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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  • Locutus465 - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Fortunetly by law every new phone activated as of 2005 must have built in GPS for E-911.. Just one small baby step from there repurposes that GPS for coolness... My i720 allows this. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    Doesn't the law simply require the carrier to be able to determine the location of the phone, but not specify how? Allowing the carriers to determine by distance to cell towers instead of GPS? Reply
  • Locutus465 - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    I beleive GPS is required... At least this is what I was told by a Verizon rep that refused to activate an older phone I had. Reply
  • Cygni - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    GPS is not required by law, yet. Location support IS required, but is already present on nearly every phone made in the last 3 years. Reply
  • plinden - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Complete lack of 3rd party software support?


    Leo Laporte in one of his podcasts this weekend mentioned that he heard there is an SDK for the iPhone that's ready for OS X but not Windows, but Apple (ie Jobs) wants to release both versions at the same time, hence the delay.

    That's just a rumor, but it's almost certain there'll be an SDK at some point, although it's extremely likely, if not certain, that developers will have to go through Apple to get their apps published to the iPhone (ie via iTunes).

    Give it six months, like I'm doing. I'll likely get the 16GB version with 3G when it's available.
    Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    There will need to be good 3rd party support for me to even consider it. There'll also need to be a good (and inexpensive) all in one chat client. And Mahjoong, that's totally a requirement. Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    You should check the Nokia N95, it has the built-in GPS, altough it runs Symbian OS. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Well yes, my phone has built in GPS hardware as well (as do all phone inc. iPhone). It's just missing the app + maps (unless you're sayind the nokia comes with software + maps which would be the bomb). So I would just need that part of the equation. As a matter of fact the Samsung i720 also allows you to use the phone as a plain old GPS device, so really if I wanted to I could potentially blue tooth it to a laptop for instance and go that route. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Oh yeah, on the i720 to set an MP3 as your ring tone you just need to browse to it in flie explorer, tap and hold ("right click" in Windows Mobile) and select "Set as ringtone" :)

    Automatically copies to \Windows\Rings and sets the song as your ringtone :D
    Reply
  • CaptainDDL - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    Could you take a picture of what the iPhone shows when you're trying to connect to a secure Wi-Fi connection? Thanks. Reply

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