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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.

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Top Rated Comments

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73 months ago
You had me until "reception is slightly better."

These things have the exact same innards. Period. It would be a manufacturing nightmare to have separate components.

There's no difference in the phones, other than the fact they have white face/back plates.
Rating: 4 Votes
73 months ago
That was one of the most unscientific and ridiculous attempts at demonstrating nothing
Rating: 4 Votes
73 months ago

Well if the proximity sensor has been fixed then I must buy one tomorrow. My phone's sensor is terrible.


The black iPhones have been fixed, too. I took mine up to an Apple Store and told them my sensor was still wonky even after the latest iOS update, and they swapped it for a brand new one, no questions asked. They also swapped my Bumper since it was starting to fall apart.

Do it. My new iPhone hasn't had a single problem since, even though the Genius insisted that it was a software thing.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
Excellent, hope Apple learnt its trade and my iPhone 4S / 5 will be good from day one.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
Proximity Sensor and Death Grip, Hello 2010.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
Better reception than the black? Maybe that's a placebo effect... lol
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago

Why the hell would anyone expect that the color of the phone changes reception of the phone?

If I paint my silver car in bright red, does it then go faster or slower?

No, but if the manufacturer of your silver car had months to fine tune the design before releasing a red version it might indeed have improvements.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
Actually, there is one other difference nobody has mentioned.

No screws on the bottom of the phone.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
"White iPhone 4 death grip tested"?

More like "Dude holds phone in apartment".

What a joke.
Rating: 2 Votes
73 months ago
So wait.... if you change the paint used in the factory to white instead of black then you have the same odd problem as if you'd used black paint?? Wow, I never would have expected that.
Rating: 2 Votes

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