iPhone mini-review

So I got the new iPhone on Friday… here’s a cursory review of plusses and minuses.


Form Factor
Comfortable in the hand, not too heavy or light.
Smooth edges, and the glass screen is comfortable to use.
There are only 5 buttons on the whole thing: volume up/down and mute switch on the side, sleep button on the top, and home button on the front.
Headphone jack is functional (guess the last version of the iPhone had issues)

Bright, crisp, nice.
Some people have complained that Apple shifted the color temp to be warmer than the previous iPhone, which is slightly yellow from absolute white, but it’s subtle, not really enough to complain about. Since it’s just a system variable, maybe they will release an update that lets you pick color temp.

Decent sound from such small speakers.

Unimpressive. It’s 2MP, which is about as low as you can go and not be blurry as hell.
About average for American cellphones, but on the low end for international (where 5MP is common).
There is no video capture, not sure if that’s a software or hardware limitation.
If it’s a software limitation, I can see that being added by a firmware update or 3rd party app.

Docking Port
This is typical Apple-dicking-you-ness. It uses the same port as my iPod, so the sync and charging cables I have work fine… except for the car adaptor. The iPhone says “this cable was not designed for the iPhone” when I plug it in. Typical of Apple, they have a chip in the accessories that prevents them from working with other devices that they OUGHT to work with.

So I had to buy a new 12v voltage adaptor. Which is weird – the power comes from a 12v car -> USB adaptor. The old one didn’t work, but the new one does. Wouldn’t USB be the same voltage either way? I suspect it’s a chip in there somewhere telling it to work or not. Stupid Apple.


The App Store
The App Store is fantastic. It could use some more organization, perhaps, but has tons of apps and the developers set the prices. Some apps are free, but the average price for most apps is $5-$10. Not bad.

This is something Apple really needs to work on. Granted, I’m installing a whole mess of 3rd party apps, but sometimes if an app goes down, then every subsequent app seems to crash on launch. The solution for this seems to be to power the iPhone down for 20 minutes or so, then power up again. I’m guessing this has less to do with 3rd party apps, and more to do with the underlying stability of the iPhone OS.

Built-in Apps
These are pretty good. As I mentioned before, no video capture, not sure if that’s a hardware or software limitation.

Very nice, though really needs Flash support. Adobe, Apple, kiss and make up, and make this happen.

Pretty good, but wish that it showed more data. There are plenty of ID3 tags that it doesn’t show, and song names are truncated with “…” if they are too long. Also, if you are listening to music, to pause it, you have to unlock the phone, tap iPod if you don’t have it running, then tap pause. Not as quick as an iPod where you just hit the Play/Pause button.

Oh, it’s a Phone, too

Actually, I barely use it as a phone, but the couple times I did, it worked nicely. Even though my AT&T signal isn’t great, it’s better than the reception I got with T-Mobile.