iPhone 4 Reviews Are In, and They’re Good

Two iPhone 4's lie flat on a black surface

So will the reviewers like the iPhone 4 or will they love the iPhone 4? (We're talking about Apple here, so there's not really much of a choice.)

It’s that time again… Hot on the heels of this morning’s news that Apple will get the iPhone 4 into some customer’s hands by tomorrow morning (a day ahead of the retail release), the embargo on iPhone 4 reviews has been lifted, and the floodgates of the major reviewers have opened. We’ve got a quick roundup of the major reviews below.

Over at the Wall Street Journal the granddaddy of them all, Walt Mossberg is surprisingly faint in his praise, aggressively (though probably deservedly) harshing on AT&T‘s shoddy cell network:

“Just as with its predecessors, I can’t recommend this new iPhone for voice calling for people who experience poor AT&T reception, unless they are willing to carry a second phone on a network that works better for them.”

Longtime Mossberg watchers needn’t worry though, because Uncle Walt still loves him some Apple, he just can’t make it as obvious:

“For everyone else, however, I’d say that Apple has built a beautiful smartphone that works well, adds impressive new features and is still, overall, the best device in its class.”

Still, we’re left wondering how long until Mossberg becomes Apple’s official technology columnist. The way things are going for print media, it might not be too long.

Meanwhile, David Pogue of the New York Times appears to be trying (and this time succeeding) at out-Mossberging Mossberg. Pogue absolutely loves the iPhone 4. Though he concedes there are some other impressive phones out there, he’s basically gushing the whole time. To wit:

“Apple releases only one new model a year, so the new iPhone had better be pretty amazing to compete. It is.”

Pogue also loves the new design:

“The result [of the new design] is beautiful, and since there’s no more plastic, it feels solid and Lexus-like.”

Over in the News-You-Can-Use Department, USA Today‘s Ed Baig takes his time and makes sure to carefully explain everything, using helpful subheads like “iBooks: read some digital books.” Keeping with the trend, Baig really likes the phone, dresrbing video-calling system FaceTime as the phone’s “killer feature:”

“I was impressed with the quality and ease of FaceTime calling, though the experience seems to depend on a strong Wi-Fi connection. I encountered momentary hiccups talking with a caller in Europe and on calls in which I was on the edge of decent Wi-Fi.”

Sadly, Baig ends his writeup in true USA Today-style with a completely phoned-in (pardon our pun) conclusion:

“Cutting through the hype, Apple has given longtime diehards, and first-time iPhone owners, plenty to cheer about.”

A very awkward video feature alongside the article further illustrates how Baig is best advised to stick to the writing thing.

In what’s sure to come as a huge shock, Gizmodo didn’t get a pre-release iPhone 4 to review, so it’s just Engadget‘s Joshua Topolsky on the gadget blog front, and the occasional Late Night with Jimmy Fallon guest loves the new model. On the screen:

“Overall, you simply won’t find a better display on a phone, and that’s not just lip service.”

On battery life:

“…we think under pretty active use, the iPhone 4 blows Apple’s previous generation phone out of the water, and makes a lot of the competition look downright needy.”
In case there’s any doubt as to where Engadget stands, Topolsky goes on to declare that “the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market.”

More so than the other publications, Engadget really gets into the nerdy nitty-gritty, but at the same time is not at all critical of Apple, noting that although iOS4 doesn’t feature “true” multitasking, the result is basically good enough for most uses. We’re guessing that someone at Engadget figured out that there’s money to be made being the major gadget blog that’s not accused of buying stolen Apple property.

All in all, it seems like nothing but aces for Apple again, but the admiration of the press hasn’t really been their problem lately, has it? Since we know it’s already selling like hotcakes, the only question that really remains is Will It Blend? We imagine it won’t be long until we find out.

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