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iPhone 4 review

HD video recording, gorgeous display - but can it justify the price?

Another trick the iPhone 4 is packing is the ability to record and edit HD video directly from the handset, with the plan clearly to make it into the ultimate media marvel.

Recording 720p video isn't anything new, as the Samsung i8910HD, Vodafone 360 H1, Sony Ericsson Vivaz and Vivaz Pro and the Samsung Wave all have managed to show off that trick in recent times, with the Nokia N8 coming up to do the same.

But Apple isn't about doing things the same way, and once again the interface becomes a differentiator for the video.

While the sparse settings are on offer once again, there's not a lot here you'd need. The video light can be set to 'on', 'auto' or 'off' (that's the level of detail we provide here at TechRadar and even in low light, the frame rate seems to stay pretty constant.

Apple iphone 4 review

However, under those lighting conditions, you couldn't really say the HD quality comes screaming out at you – looking at the same footage on the computer screen shows that the graininess is out in full force.

In outdoor conditions, things improve somewhat, although there is some distortion in the image quality that you simply wouldn't get with a standalone HD video camera.

But the frame rate is good; the interface simple to use and the constant auto-focus makes things very simple to see when looking through the iPhone's eye.

Click here to see the full resolution version of the footage

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Adding to the HD video footage recording is the video trimmer we saw with the iPhone 3GS last year, and you start to see how Apple could get a real foothold in the phone/camcorder market.

Apple iphone 4 review

Sure, it's just dragging and dropping the beginning and the end of the footage, but a home movie looks so much better when you don't have that bit where you've finished and are shaking the camera to find the off button.

iMovie

While the video trimmer won't really make you into a movie producer overnight, well, neither will iMovie actually, but it will get you just that little bit closer.

Porting the popular Mac application to the iPhone 4, users get the ability to add music, photos and videos together in a 'project', with transitions when you want to move between each.

Apple iphone 4 review

There are themes on offer as well, making it easy to create videos with text and borders and all sorts – we hope there will be more on offer soon, as the current crop is a little limited, as are the transitions.

It's a little basic, but for £2.99 it's not a bad little application if you love taking footage with your phone. If you don't, then you're probably better spending your £3 on something better. Like really fancy jar of jam – that'll last you ages.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBNo
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyiPhone 4
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemiOS
Brand NameApple
Battery Talk Time14 Hour
Product ModelMC605lla
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution640 x 960
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)137 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersioniOS 4
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
Height115.2 mm
Width58.6 mm
Depth9.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time300 Hour
ManufacturerApple, Inc
Product NameiPhone 4 32GB Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Product LineiPhone 4
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberMC605lla
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.apple.com/uk
Marketing Information

FaceTime

People have been dreaming about video calling for decades. iPhone 4 makes it a reality. With just a tap you can wave hello to your kids, share a smile from across the globe or watch your best friend laugh at your stories - iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 or to the new iPod touch over Wi-Fi. And it works right out of the box. No other phone makes staying in touch this much fun.

Two cameras, two views.

iPhone 4 has two cameras: one on the front, which focuses on you. And one on the back, which focuses on everything else. FaceTime lets you switch back and forth between them at any time during a video call. All you have to do is tap a button.

Package Contents
  • iPhone 4 32GB Smartphone
  • Stereo Headset with Mic
  • Dock Connector to USB Cable
  • USB Power Adapter
  • Documentation