iPhone 4 Hardware and Software Features

iPhone 4

Ramin Talaie/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

The iPhone 4 was released in 2010 and discontinued in 2013 (2014 in some non-U.S. markets). Lifewire retains this article for its historical value.

Thanks to a loss of a pre-release version of the iPhone 4, and Apple's confirmation that the lost device was authentic, this model of the iPhone was revealed to the public before Apple officially announced it. Needless to say, its release was a bit anticlimactic. 

That said, the iPhone 4 was a major step forward over its predecessors in a number of areas. First, the iPhone 4 was visibly different from earlier versions thanks to its more-square shape (gone were the iPhone 3GS' tapered sides), a microSIM slot on its side, and circular volume buttons on the left. When looking at the iPhone 4 it was also immediately clear that something had changed: the screen was much higher resolution. It was the first iPhone to use the Retina Display screen technology.

Thanks to its introduction of now-standard iPhone features—such as FaceTime, Retina Display, two cameras, and onboard video editing—the iPhone 4 is the first modern iPhone, the precursor to the iPhone 5S and 5C, and the first iPhone to break with the lineage of the original model.

Despite its name, the iPhone 4 is not actually a 4G phone. Confused? Get the scoop on why here.

iPhone 4 Features

In addition to the standard features of an iPhone (cellular data connection and Wi-Fi networking, multitouch screen, App Store support, GPS, Bluetooth, etc.), the iPhone 4 sported:

  • Apple A4 processor (the same chip used in the original iPad).
  • 3.5-inch, 960 x 640 Retina Display screen, with greater pixel density (326 pixels/inch), leading to higher-quality images.
  • 2 cameras: front- and back-facing, with LED camera flash for back camera
    • 5 megapixel camera on the back
    • 720p (high-def) video recording at 30 frames/second, with LED flash; the new iMovie app for iPhone provides on-camera video editing
    • VGA quality images from user-facing camera
  • FaceTime video calls (only worked on Wi-Fi and for iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 calls when introduced. That later changed as more models and OS updates were released). The iPhone 4 was the first Apple device to support FaceTime.
  • 512 MB of RAM.
  • Gyroscope (combined with accelerometer to offer 6-axes for better gaming) added to the standard set of iPhone sensors.
  • Existing apps took advantage of new screen resolution, but looked best after updating by developers.
  • Twenty-four percent thinner than iPhone 3GS.
  • New body design featured glass front and back, and steel sides. The seam near the bottom of the phone accommodated a larger antenna, which Apple said would result in fewer dropped calls.

Antennagate Controversy

The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone to have its cellular antenna exposed on the outside of the phone's body (the small lines at the top and bottom edges of the phone are the antennae). Originally hailed as a design breakthrough, people soon reported that holding the iPhone by the bottom would cause a drop in cellular signal strength and sometimes even dropped calls.

Apple's initial reluctance to acknowledge this problem (the situation is common to many smartphones, not just iPhones) led to the affair being dubbed "Antennagate."

iPhone 4 Hardware Specs

Screen
3.5 inch
960 x 640 pixels, 326 pixels per inch

Cameras
Front Camera:

  • VGA photos

Back Camera: 

  • 5 megapixel photos
  • 720p HD videoat 30 frames/second

iOS Version Support
Came pre-loaded with iOS 4
Supports:

iPhone 4 Capacity
16 GB
32 GB

iPhone 4 Battery Life

all times in hours

  Talk Internet Audio Video Standby
iPhone 4 7 (3G talk)
14 (2G)
10 (Wi-Fi)
6 (3G)
40 10 300

Colors
Black
White

iPhone 4 Size and Weight
Weight in ounces; dimensions in inches

  Height Width Thickness Weight
iPhone 4 4.51 2.31 0.37 4.8