From the moment Apple announced its
at Macworld 2007, the tech world hasn't stopped asking questions.
Because Apple has kept many iPhone details under wraps until very recently, we've been forced to speculate. Until
now. Is the iPhone pretty? Absolutely. Is it easy to use? Certainly. Does it live up to the stratospheric hype? Not so
much. Don't get us wrong, the iPhone is a lovely device with a sleek interface, top-notch music and video features, and
innovative design touches. The touch screen is easier to use than we expected, and the multimedia performs well. But a
host of missing features, a dependency on a sluggish EDGE network, and variable call quality--it is a
us wanting more. For those reasons, the iPhone is noteworthy not for what it does, but how it does it. If you want an
iPhone badly, you probably already have one. But if you're on the fence, we suggest waiting for the second-generation
handset. Even with the new $399 price for the 8GB model (down from an original price of $599), it's still a lot to ask for a
phone that lacks so many features and locks you into an iPhone-specific two-year contract with
. We'll be more
excited once we see a version with--at the very least--multimedia messaging and 3G.
On with the review: the iPhone boasts a brilliant display, trim profile, and clean lines (no external antenna of course),
and its lack of buttons puts it in a design class that even the
can't match. You'll win
envious looks on the street toting the iPhone, and we're sure that would be true even if the phone hadn't received as
much media attention as it has. We knew that it measures 4.5 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.46 inch deep, but it
still felt smaller than we expected when we finally held it. In comparison, it's about as tall and as wide as a
, but it manages to be thinner than even the trend-setting
. It fits comfortably in the hand and when
held to the ear, and its 4.8 ounces give it a solid, if perhaps weighty, feel. We also like that the display is glass rather
The iPhone's display is the handset's design showpiece and is noteworthy for not only what it shows, but also how you
use it. We'll start off with its design. At a generous 3.5 inches, the display takes full advantage of the phone's size, while
its 480x320 pixel resolution (160 dots per inch) translates into brilliant colors, sharp graphics, and fluid movements.
In true Apple style, the iPhone's menu interface is attractive, intuitive, and easy to use. In the main menu, a series of
colored icons call out the main functions. Icons for the phone menu, the mail folder, the Safari Web browser, and the
iPod player sit at the bottom of the screen, while other features such as the camera, the calendar, and the settings are
displayed above. It's easy to find all features, and we like that essential features aren't buried under random menus.
Fluid animation takes you between different functions, and you can zip around rather quickly.