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Apple iPhone Review


Let me say first, if you like the design and operation of the video iPods, you will enjoy the iPhone. The iPhone is an innovative new smart-phone device. Keep in mind there is no single cellphone containing every possible feature available in a compact design. With that said, I can tell you the review of the Apple iPhone has impressed me with their selection of important features and their intuitive design of the new smart-phone. As you may already know, AT&T is the only carrier for the iPhone. The iPhone does not use the usual SIM card and cannot be unlocked.

For activation, the iPhone activated by the user when connected to the iTunes software.

The Apple iPhone has too many features to cover in fine detail. Lets look into the important functions and features.

Hardware - The iPhone has the same sleek design as the video iPods. The iPhone consists of a sturdy metal back cover and a slick black front housing a huge 3.5-inch display. The iPhone is thinner than the Samsung Blackjack, but heavier due to the sturdy design.

On the top there is a sleep mode button to hibernate or wake your iPhone. On the left side of the phone there is a mute switch and a volume control button.

The display is an optical quality glass screen covered by a protective barrier. The barrier appears to prevent scratches but with a touchscreen you will cover it with fingerprints. The fingerprints is not much of an issue. Like other phones I've had in the past, oily fingers leave a mark, but one quick wipe across your shirt or other soft surface cleared it.

On the top of the iPhone, Apple used a standard headphone jack, but for some reason recessed it down inside a hole. While the headphones included with the iPhone sound fine, many other headphones cannot fit into the socket. Apple should have included a small adapter for people already owning some expensive headphones.

The bottom of the iPhone has the standard iPod connector but the phone does not work with all devices made for the iPod. This won't be an issue for long as second party sources work hard to create iPhone adapters.

Touch-Screen - Touch sensitive displays have been around for awhile including small ones in GPS units. The Apple iPhone has what they call a multi-touch display which I felt was very effective and fun to use. When browsing through your music collection, you simply tap on the artist, then tap on the song to start playing. When the phone is flipped horizontally, the display changes automatically and you can browse through album covers. Just a flick with your finger rotates the albums as if they were on a carousel. With pictures you can use two fingers to grab opposite corners and drag together to shrink, or slide apart to enlarge pictures.

Emails are displayed in the typical list format where you can slide your finger down the list then tap to open. When on the email list, you can easily delete them. Just slide your finger left to right across the email and a red delete confirmation box will appear. Press space bar to confirm or tap the email again to cancel. You can view email attachments such as (JPEG, GIF, and TIFF) in-line with the text in email messages. iPhone can also view PDF, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel email attachments. One downfall we found was you cannot cut, copy or paste text. We believe this to be a small issue since the iPhone is a quick mobile office and if you want to work on larger documents with a the functions you are used to, you'll probably bring your notebook along.

There are no dedicated buttons to reach emails, music and other functions in one click. You can touch the single button below the screen to reach the main menu then select your application. However we did prefer the the clean design and colorful icons on a large screen more than having a cluster of buttons across the front to reach applications one second faster.

Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard has nice large keys and they enlarge as you touch them. While some people have reported problems using the quick two thumb typing, we found it to be not bad. The touch sensitivity takes some getting used to as you no longer feel the click of a button and we did find ourselves typing double keystrokes. But believe me it gets easier with practice.

Internet Browsing - One nice feature with the large screen was the ability to browse any web page like a computer and not forced to view mobile web pages. You can move left, right, up or down across webpages then tap to zoom in on any section. The iPhone has Apple's Safari browser with Google and Yahoo! search built-in. I did find the web browsing to be quite good on the large crisp screen. While the iPhone is obviously not like a widescreen notebook, we did find the Apple iPhone was very effective at browsing the web.

While browsing webpages looked good, the iPhone uses the EDGE network which is far slower than the fastest networks offered by Verizon, Sprint and even AT&T other data network. One thing the iPhone does have is WiFi capability. The iPhone transfers data much faster than the Edge data network. It can search and find WiFi hotspots then automatically switch over.

Another nice feature was the Google maps reached by an icon on the main menu. The map can easily be moved by sliding your finger around while each tap would zoom in closer. The Google map also has the satellite button, one click and I was viewing satellite images, after a couple taps I had zoomed onto the building I was currently in. The only thing lacking was a GPs unit, but I think anyone can find their location with a map in hand. Just as Apple's website shows, you can search the map, for example - a type of restaurant and display them. You then can locate the closest one on the map, tap to open details and tap to call the establishment.

Music and Video - The music player is attractive and easy. Like the iPod you can easily change the volume, fast forward across a song and skip to the next track. With the big screen you can display album cover art for the music you are playing along with the audio controls.

The large video screen is impressive to watch. As with the video iPod the screen has a brilliant clarity that allows watching any content very pleasing and even more so since it is larger than the iPod.

Conclusion - Despite a few minor limits, the Apple iPhone excels as a new standard of smartphone. Its slick design and solid construction give a quality feel. The large display with colorful icons make it very easy to reach any function you need. Compared with standard cellphones that forced you to search through various menus to reach your desired application, we feel the iPhone is easier for the new users as well as technology gadgeteers. Its obvious with the success of the iPod that third party manufacturers will be developing countless interfaces to work with the Apple iPhone. We really enjoyed playing with the iPhone and Apple sets a benchmark to be improved upon. With people flocking to purchase them, I would anticipate Apple to improve them to keep their market edge. With Apple making a supposed over 50% profit margin on the phone I think Apple will keep up on the game. There will always be a better product coming, but right now, this is it.

Recommended - Yes, A gotta have tech gadget.

Price - $499

Calling Plans - You'll need to sign up for a 2-year service agreement. Plans start at $59.99 and include Visual Voicemail and Unlimited Data—email and web—and 200 SMS text messages (you can add more text messages for a little more a month). You can browse the Internet and send emails as often as you like without being charged extra.

 

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