Hands-on with the iPhone 4

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You’ll have to excuse my abruptness here, folks, I’ve got a flight to catch.

In my brief encounter with the iPhone 4, I noticed a handful of things about Apple’s latest iPhone. The first thing you notice is how incredibly thin this one is compared to previous models. Comparing the two side-by-side shows just how much thinner the iPhone 4 really is – the top of the iPhone 4 lines up with the bottom of the chrome bezel on the 3GS.

(More on Techland: iPhone 4: The Specs Sheet)

The display is also noticeably denser. Jobs spent a significant amount of time going over the new 3.5-inch 960×640 retina display and for good reason. Text and images are rendered beautifully and things seem to “pop off” the screen. Just comparing the two Apple weather icons, shows how inferior the display on the 3GS is compared to the iPhone 4.

Apple’s designers are an insanely genius bunch of individuals. They’ve taken the unibody design from the MacBook line and implemented it into the new iPhone. The forged stainless steel band that holds the two glass displays together is ingenious. It not only serves as the glue that holds everything together but it also serves as an antennae for the Wi-Fi chip, 3G module, etc. Clever.

Powered by Apple’s A4 chip, the iPhone 4 isn’t necessarily faster but it certainly boasts longer talk times, video playback and such. The larger battery certainly helps, too. It seemed peppier but, again, I only had a few minutes with the device, so I’ll reserve judgment until I have a review device.

FaceTime worked like a charm during my brief demo. It’s nothing new but it’s certainly a nice add-on when you’re in range of Wi-Fi. It’s limited to iPhone 4 users but Jobs promises that Apple will ship 10’s of millions of iPhone 4 devices this year. The ability to switch between the front and rear camera during a video chat is pretty neat. Speaking of which, the new camera interface is quite nice. I can’t attest to the new camera system on the iPhone 4 but it certainly has all the bells and whistles you’d want from a camera phone.

(More on Techland: Why Would Apple Open Up Its ‘FaceTime’ Video Standard?)

Apple threw in a gyroscopic sensor with six-axis motion sensors and it works surprisingly well.

I’m impressed with what Apple has done on the hardware front with the iPhone 4. It’s drastically different than previous generations and I can say without hesitation that this is the iPhone we’ve always wanted.

More on Techland:

Gallery of Apple’s Hits and Misses