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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  • tuteja1986 - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    alot of features are missing :!
    Bluetooth is crippled
    Virtual keyboard onlys works good with Web browser since its horizontal. keyboard sucks
    Does not have 3G
    battery life is 4hrs talk time.. unable to change battery. black berry 8800 can do 10hrs+
    Digital camera is very basic compared to high quality camera used in phone like Nokia N95.
    No support for 3rd party application
    Its has edge connection which sucks
    no support for HDSPA
    No GPS
    No IM program
    No widget support
    Not able to abstract the image anywhere.. sending image through email reduces it low res which sucks :(

    The only awesome thing about iphone i think its interface , the screen and the ipod video/music feature which works. The phone is certinaly not worth $600 and can be sold for $350 and apple can still make a decent profit.
    Reply
  • plinden - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    quote:

    battery life is 4hrs talk time.

    Where is 4 hour talk time mentioned. Anand didn't mention talk time, did he? He did get 6-7 hours with wifi.

    Just about every other reviewer got 7 hours or more talk time, close to what Apple claims.
    Reply
  • tuteja1986 - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    Comfired by latest TWIT episode :! TWIT networks has the biggest apple fanboys ever :)
    http://www.twit.tv/TWiT">http://www.twit.tv/TWiT

    but I sorry to burst you bubble but read the review by mobile phone professionals.
    http://www.wirelessinfo.com/content/Apple-iPhone-C...">http://www.wirelessinfo.com/content/App...one-Cell...

    Also ain't a anti apple but people buying it for so many reason as its calling the revolutionary phone which is not in tech wise , features but is revolution in only in UI design.
    Reply
  • sviola - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    YEah, the Nokia N95 is an excelent phone, here are some of it's features.

    In-built GPS and Navigation Program (over 100+ countries maps)
    5 MP Camera with Zeiss Lens and Optical Zoom, and Video Recording
    Symbian OS
    Plays MP3, video, etc
    Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, TV out
    Quadriband GSM/WCDMA (3G)
    MicroSD Card Reader

    I would like to see an anand review on it and a comparative against the iPhone.
    Reply
  • vectersmith - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    I have enjoyed the iPhone thoroughly and agree that while it is not perfect, for what it does do it does better far and above anything else.

    Edge speed is slow, but bearable (barely). Wi-Fi is must better, although I still have sites that just hang and I have to hit the X button and reload.

    The UI is breathtaking, earth shattering, and will revolutionize the smartphone industry. It has too, once you use the iPhone everything else seems like fruitcake for Christmas (no offense intended to those that enjoy fruitcake on Christmas). I find myself just taking it out of my pocket to slide the unlock and see if anything is new :)

    Also I will agree with Anand about the SMS, you really have to watch out what you are doing as having a conversation is just painless which causes those SMS message count the fly up :)
    Reply
  • kilkennycat - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    ....how long did you take to compose the review and how much sleep did you get in the process? Did you work from a pre-written plan? Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - link

    Thanks :)

    I wrote the whole thing in about 24 hours, but the testing took a lot longer obviously. As with all my articles I have a very high level outline, but what ended up being written was significantly larger than even I expected it to be. My initial outline had something around 10 - 15 pages long, then by 3AM Monday morning I estimated it would be around 20 pages and by the time it published I realized it was going to be just shy of 30.

    I had to cut out a lot of additional material from the review just in the interest of time, and I took another 6 or 7 hours working on it to try and make sure I was keeping the attention of the reader throughout the piece (hopefully it worked :)...). There's enough extra content that I didn't use for at least two more articles, but I'm not sure what the demand will be for that so who knows if it'll ever get used.

    As far as sleep goes, I don't sleep much in general when I'm working but the iPhone weekend was ridiculous. I went to bed Saturday night, woke up Sunday and didn't get to bed again until 4AM Tuesday morning. Needless to say, sleeping last night was the most amazing thing ever.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • oopyseohs - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    This is definitely the best article I have ever read on AnandTech or on anything technology related in general. Also, it is nice to see that someone else exhibits the same behavior I do when writing major articles! Reply
  • DerekWilson - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    I'm sure Anand is finally getting some sleep after a grueling weekend with the iPhone, taking only the occasional nap so as not to die.

    And a pre-written plan? naah, Anand's just that good :-)
    Reply
  • ninjit - Monday, July 02, 2007 - link

    Argh, looks like everyone bogged down the image server.

    I just happened to hit refresh right when the article went live, and was happily reading it for the first 10 pages, but now none of the images are load for page 10 onwards.

    grrrr
    Reply

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