's incredibly 'showy', and I
appreciate the new, fresh look that otherwise, Jobs wouldn't have allowed. It's simplisitc
apporach is consistent in all of the apps, but leaving me to crave for a bit of versatility,
options and complexity. Yes, you can launch Camera from the lockscreen, but I can make my
Xperia epileptically flash and register polygons and touch input, because I can.
What Haven't You Told Me? - Conclusion
Perhaps the most important pieces of information about these two devices (that I didn't
mention until now) is their date of releases and their place in the smartphone world.
The iPhone 4 is a high-end smartphone that debuted in 2010
(the 8GB version released in 2012), and the Sony Xperia M is a
mid-range smartphone released in 2013. In my opinion, their
place and date of release counteracts/balances with each other,
making this a not-too opinionated review. If you thought the
Sony Xperia M was promising, and considered purchasing one;
it's discontinued. Get them while they're still in online shelves.
And if you can't help but feel regret that you have chosen the
wrong device; the iPhone 4 was a game-changer in it's time,
being the thinnest smartphone in the market as of 2010, and
steered many brands further into the smartphone industry,
quickly becoming fierce, and a whole array of handsets from
astounding technological progressions, to extreme practicality
and value, are produced. Let's face it, Android fans; where
would the OS be without Apple's game-changing tactics?
*UPDATE* LG made a thinner (and brighter screen) phone, so never mind.
Lastly, if you think this review is pointless and reading it was a
waste of time; you're wrong. The iPhone is still a relevant device,
especially in the sub 4”-screen section. One shouldn't resort to wishing the latest iPhone.
One shouldn't resort to wishing just an Apple product. You will realise that the choices are
It might be perfect for you; the iPhone 4 unimpressed me. It's almost as if I received a
downgrade (and I'd be happier with a 'brick', at least I can play my own tracks with it). But I
don't hate it as much as I used to. It's pretty much given me an insight on what these
fanboys see in these devices. Thus I accept the 4 as the last 'good' iPhone, before Jobs was
too dead to be CEO, and Tim 'Fooke' took over, turning Apple into a sheepish cult.
And as for the iPhone as my mobile device, I shall send it to the Philippines where my
cousins would appreciate it more than I ever will, and it's replacement is a monsterous one:
Because I can.
13,999 iPhone users switched to the Sony Xperia M, as they felt inferior to a mid-range smartphone.