following me on Twitter, you'll know what lengths I went to today to have my iPhone 4 in my hands before sundown (the pic above is me holding it). I must admit most of the work was done by my friend Jimmy Grewal (@jimmyg on Twitter) to get the order here. He had ordered 2 devices from the UK a few hours after Apple opened the floodgates to allow pre-orders for the device, and decided to use the Aramex Shop & Ship (to find out more, read here) to get his hands on it ASAP. He called his bank to make sure the authorization for payment went through, and crossed his fingers in hopes that his order for the "bumper" (the Apple side casing for the phone) wouldn't delay the entire shipment. It didn't. He tracked his package hourly (and kindly sent me updates on the same) and called Aramex here on Thursday the 24th, the day his package was delivered in London, to make sure it got shipped out on the next flight. Having no luck with customer service here, he tracked down the Aramex number in London, tracked down the entire phonebook, tracked down a Sardarji in the phonebook, convinced him that they were both cousins from Ludhiana, and had him promise for the sake of pride of the land that a fellow Sardar would be the first out of all the 280 iPhone packages received by Shop & Ship that day, to be put on the next flight to Dubai. Whew! Package shipped out at 1 AM Dubai time late Thursday night, and arrived yesterday morning, which was Friday. Jimmy went over to the Aramex office, since they had no one answering the phones, and was told that he could only pick up his package early next day. I messaged Jimmy early this morning to find out if we'd had any luck, and was shocked to learn that Aramex told him it would take one more day to clear his package. Livid, he was ready to pack his lunch, a few bottles of water and an iPad and was en route to camp out at their office, till i decided to tag along and asked him to pick me up on the way. A Twitter progress tracking ensued (with a Marketing rep from Aramex joking tweeting it as a "hostage situation") and then FINALLY at around 4 PM this afternoon, we were handed over our iPhones. What an adventure!!!
So was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!! I had read online about the build of the device and the beauty of it, and being a Leica-buff, was very intrigued when Steve Jobs likened the looks of the new phone to that of an old Leica camera. He wasn't exaggerating. The device is stunning, and makes the iPhone 3GS look like a cheap, plastic toy. Since we didn't have our computers with us (we'd gone armed with our iPads to keep us entertained) we had to wait till we reached a computer to activate the device to see what the fuss about the screen was. Again, the whole thing about "Retina display" on the iPhone 4 isn't mindless jargon.. the screen is crisp and beautiful and very, very readable. Since I've already reviewed the iOS 4 I won't go into that here either. Let me however, show you the stuff that I think sets apart the iPhone 4 from the iPhone 3GS- The camera and FaceTime.
Jimmy and I were both blown away by the clarity of video on FaceTime and thought maybe it was so clear just because we both were using the same WiFi network to test it out, in the same room. When I went back home however, it was just as crisp although I'm yet to try it out with someone in another country. Here's a short video clip I recorded (and edited using "ReelDirector") on my 3GS to demo FaceTime-
(Please remember the "echo" is because Jimmy is in the same room as me, and isn't from the video)
The camera is also absolutely brilliant, and I took a few pics an hour back, of my friend's dog in the dim light outside a coffee shop. Here is a sample pic of the dog, and another one to show you how the camera handles light (it's taken at approximately 10 PM, so it's very dark outside!)
These are just my initial thoughts about the Phone.. will post if I find out more stuff about the device. The only issue I'm having right now is the over sensitivity of the screen. I sometimes hold my phone in between my neck and shoulder (without my hand supporting it up) and I've already managed to mistakenly hang up on calls a couple of times already. The phone seems to light up at the slightest of movements and I think I hit the "End Call" button by mistake. Will also take some more pictures during the day and post them up!
Hope you enjoyed the review. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about the device in the comments field below.