iPhone 4: Why We’ve Reconsidered Its Rating

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If you were following this morning's Apple press conference, you may have seen PCWorld's name listed as one of the publications that lauded the iPhone 4 as the number one smartphone available. Unfortunately, after today's news and the number of issues that drove Apple to call this press conference in the first place, PCWorld has decided to take the iPhone 4 off our Top 10 Cell Phones chart and reassign it a "pending" rating.

While offering users a free bumper is a step in the right direction, it does not excuse the faulty hardware. Furthermore, there was no absolute promise on fixing the proximity sensor issues. Jobs said the company will "try" and get it fixed them in the next software update, but did not indicate exactly when that will happen. Nor did he provide an extension of the return period, to accommodate users who might be on the fence because of this issue.

We still stand by our praise of the camera, display, hardware aesthetics and user interface, as stated in the original review. But given all of the issues we've personally had with the phone, we cannot recommend the iPhone 4 to other consumers until these problems are fixed (iPhone 4 Fix: Many Questions Left Unanswered and iPhone 4 Hell: A Personal Tale of iPhone 4 Woes give more detailed accounts of some of the issues we've had with the phone). A bumper feels like a clumsy solution and the proximity sensor issues inexcusable for a smartphone of this caliber.

We will revisit the phone's rating and chart position when we receive the bumper and when the phone's proximity sensor is fixed.

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At a Glance
  • The iPhone 4 is a major upgrade from its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS, in everything from the camera quality to data speeds.


    • Beautifully designed hardware and software
    • Excellent still and video camera


    • New antenna is a major design fail
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