I waited in line, I bought two, I didn't even get a chance to play with mine because I was already taking the other one apart by the time I got home.  In the middle of taking one apart, I activated mine and used it enough to get frustrated with the keyboard.  I then spent the next three days using it, running down its battery and writing about it. 

For the past two weeks I haven't had a normal cell phone experience; I've been testing the Samsung Blackjack or the Blackberry Curve, both great phones but reviewing is very different than using.  Half the time when I'd go out I'd have a stopwatch around my neck, waiting for my phone's battery to die.  For the really long tests, I wouldn't even have a phone on me, it'd be back at my desk looping through webpages trying to simulate real world usage. 

You're sick of hearing about the iPhone?  I'm sick of working on the iPhone, I just want to use it already. 

 

My frustrations aren't out of hatred for the product, that couldn't be further from the truth.  For the first time in over 10 years of writing for AnandTech, I didn't want to be in this industry.  I wanted to be writing about cars or flowers or kittens and cheezburgers; I wanted to be in some completely unrelated industry so that the iPhone could launch and I could spend the weekend enjoying it, not trying to break it, test it and find its flaws as quickly as possible. 

But it seems all I needed was perspective; during my review process my cousin called me, I didn't answer because my phone was in the middle of a battery life test.  I called him back and explained the situation, after getting hassled for not answering my cell phone for the past few days.  He then told me that I must have it rough, having to sit at my desk and play with cell phones all day. 

I don't know why reviewing the iPhone was any different for me, I've been just as excited about other products in the past.  Part of it may be that Apple kept all of us in suspense, the majority of press included.  Review samples were rarer than Barcelona and the product itself had the potential to really shake an industry. 

Then there was the issue of having to wait in line for what was ultimately a telephone, there are few things that I've voluntarily done that have made me feel like that. 

But the end result is quite good.  The iPhone isn't perfect, I can tell you that now (for more reasons than only supporting Edge), but it's a huge step in the right direction.  At the same time it's a great product today and while not for everyone, its impact on the industry will be tremendous. 

In the coming pages we'll walk through the iPhone, looking at what it does right and what it does wrong.  We'll figure out what it needs, and maybe what we could expect in the near term from Apple.  We'll look at its competitors; the argument that the iPhone does nothing new is valid, but is that ultimately what matters?  And we'll look ahead to the long term significance of the iPhone and where Apple wants to take it. 

An Ode to the Screen
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  • slashbinslashbash - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    Love the Group X reference.

    And once again Anand reminds me why I read Anandtech and don't really visit any other tech sites. He covers everything I want to know in a way that other reviewers can't.

    It's strange but I guess understandable that the iPhone doesn't use AIM/iChat/etc. AT&T (and any other carrier for that matter) would rather not have the iPhone than give up the lucrative SMS plans. But I doubt it will be long before there's a web-based AJAXy AIM client that will run beautifully on the iPhone and only use the data plan, not SMSes.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    I'm glad people got the reference and didn't just think that there was something horribly wrong with me :)

    I don't want a web based AIM client, I want AIM support from Apple in the same fashion as SMS support on the iPhone. Dammit Steve, you know it'd be awesome.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Zirconium - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    I don't want Apple's iPhone, I just want BANG BANG BANG!!! Reply
  • frank5592 - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    get to top of web page by double tapping the gray top menu bar

    Very helpful for long web pages

    Great review, very impressive work and by far the best review of the iphone

    BTW, typing this on iphone safari and noticing that predictive typing is some what slow and does not always show up
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the tip and the comment, I've updated the review :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Chaotic42 - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    Seriously, this was an *excellent* review. I don't even have a cell phone and I couldn't have cared less about the iPhone before I read this, but I was bored. This answered every question that I or anyone I've talked to about the phone has had, and it was a great read. It makes me want one now.

    *Very* well done, Anand.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Thank you so much for your kind post, there's no better feeling than pouring a lot of work into an article and getting a response like that. Thanks again :)

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

    Agreed, your iPhone review was totally outstanding. You covered everything and then some and took the time to explain each feature in a way that anyone can understand.

    Another great review Anand. Told me everything I wanted to know about the iPhone.

    Reply
  • michael2k - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    It sounds like you will want an iPhone if:
    1) You have $600
    2) You like the iPod
    3) You like Star Trek: The Next Generation

    The only thing missing is voice recognition! And flexible roll up displays.
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    As a long-time Star Trek fan and someone who regards The Next Generation as the best of the series, I have to say I'm not at all interested in the iPhone.

    Two primary reasons:

    - Price. For $500 and a 2yr contract, what it brings to the table above and beyond its competitors is less than compelling, IMO.

    - AT&T only. Screw that. I'm never buying a phone with which only one carrier is available.
    Reply

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