Pulling its Weight

In preparing for this review I spent quite a bit of time with Samsung's Blackjack, and honestly it still takes the cake as far as form factor and weight are concerned.  Apple's iPhone is slightly thinner (-0.4mm) and 1mm longer/wider than the Blackjack, making it pretty darn close to what felt to me like the perfect smartphone form factor.  Where the iPhone falls short is in its weight; while the Blackjack weighs in at 3.5 oz (99g), the iPhone is a hefty 4.8 oz (135g).  While we're talking fairly small numbers here, the difference is noticeable.  The added weight is by no means a deal breaker, but keep in mind that the iPhone is heavier than the Blackberry Curve in a device that's about the same size as the Blackjack; in other words, it's dense.


From left to right: Apple iPhone, Samsung Blackjack, Blackberry Curve

The heft of the device makes one handed operation difficult, something that is made even tougher by the touch-screen interface.  In comparison, the Blackjack feels far more natural with only a single hand, just like a plain old cell phone. 


From front to back: Apple iPhone, Samsung Blackjack, Blackberry Curve

Thankfully Apple went with a brushed aluminum exterior for the back of the iPhone, meaning we don't get the fingerprint ridden mess that has plagued some of the flashier iPods.  The shiny metal rim around the glass screen does collect its fair share of grease, nicks and scratches, but there's not much you can do about that. 


From Top to Bottom: Apple iPhone, Samsung Blackjack, Blackberry Curve

The device itself looks quite stylish, making even recently released smartphones and Blackberries seem archaic by comparison.  A perfect marriage of a gorgeous screen and great industrial design, the iPhone is the first mobile phone I've used that feels like it was truly designed for 2007. 

An Ode to the Screen Simplicity Perfected
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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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