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White iPhone 4 Proximity Sensor and 'Death Grip' Tested
Italian site iSpazio has been able to get its hands on a white iPhone 4 as several European outlets have begun selling the device ahead of tomorrow's official launch. With the new iPhone in hand, the site has put together a handful of videos [Google translation] testing out a few of the areas of concern users have had with the black models, most notably the proximity sensor performance and signal loss caused by "death grip".
The proximity sensor has been one of the most interesting features given Apple's redesign of the area surrounding the sensor on the front of the device above the earpiece slot. Early white iPhone 4 samples and images showed a grille of small holes, but that design has been replaced in the shipping version with a lozenge-shaped black window covering the sensor. The sensor covering is essentially invisible in the black iPhone 4 given that device's coloration.
According to iSpazio, the white iPhone 4 exhibits excellent proximity sensor performance, responding immediately to turn off the device's display when covered but then also keeping the display off until a finger or head is a "relatively large distance" away. The black iPhone 4s initially exhibited problems with displays coming back on while on phone calls, resulting in unintentional touch input. The issue was largely fixed in an iOS update, but it is reassuring to see that the white models exhibit solid performance from the get-go.
iSpazio also tested the "death grip", attempting to generate signal loss by covering portions of the stainless steel band that serves as the antenna for the device. As with black iPhone 4s equipped with iOS versions released since Apple addressed early issues, the white iPhone 4 exhibits a slight drop in signal strength, but the drop does not appear to have a significant effect on connectivity.
Anecdotally, the site reports that the white iPhone 4 may have slightly better reception than the black model, although it is difficult to say if there is any material difference.