Video FaceTime for iPhone 4 Hands-on: Video Chat the EVO 4G Should Have Had

We already gave you a walk-through of the new iPhone 4 and its new design and features. Now, it’s time to delve a bit deeper into FaceTime, the video chatting application built into iPhone 4. While we weren’t surprised the phone would support video chatting (those leaked photos did show a front-facing camera, after all), we were charmed by Apple’s elegant execution, and by how easy the app is to use. Making a call is as easy as pressing an icon for FaceTime, just like Skype makes it easy to press either Call or Video Call.

You’ll know it’s working when you see your own face on the phone’s 3.5-inch screen. When your friend picks up (he or she must also have an iPhone 4), his or her face will take up the display, and your face will then take up a small box in a corner at the bottom of the screen. The front-facing camera has VGA resolution. Despite the fact that you’re seeing your friend’s face at a fairly high res, the delivery still seemed smooth in our demo. Of course, that’s largely because you can only use the phone’s 802.11n radio to make such calls; you can’t use AT&T’s network.

Once you’re video chatting, you have the option of viewing your caller in landscape mode. You can also chat using the back-facing camera, so as to show him or her what you see. There are onscreen icons you can tap to activate either of these modes (in other words, even though there’s an accelerometer, the landscape video chat won’t kick in automatically, and probably for good reason).

FaceTime is the perfect example of why Apple’s M.O. of controlling the user experience, end-to-end, pays off. Apple has designed not just a phone that’s capable of smooth video chat, but has also taken the software experience into its own hands so that it’s an integral part of the OS, and is as easy to use as any other feature in iOS 4. Meanwhile, the EVO 4G doesn’t ship with a video calling app; rather, you have to download Qik, which wasn’t initially easy to find. Once it became easy to find in Android Market, so many people downloaded it that the quality of service suffered. People complained of connectivity issues, and Qik subsequently pulled the app, promising it would return after it had resolved its major issues. In short, without an integrated app like FaceTime, the few other video-chatting-ready phones there are  seem less impressive.

Check out our video and gallery of FaceTime in action.


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  1. Genjinaro Says:

    But Qik works over Sprint’s unlimited 3G & 4G. Who wants to video chat via WiFi only? Qik still has its deafening advantage: mobility.

  2. Jason Says:

    If it does not work how does it have an advantage, the reason ATT is not offering video calling on over it’s network right now because apple will sell millions of the phone and no system would be able to handle that amount of traffic, android base devices are spread over several phone providers so there strain will be minor compared to ATT, but wait and see how many issues the EVO and sprint will have once a thousands of people start video chatting.

  3. IVo Says:

    Obviously the author overlooked the android apps that allow a video chat. Not only that but you can do it over the cell network and though different messaging services. Obviously Skype is the most widely used. Check the Fring app, Qik is not the only game in town. .
    Honestly the new iPhone looks cool but the only thing that it has over the android phones is the high resolution display and of course more apps. Android phones do better multitasking video chats and HD video recording, (check cyanogenmod).

    Nuf said

  4. rafisays Says:

    iphone 4 has the apps for fring and qik also tho.

  5. Nicholas Says:

    when the evo4g and iphone4 came out, i did a lot of research and found out the evo4g is better in every way except the screen resolution on the iphone4 is sharper. i picked up the evo 4g and i’m glad with my purchase. with facetime, evo doesnt need to be on wifi. i admit its been a little buggy and choppy at times but once you find a 4g area its smooth sailing from there. in november 1st 2010, 4G will be finally connected everywhere according to another report i read. and talking about having to search for Qik, it comes on the phone when you purchase it. sprint has a cheaper faster service than at&t’s drop call and expensive service. i have no complaints yet about my evo4g but the iphone4 sure is pretty =)

  6. shay Says:

    I just think that this iphone vs evo, is a funny thing. Markets are just making money outta everyone weather you like it or not, yea maybe they are making more money off of others, but so what if you could afford it let it be. At the end everyone has there own thoughts a opions and will remain with what they have. Im a iphone user for going on 4 yrs now. I have no complain so far and if something is wrong with my bill all i have to do is pick up the phone and call and right away my problems is being fixed, i have had diff companies ( tmobile, sprint, nextal ) and all i could remember is that they over charged half of the time and when i would call them to see what the charges were about they would give me the run arounds about it. i Gave up on them completely not to mention the people working for sprint stealing other people ss and stuff and added more bills on top of your name. and Tmobile i had a phone on insurance and they seriously tried to make me pay for another phone i had to take it to court and all.
    Im still saying everyone has there right to what company is best for them and their needs i just hate ppl that talk smack bout others oo at&t and this they charging you 100 and something so what. If they could pay it more power to you what is it to anyone else. Enjoy yah phones.

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