updated 08:20 pm EDT, Tue June 26, 2007
New iPhone reviews
David Pogue and Stephen Levy have now reviewed the iPhone, both saying it largely lives up to the massive hype generated since its announcement at the Macworld Expo in January. We previously noted a review from The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who said that the device "sets a new bar for the smart-phone industry." Levy notes that while many of the iPhone's functions can be replicated on other devices, they could not be accomplished with nearly the same ease-of-use. He says "I've had a Motorola handset for two years and am still baffled at its weird approach to Web browsing and messaging." Levy reports some frustration with the iPhone keyboard, however, sentiment echoed by David Pogue. Both columnists note that the text entry method is initially frustrating, requiring some concentration, with Pogue noting "The BlackBerry won't be going away anytime soon."
One interesting point identified by Levy -- who reviews for Newsweek -- is that the iPhone feels warm when pressed against the cheek; "Not laptop-catch-on-fire hot. But still." Levy also ran into some troubles with email, which was sometimes blocked incoming or could not be sent -- apparently a problem with the ISP blocking port 25. He also takes issue with Jobs' claim that the iPhone is the "best iPod ever", noting that the device is not ideal for the gym (like the iPod Shuffle) and offers one-tenth the storage of the highest-capacity video iPod.
Meanwhile, Pogue -- writing for the New York Times -- laments that it can take as many as six steps to make a phone call: "wake the phone, unlock its buttons, summon the Home screen, open the Phone program, view the Recent Calls or speed-dial list, and select a name." He also reports that call quality is only average -- largely dependent on location.
With regard to battery life, Levy says the iPhone delivered 14 hours, including six hours of talking, Web-browsing, music-listening and the viewing of television shows. Pogue found that one battery charge was enough for 8 hours of calls, 7 hours of video or 24 hours of audio