iPhone 4 Still Good

The iPhone 4: Dated, Dusty, or Desired?

How the mighty have fallen. A little more than five years ago, the smartphone world was ruled by BBM and QWERTY keyboards. Today, the current people’s champion is the iPhone. Apple has sold over 1 billion iPhones to date and the iPhone 4 contributed a lot to those huge sales figures. After all, the iPhone 4 was manufactured by Apple for almost 4 years, the longest of any iPhone ever produced. But with about 11 iPhone models released since the 4, a lot has changed in the smartphone game. So naturally you should wonder: is the iPhone 4 still good? If you’re looking to get a smartphone, can you still use iPhone 4?

More than just a where-are-they-now look at the device, here is everything you need to know about actually using the iPhone 4 today.

What Makes The iPhone 4 Still A Good Phone?

There are plenty of people out there who are still using an iPhone 4. So if you’re wondering if you can still use iPhone 4 in general, the answer is a definite yes. That being said, there are some limits as to what you’ll be able to do with it and how smooth it will be to use. First, we’ll go over what you can actually do with the 4.

To Apple’s credit, the design is relevant and, because of the quality invested in the device, a large portion of these phones continue to be in good working order.

Staying Connected

The iPhone 4 can offer you the basics: email, web browsing, texting, calling, and FaceTime. While this might not seem all that much better than what you can do in a flip phone, the experience is hugely improved over all when you consider that you’ll be doing all of this on a beautiful, intuitive touch-screen. This is a big part of why people go with Apple— iPhones are made with premium materials that feel great in your hands and they all come equipped with software that is really a pleasure to use. If you’re currently texting on a keyboard with actual buttons, the upgrade to the iPhone 4 will still be pretty huge.

Taking and Sharing Photos

While the photo quality won’t blow you away, the iPhone 4 has a 5 megapixel back camera and a .3 megapixel front (selfie) camera. It can shoot HD video at 720p and has a 5x digital zoom with LED flash. You’ll see the iPhone 4 struggle with low light shots, but it’s still a fine option for those who want the ability to take photos with their phones. Sometimes having a camera attached to the phone in your pocket is better than no camera at all. Having all your photos on your phone means that you’ll be able to easily share them over email, text, or upload them on social media.

Downloading and Using Simple Apps

Apple’s App Store has a huge number of apps and the iPhone 4 might be the perfect way to introduce yourself to the basics. Using an online banking app or your city’s transit app will really open up your world. You don’t need a $1000 iPhone to do this— the iPhone 4 should work just fine.

The Limits of Using an iPhone 4 in 2017

No More iOS Updates

With the launch of iOS 8 in 2014, the iPhone 4 no longer supported the iOS latest updates. Most of the apps out there today are tailored to iOS 8 and above, which means that the iPhone 4 will start experiencing some hiccups and crashes while using more intensive applications. But in all honesty, unless you’re an early-adopter who cringes every time your latest app download doesn’t render properly, this isn’t the end of the world.

Speed (Or Lack There Of)

Aside from the fact that the iPhone 4 is only capable of 3G network speeds, the 4’s software itself might move more slowly than newer models. The iPhone 4 is powered by Apple’s A4 chip, which will struggle to power apps that use anything but simple graphics.

Limited Features

The iPhone 4 misses out on certain features that are only available on newer iPhone models. Just to name a few of the things that aren’t available on the iPhone 4: Siri, 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation, AirDrop, AirPlay mirroring, live camera filters, panorama mode, and so on.

Who Is The iPhone 4 Still Good For?

Anyone who re-sells an iPhone 4 should feel comfortable knowing that their phone is going to a good home; there are tons of people for whom the iPhone 4 is ideal.

iPhone 4 Still Good

For starters, take someone who wants their first dip into the smartphone game. These days, most seniors know that an app like FaceTime can help them stay connected to loved ones. Its bright and intuitive interface makes the iPhone 4 still good as a gift for your parents or grandparents. Load it up with music, podcasts, and apps that you think they might like for extra brownie points.

There is also the 10 year old that is begging for a phone because “all my friends have one”. Because there is no way you are going to buy a brand new iPhone for someone that isn’t even out of 5th grade, the iPhone 4 is still useful as a starter phone.

At the iPhone 4’s price point, its inevitable grisly demise at the hands of your child won’t feel like such a tragedy.

Other bargain hunters are out there: new comers to Canada, students on a budget, habitual phone losers, frequent travelers, and those who need an in-between phone after a good night out.

The Verdict

Think about it this way: the iPhone is nothing like the old phones you used to have. Even today, it will blow your Motorola RAZR circa 2005 right out of the water. Forget the days when old electronics ended up in a drawer to live the rest of their days. We feel like the iPhone 4 still good as an introduction to the iPhone for people who want something to handle basic tasks. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles but it can handle basic texting, calls, and social media updates without much problem.

A thing to note: Even though we think that the iPhone 4 still good, Orchard stopped buying and selling it a short while ago. As new phones come out, we have to drop older models from our line up to avoid carrying too much inventory. If you’re looking to buy an iPhone from us, we recommend checking out our selection of iPhone 4S.

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3 comments

  • Robert 5 March, 2016   Reply →

    Sadly this is Apples overall market strategy. Just as it has been with their laptops and desktops, Apple loves the idea of NOT letting you upgrade their hardware or devices just as you could do with a PC or Wndows based device. Why? So they can quickly make all their hardware obsolete forcing you to buy a completely new device rather than an inexpensive upgrade. Sure I still use an iPhone but I refuse to ever buy their computers for their diabolical and arrogant approach to force you into buying new hardware WAY before you should ever have to.

  • Michael 23 July, 2017   Reply →

    A positive that was not mentioned in the article was the size of the phone was designed in mind as perfect for the average human hand. Its a great smartphone for those who don’t want the newer phablet type smartphones out there now that maybe too large for some people. The 4 in a sense is more discreet (even though thicker than newer models).

    • Bianca @ Orchard 24 July, 2017   Reply →

      You know, that’s a fair point. Later models like the iPhone 6 have software tricks built in to help with reachability, but really nothing beats a phone that is just the right size from the beginning. The iPhone 4 and 4S are just very grip-able phones that feel sturdy in your hand. I like what Elizabeth Stinson says about the iPhone 6 in this Wired piece: “The specs made it a better phone [than the iPhone 4s], but it felt a little bit wrong, as though you were holding a slick $650 bar of soap.” (https://www.wired.com/2016/03/iphone-se-smaller-phone/)

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