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
POST A COMMENT

82 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now