As expected the announcement of iPhone 4 has caused a lot of animated discussions and comparisons. Here’s my take. Points listed are in no particular order of importance.
(1) Do extra Pixels make for ‘perceptible’ difference ? Are we getting into a meaningless Pixel race here ? Or, does it make sense to add just as much as one can, into a measly 3.5″ screen ? Is there any optimum for LCD and OLED screens ? As a photography enthusiast, who also owns a decent Nikon D80 camera, I usually get uneasy when people ask me to endorse some compact or the other they buy, purely on MegaPixel capacity. Of course, nobody wants to see a grainy image. But, is there any sleep to be lost if iPhone 4 has 326 pixels per inch whereas HTC Desire has 240. Is it just a case of Apple ‘buying some time’ with this as a froth, to camouflage for the absence of other forms of quantum leap we all have come to expect from them.
I think this one is a bit subjective topic as well.
I agree there is no apple to apple comparison (no pun intended !) between LCD and OLED. But, it would be nice to know a limit beyond which it doesn’t make sense for human eye to see any difference.
(2) QWERTY – is Apple right in dislodging it for all times to come ! As someone who supports Open Source movements, and hence Android (despite Google increasingly becoming as much an Overlord as Apple or Facebook !), I do appreciate Apple’s clarity of thinking and resolve on certain areas. For instance, they have shown no signs of competing with physical QWERTY keypad phones and hold to the belief that sooner than later, people will get used to touchscheen QWERTY. Or, would that be a future attempt ?
Personally, I enjoyed Nokia E71 experience and when I opted for HTC Desire a couple of months back, it did take some time to get adjusted to on-screen layout of keys. I still hope someday, Nokia will come up with an updated version in E.. series that runs Android with something like 3.2″ touchscreen as well as E71 keypad. That, truly, will be a show stealer in my view.
(3) Video Calls with other services: Will iPhone 4’s front camera allow for Fring ‘video calls’ too, over WiFi or Mobile Internet (in future) ? Chances of two close friends or family membes, both owning iPhone 4 and both being close to ‘unrestricted’ WiFi spot is too much of an impediment. I think the 2 MP front facing camera iPhone 4 comes with,will be a colossal waste if it’s only tied to FaceTime. Anyway, we’ll know more when it’s launched. Typically, one of the spouses/partners is away at Hotel with no cheap access to WiFi while the other party is at home with kids and WiFi. Video Calling may once again, prove an elusive goal, with such restrictions. With HTC Desire, without a Front Facing camera, this is a misgiving, despite the openness of network providers like 3 UK to not impose any ban on VoIP like T-Mobile et al
(4) Screen Size – is 3.5″ such a sacramental figure ? Why shouldn’t iPhone 4 come as 4″ display ? More than technical constraint, I believe Apple will find it difficult to justify iPad as a separate merchandise if iPhone’s screen size makes eBooks readable without pinch-zoom etc. HTC Desire’s 3.7″ is certain useful, without making it look clownishly big as DELL Streak or Toshiba’s TG01. I, however, did/do wish HTC Desire had something like 4″ display, making it perfect for PDF viewing as well as YouTube etc.
On this, I was pretty surprised how Sony Xperia X10 has frittered away a wonderful opportunity of making the best use of its screen real estate. In my view, the touch screen response isn’t as responsive as HTC Desire and it’s slow cycle time in launch of the product and now its upgrade to Android 2.1/2.2 . If they delivered it right, they may have hit the right ‘spot’ between Smartphone and Tablet, much unlike DELL Streak, which, in my initial chance of “look and feel” at a O2 retail showroom proved to be a complete sh*te – perhaps, I am too spoilt by HTC Desire’s user experience -the touchscreen responsiveness of which truly rivals iPhone