An Ode to the Screen

While I was writing this review, Derek Wilson, our resident GPU guru gave me a call to chat about his upcoming DirectX 10 performance piece.  Inevitably he snuck in some questions about the iPhone, but the thing he wanted to know the most was "is the screen as good as it looks in the commercials?"


It looks that good

The answer is unequivocally yes.  In fact, in taking pictures for this article I had to redo a number of shots because the camera would pick out details in the LCD display that simply weren't visible to the naked eye.  Capturing the beauty of the screen is really a tough job, but it really does look just as good in person as it does in Apple's own commercials/videos. 

The screen also gets every bit as nasty as you'd expect it to, given that the iPhone works by rubbing your fingers all over it.  The unexpected part of it all is that with the backlight on, you can't tell that smudges from three different people are all over the 3.5" screen.  The only time you really notice how disgusting the screen has gotten is when the device is asleep, unfortunately it'll take more than just a wipe of the cleaning cloth to get all the grease off of it.  Apple recommends turning the unit off and using a slightly damp cloth, while avoiding all harsh cleaners/abrasives. 


Uh, ew?

At the same time, the device doesn't feel like a fragile jewel, it feels like what a modern day smartphone should feel like.  It feels like something straight out of Star Trek.  Videos cropped up over the weekend showing all the things you could do to the iPhone without scratching the screen, and honestly when using it you get the impression that you'd really have to try to damage this thing. 

By default the iPhone's brightness is adjusted by an ambient light sensor similar to what's in Apple's MacBook Pro line.  Indoors the display is absolutely beautiful, but obviously things change once you head outdoors.  Outside the display isn't nearly as bad as the Samsung Blackjack, but it gets more difficult to see.  Thankfully it's still usable, despite being washed out. 

Index Pulling its Weight
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  • michael2k - Sunday, July 08, 2007 - link

    Except of course for the keyboard.

    If he unveiled the thing, it would have to be as a small laptop.
    Reply
  • edwinder - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Anand, I never got through your iPhone review...because everything I read is basically Blackberry this, Blackberry that. Just so that you know, not all your readers like/own/used Blackberries, and have found other replacements that suit us more besides a Blackberry (i.e E61). Yes, I know you love your BB's, but hope you can rename your article to reflect the review that you wrote. Nothing wrong with it... but reading your article gave me no basis of which to refer to, hence stopped reading it after a few pages.
    Reply
  • aGoGo - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Exactly,
    I used BB 8700, 8100, 8300 and 8800.. all of them suck, i have to admit that the RIM makes the best "stupid-proof" devices, that can enable you connect to your work email through BES, other than that, every single feature sucks.
    I'm using the Imate Jasjar (HTC Universal) and it can do every single thing the iPhone can do, without the cute looking UI, people wanna use things, not look at them, how many of you are still using Aero glass and DreamScene? Every single person disabled them after one week.
    Reply
  • r33tr33t - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    You can catch bits of Anand's gigantic house as well as his face reflected back in the metallic part of some of the iPhone photos. Reply
  • plinden - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    This time on WiFi, the iPhone comes in about an hour under its estimated 7 hour internet battery life.


    Actually, http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html">here, Apple does claim "up to 6 hours" internet time, so what you're seeing is in line with Apple's claims.

    Yes, I do like my Apple products (3 Macs and two iPods) but I've always taken the battery life claims with a large pinch of salt.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    I know exactly what you're saying; battery life on the MacBook Pro is no where near Apple's 6-hour claims; I'd be lucky to get 2.5 hours of real work on mine.

    Thanks for the correction, I too was shocked to see it actually lasted 6 hours on WiFi. I'm doing some more tests now looking closer at its battery life, so you may see a follow-up article in the near future.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Looks nice, but too big for me. If they can build one around something more like a 2.25" screen that would be sweet.

    Also on the next to last page there is a picture missing of the screen you get to unlock the phone.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Agreed. An iPhone mini could be very interesting but I'm not sure how the keyboard would work out. And I've added the missing image, thanks for the heads up :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • aGoGo - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Blackberry Curve and Blackjack?
    there are better phones to use, how about the HTC Universal? Nokia N95? SE P990i? HTC Athena?
    I really don't know how much this damn thing is gonna cost if it's unlocked? $1000?
    Reply
  • EODetroit - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Holy Comprehensive Review Batman! That took most of my morning at work, good thing its practically a holiday here already.

    Now my question is:

    How many poop pictures has Anand received from the A-Tech staff?

    Haha
    Reply

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