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iPhone 4 ownership two years on.

24th June marked the 2nd anniversary of the iPhone 4’s release. That means it’s roughly 24 months since i wrote this, 23 months since i wrote this and 12 months since i wrote this. Another year down the line and there’s not much to add to those pieces, but for the sake of completeness i thought i’d do a follow-up to mark the end of my (and plenty of other people’s) 2-year contract.

Let’s start with the gripes I have with the iPhone 4 hardware. Basically, there are two long-standing complaints and they relate to battery life and the Home button.

I’ve always moaned that the battery life isn’t very good (i’d like an hour or two more from it really) – and that remains the case today – but what has struck me, looking back at those old “reviews”, is how well the phone has kept the battery life it originally had. I still regularly get 6-7 hours of reported usage. I’ve never had a mobile phone maintain near-new battery levels after one year of use, never mind two. I think that says a lot about the quality of components that Apple use.

As for the Home button, well, that’s as temperamental as it has been since about the 10 month mark. For the last few months it has been behaving itself (mostly) but there was a period before that where i came very close to throwing the phone at the floor out of frustration. We’re talking 20+ presses of the button before it’d respond. Not good. Not good at all. (I was also sorely disappointed that the Apple Store refused to fix or replace the iPhone because of this issue.) But then, as before, compare that with past experiences – after a year with a mobile i’ve normally worn out every physical button or key on the device. In fact, my last SonyEricsson did get thrown at the floor after its menu key refused to work for the umpteenth time that hour.

Naturally I have other minor grumbles about the phone (too slippy in the hand without a case on, a little awkward to take landscape-oriented photos, etc) but i don’t think any of those have really changed since my earlier posts on this subject. Any new grievances i’ve had in the last year have been introduced by iOS updates and/or are down to iCloud teething troubles (I’m looking at you here, iMessage).

So do these negatives put me off upgrading to a new iPhone now my contract has run its course? Nope, not at all. I consider my iPhone 4 worth every single penny it has cost me, and then some. The pros far, far outweigh the cons. As i think i’ve stated before, I’d be lost without my phone. That said, tempting as it may be to renew my commitment to Vodafone and get a shiny new iPhone 4S in return, I don’t think i’ll bother right now. Sure the 4S offers a variety of improvements, but – Siri aside – it can do nothing my 4 can’t1. Had there been an iPhone 5 (or 6, or whatever) just released then i’d almost certainly be off buying one instead of writing this. But there isn’t. Instead I’ll wait. The iPhone 4, even at 2 years old, is still a great device and I’m more than happy to stick with mine2 until October comes and we get to see what advances Apple offers up. Who knows, maybe you’ll be suffering a “three years on” blog post this time next year.

  1. No, OK Clever Clogs, this won’t be the case once iOS 6 is released. I’ll miss out on FaceTime over 3G connections and the fancier new features of the updated Maps app. 

  2. On a reduced tariff, naturally.