"Accept No Imitations"4.5 starson by Starfires
Pros: Remarkable multi-touch interface
App store offering endless applications
Safari web-browser is very usable
Easy to sync with Mac or PC (I've found)
16 Gig storage
Built in iPod, easy to use with iTunes
Sleek, ergonomic style
Natural to use
Cons: Limited functionality- no mms, bluetooth almost unusable, no copy and p...,
Camera sucks (no AF!), lack of video
Restrictive service plan (minimum 2 years here in Japan, on Softbank)
Extortionate 3G data fees (again, with Softbank)
Summary: I love my iPhone to pieces. It is a remarkable synergy of features and usability such as I have never before encountered in a phone, such as no other phone can presently offer. The internet is wide-open to it and, more importantly, accessible thanks to Safari and the multi-touch gestures. The way it resizes tet at a touch has tobe seen to be believed... has to be felt to be believed, even.
The app store offers not just games, but dictionaries and educational tools, photo filters, new ways to communicate with people across the world. It is a genuinely new concept, with apps I never even imagined before ('koi pond', for example). Only people who have never usedan iPhone can underestimate just what is taking place here- the birth of a new style of communications device that goes far beyond being a phone and in many ways fixes the unnatural and pretentious traditions of computers- yes, even better than my Macbook does. It is fresh, it is amazing and it is awesomely enjoyable.
Okay, that was the pros part. I will admit that there are many cons, many areas where the technology is actually backwards. I have heard that the iPhone camera is one of the most popular in the world now. There are loads of apps for editing and improving the photos it can take. It is quite a shame, therefore, that it is so terribly.... suckworthy. Yes, 2mp with no autofocus, no macro ability. That means it takes blurry photos of people, and without a magnifying glass (tm) can't even see those little scribbled notes you would like your phone to 'scan' for you. Coming from a two-year old phone with 5mp, 3x optical zoom and automatic, AF with amazing macro abilities, it is certainly a stem¥p down in that department (but not such a big deal as I didn't use that as much as I might do).
Here in Japan the data fees are about the same as I pay for my amazing, 100Mbt broadband... which do you think I'd prefer to use? So for all the conveniences of 3G data, I do my best to turn it off. Also, I can only get phones from other networks' messages through the mail program, which takes time to get them (sometimes hours) and also charges if not on Wifi. All this makes it less usable than it could be. On top of this, despite having bluetooth, it won't accept sending or recieving address cards wth other phones this way. No IR for that matter- which is enough to put many Japanese off it (the 8gig was just made free here today for the next few months to try and change some minds, let's see if it works).
Then there are the other niggles- no stereo over bluetooth- which would be just great with the iPod, no copy and... Basic things that the hardware could do, but is stopped by the otherwise glorious OS from doing- one wonders why? Laziness or the search for an elegant solution, or perhaps even some hardware limitations I haven't thought of? Whatever the case, I hope for updates to fix it.
So yes there are downsides, the camera maybe being the most major one, when one looks at these smart phones as technology showcases. Yet, these are only in some areas. The CPU is extremely capable compared to other phones, making some excellent games possible and a swift experience on the phone. The Wifi is just fantastic- endless free connection at high speed. Then there is the built-in 16 Gig, making the iPod part very usable, not to mention the syncing with photos too, with a large screen to see them on.
I am pretty sure the next iteration will update the camera, probably along with a front-facing one for video-calling, and bump up the screen resolution. No doubt sooner or later the other niggles will be solved, too. But all this misses the point. The attraction of the iPhone is in what it does, now, so well. Not what it could do, or special features you don't really use because they are so inaccessible... everything on it is very, very enjoyable to use. It just means I carry my G9 camera around with me wherever I go... which is anyway better than any camera-phone in existance (they all sound better than they are in the photo quality stakes) and at least I don't need a seperate iPod:)