youngandthrifty’s iPhone 4 Review

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Yesss! I have finally received my iPhone 4 (just supported the Bay area, Financial Samurai!), and I was able to get it before the September 30 cut off for the free i Phone 4 case.  I wanted to hold out on my review until I had a week or two to give it a good go at it.  Because I haven't ever had an iPhone before (I just had an iPod Touch which I felt was invaluable anyway), I am pretty happy to be hooked up 24-7 (now I can tweet more often!).

I did sign up for another three years (yes, ball and chain) with Telus.  I had about two months and a bit left on my contract.  After using my own blog post on How to Save Money on your Cell Phone Bill as a reference, and numerous calls to Telus (they were obviously getting very tired of me calling),

Here's what my contract with Telus looks like:

iphone 4 Pictures, Images and Photos

Hope this helps you as fodder for your negotiations with ROBELLUS (Rogers Bell and Telus oligopoly for short).

  • 250 day time minutes
  • Free evening and weekends beginning from 6pm
  • unlimited text messages incoming and outgoing
  • voice mail 3
  • 500MB data
  • caller ID (it was tough to get this for free but they finally caved)
  • “New Activation” pricing on iPhone 4

The above is a total of $50+taxes, which brings it to a grand total of $56 a month for me (thanks to HST, which adds another 12%!).

I believe I am getting about $15 worth of bonuses thrown in for free.  Normally they would not budget on free caller ID or unlimited text messaging, but persistence is a virtue, especially when it comes to negotiating with the Retentions Department.

At first I really wanted 1GB of data, but I realized that I don't use it that much.  Besides, I use Wifi at home.  I've been using it for about a week or so already and have only used up 20 MB of data.  As long as I don't do mad downloading or watch a gazillion You Tube videos, I think I should be fine.

I was pretty adamant about not paying more than $60 a month including taxes, so I am glad I was able to stick to this with the new contract.  Telus is getting harder and harder to negotiate with.  I had to give up a lot of my old loyalty goodies (like 150 minutes nation wide long distance and Telus to Telus) for this iPhone plan.

Anyway, without further dillydallying, here is my review:

iPhone 4 Pros:

  • I like smaller width (good things do come in..narrow..packages..?)- at first I thought it was awkward looking, but when you turn it sideways to type, it's much faster and more ergonomic on the hands
  • Pretty fast (I hear its the same speed as the iPhone 3GS)
  • The GPS/Map application is great (if you hit the “compass” sign twice, it will really follow like a real GPS, and it changes directions as your car changes directions)
  • The camera and flash and HD video-  5 megapixel camera, you can zoom, focus.. takes pretty good pictures
  • You can add play lists manually in the iPhone (instead of going to iTunes on your computer to do it)
  • They give you a free case worth MRSP of $35 if you request for a free case before September 30! (You know I can't resist FREE!)

iPhone 4 Cons:

  • They say the “antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought” and only applies to certain iPhone 4's
  • Unluckily, mine is one of them!
  • I have lost about 5 calls (one very important one in which I was talking to a bank and was put on hold while they checked something) which is very frustrating
  • Often there is only one bar of reception on my phone, if I hold it a certain way (how one would normally hold a phone)
  • The buttons on the side (to turn the volume up and down etc.) protrude so they seem like they can easily be damaged
  • The reception really is MUCH better with the case (now I average 3-4 bars instead of 1 bar of reception with the case)
  • It was so hard to find! Good thing Telus seems to have more supply than the other companies.  I ended up fluking out and found a iPhone 4 at one of the Telus dealers.

I wanted to leave you guys with a cute video that I found really funny… I swear, I must have sounded like this guy for the poor customer service reps who were dealing with me.  “I don't care… I want an iPhone 4….”

Next week, I'll share some of my favourite iPhone apps that I personally love and think is essential for personal finance.  Stay tuned!

Readers, are you as crazy about the iPhone 4 as I am?  Any die-hard Android or Blackberry fans?


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Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.


  1. Alex C on September 29, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    The above is a total of $50+taxes, which brings it to a grand total of $56 a month for me (thanks to HST, which adds another 12%!).

    This is incorrect/misleading, I’m not looking to start an HST flame war with anyone, but you were previously paying GST and PST on your cell phone bill, so the amount of taxes did not change

  2. FrankP on September 29, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    The video says it all – literally.

    Young and *thrifty*? You could have paid less and received a better Android phone (arguable sure but we can at least agree on comparable?). A larger proportion of the apps for Android are free, and there are fewer and fewer apps that are exclusive to the iPhone. Or if you’re stuck on the iPhone and committed to being thrifty, the telco’s are selling off their 3G and 3Gs inventory for a steal.

    Credibility -1 🙂

  3. The Passive Income Earner on September 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I would like an iPhone but I loath the cost of data plans. I still need a land line at home for a number of reasons and I already pay for 2 cell phones (my wife and mine). I think the phone companies are getting plenty of my money as it is 🙂

    That said, I have a Blackberry Bold provided by the office. It’s really good to keep up with work, but I don’t really do much with it unless I am waiting somewhere. Most of the time I have a computer at my disposal (office or home).

  4. Financial Cents on September 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    <$60/month, that's a pretty good deal.

    What has scared me off to date are the pricy data plans, but they seem to be coming down in price.

    Congrats on your phone!

  5. Suba @ Wealth Informatics on September 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I didn’t realize you have to pay for caller ID in Canada… I would be pretty mad if Tmobile did that to me.

    I LOVE the video. It sounds exactly like a conversation I had with my coworker 😉 I just kept asking him what is different in iphone than android, he just kept telling me its “awesome” lol

  6. Yakezie on September 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Haha, thanks for supporting the Bay Area economy! Whoo hoo!

  7. young on September 29, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    @Yakezie- you’re welcome Sam! Glad to support the Bay area anytime. Next time I’m headed to Napa to support the wineries lol.

  8. young on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    @Suba- Really? yeah, I know that US cell phone plans are much better and don’t rip you off as badly as Canadian cell phone plans. I love the video too- it’s like all iphone consumers are blind sided by the hype, the apple logo, and the word “iphone app”.

  9. young on September 29, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    @The Passive Income earner- that was how I felt too. I resisted for at least two years (my BF had the iphone long before I had, I had to borrow his phone to check my email often). That’s cool you get a Blackberry Bold from work- so you’re pretty much allowed to use it any time you want, right? I like using the iphone as a GPS mainly (my sense of direction is often lacking).

  10. young on September 29, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    @FrankP- Yes, true true! Android is indeed comparable (I tested out a friend’s HTC and it was ridiculously fast!). I don’t usually pay for apps on the Android (I think the only one I paid for was a “wifi finder”) so it doesn’t bother me… and I had the iTouch, so I was used to the apple interface and chose to stick with it. Though the Android was really attractive too. Shucks! Credilibity -1? 🙁 Lost a fan? 🙂

  11. young on September 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    @Alex C- Hey you’re right! So sorry, I must have been completely absorbed into the HST-hoopla-hate that I forgot I was charged the same amount before the HST. Thanks for the reminder!

  12. Little House on September 30, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Under $60 a month is great. I still have my Treo 600 and don’t intend to swap it out anytime soon. But typing on tiny keys is not easy! Do you think the typing will be easier for you as you become more use to it? That’s the one thing I think I’d have trouble with on the iPhone, the pop-up, touch-screen keyboard.

  13. young on September 30, 2010 at 9:21 am

    @LIttle House- so cell phone data plans are expensive in SoCal? The keys aren’t actually so bad anymore.. I had the first generation ipod Touch and I found the keys really cumbersome to type on, but it seems now the keys are my accurate and less “slippery”… That being said, it could be my “iphone goggles” talking.

  14. Sam Wilson | Building Credit for Students on September 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I kinda dream to have that phone. But oh well, books and college go first. Congrats on your new phone.

  15. young on September 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    @Sam Wilson- Good idea to hold off! Smart phones are such a HUGE distraction to school work (it’s so easy to procrastinate).

  16. Money Reasons on October 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I loved that video, lmao!!!

    Congrats on the IPhone, I have a company blackberry, but they restrict twitter (booo)!

    I guess I’ll have to get my own smart phone someday when my blogsite is as big as Sam’s…

  17. young on October 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    @Money Reasons- hehe glad you liked the video- it’s so funny yet so simple. Your company blackberry restricts twitter? That’s very China-esque, no? I remember when I was in China traveling this year, there was no access to facebook, twitter, wikipedia.. it was pretty intense. At least you have a berry- they look cool. Can you BBM after work hours on it?

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