New iPod touch or iPhone 4?

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sciguy

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I plan on getting a new ipod touch 8gb. Considering the similar cost between the touch 8gb & the iphone 16gb, are there any significant benefits/drawbacks -- other than the obvious: iphone is a phone and touch is not -- to buying the touch over the iphone ( or vice-versa )? I'm eligible for an upgrade with AT&T and I'm aware of the minimum $15 monthly data plan requirement for the iphone.
Thanks for the input.
 

kornchild2002

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No, the only real differences between the two are obvious; one is a phone and the other isn't. The iPhone 4 has a 5MP camera on the back, GPS, and a few other 3G data aspects but that is it. You are just going to have to ask yourself if you need a new phone with craptacular limited data or if a portable player will be enough. Personally, I could never own an Apple 3G device as AT&T is the only carrier they use in the U.S. I would rely on them just as much as I would cut off my right hand for a clove of broccoli.
 

tadad1

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If you are already an AT&T customer and eligible for an upgrade I say go for the iPhone 4.

After watching the keynote I was thrilled with the new features that had been added, the dual cameras, retina display and A4 chip that I pre ordered 2 64Gb 4G touch pretty much straight away. As news came in about the TN vs. IPS LCD panel and samples started to appear of poor quality photos taken with the low resolution camera I was a little disappointed. When iFixit revealed that the new touch was only using 256MB of RAM instead of 512MB the balance of quality vs. value finally teetered over the point of no return for me and I cancelled both touch orders and went with the iPhone4 instead.

Here in New Zealand on a 24 month contract @ $10 a week (a cost I am already paying on my 3 year old Nokia dumb phone) the 32GB iP4 is only $100 dearer than the 64GB iPT4. Seems to me much better camera with flash, better quality LCD and the higher specked internal components along with access to messages, email and the internet anywhere I go rather than just wifi is a bargain for a measly $100.
 

jasoncordelle

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If you are already an AT&T customer and eligible for an upgrade I say go for the iPhone 4.

After watching the keynote I was thrilled with the new features that had been added, the dual cameras, retina display and A4 chip that I pre ordered 2 64Gb 4G touch pretty much straight away. As news came in about the TN vs. IPS LCD panel and samples started to appear of poor quality photos taken with the low resolution camera I was a little disappointed. When iFixit revealed that the new touch was only using 256MB of RAM instead of 512MB the balance of quality vs. value finally teetered over the point of no return for me and I cancelled both touch orders and went with the iPhone4 instead.

Here in New Zealand on a 24 month contract @ $10 a week (a cost I am already paying on my 3 year old Nokia dumb phone) the 32GB iP4 is only $100 dearer than the 64GB iPT4. Seems to me much better camera with flash, better quality LCD and the higher specked internal components along with access to messages, email and the internet anywhere I go rather than just wifi is a bargain for a measly $100.
Completely agree that if you don;t need the greater storage capacity, the iP4 is far better value (in bang for buck terms) here in NZ than the iPT4.

My issue is that the iP4 has a glass body, which frightens the fandangles off me!
I (as yet) have not managed to drop my iP3GS, but if I did, I'd say it'd fare a lot better than a 4...and I think a new Touch would also be a far more durable devise.
 

kornchild2002

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In terms of the display for the two, the iPhone 4 has the better one but the display for the iPod touch is not bad at all. It doesn't have the same viewing angles and attracts smudges like nobody's business but the iPod touch has always done that. Additionally, even with that special coating, I end up cleaning my iPad's screen once a day.

I also don't see the iPod touch having "only" 256MB of RAM as being a killer here. My iPad has 256MB of RAM as well and it can load higher resolution apps just as fast as an iPhone 4 can load lower resolution apps. When directly comparing the iPod touch with the iPhone 4, the later opens apps a few seconds faster due to the 512MB of RAM. 2 seconds really isn't a whole lot to sneeze over.

The only real problem, aside from not having a 3G antenna, I can see people having with the iPod touch is the low resolution camera on the back. It appears to do just fine for 720p video recording but still photos are a nightmare. Then again, I don't know anyone who would purchase even an iPhone to replace their digital camera as a $120 basic point-and-shoot model from Best Buy would produce better photos along with better video quality. I tend to think that the camera on the back of the iPod touch was mainly designed for Facebook uploads.

In the end, the iPhone 4 is a much better value but it is a completely different device as it is first and foremost a cellphone. Antenna issues aside, I think it is a great phone and Apple did a good job with the design. However, if you don't need a phone, go with the touch. I would be very hesitant to pay $25 a month for 2GB of data through AT&T's new service especially since it costs an additional $10 if you go over the 2GB number. 2GB may sound like a lot but it really isn't by the time you factor in Google maps. You can easily surpass the 2GB data number if you rely on your iPhone as a GPS device through Google Maps especially now that the iPhone 4 has street view. I would already be holding an iPhone if it wasn't for AT&T's expensive service.
 

Jesse Hollington

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I'd suggest taking a look at our Comprehensive iPod touch (Fourth-Generation) review.

The screen smudging issue is easily solved by applying a screen protector film, which you may want to do anyway. Prior to the iPhone 3GS with its oleophobic screen I used the Power Support Anti-Glare film on both my iPhones and I still use it on my iPod touch (they also make a clear "Crystal" version). Some of my colleagues here still swear by it even for the newer iPhone models, in fact.

As far as the RAM issue goes, you'll find that the extra room on the iPhone 4 is only a major concern for multitasking at this point -- running multiple apps and being able to "Fast App Switch" between them is a lot more comfortable on the iPhone 4. On the iPod touch 4G (and older iPhone models), you may find that apps are more likely to get shut down in the background if you haven't used them recently. This is not as big of an issue as it sounds, as any good app developer should build their app to deal with this properly and save state so you don't lose anything. In fact, this is the way ALL apps were expected to behave before iOS 4 added the ability for them to suspend to RAM.

It's also worth keeping in mind that the iPhone 4 is going to have more stuff happening in the background at any given time due to supporting the Phone and Messaging apps, engaging the GPS for Location Services and almost always having a 3G data connection to do things like check mail and receive Push Notifications. None of these processes consume huge amounts of RAM, but some are not there at all on the iPod touch and others are dormant except where you're connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Keep in mind that the iPhone 4 is considerably more expensive in terms of raw numbers, either by paying full price or committing to a contract with a cellular provider. That expense is frequently offset by the fact that you'd pay for a cellular contract anyway, but it's still something worth keeping in mind.

The bottom line is that the iPod touch will always be the stepchild to the iPhone, which Apple seems to consider its flagship device. The iPod touch basically seems to have been designed for and targeted at people who either can't afford or don't want an iPhone for whatever reason. The iPhone has a better screen, better camera, more RAM, GPS/compass and an always-on data connection. The only advantage that the iPod touch has ever had over the same-era iPhone is its higher capacity -- you can get 64GB on an iPod touch while the iPhone caps out at 32GB, and Apple has always kept the iPod touch one notch ahead in capacity. Otherwise, the iPhone 4 is always the better choice if you can justify the price tag and need a phone.
 

mchan1

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If you really want a phone... get the iPhone but expect to pay MORE in total cost which includes the monthly data/phone plan which drives up the cost of the iPhone! Don't forget that you have to put up with ATT's service!

If you don't need a phone, then get the iTouch! For the price of the iPhone, you get the higher capacity 64Gb version of the iTouch which is essentially as the iPhone but without the phone!

Most people already have a phone so it's better and less expensive to buy the iTouch!
 

ryanna

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In terms of the display for the two, the iPhone 4 has the better one but the display for the iPod touch is not bad at all. It doesn't have the same viewing angles and attracts smudges like nobody's business but the iPod touch has always done that. Additionally, even with that special coating, I end up cleaning my iPad's screen once a day.

I also don't see the iPod touch having "only" 256MB of RAM as being a killer here. My iPad has 256MB of RAM as well and it can load higher resolution apps just as fast as an iPhone 4 can load lower resolution apps. When directly comparing the iPod touch with the iPhone 4, the later opens apps a few seconds faster due to the 512MB of RAM. 2 seconds really isn't a whole lot to sneeze over.

The only real problem, aside from not having a 3G antenna, I can see people having with the iPod touch is the low resolution camera on the back. It appears to do just fine for 720p video recording but still photos are a nightmare. Then again, I don't know anyone who would purchase even an iPhone to replace their digital camera as a $120 basic point-and-shoot model from Best Buy would produce better photos along with better video quality. I tend to think that the camera on the back of the iPod touch was mainly designed for Facebook uploads.

In the end, the iPhone 4 is a much better value but it is a completely different device as it is first and foremost a cellphone. Antenna issues aside, I think it is a great phone and Apple did a good job with the design. However, if you don't need a phone, go with the touch. I would be very hesitant to pay $25 a month for 2GB of data through AT&T's new service especially since it costs an additional $10 if you go over the 2GB number. 2GB may sound like a lot but it really isn't by the time you factor in Google maps. You can easily surpass the 2GB data number if you rely on your iPhone as a GPS device through Google Maps especially now that the iPhone 4 has street view. I would already be holding an iPhone if it wasn't for AT&T's expensive service.
Hey, I agree about the expensive ATT plans, I want nothing to do with them myself and I haven't been on a contract in 4 years. Maybe you should consider unlocking your phone and getting on a plan with independant carriers. Here in Houston there's one called simple mobile (I know they operate in other cities as well). Basically, an unlimited plan with them (talk,txt,data) will cost you $60. No taxes, or surcharges. I'm on them now and so far can't complain.
 

kornchild2002

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I actually already have a nice plan through Sprint. Unlimited data, unlimited text, unlimited calls to any mobile phone number on any carrier, 450 minutes to land line numbers, and that is all for my Evo 4 at $70 a month. My main issue with small carriers (we have Cincinnati Bell over here) is that their coverage outside of the local area isn't all that hot. Someone on Cincinnati Bell will pay $10 less than me a month but they lose reception a lot when they travel outside of the tri-state area whereas my Sprint reception is solid everywhere I have been to lately.
 
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