After the fun review of the HTC Desire in the style of Team Fortress II, I decided to review the iPhone 4 in the style of…Dragon Age.
Tale the First: The Hero receives her mission
In a land far, far away (that looked a lot like Petaling Jaya), our hero(ine) received an epic quest.
She was to go on an adventure with brave companions and her trusty hound to figure out the worthiness of a new, holy item.
It was called the Shattering Tome – a name most ominous. So ominous that instead, we shall hereby refer to it as the iPhone 4.
Tale the Second: The Encounter (read: Specs)
So beguiling was the tome’s looks that frenzied cult worshippers of a diety called Jobs fell into swoons at the mention of it. (See picture)
“Oh, my!” said our heroine. “Is the device truly that awesome?”
Truly, she found that it clearly was. Only a saving throw rescued her from certain Applefanboy-itis. A terrible fate to be sure that led to sudden fits of maxing out credit cards at the nearest Mac store.
“It is not light, the iPhone 4. But it is sleek and feels good in the hand. The glass back and front do make the phone rather fragile but the display is truly lovely and lucid. Vast improvement over its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS. Vibrant colours, sharper resolution and watching YouTube on HD on it is a revelation!”
The heroine found the iPhone 4 to feel good and solid in the hand though she would have liked a dedicated camera button.
Tale the third: Delving into the mysteries (Features)
Her companions, however, were quick to question their leader’s fixation with the iPhone 4.
“Why must we undertake this dangerous quest when, frankly, it’s just a damn phone?” they cried.
Yes, it’s a phone. But it’s a smartphone.
“A tome with a mind of its own! The horror!” but before her zealous supporter could smite the phone, our hero courageously chanted the litany of features:
“Behold its camera! 5-megapixels, 30fps video recording with support for 720p HD recording quality! With LED flash! And the latest update now adds HDR. Best iPhone camera ever, though not quite the best in the market. Video quality is rather good though not so great in low light.”
Tell us more, her followers begged.
“Storage! 16GB or 32BG. No 64GB model as yet and no SD card support, darn it Apple. Have no idea why they stuffed a three-axis gyro, proximity sensor into it though I suspect Apple thought it would just be cool.
Then there’s the usual Wi-Fi, assisted GPS, Bluetooth, HSDPA, EDGE, music & video playback, standard headphone jack & USB 2.0 charging. It does have better innards – 1GHz processor with 512MB RAM. Never sluggish, very responsive. It is certainly a decent hardware upgrade from the iPhone 3GS.”
Tale the fourth: Budding Attraction (Features)
As is inevitable in long, drawn-out quests, our heroine got distracted by something tall, handsome and in armour.
“Why, my sweet, must you sleep with that by your side when it can’t keep you as warm as I can?” said her would-be paramour.
“Besides the fact it can’t get me pregnant (Apple DO NOT put that on your features list!), I can’t quite live without it.
“The touch keyboard takes some getting used to and might not be the best bet for big fingers. But I quite like typing on it. I can get my Work, Gmail and Yahoo accounts integrated in my folder, sync my calendar and use various productivity apps like OmniFocus. Perfect work companion though it can’t quite swing a sword like you can.”
Our heroine then extolled the virtues of its camera and how her snaps on Twitter were now much better looking. Flickr on the iPhone is indeed a thing of beauty and makes uploading photos to the service pleasurable fun. The new folders help keep apps better organised so she needs to swish less screens than the previous clutter of her Android phone.
She was also intrigued with how (once she turned off all those darn push notifications) the battery lasted nearly 2 days without a charge. Our heroine couldn’t help noticing her paramour turning a funny shade of red when she talked about how long the iPhone could go for.
“The apps are what make the phone, really. The App Store still has the most choice and it’s fun browsing the App Store on iTunes. Games are also better looking with the new Retina display though it’s a bit wasted on someone who mostly plays a lot of Angry Birds,” she said.
Then looking at him under her eyelashes, “But some of the things I’d like to see you do…there aren’t apps for that. What say we discuss them in my tent later?”
“Your wish is my command.”
Tale the fifth: Quest Complete (Conclusion)
After spending days traversing the lands on the back of the Putra LRT, exploring the vast stores of the App Store, downloading apps, watching YouTube and listening to lots of music, the heroine finally reached her decision.
“What say you of the Tome?” asked her quest-giver.
“It is certainly well-made and well-specced. My main concern is that it’s not very well-protected. Without a decent case, the glass does shatter. Mail app did fail once and require a restart though restarts are few and far between.
“Multimedia quality is great visually, sound is so-so and not much different from the average iPod meaning it’s decent but not brilliant. Included headphones like most of Apple’s are just mostly meh so get your own. Wi-Fi reception is good, battery life is also good provided you turn off notifications and you don’t leave 3G on all day. If you do leave 3G on, expect a good 6-8 hours of battery life instead of 2 days.
“Camera’s good though the LED flash isn’t very impressive. Quality is above and beyond all its predecessors. What truly makes the phone is the apps and if you like what Apple’s App Store has then you’ll love the iPhone. But if you don’t see yourself buying/using the apps, then the iPhone is a bit of a waste. It only shines when given the best apps. Multitasking also isn’t as much of a battery drainer as I thought with playing music while surfing or doing other stuff doesn’t quickly deplete juice.
“Great phone for those who will make the most of the apps. People with rough lifestyles (dragon slaying, tyrant deposing) should invest in a very good case before buying and so far reception issues have been rare, mysteriously disappearing after the first 2 days. But then I bought a case.
“It’s not the best camera/vidphone so if that’s what you want, look elsewhere. Productivity-wise, it really depends on the mix of apps you’re using. I wish it had more storage space and a stronger flash. Otherwise, I love my apps and in that regard, love my phone.”
Our heroine then went off into the sunset with her knight in shining armour, trusty hound and…the iPhone 4 to a land of unlimited 3G and reception was always full bar.
(DISCLAIMER: Dragon Age belongs to BioWare, the iPhone 4 belongs to Apple. I just happened to wed them in unholy matrimony)
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