The 5 Best Things About the iPhone 4

Last Updated Jun 9, 2010 8:47 AM EDT

The iPhone 4 is here (well, almost -- it's due to arrive in stores June 24). Apple calls it "the biggest leap since the original iPhone," and I'd say that's an apt description: the new model is positively bursting with cool stuff.

What's so great about it? Here's a rundown of five features Apple knocked outta the park:

1. The A4 processor I wouldn't describe my iPhone 3GS as slow, but it definitely feels a little sluggish at times -- especially when the camera's in use. The iPad, which has the same Apple-designed A4 processor as the new iPhone, seems much snappier in comparison. I'm looking forward to similarly snappy performance from the iPhone 4.

2. The new camera Specifically, the rear-facing camera. Apple bumped it to 5 megapixels and enhanced it with an LED flash. I find myself using my iPhone camera more often than any other, but not always happy with the results. This should raise my level of happiness considerably.

3. The new camera, part 2 The iPhone 4 can capture high-definition (720p) video. Note to Flip Video: you're screwed. The accompanying new iMovie app looks extremely slick, allowing you to perform some amazing edits right on the phone. And when you're done, videos can go straight to YouTube. Standalone cams still can't do that.

4. The bigger battery Given that the iPhone 4 is thinner than the 3GS, it's pretty amazing Apple managed to shoehorn in a (slightly) larger battery. During yesterday's launch, Jobs promised 7 hours of talk time, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, and 300 hours of standby. I'll take it!

5. The pricing As a bona fide cheapskate, I'm really pleased to see Apple selling the iPhone 4 for $199 and $299 (for the 16GB and 32GB models), same as the 3GS (which is now $99). They could easily have charged another $100 per, and still sold them by the truckload. What's more, any current iPhone owner whose contract expires in 2010 is eligible to upgrade to an iPhone 4 at those prices (with a new two-year contract, natch).

You may notice that I omitted two much-ballyhooed features: the front-facing camera (used for Skype-like video calls) and the high-resolution Retina Display. Want to know why? Check out my follow-up, The Five Worst Things About the iPhone 4.

Okay, your turn: what iPhone 4 features do you like most?

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.