iPhone… first impressions

Well, I couldn’t resist it, I went down to my local Apple Store today and played with the iPhone. The first thing that I will say, is that if anyone had any doubts with whether it works like it shows on the commercials, you can throw those doubts out the window. My experience with the device was that it worked flawlessly. I caveat that by saying that the device worked flawlessly, the network was definitely a problem. Trying to load those YouTube videos that have been touted by Apple was a disappointment, they never loaded. However, the videos that were pre-loaded to the device looked excellent in the sharp high-resolution display. Music played through the device speaker was less than stellar (to be expected from such a small speaker), but was fine when sent through the head-phones like any other mp3 player. The on-screen keyboard was a little difficult to use since it seemed to catch the wrong keys sometime, but I got the feeling that you would develop the “touch” for that within a few days (i.e. I got better with it within a few minutes, so I think I would get better at using it over a few days). That said, I still like my hard keys on my Q, but I would give that up for the other advantages that such a device would offer.

The iPhone worked with good speed, I experienced no latency like in some devices. The OS seemed pretty easy to use and the stretching, scaling, dragging and flipping that is shown on all of those commercials works as advertised. I found that using the Web browser was very easy too, and it made viewing full sized (not designed for mobile) sites relatively easy, though I would still appreciate a mobile version.

Overall, I was very impressed with the iPhone. But here is my quick review broken down into pros and cons

Pros:

  • Beautiful interface
  • Slim design, it’s thinner than I thought it would be
  • Easy navigation and feature rich OS
  • Does all the media stuff well (as you would probably expect)
  • Touch screen makes use of full device’s physical space

Cons:

  • Slow AT&T wireless network
  • Touch screen is a little difficult to get used to for sending text messages, writing, etc.
  • Price… as nice as it is, I don’t know if it’s worth it to pay $500-$600 for a phone, knowing that other great manufacturers like Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG and the like will incorporate a lot of these features in their new devices for a lot less
  • Can’t buy a backup battery to have if you’re on a long trip or something like that. The battery on the iPhone is integrated into the device and can’t be removed (so they say). I am very happy to have my longer lasting backup battery for my Q when it runs out of juice, which inevitably the iPhone will do if you’re using it a lot.

Again, overall I am very impressed with this device. I’m not sure revolutionary is the right word, but it will certainly accelerate the evolution of mobile phone design and cause many to desire the same or similar capabilities in their next phone. If you get the chance, at least go to an Apple store and check one out. I believe Apple will have another winner and bring a modest expansion to their already growing group of Apple product enthusiasts. But more important than that, they will push other manufacturers to build even more efficiencies into their processes for developing smart phones, because more people will want the features in such devices.

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