"Made for the lowest common denominator..."2.0 starson by greystone7
Pros: Anyone can use it...
Well done touch screen
Cons: Inability to truly customize UI
Inability to consistantly connect with Siri
Poor syncing to iCloud
Virtual keyboards are awful...period
Limited to Apple store
No replaceable battery
iFans drinking the hype Kool-Aid
Summary: I'll write my review and then get blasted by the brainwashed masses, but maybe someone will actually consider the validity of these points.
I've used many different types of cell phones, smart phones, Macs, PCs, tablets, terminals, PDAs, and other tech devices over the past 30 years (and no, I'm not an old fogey set in my ways. I'm 38 and just appreciate good technology). I mention this, not thinking that my opinion is better than anyone else's, but I flatter myself that I can offer an unbiased opinion coming from a broad base of experience.
Apple is, by far, the greatest marketing entity of all time. Let's look at things one at a time:
Phone - sound quality is decent, but not exceptional. Various phone features are intuitive and work well.
Screen - above average, but there are bigger and better out there.
Camera - quality is good
Available apps - certainly the largest selection of apps. Some of these are useful. Many are cool to use once or twice. Most are useless. The good ones are all available on other platforms.
Siri - Good voice command implementation, when it connects. I'm sure Apple will work this out over time. Functionally, this is nothing new.
iCloud - Mediocre to poor implementation. I've had a great deal of difficulty with consistant syncing on certain file types (particularly with Google).
Keyboard - better than average virtual keyboard implementation. But that that's like saying the prettiest, ugly chick. You'll get used to it if you're used to physical keyboards, but tests with virtual have consistantly shown that you'll never achieve the typing speed you can with a physical keyboard. Your error rate will also be significantly higher with the virtual. Just the facts, folks. I'll add the citations later when I bother to dig them up. Don't get me started on auto correct. Some funny results when sending personal texts. Some horrific results when sending texts to colleagues and clients. I'll never understand why Apple allows corrections to insert profanity and crude language.
Fit and finish - It's pretty. The materials, however, are not particularly durable. I'd strongly recommend a protective cover for the sides and back and a protective screen for the front. Let me clarify. Get the protective covers or be prepared to have a beat up looking device within a month. And that's coming from someone who babies his electronics.
UI - Okay, this is where I get flamed. The UI is great if you have never used an electronic device before. It is built for the lowest common denominator, meaning, anyone can use this device. If you have used a computer....ever...you'll have to live within the limitations and learn to compromise. No real customization for you! Your iPhone is going to look like everyone elses. Understand, that this is the primary direction from Apple. Their products are built for the masses, so if you're even a little bit tech savvy, you're going to be frustrated. I know that the iFans are going to jump all over me and say that this is really "ease of use" and simplicity, "elegence of design", if you will. Umm, it's not. It's giving minimal functionality, flexibility, and customization to ensure users will not be confused by too many options. If that works for you, have at it.
Misc - Crappy battery life. Barely makes it through the day, and yes, I make sure all of the apps I open are truly closed and not hiding on me ;)
Conclusion - Overall this phone is a close to average. Some of the features are above average, and some are below. There's nothing really revolutionary here. All of the "new" features have been around for a year or two in other phones.
I tried to join the club, become an iFan, but I just can't do it. There's too many limitations and too many, better for me, options out there. The real functionality is nothing new, and while this implementation is pretty, I find it to be a bit more of style over substance. This became my wife's phone, and she's very satisfied. If you're not very technical, I'm sure you'll be very happy. If you're technical at all, you'll need something a bit more powerful.
*To all of the "technical" iPhone fans: Before you get all in a twist because of this assessment, be honest and ask yourself if I'm not just speaking truth.