A little disclaimer first about carrier. I’ve been on Cingular and AT&T ever since I got a cellphone, 10 years and going. I’ve never had a problem with service. I’ve got 3G coverage all over town (Auburn, AL.) I’ve taken a look at the new data plans and made my peace with them. Sure, who wouldn’t love one of the old unlimited plans but bandwidth is quickly becoming a hotter commodity. I already have Wi-Fi setup to cover the whole house. AT&T is alright by me. We’ll see if my feelings change in a couple of weeks. Now, on to the phone.
The market has finally hit the selling point I’ve been waiting on. Dual cameras. Front and back cameras seems like such a simple idea and such a long time coming. And then you have the resolution. The back camera shoots video in 720p at 30 frames/second. An HD video camera in my pocket, heck yes. It shoots 5 megapixel still photos. Not bad at all.
On to the front camera and FaceTime, the software that allows video calls. I’m not completely sold on FaceTime yet. It only runs on Wi-Fi and only to another iPhone 4. Still, it’s freaking video calls. Also, I’m sure Skype will update soon and tie into that front camera, opening the range of video calls a little bit further. Oh, and when you hit the little switch button the phone switches to the back camera and you can start broadcasting what’s in front of you to whomever you’re calling. That’s an even cooler part.
I’m not just buying an iPhone 4 for the cameras. I’m also buying it for the display. The Apple engineers behind the curtain have magically crammed 326 pixels into every inch of the screen. Absolutely ridiculous. I cried a little bit as Steve Jobs talked about rendering typography and anti-aliasing during the keynote, starting about minute 35. Everything just looks so crisp, so nice, so perfect. And not just the type, but pictures and video too.
And that’s it. Those two features – improved dual cameras and ultra high resolution display – have sold me on the iPhone 4. All the rest of the operating system improvements and hardware improvements, and there are many, are just icing on the cake as they say.
Now the counter argument. Why not go with an HTC Evo or some other Android relative? Come on the Evo is 4G – you can even hear the whooshing sound as you surf the cutting edge of technology. Um, if you live in about 40 cities in 13 states. That sounds too sarcastic and I’m not trying to knock the Evo 4G or Sprint or anything like that. In fact, the Evo also has dual cameras. It even has a higher resolution with the back facing camera, 8 megapixel. It shoots HD video. It has a larger screen and even offers HDMI output. I would love to have one. Sprint even has unlimited data plans. I honestly can’t find any negatives as to why not to buy an HTC Evo 4G running on Sprint.
So why am I sticking with buying an iPhone 4 with AT&T? I guess it really comes down to staying in my comfort zone. I have built up a relationship with Apple and AT&T that makes me comfortable with them and their products. I trust Apple to make a great product. Score one for marketing, and two for engineering. Have I made the right choice? I’ll let you know on June 24th.