updated 07:45 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2007
Mossberg reviews iPhone
In his early review of the iPhone, technology guru Walt Mossberg said the device was "a beautiful and breakthrough handheld computer," despite some flaws and feature omissions. The review says that the much-anticipated device, which goes on sale on Friday, "sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry," citing its clever finger-touch interface in place of commonly used stylus and button; however, interface sometimes adds steps to common functions, the review said. Mossberg also noted that AT&T's EDGE wireless network is somewhat unreliable and slow, but compliments Apple on the internet browsing experience, "robust" email software, the slim form factor, 'impressive" battery life ("better than its key competitors claim"), hi-res screen ("gorgeous screen makes other smart phones look primitive"), large memory capacity, and the ability to easily sync with both Macs and PCs via Apple's iTunes software. Interestingly, the reviewer achieved a battery life of 7 hrs 18 min, coming close to Apple's 8-hour battery life claim.
The review also said that the omission of a physical keyboard -- in favor of a virtual on-screen keyboard was not a downside; in fact, the review claims that that after five days of use, the reviewer was able to type quickly and accurately as his Palm Treo -- mostly due to Apple's smart software that corrects typing errors on-the-fly; however, other smartphones offer better prediction software, Mossberg noted.
On the downside, the iPhone cannot be upgraded to work on AT&T's faster 3G mobile network, although it does automatically switch to use Wi-Fi wireless networks when in range. The iPhone may not be compatible with some iPod accessories, including headphones (which may require an adapter) and and some car adapters for playing music (though it will work for charging), although the review said that Apple is considering a software update to fix this.