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iPhone 4 is Seriously Flawed, 3GS Still Packs a Punch for Cheap

28 June 2010 24 Comments

Steve Jobs, the marketing genius he is managed to sell multiple million iPhones of the latest iteration till date. iPhone 4 has been a problems galore and a PR nightmare for Apple. iPhone 4 suffers from a serious problem – connectivity, the single most important feature of any phone!

iPhone 4, like all other iPhone releases managed to pull in the crowds, crash the servers and finally garner tremendous negative press.

iPhone 4 first impressions :

iPhone 4 body feels good but brittle too.  What good is a sexy body if you have to cover it to protect it!

What ruined the experience for me was the funky signal bars at the Apple store. I tried my best to avoid all the negative press about the flawed design before walking in to the Apple store. Tried handling the iPhone 4 the normal iPhone way and guess what, landscape mode hijacked the signal bars from 5 to 1! Having used the previous generation iPhones with AT&T, I totally understand the value of signal bars – more the better, be it data speed or call stability!

Surprisingly enough, iPhone 4 failed to woo me when it comes to UI responsiveness when compared to the 3GS iPhone. With the under-clocked custom silicon and double the RAM, I was definitely expecting much quicker responses. No noticeable performance increase. 3GS still lives, at least till the 4G release due next year.

My friend who jumped in on the pre-order is complaining about dropped calls even after using a headset. He never suffered from dropped calls with his 3GS iPhone which doesn’t paint a good picture either.

Micro-SIM dependency is a bummer given the connectivity problems plaguing the iPhone 4. If you want to switch to an older iPhone or a different phone for that important call, you have to get a Micro-SIM adapter or buy/get a regular SIM from your carrier. Not a convenient option at all.

On a slightly different note, I see prices of 3GS iPhones dropping massively! If you search carefully, you can snag a good condition iPhone 3GS for as little as $200 without giving AT&T a reason to dictate terms for 2 full years!

Bottom line : Dear Mr. Jobs, we salute your marketing skills but please don’t ask us to change the way we hold/handle our phones. It just doesn’t work that way. A software fix (iOS 4.01) for a hardware flaw? Seriously, we may not be Physics professors but we know this much that only a case can resolve this problem.

My love for iPhones still remains. I just don’t feel comfortable spending hundreds of dollars for something that subtracts value rather than adding to it!


  • krishnam raju said:

    Some additional points,
    I have tested my 3gs phone with signal reception, even 3gs showed signs of loosing signal strength when we touch the corners*

    Second 3gs with ios4 has become very slow …

  • Kiran said:

    I can confirm that 3GS' signal doesn't fluctuate like iPhone 4! The moment it lost all bars when I held it in landscape mode (at the Apple store where they have FULL bars), I decided I better wait!

    iOS 4 is reportedly slow for 3G iPhones but I noticed improvements with 3GS. We have conflicting experiences buddy!

  • Aditya said:


    I told you aboutt the issues I am facing man.. phone goes to mute or speaker mode while on call and sometimes the call goes on hold..
    Of course this doesn't happen when you use earphones.
    Ashwin is having similar issues with his phone.
    We are gonna return both the phones tonight.
    Dont but iphone 4. Dell streak already out in UK.

  • Kiran said:

    That is unacceptable. Try swapping for a new device. Strange that both devices are doing the same. Also make sure your upgrade is not messed up since you got it at the Apple store.

    Dell Streak this July in the US for $500 – unlocked and ready to root! That is a good deal but I repeat, you have to hold it atleast once to see if you are comfortable using it!

  • krishnam said:

    I too faced the same issue reported by Aditya.

    Root cause:
    While we are on call iphone screen is disabled when you bring it close to face/skin, but with iphone4 this feature kind of not as sensitive as previous versions. This is making the screen active and goes on hold/mute.

  • krishnam said:

    Yup this issue is wide spread " the prioximity sensor issue" 🙂

  • Aditya said:

    It happened to me too many times.
    It is really annoying. I started using it away from face and as a speaker phone.

    I couldn't take it any more.. returned my iphone4 yesterday.
    Going back to 3g. It is slow but I can make phone calls without any problems.

  • kkiran said:

    Sad to see you returned your iPhone 4 when it is in high demand! Anyway, Dell Streak will be here super soon! I will stick to Nexus One for now!

  • kkiran said:

    Hope that can be fixed by a software patch!

  • dhillip said:

    Are you planning on posting custom firmware for iOS 4.0 for 3GS?

  • kkiran said:

    Yes, it is out. Pl proceed with caution…

  • freeheel said:

    iOS 4 custom firmware soon??? for windows 🙂 thanks! (3GS)

  • kkiran said:

    It is out…

  • yuji said:

    Apparently, iphone 4 > 3g reception.

  • kiran said:

    What about dropped call ability?!

  • eric said:


    i touch the corners of my 3gs phone. no sign of losing signal strength.

  • krishnam said:

    eric, this happens in areas where you have weak signal from at&t. try it and let me know, as i have the behavior is consistent with my 3gs phone.

  • David said:

    I went to the apple store last night at the 5th avenue cuz my laptop's battery died and wanted to make sure and be 100% sure that it was the battery and not sumthing else. Afterwards i checked out the iphone 4 and i made calls from it and held it in landscape mode while on the call on off the call and i held it for more than 2 minutes and the signal bars were full strength. So I dont know why people are complaining about the antenna problem. And I did the test on multiple iphones in the stores, 3 to be exact.

  • kkiran said:

    Signal problem is area and region specific. Areas where there is solid signal (Apple, ATT stores for a start!), signal bars may not deviate that much. I went to a Hollister store yesterday where the signal is not so strong and my friends' 3GS showed much better 3G signal while my iPhone turned to EDGE with 2 bars….

  • David said:

    Wait you got the iphone 4 ?

  • kkiran said:

    I got the iPhone 4 at no-commitment price to review a case that might help with signal issues. I spent $750 and am disappointed with signal issues (flaky in some areas) and the sensitive sensor dropping calls. I might return it before the 30 day trial is up, not sure just yet. One more call drop and it is going back!

  • kkiran said:

    I bought it last week at no commitment price and I am not so happy with it. Will return shortly. Not worth $750, worth about $500!

  • David said:

    I have an iphone 4 I'm on it right now I don't care about the negative reviews this retina display is gods gift and I surf on wifi and send messages on wifi so it doesn't MattEr how I hold it, everyone needs one

  • Kiran said:

    I am not comfortable with signal fluctuation – I need faster data on 3G and signal issues are tampering with the speeds…

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