Don’t call it the 4G or the 4HD. The Apple iPhone 4 is here and Gizmodo ruined the surprise. As predicted, the new handset has *almost* all of the rumored features, including a 960X640 resolution display, a bigger battery, HD video recording and editing, a three-axis gyroscope, an upgraded 5MP rear camera, and a front-facing camera for use with Apple’s new video chat program FaceTime.
Apple’s new Retina display promises 4X improvement over the current screen, and Steve’s demo screenshots show significant improvements to text and images, but CNET’s own TV expert David Katzmaier takes issue with the claim that viewing HD video on the new device is akin to the HDTV experience.
He emphasizes that users will likely notice a significant difference in text, but the change in photos and video will be subtle, especially since most of the video material out now on YouTube and other sites just isn’t scaled to fit the pixels on the small screen. Also, keep in mind that Steve’s giant demo projections show a much more substantial difference than you’ll see on the actual 3.5-inch handheld.
Regardless, Wilson and I are both excited about AT&T’s “favor” to Apple that offers immediate upgrade privileges to any user with a contract ending in 2010, including yours truly. Forget about flipping your old iPhone 3G or 3GS on eBay for a profit, though: Apple also announced that only the 3GS will remain with a price drop to just $100. You can, however, take advantage of RadioShack’s trade-in program that’ll net you a gift card ($210 for a 16GB 3GS or $122 for a 16GB 3G) that you can use to preorder the iPhone 4.
During yesterday’s WWDC Keynote, Jobs also unveiled FaceTime, Apple’s proprietary video chat program for the iPhone and optimized for the iPhone 4. Currently, the program only runs on Wi-Fi, but Steve also talked about plans for 3G access coming next year.
CNET’s Rick Broida gave three reasons why FaceTime will flop, but we’re just excited to have our Jetsons dreams finally realized. Apple is hoping parents and friends will be the first early adopters to jump on FaceTime, but we’re thinking couples will be the most creative with its uses.
The iPhone 4 has so many more features than I can write about in this blog, but we cover them almost all of them in today’s episode of The 404 Podcast. Download the episode and don’t forget to circle back and let us know what YOU think of the new iPhone. e-mail the404(at)cnet(dot)com.