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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  • jay401 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    from page 11:
    quote:

    Tell me that's not the best looking PDF on a mobile phone you've ever seen


    If I could read any of the incredibly tiny text in that picture, maybe I would be able to. ;P
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Seriously, the PDF looked shockingly good. Once you stretch to zoom in so you can actually read the slides, it's amazing. Yes, I realized being excited about how good a PDF looks on a phone is silly, but I figure after waiting in line for five hours for said phone, I've got nothing more to lose :)

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

    You can't make videos on the phone, you can't copy/paste, there's no IM client, you can't replace the battery on your own, you can't add applications to it, there's no Flash/Java support, it's heavy and the list goes on. But here's the catch: there isn't a phone out today (smart or not) that doesn't have at least as long of a list of issues.

    But for a price tag like this, I expect a shorter list. And unfortunately, many of the things on this list are important to me.

    Still, after being so skeptic about the iphone, I'd still like to have one (yea, it does have this star trek datapad feeling!!) but due to the flaws and shortcomings, i'll just wait for the next incarnation that will most likely hit the street within a year.

    I dont believe in early adopting gear from a company with zero experience on this particular field, and while apple did most of their homework, my motto (rightfully) stands.

    The next iphone will most likely be much better suited for me.
    Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Comic Sans? Really? Reply
  • plinden - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    No - http://www.searchfreefonts.com/fonts/m9.htm">Marker Felt Thin Reply
  • mongo lloyd - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Oh ok. Equally terrible font, I'd say. Is that a standard-use font for Apple? Yikes to that. Reply
  • Sunrise089 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Lots of personality, info that wasn't just a run down of specs, and best of all telepathy.

    I was actually thinking while I read this "I wonder if I'd be able to watch TopGear clips on this, since often they get pulled from Youtube. I scroll down the page, and see Clarkson staring back at me. Amazing.

    One more thing, about the homeless guy's choice between the Enzo and the Veyron - between ugly and boring, I don't know which I'd pick either. After all these years, McLaren F1 FTW!
    Reply
  • Yongsta - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Nice Review, the iphone sounds great but $600 is out of my budget. Hopefully Apple in the future releases new types of iphone's at affordable prices. Maybe Samsung/Nokia/Motorola will try to make a copycat phone but they probably cant match Apple's UI. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    I do love the looks of the iPhone... However if everything I hear about it is true then it would not interest me. Complete lack of 3rd party software support? If this is true then yikes! I've got my Windows Mobile phone running with quite a bit of 3rd party software and for me that's a huge must... Like my Trillian like all in one chat client, Pocket Putty, CISCO VPN client and of course, pocket mahjoong (spelling?).

    Also, I've heard for a closed system they missed the boat on what would be some truely killer features (which could be solved via allowing 3rd party software). For instance it has (google?) maps, yet from what I hear no GPS integration? Why not? At least in windows mobile you have options (though yes, it's not built into that platform either).

    It would however, be nice to see more cell companies consentrate on end user experience... It's appriciated that is for sure.
    Reply
  • rcc - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    killer features (which could be solved via allowing 3rd party software). For instance it has (google?) maps, yet from what I hear no GPS integration? Why not? At least in windows mobile you have options (though yes, it's not built into that platform either).


    If there is no GPS hardware built into a device, 3rd party software won't help. You have to have the hardware receiver built in.
    Reply

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