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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  • icruise - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Excellent review that (surprisingly, given that this is a very tech-oriented site) "got" what the iPhone is about. It may not be the perfect cell phone, but it's certainly an amazing one, and the first really fresh take on the concept that we've seen in a long long time.

    One quibble, however. The review states that Yahoo charges $3 a month for push email support. Yahoo does in fact provide free IMAP push email to anyone using a Yahoo Mail account on the iPhone. However, there appears to be some issues involved in the implementation and I couldn't find any mention of using push email with Yahoo in the Apple documentation, which may be why the reviewer didn't realize this.

    It seems that if you have any other email accounts active on the iPhone, push email doesn't work reliably. It may take quite a while (many minutes) to show up. I tested this on my iPhone and when I had my Yahoo Mail account as the only active account, messages sent to it showed up pretty much instantaneously. When I enabled the other accounts, that changed, whether I had mail checking set to "manual" or a special interval. So in short, I think the iPhone's push capability is there, but they haven't quite ironed out the bugs. Hopefully they will do this soon with a software update, and also enable push email for .Mac mail as well.
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Saturday, July 07, 2007 - link

    How bout horizontal/landscape mode for the keyboard? With all this talk about fingers not being small enough for crammed keys, I'm blown away this wasn't addressed. Based on the aspect ratio of the keyboard in front of me, and the aspect ratio of the iphone, I don't see why you'd possibly want to type in portrait mode. Reply
  • ViperV990 - Friday, July 06, 2007 - link

    I'm curious if meebo.com (a web-based multi-protocol IM) works on the iPhone. Can anyone please give this a try and report back? Reply
  • Icehawk - Monday, July 09, 2007 - link

    Great article, I really hadn't read or watched too much on the iPhone so it was nice to see it all laid out clearly.

    Sadly the phone, like my Tivo S3, is missing some very basic features (voice activation?!) and has some weird ergonomic misses.

    However I think this is a big deal, if the interface is as much of advance overall as it sounds that is big. IMO the next major advance computing (and these MFDs by extension) is the interface - we are still using pretty much the same paradigms as 20 years ago.
    Reply
  • Calista - Friday, July 06, 2007 - link

    Hi Anand!

    I would like to know how you judge the value of the iphone. We fully understand that you find it an awesome device but it's no denial that it's also a fairly expensive and $600 will buy you both a normal feature phone (2MP cam and the rest) and a well-working internet-tablet like the Nokia N800 - which by the way support up to 16 GB of memory, carry a screen with higher resolution than the Iphone and support Skype. It's another device to carry for sure, but only another 200 grams and it can be left safely in your home when doing things more ..action-packed than sipping coffee at Starbucks.

    Quite frankly, I would feel fairly uncomfortable carrying a $600 device in my pants all the time.
    Reply
  • Justin Case - Friday, July 06, 2007 - link

    I'm sure you realise there's an obvious joke lurking in that last sentence... ;-) Reply
  • Justin Case - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    Any chance of a comparison with the Qtek 9000 or Nokia's N700...? Reply
  • 2ManyOptions - Thursday, July 05, 2007 - link

    Why the hate? Its not something which you can totally reject or totally throw like trash ! It does look good when compared to it's competitors.

    The price tag for the iPhone is an individual's concern. If he/she thinks spending 700$ on iPhone is cool, so be it, i wouldn't lose anything !! Does that mean the person who bought an iPhone is stupid?? I wudn't agree with that, its his money n his idea of fun n spending.

    I would like to buy something like an iPhone but not unless its below 250$ or something like that...And maybe something new, something better than iPhone will pop up by then.
    Good marketing by Apple though.
    Reply
  • Koing - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    to pick the 4GB instead of the 8GB version! :P Reply
  • aGoGo - Wednesday, July 04, 2007 - link

    http://www.unwiredview.com/2007/07/04/htc-omni-pic...">HTC Omni

    If Steve was holding this phone a million idiot will be standing in line from now till October :p
    Reply

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