iPhone 4 Review – The Verdict

It has been 2 weeks since I’ve first gotten my iPhone 4 review unit from Maxis Malaysia (No , its not MAXIS that made Sims , its a cellular corporation in Malaysia). Basically in this post , I would like to sum up and conclude on my experience of the iPhone 4.

Before that let us take a look at few things . Firstly its the upgrade path. To make it easier , I’ll be doing it in bullet form (point form) , which is easier to read. I am not going to be long winded as I am quite sure you are eager to know about it. It would give you a clearer idea on which iPhone set to get and if you should upgrade or not , what are the pros and cons , etc

Upgrade Path

Generally a lot of iPhone users will upgrade their iPhones as they are used to the system and its pretty easy to use. This is true once you are an iPhone user. However for a lot of people , upgrading to iPhone may or may not seem to be a good thing. Here are my suggestions if you should get iPhone 4 or not , depending on the current model that you own and the amount of moola you have

  • iPhone 3G/iPhone 2G usersWorth it if you’re upgrading from iPhone 3G/2G to iPhone 4 provided if you have the money. Else just stick with the old phones , these phones are still good anyway
  • iPhone 3GS users Not so worth it if you’re upgrading from iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4 (I would recommend to wait another year for a new model to launch , as 3GS basically could do most of the stuff , its just that iPhone 4 has a retina display and a front facing camera). If I were you , I would save the money and get something else unless if you’re a big iPhone fanboy by all means go ahead and upgrade it
  • PalmOS Users/ Windows Mobile usersWorth if you’re going to upgrade from PalmOS/Windows Mobile devices . Seriously , the difference is between day and night. Windows Mobile is just too slow and its not able to handle a lot of things today. This is a worth it
  • Android users – well I am not going to say anything about it. Generally people move from iPhone to Android. If you’re happy with Android , stick with it. Its a good platform anyway
  • BlackBerry usersIf you are business inclined , just stick with BlackBerry. Texting and BlackBerry Messaging is just pure awesome. If you want entertainment , a good browser and a lot of apps , ditch BlackBerry and get an iPhone !
  • Nokia users /SE users/ Samsung/<generic phone users> If you are just going to place calls and SMS and thats about it. Don’t bother getting iPhone. Not worth it at all , unless if you have the cash or if you just want to use it as a fashion tool

Choosing the right mobile provider/right iPhone 4 model

LiewCF has wrote a superb article on buying iPhone 4 in Malaysia. I recommend you to read it. Anyway , let me sum it up for you. Basically I’ve included 3 options , one is getting iPhone 4 from Singapore ,  Maxis set and Digi Set

  • Singapore Set – You’re contract free  , and the phone is not locked (it takes any SIM Card)  but you can’t claim warranty in Malaysia .
  • US Set – Generally its sold in grey markets , generally you could get one from Lowyat Plaza. It costs cheaper then the Singapore set as its factory locked. The only way to unlock is by jail breaking and unlocking it. The disadvantage is that you’ll have to wait for an unlock and jailbreak which takes time whenever Apple updates iOS
  • Maxis Set – 12/24 months contract or contract-free (Hotlink) , warranty up to 24 months if you’ve signed up for 24 months contract. Plus the phone is cheaper itself with Maxis (assuming if you’re going to sign up for a contract)
  • DiGi Set – 24 months contract only

Now it comes to the next question , suppose if you’re going for contract (regardless if you favour 24 months or 12 months)  , which one is the right choice. Here are my reasons. For your information , I’ve DiGi sim on my iPhone 3G and Maxis sim on my iPhone 4. For the past two weeks , I’ve taken both phones with me and tested out coverage around in Subang Jaya , Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur .

  • DiGi –  If you’re in DiGi 3G zone and if you like DiGi’s packaging (which is better , for instance you’re not charged extra once you’ve hit your monthly data quota , instead you’re capped to 128Kbps , SMS to any network) , then by all means go for DiGi. The only major downside with DiGi is their 3G coverage and not to mention their 2G coverage. For instance if you go underground (i.e basement parking , even in Kuala Lumpur) , 99% of the time , you’ll lose coverage. A good example would be KLCC parking.
  • Maxis – Almost everywhere there is Maxis 3G coverage , even along the North South Highway (well almost all parts of it) , but nevertheless there is always 2G coverage for Maxis nationwide. The only major downside of Maxis is that they don’t offer “unlimited capped data suppose if you hit the quota” and they charge separately if you send a SMS to a non-Maxis users . For some people , their high call charges rate and SMS rates may put them off.

Verdict ? – As for me , I am with Maxis. Yes , you may bash me up by saying that its expensive and not worth it. But take a look at it , wherever I go there is Maxis coverage , at least with GPRS/EDGE on worst case scenarios. Coverage is first for me , and secondly call rates. If the network can deliver , I don’t mind paying the premium. So far Maxis delivers and I’ve had little or no issues with their network. However , what I would appreciate is for Maxis to make their iValue plans even more competitive so that it attracts a lot of potential customers . Psst , Maxis if you’re reading this , please make a value plan for students and for those who are disabled/elderly . You’ll win the heart of Malaysians However , you may have your own reason for choosing your own provider. That, I’ll leave it up to you to decide

The iPhone itself

Well here are some things that I like about the iPhones and somethings which I don’t. Bear in mind that this is coming from a guy who is using Apple products for a long time.

Pros

  • iOS itself – the operating system is just simple to use , a lot of applications
  • Retina Display – the high resolution display makes it everything possible
  • Camera  – It takes pretty good pictures even under low-light conditions + HD recording !
  • Fashion Tool/”Chick Magnet”/(Social status) – Seriously , its an advantage of using iPhone.
  • Features for those who are suffering from disabilities  (Larger Text Screen , Text to Speech , Voice command)

Cons

  • Apple “Openness”/Customization of the phone – Basically closed platform , Apple does not allow a lot of users to mess with low-level stuff. I view it as a disadvantage , this is where jailbreaking comes in
  • Battery Life – Its bit better then 3G , but again its still poor. I guess all smartphones do have a poor battery life
  • Antennagate issue – Seems to cause the signal to drop but so far no dropped calls yet with Maxis. Can’t guarantee you with our mobile providers

Conclusion & Last Words

Well what can I say , I am pretty happy with the phone overall. Personally , I would recommend people to get an iPhone 4 if you’re more inclined towards a device that can handle your multimedia needs. The beauty of iPhone lies within its simplicity. Some may disagree and say Android is the way to go. Personally I’ve used both and things are little bit harder to use on android as opposed to iPhone , especially if you are new to the smartphone world. These days its very important to have a smartphone , and iPhone 4 pretty much handles your daily smartphone tasks such as twitting , facebook , calls , text messaging , e-mail and a little bit of web surfing on the go. Although the price may be to steep for some of us  , the benefits of it certainly outweighs the cost. Another thing to note is that its recommended to get the phone with a data plan , as its vital for the phone. Lastly but not least , whatever the reason could be – Just go to an Apple Centre or Maxis Centre and just test out the phone for yourself. Its better to test it out before purchasing the phone. Ultimately the choice is up to you , use this a guidelines or reference only to support on why you should get an iPhone 4.

Not convinced ?

Take a look at what other #maxis10 bloggers think about the iPhone 4. They may have a different experience and they may cover things which I don’t cover. So if you’re looking for a second opinon , feel free to take a look at their reviews

If you are still not convinced yet , then do a Google search or ask around in message boards if you are comparing between two phones.

Acknowledgements and Credits

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Maxis for their awesome Maxis 10 program . I would like to thank Mr Sandeep Das , April Yip , Fiona Jitab  and the entire Maxis team for putting up such a superb job and giving bloggers such as myself a chance of a lifetime to review the iPhone 4. There is no words to describe how grateful I am and other #maxis10 bloggers are for the chance that you have given us.


The iPhone 4 Epic Saga (iPhone 4 Review)

Part I –  Awakening of the Beast (iPhone 4 Unboxing)

Part II – Exploring the Unknown Realms (Exploring the antennagate problem , hype behind the phone and accessibility functionality of the phone)

Part III – Eye for an eye (Testing out FaceTime, applications , Retina Display and Game Centre)

Part IV – Say Cheese (Camera and Video Recording functionality)

Part V  – The Verdict (Conclusion)

6 thoughts on “iPhone 4 Review – The Verdict”

  1. Many thanks for this wonderful review..very informative, analytical and detailed indeed. The write up of yours saved me lots of time and help me to make the decision whether to upgrade to IPhone 4 or not…wonderful job and u’ve enlightened me with the great details and review m sure others are benefited from this too..may u always be blessed with happiness and succes..

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