Apple iPhone 4

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In 2017 the DXOMARK Mobile test protocol has been updated to cover zoom, bokeh features, very low light performance, motion in the scene and other new test criteria. Image quality testing for this review was still undertaken using the original DXOMARK Mobile test protocol from 2012. The results are not directly comparable to the new protocol but this article will still give you a very good idea of the test device's camera performance.

Apple’s iPhone 4 dazzled consumers and critics back in 2010 with its redesign and the introduction of its crystal-clear retina display. The screen sings with color, perfect for viewing pictures.

However, the smartphone’s embedded 5-megapixel camera struggled to tap down color defects, which prevents iPhone 4 users from fully appreciating the device’s high-resolution retina display. The mobile’s camera produced strong color shading in fluorescent lighting and sometimes even in outdoor conditions. Under dim tungsten lighting, the iPhone 4’s white balance produced a reddish color spread across the image. These color shading problems were also transferred to the device’s video.

But all was not lost for the iPhone 4. It paid good attention to details under good even lighting. It also had an accurate video autofocus in most light scenarios – many smartphones can’t say the same.


Photo Pros

  • Good detail preservation under bright and even lighting.
  • Pleasant colors in most outdoor environs.

Video Pros

  • Video compression is commendable.
  • Trigger autofocus is accurate, even in low light.

Photo Cons

  • Pronounced color shading under fluorescent lighting, and sometimes in outdoor shooting.
  • White balance creates a reddish cast in dim tungsten lighting.
  • Unpleasant luminance noise, particularly in low light.
  • Trigger mode remedies the mobile’s unpredictable autofocus reliability.

Video Cons

  • Vulnerable to an unacceptably bad jello effect.
  • Details are dull compared to competing HD mobiles.
  • Noise is not well controlled in dim lighting.
  • Visible color shading.
  • Large oscillation when refocusing.  

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