iPhone Review

iPhone in Terry White's hand See my NEW iPhone 3G S Review Here from June 2009.

See my iPhone 3G review from July 2008.

If you are interested in my first generation iPhone review from June 2007 read on… Let me start off by saying that while I'm a fan of Apple's success and products, I'm not one of those people that blindly apologizes for their products no matter what. I'll be the first to say that something works or it doesn't. My friends and many of you come to me all the time because they want my HONEST assessment. So I wanted a couple of days with the iPhone to really take it through its paces and see if this new phone is what it's hyped up to be. You must also understand that there isn't a smartphone out there that I think is perfect. As a matter of fact before the iPhone there were basically 4 smartphone OS's, Palm, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows Mobile. I stuck with Palm because it was the lessor of the 4 evils or the one that sucks least. Palm has a UI (user interface) that hasn't changed much in several years. Basically zero innovation. However, there are thousands of apps to extend the functionality of the Palm OS. Blackberry doesn't have a touch screen or tap screen. You have to do everything via the keypad/thumb wheel. Also the Blackberry's I considered had no multimedia functions (camera, video, etc.) Symbian looked very promising, but I was frightened away mostly by EVERYONE saying how sloooooow it was and that there were very few apps for it. My friend Colin Smith's phone locked up on him just last week right in front of me. Windows mobile seemed to have stability issues. My Treo would lock up (needing a soft reset) at least once every other day. Palm didn't put enough RAM in the 650 and the Bluetooth implementation was pathetic (requiring special headsets to be compatible). I've complained about this for months. A PHONE SHOULDN'T LOCK UP! I was all set to dump the 650 and move on to a newer model back in January, but I decided to wait and go to the Steve Jobs Macworld keynote first. Well it's a good thing I did, because that's when the iPhone was first unveiled. The reason that there is so much hype around the iPhone is simple. Most phones suck today! I don't know a single person who loves their cell phone/smartphone. Everyone is different and therefore has different needs. No one device will satisfy everyone 100%. Apple decided to step outside the box and create something unique and FUN. Apple has a long history of getting UI right and the user experience right. So of course the idea that they were going to create a phone got a lot of attention, maybe more than they deserved. With that said, the iPhone is NOT perfect by any means. No smartphone is. No regular cell phone is either. It's not the second coming or the cure for cancer. What I like about the iPhone is that it is BETTER than every other phone I've used and it's actually fun to use and navigate. People want to quickly discount eye candy. Think about it. We love eye candy. We love animation. We love video. Otherwise we'd be content just reading text with no pictures, never watching a movie or TV and seeing everything in black and white with no color. We're visual beings. So the iPhone is appealing because it uses and stimulates our sense of touch and sight. I love it when people yell, "it's just a phone!" 


On to the full review…

I decided to do my review of the iPhone separated by the areas of the phone itself. So here's what I like and what I don't like about each area of the iPhone:  Phone "It's the phone stupid!" The killer app on the iPhone has to be the phone. At the end of the day, it has to make and receive calls. It has to be loud enough and easy enough to use as a phone. One of the first things besides reception quality that is important to me is call volume. My cell phone has to be loud enough so that I can hear it in busy airports, walking down the street, etc. The Treo 650 was NOT loud enough which meant that I had to buy special software for the phone (Volume Care) just to boost the volume. So how does the iPhone stack up in this important area? So far so good. I've been making calls most of the day from the iPhone and the clarity and quality have exceeded my expectations. It's loud enough, thank you Apple. I can navigate to my favorites and place a call with one hand. It still takes more taps than it should. You should be able to hold down the Home button to get to the Favorites screen (are you listening Apple, that was a great idea I just thought of?). The iPhone comes with a set of white stereo earbuds with an integrated mic. The mic also serves as a button to answer calls, end the current call, decline and incoming call, and do the hold features of call waiting. It also allows you to advance to the next song that's playing and pause playback of audio from songs or movies. I don't like earbuds for extended use. However, since they ingrate the mic, I'll have to get used to them until a 3rd party solution comes out. – Navigation For the first few hours I completely forgot about the "pinch" feature which is where you move two fingers closer together to zoom in and apart to zoom out. I kept double tapping on a Google map thinking there has to be a better way. Then I remembered this important finger gesture and it was MUCH EASIER navigating and zooming in on the display. The icons are easy to press. The iPhone is VERY RESPONSIVE. Apple does a good job of magnifying the screen where it needs it automatically like trying to select a popup menu item on a website. Other than a faster way to get to Favorites, I don't really have any complaints in this area. The User Interface is what lured me to the iPhone in the first place and it didn't disappoint in this key area! – External Buttons There are physical buttons for Home, volume, ringer silence (which is GREAT) and sleep/power off. They only stick out just enough to be used without being obtrusive. Great design in this area. No complaints. – Virtual Keyboard This has to be the biggest area of debate when it comes to the iPhone. The competition and naysayers say that this phone can't succeed because business users and PDA users are used to a keyboard with actual buttons for a tactile feel. Being a business user, I certainly had my reservations too. This is one of those areas that's going to vary by user. Everyone has different size fingers. So I'm probably one of the worse case scenarios and a good test subject. I gotta say that I don't love the virtual keyboard. It seems that so far I keep missing the keys on the right side. Nine times out of ten when I try to type an "o", I hit the "p" instead. So I have to adjust and hit the key a little more to the left. Unlike the Palm, there is no calibration routine. This would be helpful so that the iPhone would know where you're likely to hit the keys. The iPhone does offer to help by popping up the letters as you hit them so that you immediately see if you hit the right key or not as well as offering to auto correct/complete the word it thinks you're trying to type. In my experience thus far the auto complete feature is lacking. It almost always guesses the wrong word and when it does guess the right word it usually does so right before the last character. To accept the suggestion you hit the space bar, but since it's the last character anyway, you might as well just hit the last character. The virtual keyboard is usable. It does work and I've banged out some emails and web forms on it. It's not as slow as I'm making it sound, but it's not as great as Apple would like us to believe it is either. Your mileage will vary. Apple suggests that after you get used to it you'll be able to type faster with two thumbs. While this may be true, I find the iPhone to be too narrow to hold and still have enough room for my two big thumbs to fit on the keyboard side-by-side.  Luckily this is all software based and Apple can improve it with a free update. If you don't like the keyboard on other smartphones, you're stuck with it. I also find it odd that the iPhone doesn't have a copy paste feature or the ability to add your own auto complete words. For example, I would like to type mgd and have it automatically put in MacGroup-Detroit, Inc. This is the kind of functionality I would like to see very soon in an update. There should also be some standard replies for email and SMS messaging. At first glance the keyboard didn't seem to have a Caps Lock feature. However, thanks to blog reader Rich, he pointed it out to me in the Settings->General->Keyboard that you have to TURN IT ON! Not sure why you wouldn't want that turned on by default, but at least it's there. Lastly what I found a little disorienting was the fact that the virtual keyboard always displays as CAPS even though you're typing in lower case (when the Shift or Caps Lock is not engaged). Since it's a virtual keyboard, why not display lower case letters when typing in lower case and upper case letters when typing in upper case? This is especially important when typing passwords and you can't see what you're typing because it's displayed as dots. – Bluetooth I've had such bad Bluetooth experience with the Treo, that ANYTHING would be an improvement. The first bluetooth device I paired my iPhone to was my car. My car has a 3rd party integrated bluetooth module in it that works extremely well. However, most smartphones don't have the smarts to download the contacts to the car's display. This was one thing that did work most of the time on the Treo. I could dial right from the radio's display without touching my phone. I could also see the caller ID and answer the phone as well. While the iPhone does pair with the Argos, it doesn't download the phone book. Argos does do firmware upgrades, so perhaps they'll make their solution 100% iPhone compatible. My wife's iPhone paired with her SUV and it DID download the phone book just fine. You usually have no control over this and it varies by phone/car. Most phones will download the favorites/speed dial list. Surprisingly the iPhone downloaded ALL of her contacts to her SUV. Since the iPhone is also an iPod it would be nice to have the music go over bluetooth as well. No chance of that currently. BMW announced that they will be the first automaker to fully support the iPhone in their vehicles. So you plug your iPhone into the dock connector in the glove box and you have access to your tunes on the stereo as well as your phone via bluetooth. Hmmm, I was thinking about getting a new car this year anyway, hmmm.


The iPhone's Contacts on the dashboard of the car via bluetooth!


On the Headset Front – I'm VERY PICKY when it comes to bluetooth headsets. I've tried SEVERAL! I keep coming back to my Jabra BT500. I don't like the on the ear kind mainly because they're not comfortable to me. This means that I probably WON'T be buying the Apple Bluetooth Headset. It's the kind that goes in the ear and that's the only thing that holds it in place. I'd have to try one before considering a purchase as I've been disappointed so many times in this area. The Jawbone had promise, but it just doesn't fit well in MY ear either. So because it doesn't go all the way in my ear, there is a volume issue. It also feels like it's going to simply fall off sometimes. Again, these are my issues and you might be just fine with it. So I paired up my Jabra and placed a call. I called my sister and her first response was "you sound like you're on a land line!" I couldn't believe how clear it was. I would get static on the Treo if I simply moved the Treo to the other side of my body. The iPhone works GREAT with my headset.  Get this, I was even able to adjust the volume on the iPhone and it worked over bluetooth. Keep in mind I'm scared and just not used to this working so well. I tried the unthinkable, after I hung up. I held the button down for a second on my Jabra and it redialed my sister. I passed out! – Ringtones This would fall into the area of disappointment category. While the iPhone has 25 different ringtones built-in, they are kind of cheesy. Some are also not loud enough. I was really looking forward to using my own music which is already on the device as my ringtones. On my Treo I had different songs assigned to different contacts. While you can assign different ringtones to different contacts, the choices of ringtones supplied isn't very appealing. Hopefully the rumors are true and Apple will allow you to use your own or convert your own tones. You should also be allowed to assign ringtones to groups of contacts. This way you would immediately know if family is calling, vs. friends vs. colleagues. Even if they don't allow you to use purchased music, they should at least allow you to spin your own with GarageBand or other sound apps. Ringtones is big business, so I'm surprised that there isn't a way to buy more (yet.) – Visual voice mail This is a very welcomed addition to the world of wireless. This is something that Apple and AT&T collaborated on and gives you the ability to see your voice mail listing on your iPhone and then skip around to listen the messages in the order you want them in. I'm not aware of any other phone/wireless carrier that offers this. It's really slick too. You can see exactly who called, call them back from the same screen and most importantly you can scrub the playback head with your finger to backup a message to hear something that you missed without having to go all the way back or some set interval. – iPod The iPod portion of the iPhone is what separates it from any other phone out there. Sure your phone may play mp3s, but it probably doesn't play the ones you bought from the iTunes store or give you your iTunes playlists. Apple has completely redesigned the iPod interface on the iPhone. The famous click wheel is gone. You can customize the screen buttons to the areas that you access most. You can watch your movies, music videos and video podcasts. Music does actually play through the built-in speaker if you don't use the supplied earbuds/phone headset. The coverflow feature is pretty cool. My only complaint in this department is in the area of storage space. Storage on the iPhone is either 4GB or 8GB depending on the model you get. I have to say that while I can live in 8GB's of space, 16GB would have been much better. I actually can't believe that Apple would not offer a 16GB model. Especially considering how big video files and movies are. Perhaps they'll come out with a 3rd model that does 16GB just like they came out with an Apple TV after the initial launch that has a 160GB hard drive (as opposed to the 40GB hard drive in the first model). The iPhone like the iPod is syncs the status of the content you play back such as movies and TV shows. So if you start watching a video on your computer in iTunes and then have to leave, sync your iPhone and go. When you start watching it on your iPhone it will pick up where you left off. This works in both directions. GREAT NEWS on the multiple computer front! Blog reader John confirmed that you CAN sync the iPhone with more than one computer. For example, I want to sync the iPhone with my MacBook Pro for contacts, calendar and photos. However, I want to sync my music, video and podcasts to my iMac (which is our iTunes jukebox at home). I just figured this wouldn't work and I'm happy IT DOES! I used my wife's iPhone for this test. She doesn't have much music on her iMac. However, all her playlists are on the iTunes iMac. So when I plugged her phone into the iTunes iMac and went to iTunes none of the items were checked in the tabs for the iPhone which is GOOD. I checked off the playlists she wanted and then when I hit apply I got a scary message that said that the iPhone could only be sync'd to one iTunes library at a time and that if I proceed it would erase the iPhone and replace its contents. What the message didn't state was did this mean the music and video content or everything? So I did it because I could always re-sync it back to her computer if it didn't work. After a few minutes the new content was all there AND her contacts, calendar and photos were still there from her iMac! YEAH! I also had to choose the videos she wanted because it's all the iTunes content or none. You can't do videos on one computer and audio on another. Same goes for podcasts and audio books. Thanks John! You rock! – Camera The iPhone has a 2 megapixel camera built-in. The shots are stored in the iPhone's flash memory (4GB or 8GB). There is no camera flash, there is no zoom. There are no settings. It's a point-and-shoot PERIOD. Cameras on phones haven't impressed anyone. Every time I see someone raise their phone to take a picture, I always think to myself, "what are you going to do with that crappy shot?" So I didn't really have any great expectations for the iPhone camera. As a matter of fact I often forget that my phone has a camera.


shot with iPhone by Terry White

This image was shot with the iPhone's built-in camera. Click the above image for the full size un-retouched file. Scroll to the bottom right corner to close it.


The iPhone can take pictures and then automatically sync those pictures back to your computer on the next sync. I was stunned that the next time I connected the iPhone to my Mac, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (my default digital image app) launched, detected the iPhone and offered to import the shots!


Photos Apple did an excellent job in the photos area. It's simple, it works and it's beautiful. Although I'm not an iPhoto user, I set up a few albums of my favorite photos. You know the kind that you want to show when someone asks you how the family is doing? This way I can whip out the iPhone and go straight to the best most recent shots. When you rotate the iPhone, the display rotates to show the best orientation of the picture. You can flick through the shots or watch a slideshow with transitions. You can also use your photos for wallpaper and for your contacts. I really like having photos on most of my contacts because when the phone rings it displays their picture. I can SEE who's calling without having to read a name or number and think about who's calling. I can't really think of anything they should improve in this area other than making it work directly with Lightroom which isn't likely to happen.


Notes This feature is almost useless because it doesn't sync with a notes application currently on the computer. I keep all kinds of notes on my Treo. However, I didn't create a single one on the handset. I typed them on my Mac and sync'd them to the Treo. I want the same ability on the iPhone. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard adds notes to the Mail app. I'm sure that we'll see note syncing at that time. I just don't want to have to wait until October. If there was a copy paste feature I could at least email a note to the phone and then copy it into the the notes app. Alas Apple didn't allow for that either. Maybe this app should be called "Virtual Keyboard Practice" instead of notes.


Email Email on the iPhone is very impressive. It automatically copied over my email settings for the 3 email accounts I selected (two were IMAP and one as .Mac – which is also IMAP). So there was nothing to configure. It worked and started bringing down my email instantly. It's all straight forward on how the app works and it let's me switch back and forth between all my email accounts. I wish there was a one click button that would allow me to get back to the account selection screen. Currently it takes 2-3 taps. While Address Book Groups show up, you can't actually email to a group of contacts. You have to add them in one-by-one. Also I haven't found the BCC feature yet. Incoming HTML email works as advertised. Links in the email can tapped on and phone numbers can be tapped on as well which will dial them. My current voice mail system at home send me an email when I receive a voicemail with the message attached. The message comes in as nice little 3gpp file that plays fine via QuickTime on Mail in Mac OS X, but so far hasn't played as an attachment on the iPhone. Looks like I'll have to spring for the PhoneValet upgrade with their newly announced PhoneValet Anywhere for the iPhone when it ships. I also get my Vonage voicemail as an attachment that comes in as a .WAV file. The iPhone email app doesn't play those attachments either. The one area that would help the iPhone get adopted more quickly by the business community is Microsoft Exchange Support. Without it, IT departments will not let you use the iPhone to access corporate email because of the security risks. Microsoft does license something called Active Sync. Hopefully Apple will adopt this or some other solution that would work. When this happens the flood gates would open. Until this happens it doesn't matter how great the iPhone is or isn't, the business community will be sitting on the sidelines and buying other smartphones.


Web Surfing

Safari Apple has been making a big deal about the web app Safari on the iPhone. After all I don't think any other phone (at least not any that I've seen) offer a full blown web browsing experience on a tiny screen. The implementation of Safari itself on the iPhone is well done! However, there are some flaws to this strategy. Most cell phone web browsers use WAP. WAP is a way for website designers to design a low bandwidth simple version of their sites. This works well on mobile devices. However, it's true you don't get the "full page" experience. Seeing that the iPhone doesn't support 3g and uses AT&T's Edge network instead, your pages could load painfully slow. Most commercial websites detect a WAP browser and automatically direct you to a lower bandwidth version of the site without all the frills. Since the iPhone uses a full version of Safari, that won't happen automatically. So you're going to get the regular site with all the graphics, etc. It was interesting that Apple used Fandago.com during the introduction of the iPhone. I hadn't really used this site much, but I wanted a good movie theater listing site to be able to call up movie times quickly from the iPhone. I went to www.fandango.com and found that while it works perfectly fine, it was too many clicks to get to my theater and too many unnecessary graphics. In this case I'm only interested in a text listing. Sure I could bookmark the page that has my local theater on it and that saves on the clicks, but it still loads a bunch of graphics that I don't need. Luckily Fandango has a mobile version of their site which if you go to mobile.fandango.com you'll see what I mean. It much more streamlined and loads much faster. So from the mobile version I bookmarked the two theaters I go to the most and they load very quickly. The same is going to hold true for www.nwa.com vs. mobile.nwa.com.

Apple also did some clever things to help you get your URL typed faster. They give you the buttons you'll need on the virtual keyboard like forward slash, colon and there's even a .com button. They also do a much nicer job of offering to auto complete the URL in Safari than they do in the other apps. It offers suggestions from your bookmarks. However, what I wish it had was a cursor key. Sometimes I want to edit out part of a URL and it takes me a few taps to get the cursor where I want it. While I certainly appreciate having a full blown browsing experience in my hand, I also appreciate the fact that it's not always necessary. Speaking of a full blown browser experience, one glaring omission is the lack of Flash support and gasp, Quicktime support in the iPhone's Safari browser. Over 98% of the computers on the internet today have the Flash player. This means that content developers can feel pretty assured that if they design a site that incorporates Flash, their content will be seen. Not having Flash or even Flash Lite on the iPhone is a serious drawback. It will be interesting to see which sites won't work on the iPhone because of this. Rumor has it that Apple posted a job listing for Flash Lite programmers, so maybe we'll see this in an update at some point. I knew going in that the iPhone didn't have Flash, but I just took for granted that Apple would support their own Quicktime format. While I can watch the Quicktime clips linked to Apple's site, I haven't been able to get it to work on my own sites that have QuickTime streaming. I have some QuickTime movies using QuickTime Streaming on my sites and they don't play or even attempt to play when I click on them. I'll have to find out what's going on with this one. So this is to say that your Quicktime viewing experience on the web may vary depending upon how the site embeds or links to QuickTime movies. Apple did an excellent job once again supporting my Safari bookmarks. They're all on the iPhone just as they are on my computer. Bookmarks (favorites) can be added on the fly from the iPhone as well and they'll be added to your computer on the next sync. The iPhone also has a VPN solution built-in. I haven't had a need to try it as my company doesn't support the native Apple client for accessing our home office. However, it's there for those who can use it or need it.


Google Maps This feature is actually pretty cool! You can type in just about anything into the search and the iPhone will start dropping pin points right on map of where those locations are. You can tap any location to get details such as the phone number and address and of course you can dial the number with another tap. You can also get driving directions. However, since it's not a GPS, you have to punch in your current location. The other thing that's cool about this feature is that it takes into account and shows you current traffic conditions at no additional cost. My expensive GPS systems don't do that (without a separate attachment and service fee). It even has the satellite view which is pretty neat to have on a phone. Useful, not really, but cool – yes.


Widgets The iPhone ships with two widgets. One for Weather and one for Stocks. You just plug in the city or zip and in a couple of seconds you see the current weather and forecast. You can setup multiple locations and just flick through the cities that you want to get a weather report on. The Stock widget works as you would expect. Put in your own symbols and track your favorite stocks. However, I want more! I definitely want a Movie Theater widget. The great thing about Widgets is that they bring just the pieces of a website that you want to see quickly. Therefore the iPhone should have MORE of them. A restaurant widget would be nice too. Yes, it can be done via Google Maps, but a widget would be faster.


PDFs, Word and Excel The world is not just about HTML and email. So what happens when you need to view a document. Surprisingly this works quite well. I actually went to my user group's website and viewed our 16 page newsletter PDF on the iPhone and the experience was better than I imagined. I zoom it up to a comfortable reading level and the scrolling was manageable. This is the kind of thing I would have never attempted on the Treo. Word and Excel attachments can also be viewed, but not edited.


Calendar The calendar app is adequate. It syncs from my iCal which contains all my personal calendars and since my work calendar is a Microsoft Exchange calendar, I use MS Entourage for work email and calendaring. Luckily the latest version of Entourage supports Mac OS X's sync services which means that my work calendar automatically syncs to an iCal calendar in the background. So I sync my home, work and wife's calendars to my iPhone with no problem. The only downside though is these 3 calendars show up as one calendar on the iPhone. While that's nice in most cases, I would an option to have them separated out or at least identified by colors like they are in iCal. For example, yesterday I had a work conference call on my calendar for 1PM and my wife had a lunch date at 1 PM. Both entries show up at 1PM on the calendar. It could get confusing if the entries aren't clearly identified as to which/who's calendar they belong to. The iPhone calendar has 3 views, day, month and list. Some complain that it doesn't have a weekly view and the list view for me serves that purpose.


SMS, not iChat (instant messaging) This is another one of those, huh? type features. Texting is big on phones. There is no doubt about that. However, so is standard instant messaging between computers. Apple already supports AIM (AOL Instant Messaging) in iChat in the Mac OS. So it floors me and others that they didn't include this on the iPhone. The first thing my youngest daughter went to do when she grabbed my iPhone out of my hand, was to text her friend. I had to tell her, that's not going to work because SMS by default is only from cell phone to cell phone. She handed it back to me and walked away. Then she remembered that she could call her and ran back into the room. However, you see where the mind set is of our youth. They think texting first, voice second. We can't talk about SMS without talking about MMS. MMS is multimedia messaging. This is real handy when you snap a photo and want to immediately send the photo to a friend's phone. I've done this a lot. For whatever reason, Apple hasn't included MMS on the iPhone. Yes, you can snap a photo, but you have to email the photo to the person you want to send it to and most cell phones are NOT set up to receive email. This is just wrong! Sure it would be nice if everyone had an iPhone, then it would be a non-issue because you could just email to your friend's iPhone. However, that just isn't the world we live in and it never will be. Apple admittedly only "hopes" to capture 1% of the cell phone market. So they know that most will not have iPhones. Hopefully they will see the light and add this feature via an update.


Wi-Fi I believe that the iPhone has a bug in it when it comes to logging on to a WEP encrypted Wi-Fi network. Neither my iPhone nor my wife's iPhone would log onto our home network via the network password. Also note that my home network is using Apple's own AirPort Base Stations. So it's not a 3rd party vendor compatibility issue. Only the HEX key would work. I've seen several others discuss this issue on the Apple's discussion board. Luckily the HEX key worked AND it remembers it or I would have been pissed! Wi-Fi works well. I've been on it since yesterday. I turned it off just to test the EDGE connection. The iPhone remembers the access points that you've already logged on to and logs on to them automatically for you. It also chooses Wi-Fi over EDGE whenever Wi-Fi is available. If a network shows up it will prompt you to log on to it. You can disable that feature if it becomes a pest. Wi-Fi is actually usable on the iPhone because if a page requires you to log in, you can via Safari. I'm surprised that it doesn't support 802.11n. Not that it needs to as there would be no speed advantage for surfing the web. However, if you had an 802.11n ONLY network, the iPhone wouldn't even see it. Â YouTube It's nice to have, but not something I'll be using a lot. Over Wi-Fi it works well. It was even acceptable over EDGE which was a shocker. Early reviews claimed poor performance over EDGE. See more on EDGE below. I don't see a way to log into your YouTube account. This would have been handy as I already have some videos bookmarked. However, the YouTube app does allow you to bookmark videos and search on the iPhone. – AT&T Love 'em or hate them, AT&T is the provider for years to come on the iPhone. It's no secret that this was an unpopular decision to many. Clearly Apple would have sold many more iPhones if they were on more carriers. Most of my east coast buddies HATE AT&T because the service is so poor in their area. The funny thing is that while I never hear any say they love their phone, I do hear people say that they love Verizon all the time. I have Verizon as a carrier for my data card (EVDO) and the service has been great. I've had AT&T (formerly Cingular, formerly AT&T) for years. So quite honestly I don't know what it's like to have Verizon as a carrier. However, I did have Sprint for a brief stint when the Treo 650 came out they were the exclusive provider for a while. I wanted that phone so bad (sound familiar) that I opened up a Sprint account just to get the phone. I can remember traveling with both phones on a trip to Arizona and there were areas that my Sprint phone worked and my Cingular phone didn't. So it's clear that AT&T doesn't have the best coverage everywhere. Rumor has it that because of the iPhone and the Apple relationship they've dumped millions of dollars into their networks recently. So we'll see if things improve or not. Here in Michigan and most places that I travel, the service isn't bad. Also because I do occasionally travel abroad it's important to me to have a GSM based phone that works in most countries. Before we beat up Apple too much on this point we have to remember that reportedly Apple DID go to Verizon FIRST and they turned it (the iPhone) down!


EDGE Edge is AT&T's 2.5g wireless data network. This network sometimes makes you crave dial-up speeds. It can be extremely slow. So needless to say I couldn't believe Apple would put their new internet device on this network and not take advantage of AT&Ts 3g network. Apple claims that the iPhone would have to be bigger and battery life would suffer if it were 3g. That may be true, however if the iPhone has any hope for adoption outside the US, 3g is a must. Since you have to build it for them, build it for us too. Granted initially Steve said that the AT&T 3g network wasn't wide spread enough and I say, "SO"! When 3g isn't available phones step down to EDGE anyway. I personally think that the AT&T network just isn't ready for the volume of iPhones that would be surfing at 3g speeds. So this is probably a stop gap measure to give AT&T time to get their networks up to speed rather than having an immediate overload and outages. How slow is it? This very blog (before this post obviously) took about 75 seconds to load. Over Wi-Fi it loads in about 3-5 seconds. I would have run my favorite speedtest on Speakeasy.net, oh but wait, that requires Flash. I did find one at bandwidthplace.com that worked. My score was 188.6 kilobits per second! So it would seem that the rumors of AT&T rolling out a faster Edge network on the eve of the iPhone launch are true. Speeds were at least 1/3rd of that before this week. While I'll take any speed gains I can get, 3g would have easily been 5 to 7 times faster. Now for the big test, YouTube. I was shocked! My video actually started playing in about 8 seconds after I tapped on it. Early reviewers stated that YouTube was unwatchable over EDGE. This was of course before the magical upgrade. The entire two minute clip played without skipping a beat. Edge is way slower than Wi-Fi and 3g, but it's not so slow that it's unusable. Also remember that many sites have mobile versions so in a pinch when you don't need the "full experience" you can grab the mobile version and get what you need a lot faster. My mobile version of the Fandango page loaded in 4 seconds as opposed to 47 seconds for the full fandango.com site with all the movie posters that I don't need to see when I'm just looking for a start time.


Activation woes Although my activation went relatively smoothly on both phones (mine and my wife's), I've been reading about horror stories from others. I'm sure the servers were overloaded as thousands tried to activate their iPhones all at the same time. The one thing that did bug me though was the fact that I had to set up a NEW line for myself. My family is on a family plan with rollover minutes. However, my existing phone is on a corporate account through my employer. It's directly billed to them which is nice. AT&T is not currently allowing iPhones to be activated on a business account. I wasn't expecting my employer to buy the phone. However, I was expecting to keep my same number and service on the iPhone. So I had to add a new line to my personal account with my family and I forwarded the calls from my Treo to my iPhone. This way I don't have to give out the new number to everyone. However, I realized that in order to SMS me you will need the new number, so here it is… Yeah right!


Other Useful Apps I was pleasantly surprised to see some apps that no one had mentioned before. There's a world clock that I need because I travel to different time zones all the time. There's an alarm clock. This will also be useful for me because I usually use my phone as my alarm clock when I travel. There's even a stopwatch and a timer. These apps are all under the Clock icon and work well. While I certainly appreciate having a calculator and will use it, it seems that this calculator is the same one from Apple's Mac System 1.0 back in 1984 and doesn't have a Clear Entry Key that I can find. So be sure not to make any mistakes or you'll have to start all over again.


Durability Sorry folks, but I don't plan on dropping my iPhone purposely. Luckily the folks over at PC World did. PC World gives the iPhone some pretty practical and harsh testing such as purposely trying to scratch it with keys and they see how it survives several drops. Check out the video here. It survived all the tests!


Is it really smart? The iPhone is pretty smart, but it could be smarter! It's great that when you have a phone number in an email you can tap it and it dials the number. Or if it's an URL tapping it goes to Safari and then the page. It's also cool that if you look up a business in Google Maps you can add it to your Contacts. I love it. However, there is a lot of room for improvement in this area if we're really going to call this a "smartphone." I want to see MORE INTEGRATION between the iPhone apps. For example, I go back to Macworld Expo when Steve Jobs first showed the iPhone. He did a demo where he was talking to Phil and telling him about a photo he had on his iPhone. He then proceeds to email to Phil. He finds the photo, taps the send button, it attaches it to a new email and then to address it to Phil he actually had to look up Phil's email address in the Contacts. Doesn't it know he's already talking with Phil? Shouldn't it offer to send it to the current caller as an option? Another example just happened last night. I was in the car with my wife and asked her to call the restaurant on her iPhone. She didn't have them in her contacts, but I did. I then realized that there is no way for me to send, beam or get the contact to her. You should at least be able to email a contact. How about bluetooth transfers? Nope, nadda. Another example of where the iPhone could be smarter: I got an email from a buddy that contained his iPhone number. Great! I wanted to add it to his contact. Oh wait! There's no copy/paste function. There's no way to even save an email as a note. So I had to keep repeating the phone number to myself until I could get to his contact info to add it in manually. What if you get an email that contains event info. It would be nice to be able to "create an event from the email" message. This would merely create a new entry in the calendar (you would still have to key in the event date and time, but the details would be copied from the email into the notes area of the appointment.) While I'm traveling I generally keep my phone on for emergencies. However, while I'm sleeping I don't want to hear the sounds of incoming emails, SMS messages, etc. I know that I can turn these sounds off one by one, but then when I wake up I have to turn them on one by one. It would be nice to have "profiles" for the sound settings. Then I could switch to a "night time" profile. Since Apple/AT&T did such a great job with Visual Voicemail, it would really be cool if you could forward the voicemail as an audio attachment in an email. This way if someone leaves me a message that I need someone else to follow up on I could forward them the actual message instead of having to repeat it. I could go on and on, but these are the kinds of things that I consider to be "smart".


Missing Features While it's true that the iPhone is a 1.0 product, there are some missing features that may be deal breakers for some. Some of these features can actually be added via firmware updates. Apple has said publicly that they plan to continue to update the iPhone with new features that you'll just download into the phone. As a matter of fact that was one of Steve's selling points and why they chose to go with a touch screen that could be reconfigured. It's also hard not to miss the fact that there is an empty row where 4 more icons could go. Nevertheless, these features are missing today and some of them are key and make me scratch my head as to why they are not there now?

3g support – This was almost a deal breaker for me. Thankfully it has Wi-Fi.

Flash support – C'mon Apple, talk with Adobe and get this done. Steve, I hear you have a cool new phone in your pocket! The number is 408.536.3993 in case you forgot it.

Video recorder – Actually it was someone else that pointed this out. I didn't really think about the fact that there is no video recorder on the iPhone. Even my Treo has one. Seeing how Apple is all hip and cool when it comes to movies, music, podcasts and more, you'd think they'd let you record and send your own little video clips. Perhaps this was going to be too painful over EDGE.

Voice recorder – I don't use one, but many of you do! There is no voice recorder either. Since the iPhone has a built-in microphone it seems like it would be very easy to add this in via software.

MMS support – Doh! You can see that great shot when you get home honey. DUN – Dial-up Networking. This would allow you to use your iPhone as a Bluetooth wireless modem to your Mac Or PC laptop. Umm, Apple, you've been supporting this on other phones for years. Why not your own? Is it the EDGE thing again? I see. iPod games – Apple you sold me some cool $5 games for my iPod with video, but you won't let me play them on my $600 iPhone. Not sure why?

iTunes ringtones – This is another one for the "Doh!" category. I'm sure this one will come because there is money to be made. Besides, the ringtones on the iPhone are so lame that you'll want to buy or make your own as soon as they make this feature available. So maybe this was done intentionally to build up demand. I feel like I have all this music already on the device and it's being held hostage.

Removable Battery – This one doesn't bother me as much as it does others. I guess because I've gotten GREAT battery life out of all my iPods and have never had to have a battery replaced. However, from a convenience standpoint it would be nice to have two batteries for those long flights when I want to watch content on the iPhone and play games, oh wait, scratch that last part. Once I land, I could then pop in a second battery and be ready to get back to work.


Missing accessories? I didn't think about it till I got home that there's no Car charger! Nor did I see one at the Apple store. Granted, I wasn't looking for one in the midst of all the excitement either. However, one quick look at Apple's online store and the only one listed is actually not by Apple. It's by Griffin Technologies It's the PowerJolt for iPhone. So I will need a couple of those. The next item that is missing is a headphone jack adapter. While the iPhone uses a standard port, the port is somewhat recessed and your current headphones, earbuds, etc. may not fit all the way down. Luckily Griffin is on this too. They have come out with an Headphone Adapter for iPhone.


The Bottom Line The iPhone is a huge step forward in the right direction. The more I use it the more it makes me smile and I catch myself thinking "this is so cool!" The iPhone is not perfect by any means. Show me a smartphone that is. Some of the missing features just make me smack my forehead and say "how in the heck could they have left that off?" However, the iPhone is the most interesting phone I've seen to date. Like it or not, the iPhone HAS changed the world of cell phones forever. Apple has raised the bar and everyone else has to now step up. This is good for us all. I'm pleased with my purchase and my gauge is, "would I buy it again?" The answer is a resounding YES! Sure I want iPhone 2.0 with all the missing features that I've stated above and then some, however, for a 1.0 product this phone lives up to the vast majority of the promises and even most of the hype. Oh how far Apple has come since the Newton 1.0 🙂 – Apple has lots of great iPhone information including videos and the complete user manual in PDF on their site.


Follow-up Posts since my original 2007 review Do I still like my iPhone? The iPhone 1.1.1 update Apple and iPhone Ringtones, ARGGGH! 50 Ways to Make the iPhone Better! Apple Support Custom iPhone Ringtones At Last! iPhone 3g coming July 11, 2008 More on the iPhone 3g See my NEW iPhone 3g review

Check out my NEW iPhone Book – 3rd Edition, which covers the iPhone, iPhone 3g and iPod touch.



See my NEW site for App Reviews and News – bestappsite.com:



  • great overview. thanks for sharing!

    jerome eberharter
    boise, id

  • jo

    One tip I saw on the ‘net to cope with big fingers missing the right keys is to click and drag. It only types the letter when you lift your finger.. so if you hit the wrong one.. then just slide over until it’s right, and then lift.

    Thanks for a great review.. it was the first that popped up in my Google blog search for iPhone after the release 🙂

  • rob

    Terry- Great review. Very honest and not biased one way or another. Thanks.

  • Bil

    Terry – absolutely the best and balanced review of the iphone I’ve seen to date. Yesterday (one day after it’s launch) I stood around the iphone display in our local Apple store. There were maybe 20 people gathered around saying ooh and ahh to nobody in general when several of us looked up, looked at each other with this silly grin on our face and nodded to each other in awe. It is a revolutionary product and Steve Jobs proves once more that he knows how to build toasters.

  • terrywhite

    Thanks all and Thanks Rob & Bill for the ultimate compliment! I tried my best to be fair and impartial. I love the iPhone so far, but I wanted to give an honest review and not just praise.

  • bhattathiry

    Apple’s management in this modern world is the real art of Management and it has become a part and parcel of everyday life, be it at home, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort. Management need to focus more on leadership skills, e.g., establishing vision and goals, communicating the vision and goals, and guiding others to accomplish them. It also assert that leadership must be more facilitative, participative and empowering in how visions and goals are established and carried out. Some people assert that this really isn’t a change in the management functions, rather it’s re-emphasizing certain aspects of management.
    Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together – equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.

  • calvin

    I think since the “touch screen” is there on the phone, the addition of a stylus, a slot to hold it, and the “Newton Handwriting recognition” technology would be just the thing to add to iPhone 2.0. —- Sorry Steve, that Newton thing is never gonna go away.

  • James Wamser


    Since I purchased my iPhone on Friday, I have read many reviews of the iPhone and I really enjoyed yours. It’s one of the best reviews I have read.


    James Wamser

  • Jim

    Thanks for the very thorough review. I would add to your list of missing features: full support for the standard Palm/Entourage PIM/PDA apps–meaning in addition to Calendar and Contacts, Notes and Tasks–that sync all the way around. I have owned a Treo 650 for about a year and a half, and have begun to really dislike it. However, I depend on the Notes and Tasks, which sync with Entourage. Given the fact that Palm devices were the best PDAs/phones for Mac loyalists over the years, Apple will alienate Mac-using Palm/Entourage users by not fixing this a.s.a.p. I am perfectly willing to give them my money, but can’t without these features!

    I would go so far as to say that Palm will only survive as a Windows Mobile platform if Apple goes ahead and adds Notes and Tasks to the iPhone. The Palm OS platform is so pitiful, outdated and in disarray that the only thing keeping most people on the platform is years of data in the Calendar, Address Book, Notes and Tasks. Free us, Apple!

  • ET

    Thanks so much for the valuable and insightful information, Terry. Your review contained a lot of useful stuff I haven’t seen anywhere else…and I’ve been online ’round the clock reading everything iPhone-related for two days now–ever since I returned home from being #20 in line–sunburned and exhausted, but grinning from ear to ear. This device is a stunningly beautiful gem of a game-changer.

  • terrywhite

    Jim, you are so right! I completely forgot about TASKS! I don’t use tasks that often but sometimes I use them as a to do list for the day. The iPhone definitely needs to support tasks and since iCal/Outlook/Entourage already has this feature, there’s no reason not to!

    Calvin, Steve J. definitely made it a point to tout that the iPhone doesn’t use/need a stylus, so I wouldn’t hold my breath for that one. The Newton handwriting had actually gotten useful by version 2.0/2.1 of the Newton, it’s too bad that the bad rep killed it. I still have a couple lying around as a reminder of how far we’ve come and how Apple was before its time with that device.

    Thanks all! Glad my review has been useful to you.

  • Ben

    Wow, I stumbled upon your site thru macsurfer. It is the FIRST realistic review of the iPhone that didn’t come from a privileged journalist or a person who has never used anything Apple except an iPod. Thanks! I did want to point out that I heard that if you use the ear gels from the Jabra on the Jawbone, they do fit and work better. I have been considering buying one since my little Samsung hurts my ear with their ear gaskets and I broke my old Jabra some time ago.

    I’m bookmarking your site. Thanks again!

  • James Davis

    Thanks for a great review. You have brought some much needed quality writing to the internets.

    While rather mundane, I think Apple should do the same thing for the multi-line business phone. Every new job requires some instructions on how to hold, transfer, and conference and there are always some accidental hangups while you learn. Apple should create a standard interface for multi-line phones, make their own, and license the UI to other phone makers for a cheap price.

  • eric

    thanks Terry. Are you planning a user group session on it? Your insight would really help us early adopters. Keep up the great work.

  • James in CA

    Very through review, especially from a business use standpoint. Almost bought the iphone, but after using my friends last night on Edge no way. The lack of 3G is the deal killer as just the night before the AT&T upgraded the area I live in to 3G speeds. Now getting a faster connection on the GT Max pc card then the home Verizon DSL! 918 kps, almost 10 times faster than before. So NO way am I going back to Edge for a phone.

  • David

    This is the best iPhone review I have read. Better than Mossberg or Pogue. Thank you. I bought an iPhone yesterday but will return it today unopened. I like Verizon’s network too much and think AT&T’s customer service is weak. I like my BB 8830. It is not as beautiful as the iPhone but email is easy and the phone sounds like a landline.

  • Great post..

  • Rod Harlan


    This is the definitive, definitive review of the iPhone. It was a lot of work and it shows. Great job! How many words is this review? Like 5,000?! You ought to sell it to one of the magazine’s for publication. Get some money for all of your hard work! Know any magazine publisher’s you could talk to? 🙂

  • Brian in Bensalem


    I found your blog through Macsurfer, and your iPhone pros and cons absolutely fit my experience with this device so far…it’s far from perfect, but quite useful nonetheless; and visually and conceptually, it’s a winner, imho.

  • James LeMay


    Thanks for the masterful review. I thought you had some very interesting suggestions for version 2. Keep it up.

  • pdom

    Interesting review, two things though:

    One is that I think people are missing the point when they make a big deal out of the fact that the iphone doesn’t do absolutely everything. Nothing ever does. The beauty of it is that virtually everything that people have complained about is just an update away (from what I”ve read, big updates are instore with Leopard). You can look forward to it getting better and better with time.

    The second thing is that I had been a long standing customer of Verizon. I live in manhattan where it’s highly rated. I had horrible experiences with customer service with both my landline and dsl so I switched. I used Verizon for my cell phone but after two years I was glad to get rid of it. Everybody’s experience varies of course, but mine was horrible, especially when I moved to a new apartment a year ago and got no reception whatsoever. I switched over to Cingular and have five bars in my apartment and fewer droped calls and better reception in general.

  • Awesome review! I hope to purchase the iPhone when it comes up north to Canada!

  • Andrew

    You rock!

    I must admit that this was the first reveiw I read in detail, but it was thorough, exciting, funny, and definitely on point.

    You did an amazing job with balancing admiration and criticism.

    Thank you!

  • Kirk

    There IS a voice recorder on the iPhone. I used it last night to record my voicemail greeting. It’s a really cool way to do it. You dont do it by calling AT&T, you record it directly onto the phone! A little on-screen “Record” button, and a “Play” button so you can listen to it and re-record if youre not happy with it, then you click “Apply” or something. So software update should make it into a stand-alone app.

  • James L


    As several have already shared, after all the online reading I’ve done on the topic of the iPhone, your review was, by far, the most helpful. Sounds like the new Apple has really done their homework, again. But, it will be interesting to see how Apple handles software upgrades and additional features. A lot of the “essential” missing features could be added as software upgrades, most of which should be free. I would not want to have to buy a 3G iPhone a year from now (when ATT is ready) just to get basics like SMS or MMS and the ability to sych with Exchange.

    Nice job, keeping it factual and unbiased.


  • Larry L

    Great review, thanks for all the info. One quick bit of info regarding the non-user friendly battery replacement. Apple’s web page says that battery replacement, if necessary, is $79, and will take 3 business days. Can you do without out your phone for that long?

    Thanks again
    Larry L

  • Karla in SFBayArea

    Great review. The iPhone can be so much more that what we see today. What I am most eager to see is the inclusion of GPS, hopefully on the next version. GPS for much more than just directions, a GPS that is good enough to replace my Sky Golf-SkyCaddie via an optional software download. This will then reduce all my electronic gizmos into one unit.

    I also think that the iPhone will become the ultimate ultra portable computer and then will be renamed the “iPod”, and fulfill the true promise of the name.

  • Netguy

    You mentioned that you ran a speed test over edge and saw something like 188 kilobits/sec. The throughput isn’t too bad. The thing that really kills the experience on EDGE is the latency. EDGE has horrible latency. Round trip times for ping are around a quarter to a third of a second. A web browser has to perform DNS queries and open multiple TCP connections. TCP connections involve a three way handshake. Once you have the connection open and you start streaming data, things are alright. This is one reason that something like YouTube is possible.

    Thank you for the great review.

  • Germaine

    I think this phone’s appeal is mostly of being cool only. The virtual keyboard is a huge
    change that no one will like since first of all not everyone has fingers the size of a five year old to be able to use it without going mad when you are texting on the road and constantly writing words you didn’t intend to write ( and please save your safety bs talk about texting and talking on the road, we all do it! ) I don’t care what kind of smart type recognition software you get, your brain picks up a “yes” when you punched something on a qwerty, on a virtual you are never sure because it’s all flat.
    By far the worst mistake Apple made was to revive a defunct ATT. This is sort of building a super high speed bullet train in LA and using the existing MTA rail system. ATT are sheisters and that is why they went down, remember IBM?

    I will keep my Blackberry since I can truly say I love it! and keep my Ipod video on my glove box when I need it.


  • terrywhite

    Larry L, good point about the battery. Hopefully by the time someone actually needs a battery replacement there will be some same day services out there or do it your self type kits as there are for the iPod. Also note that Apple/AT&T have said that the SIM card in the iPhone will work in other phones (just not the other way around). So in theory if your iPhone was going in for service for more than a day, you could pop the SIM into an older phone and at least have use of a phone while your iPhone is being serviced.

    Germaine, I hear you on the virtual keyboard. But to say that “no one will like” it is a big statement. I don’t necessarily love it, but I am getting used to it and more accurate with it each time I use it.

    Netguy, I will continue testing the EDGE stuff and look out for the latency issues. I believe the network is now faster overall. So far it has been better than what I expected it to be as well as better than what it used to be when I used it with my Treo. More time is needed for a definitive – “it’s better”.

    Rod – I think I know just the Magazine you’re referring to. Great idea and thanks 🙂

    Thanks all!

  • April

    Thank you so much for the great review! I’ve been searching for feedback the last three days and was so glad to find yours… like you said… I know your review is honest.

  • Lulu

    I will reluctantly leave Verizon, where I’ve been a mostly satisfied customer for 15 years when my contract expires. I wish I could just smack whichever monkey made the shortsighted decision to turn down the iPhone. But I’ve also been a devoted consumer of Apple products for 10 years.

    AT&T, not so much. They’ve given me some really bad times. This is not a perfect situation.

  • Hi Terry, great review! I have a few additional wish list items on my geothought blog, and in particular a lot of details on the map application, as that’s the area I work in.

  • Wow, that’s a really thorough and well-done review. I’m really enjoy my iPhone, except the MMS and video recording are really features that should have been included.

    The EDGE network really is pretty slow too. But for all those people with low reception on voice or EDGE on their new AT&T iPhones, cell phone repeaters are an easy way to improve the cell phone signal. We just wrote a blog post about our recommendations for iPhone repeaters on our blog: Repeaters for improving AT&T iPhone reception.

    Alrighty, that’s all. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. Have a good one!


  • Robert

    Hi, I still have a Treo 650. One problem was this phone if you miss a call you don’t know it until you pick it up and look at it. I consequently found a program Butler to fix that problem. Soooo…. how about the iphone? If you set the phone down, run around the house and get a call, will it keep beeping every X minutes or something?
    Anyone know?

  • JustJen

    Hi Terry –

    Thanks for a great review. I am a real estate broker and work from home (PC laptop and Mac desktop – don’t ask!), an office PC, and from anywhere with my phone…this makes for a calendar nightmare. Planning to move from Treo to iPhone and trying to find an elegant calendar solution at the same time…I want to be able to use one calendar for personal and work and be able to access and update from several locations…Does the calendar on iPhone seem capable of handling this? Maybe my best answer is to go iCal all the way but what happens when I am on the PC…can you put your iCal on the web so you only have to sync the iphone with one place?

    Any insight would be much appeciated.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Robert, The iPhone will not keep beeping. You have to look at it to know that you got any kind of message (voicemail, SMS, email) when you return to it. Maybe an app will come out to let you do this or Apple will add it as an option.

    Hi JustJen, That’s a tough one. Your best bet is use iCal and two calendars. One for personal and one for work. There are solutions out there to sync to iCal from PC calendars. My work calendar is on an Exchange server. MS Entourage on the Mac syncs to iCal in the background. So this gives me both calendars in iCal for syncing to the iPhone.

  • Terry- Great review. Very honest and not biased one way or another. One of the best I have read about the iPhone.

  • Terry – Loved your review! Thorough, honest and no bias. Also appreciate the comments. Gonna’ forward this to my list.

    I tend now to be an upgrade technology purchaser (lessons learned back in the mid-80s and early 90s) and your review has helped me consider the iPhone when my Verizon contract expires this year. Been a Verizon user for years and so is most of the family ’cause the folks live in Arizona and Verizon was the only signal that worked in their area 10 years ago!!!

    So, I’m going to bookmark this site and check once the iPhone upgrades or 2.0 come around!

    Happy Holiday.

  • Terry — I work at Parliant — we make PhoneValet Message Center. Sadly, it seems that the iPhone’s email program cannot play sound files of any kind. We are working with Apple to find out if anything can be done about that, or if they need to upgrade their email app to allow that.

    Our Anywhere upgrade with PhoneValet 5.2 should allow easy message access on the iPhone’s web browser, with a user experience optimized for the iPhone’s screen, with a look and feel similar to Apple’s visual voicemail.

  • terrywhite

    Thanks Gary & Danita!

    Chris, I’m looking forward to the PhoneValet Anywhere upgrade will will review it here once you guys have it ready. Thanks!

  • Garrett

    Hopefully subsequent versions will promote .mobi compliant sites, which download faster and fit the screen. There’s not a lot of content available yet, but this format would be better than the zooming and scrolling required to view full blown .com’s.

    The mobile web IS different than the regular web, but apparently Apple hasn’t realized this yet since they’re trying to fit an elephant (the regular web) into a mousehole (cell sized screen).

  • Thanks Terry for the indept review.

    Just thinking if the battery issue with the iPhone be its archilles heel.

    I mean among other things, you wont want to mail your iPhone to Apple to have a new battery together with all your friends phone numbers, your movies your private photos etc. Let alone the added strain on the postal system.

    No doubt soldering in a battery would simplify manufacturing and lower productions costs. But at the expense of user friendliness ( sort of very unlike Apple ? ) Also the iPhone is certainly not a budget phone either.

  • terrywhite

    Thomas, the battery could definitely be an issue. We’ll have to wait and see how that one pans out. However, considering that my now vintage 2001 original iPod still works and holds a charge, I’m not as concerned about the iPhone’s battery. Also I fully expect some enterprising inventors out there to provide do it yourself kits as well as overnight service for those that don’t feel comfortable doing it themselves.

  • Great Review Terry. I too am the proud owner of an iPhone. I loved your balanced review. It works just fine for my needs, that why I bought it. I can do a lot of thing or rather it’s tons easier to do a lot of things that in was on my former phone. I’ve been asked to give an in person review at my local Mac User’s Group next week. I may use your outline as a guide by apply my experience. Love your podcasts. Thanks for all the information you share.

  • Peter A

    Great review, on the iPhone most of the things you mention I was thinking myself as to why would they leave that out (MMS) why? hopefully with the new update. I’m sure they have a team reading reviews and working on it as we all read and complain about it. Great work 🙂

  • mike d

    Terry – all of my existing ipod chargers charge my iphone. I carry a sync cable with me to charge from my computer when it is open. When I am in the car, I use a $9 12 volt to usb adapter I bought at fry’s and plug the sync cable into it and charge it in the car. There are plenty of existing ipod car chargers out there so not having an iphone specific model isn’t a problem.

    On wifi, my complaint is that when I have to type in a 26 character wep key that I have to do it blind. Even 10.3 had the option to view the password if you wanted.

    Other than missing the charger bit, great review.

  • Lulu

    When I sent my iBook in for service, Apple sent a courier (DHL, I think) to pick it up with a special packing carton. The turnaround was less than 72 hours. I imagine changing out a phone battery would take far less time than diagnosing, repairing and testing a computer.

    Still, they need to offer loaners. People can’t be without a phone for even 24 hours.

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  • nealio

    Terry: Great review!

    However I’m unclear about one thing: SMS vs MMS. Are you saying the iphone can’t even send a simple text message?

    I’m a loyal BlackBerry & Mac user but willing to move away from BlackBerry because no one other than Apple can get the Mac sync right. However, my BlackBerry can copy & paste, SMS, MMS, AOL IM, send vCards via Bluetooth, and of course sync Notes & Tasks with Entourage & OSX. Until the iPhone can do those basic things, I’m sticking with my BlackBerry.

  • terrywhite

    Nealio, the iPhone CAN send and receive simple text messages as SMS. It can NOT send MMS messages (messages that contain photos). If an MMS message is received on the iPhone you’ll have the option to view on the web via Safari.

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  • Carter

    Hi Terry,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the really good review. I saw a link to it at http://www.productcritic.com/product/219-apple-iphone and after reading all those other “professional” reviews that are linked from there, yours was the most helpful.

    Great work!

  • K

    Loved your unbasis review. Thanks!!

  • Pavel Baskakov

    I stumbled upon your website by mistake. And boy did i realise that this is the most honest review ever about the iPhone. You show exactly the bright side and the dull side off the product, its great! You make the iPhone sound great but still tell the truth. Its fantastic!

    I hope as you say Apple will give updates to the iPhone and let tasks and notes be sync.

    Thank you,


  • Kendall Gelner

    A pretty good review, but it seemed like you overlooked a few things:

    1) For sleeping, what about the silence switch on the side that sets the phone to vibrate instead of sound? Should eliminate all alert sounds, then you switch it back on when you awake. The alarm sound will still come through though, as will music if you have the iPod on.

    2) For car charging, just use any iPod car charger (there are many). The iPhone uses the same dock connector as an iPod which means that generally almost any iPod compatible device will work (some external speakers currently make the iPhone turn off all network access so that they do not make noise, updated accessories for that are on the way).

    3) Similarly for long flights, just use one of a number of external battery packs for the iPod. You should be able to watch movies or listen to music the whole flight, and when you remove the external pack on arrival your phone will have a full charge (depending on how long the external packs hold up, of course!!)

    I also just stumbled on your site by accident, but felt you really provided one of the better reviews I have read.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Kendall, Thanks!

    1) the silence switch silences ALL the sounds. I still want to hear the ringer if I get an emergency call at night, but don’t want to hear the non-emergency sounds of email and SMS.

    2) Yes, while it is true that most iPod car chargers should work fine, I wrote that comment coming from the perspective that this may be the first Apple phone/iPod for many and if you’re used to getting a cell phone with a car charger, then you’re going to want one for your iPhone too. Also since the iPhone has a slightly recessed 30pin connector port, it’s probably SAFER to get a car charger that you KNOW will work as opposed to taking a chance on one that might not fit properly. If you’ve got one that fits already great.

    3) True. I did check my external battery pack and it did fit and work properly.

  • Great review, Terry!

    One tip regarding not being able to get your friend’s emailed phone number into your contacts: iPhone has a cool feature where most phone numbers on websites and emails show up underlined in blue as a hotlink — touching it brings up a dialog that asks if you want to call the number. So in your situation you can call your friend’s phone from the email, but then immediately cancel the call (hang up). Then go to the Recent tab (within Phone) and you’ll see the number you just dialed as a call. Click on the right arrow icon to bring up the call’s info and there are buttons there to add the number as a new contact or add it to an existing contact (very handy).

    A bit of a hack, but it does work until Apple adds copy/paste!

    — Marc

  • Will Stiles


    First great review, after reading many it was yours that helped me the most in making my decision to purchase an iPhone. I had/have a Blackjack and although it did everything I needed it to do, the iPhone does pretty much everything it does but with a much slicker interface and much better integration.

    So far I have been able to sync my media at home and my work contacts and Outlook Calendar events at work… well most of them. I have some issue where some meetings don’t sync and I’m not sure why. Any ideas? The Blackjack doesnt have any problems synching everything. Web surfing is actually faster on the iPhone than it was on the Blackjack. Even though the BlackJack was on 3G… I cant explain why but it just is. Also is it possible to snooze a meeting reminder? I cant seem to find how to do that. I set up my yahoo mail on the iphone but it doesnt “pull” them from the server it just grabs copies, is that normal.

    Overall a great phone in fact it works better than I expected. I live in Texas and the AT&T network here is pretty good so I have no issues with the call quality.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Will, Thanks!
    Not sure why some of your meetings are not syncing. I would try to determine if the ones that aren’t syncing have something in common. For example, are they all day events or are do they contain long notes, etc. There may be some limitation that you’ve hit that we don’t know about yet.

    Hi Marc,
    That is a handy work around for now. I would still like to see it be more seamless in a not to distant future update though. Thanks for the tip.

  • former crackberry addict

    Great review! I just wanted to point out one thing i believe you missed regarding the virtual keyboard. The “auto complete” feature was really intended to be just an “auto correct” feature. It’s designed so you can blast through typing without worrying about your accuracy. As you pointed out, it usually suggests the correct word right before the last character

  • Tim Adams

    Terry, Great review – thanks for posting it. One little ‘nit’ however.

    You wrote “The next item that is missing is a headphone jack adapter. While the iPhone uses a standard port, the port is somewhat recessed and your current headphones, earbuds, etc. may not fit all the way down. ”

    That is NOT correct. If you look at the headset plug for the iPod and the iPhone, you will see the difference. The iPod has 3 sections while the iPhone has 4 sections. Making the iPhone port recessed might very well have saved people from causing damage by plugging in earbuds that were not designed for it.

    While I don’t know the reason for the different plug, it is quite possibly for the mic located in the earbuds that come with the iPhone.


  • Anita kirby

    thanks! Great review. Have had my phone for 16 days. It is not perfect but it is wonderful. I miss notes but made a NOTES cal on iCal on Mac and on iPhone. Works for me for now. Desperately missed my to do lists but am using web-based list (TaDa). It’s cute and fun and works well AND I could access it today from the store when I let my nubby have my precious phone for a few hours! Hardest thing for me to do without was the alarm/alert on my Treo 650 which gets me on te fromthe hospital to meetings elsewhere in the College. The alert on iPhone is a soft little ditty that I cant hear in my work chaos and it is not adjustable. Missed one very impt meeting and almost returned the phone until I found alarms in the clock, lots of alarm choices and some very obnoxious ones so altough it is one extra step I won’t miss another meeting and I suspect a future update will address this. Other than hose things I LOVE LOVE LOVE the iPhone. Number port from verizon took 3 minutes. Sync was seamless – iCal, iPhoto, iTunes, Contacts (with 500 peopl and 400 recipes!)- all perfect and PRETTY on the phone. Safari is AMAZING. Maps saved me on a trip last week. The zoom (double-tap or ‘pinch’ is so cool and great for my old eyes. Hope everyone enjoys theirs as much as I have. (Sent from my iphone!)

  • Michael in Jakarta

    A great unbiased and thorough review. I unfortunately have to wait till next year here in Asia but I hope they can go straight to 2.0.

    On the camera, the result looks good but I am very impressed with my current phone, Nokia N73 with 3.2mp Zeiss lens. Good enough for report, web and email quality and bluetooths very nicely to my MacBook. I hope iPhone for Asia has this sorted by the release time. I use it a lot.

    Another issue for me is traveling. When I go to a country for more than a few days I like to buy a local sim card (chip) which is much cheaper than roaming and international call fees. Sounds like the phone is locked up to AT & T so this is not possible.

  • Edwars

    Great review!! I wanted to go through a few reviews before going to purchase my iphone. Most people only gave all the negative, thanks for putting it out plane and simple. Looks like I will be purchasing mine today. Thanks!

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  • pistolero

    Terry, I applaud you! When I cam to your iPhone blog, I quickly scanned to the bottom of the page and I though, “man, this is long” and I wanted scan through it quickly to get a summary but once I started reading, I had to read it all. Thanks for a job well done.

  • my friend bought the iPhone …
    its really kewl …
    but cant use it outside US … and we are in maldives …
    that sucks …
    but still … its very kewl …
    hehe …

  • Darkwolf

    You say that most phones suck today.
    And then you say you know not a single person who truely loves their smartphone.
    What a load of crap!
    I am a Symbian user and I think the Nokia N95 is great as it offers a lot more then the iPhone, technically speaking.
    The iPhone is nice, but it is what you said: it’s not perfect as no smartphone ever is.
    I don’t want the iPhone.
    It looks nice but lacks the technologies and features I demand in my mobile device today.
    The Nokia N95 is the most advanced smartphone to date. Period!
    Not a single other device (including any other Nokia smartphone) tops it when it comes to technology and features.
    And Symbian slow?
    You are living in the past!
    It simply flies on the Nokia N95 in every aspect (device boots in less then 20 seconds, for one).

  • terrywhite

    Darkwolf, since I don’t know YOU, I stand by what I said. My Symbian comment was based upon what I saw with an E62 (which isn’t that far in the past). So if your N95 is great and you do love it. Good for you! Take Care.

  • Darkwolf

    This can be interpereted as a general assumption: “I don’t know a single person who loves their cell phone/smartphone.”
    As in you suggest that there is practicaly no one out there who really really love their smartphone.
    I find that hard to believe.

  • terrywhite

    Let me clear it up for you and others then. It’s NOT a general assumption and I am speaking about the people I KNOW! I didn’t say that “no one” in the world likes their smartphone. I said no one that I KNOW!
    Since there were hundreds of thousands of people lined up to get an iPhone on the first weekend (unlike any other phone sold to date, and 40% new to Apple) and according to a recent survey on USA Today stating that over 90% of the buyers are either “Extremely Satisfied” or “Very Satisfied” with their iPhone purchase I can’t be too far off. Also looking at the dozens of comments I’ve gotten saying that this review was right on the money, and no one that I KNOW disagreeing with me I stand by what I said (believe it or not).

    I’m glad YOU like your smartphone. However, I wonder why you’re here making arguments in a thread about a phone that “you don’t want?” I’m not suggesting that you or anyone else switch from the phone they like. I’m speaking from MY personal experience. Nokia makes great devices, enjoy!

  • larry


    great review.
    I am glad i have an iPhone
    I am glad I paid Sprint to cancel my service even though it was very good.

    few things I would like to see outside the obvious aforementioned.
    1- filtered contacts, ie- by company
    2- searchable contacts- ie- I type a few letters and up pops any contacts that meet the criteria
    3- answers to why I cant save a file on my lovely 8G iPhone. ie- you send me a PDF, I can view it, why can’t I keep it on the phone.
    4- ability to save emails in created folders for future reference. I only see, inbox, sent, and trash
    5-higher functionality on calendered events.- ie- I hold a meeting every 2nd monday of the month, I can’t enter that type of re occurance on iPhone
    6-year view in calendar to get to a month I want quicker
    7- ability to password certain photo/ or itune playlist folders so only I can view/hear them
    8- slightly more on the weather like chance of rain PS- i have 7 cities on mine and have yet to see a limit (you mention 5 as a limit)
    9- robust financial calculator option (should be simple)
    10-ability to click on a contact and choose to calendar an appontment with them
    11- simple excel like program. imagine the charts you could make and use to keep track of key business performance indicators, all wonderfully viewed on iphone
    12- ability to use the product a a hard drive.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Larry, Thanks!
    1. you can do this by setting up groups in your Address Book (at least on Mac, not sure about Outlook). I have all kinds of groups set up now to more quickly get to certain contacts on the iPhone.
    4. You can do this if you have an IMAP based email account. I created a folder called Notes on my computer’s email app (Mail) and it shows up on the iPhone with notes (emails) that I want to keep.
    8. You can tap the little Yahoo symbol in the lower left corner of the Weather display to get a forecast for that city via the web. Yes, you are correct in that you can have more than 5. I thought there was a limit based upon early info, but apparently that limit was lifted in the shipping version.
    12. If you are a Mac user there is a way to do this with an app called “iPhoneDrive”:

  • Lonny


    Thanks for a very objective review with some excellent information. I have been a pda and pda/phone user for years and had been waiting for a compelling reason to buy something new. As a platform, I think the iphone is a winner and I am a committed proponent (not a bigot yet).

    I would like to share what I see as glaring omissions and significant shortcomings in hopes of finding a way to influence Apple on these fronts


    Fundamental OSX functionality missing on the iphone:
    1 – Cut/copy/paste – had this almost 20 years ago on my Macintosh. Have also had this on my PDA and PDA/phone for years. Very helpful and very painful to be missing as you have pointed out.
    2 – File system – ability to store and view data files (notes, word docs, pdf, excel) and organize in folders. On my Treo I could use documents to go and both view and edit files.
    3 – Search – of notes, contact info, emails and other desired content (word, excel, pdf, etc.) Would be nice to see Google’s influence on more than maps.


    4 – Speed of Edge is too slow. Better display and interface, but not much faster than some other handheld internet browsing.
    5 – Grouping/Organizing notes – Folders are used elsewhere, why not for notes. No backup of notes on my computer (using Outlook notes as a work around)
    6 – Grouping contact info – no grouping by category, company, etc. (this is not working with Outlook at this time)
    7 – Rapid contact lookup – Scrolling is great, but I have over 150 contacts starting with “M” alone. I liked the Treo’s first initial/last name that got me to the contact I wanted (out of over 2000) in 3-4 letters.
    8 – Ebooks – would like to read on the airplane (and other locations without internet connection), but no way to save and/or read an ebook (or other data files for that matter)


    1 – skweezer.com – access any site through skweezer to make it behave more like a mobile optimized site. Dramatic improvement when Edge is the only option. Some odd behaviors, but very good overall.

    2 – Hold finger on the number button and slide to desired punctuation/number and release. This greatly speeds up adding periods and commas while typing since it returns to alpha typing with just one touch of the screen.

    Thanks for the caps lock callout.

    Looking forward to the updates to come, particularly on the OSX functionality being enabled.

  • WooooW ..

    soo far this is the best review for the i-phone i have ever found .


  • Laura

    Wow you really put it through the paces, great report. Glad you are having good luck with the battery life too, some are saying it doesn’t last long enough. I found a site that has great replacement ipod batteries you can either change yourself with their tools (very easy) or have them replace for you faster and cheaper than Apple. Looks like they will soon have a long life iPhone battery too.
    – Laura

  • Bob Yells

    .WAV files in Mail.

    I think Safari should be able to ‘display’ an audio file. You could try something like iphoneconvert.com ….

    Agreed, Mail should be able to play audio/video.

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  • Mitzi

    I’m wanting my imac in my purse, and I guess this phone is it’s precursor. I’ll wait for two years and hope that Apple will escape the AT&T stranglehold(at&t is unacceptable to me). Surely within two years I’ll be able to buy this and it will be my “pocket mac”. Nice review.

  • Very in-depth review of the iphone! Check our shorter version out and leave a comment!

  • Nokia N95

    “The iPhone is not perfect by any means. Show me a smartphone that is.”

    Try Nokia N95

  • bob

    a great review – one of the best i’ve read. And I’ve read em all.
    Because of it i got an iPhone.

    Dude you were spot on.
    And now having this sweet little phone in my hand i appreciate your words even that much more.

    A great review.
    A fantastic phone.
    Thanks – you rule.

  • Dustin


    I just spent the last 3 1/2 hours reading various reviews online about the iPhone and, as many others have already stated, your review is by far the best. It is the most informative and actually provides the reader with knowledge to make an informed decision on purchasing a $500 – $600 phone.

    I have a new Bookmark now and will be a frequent viewer.


  • terrywhite

    Thanks Lonny, Sairus, Laura, Mitzi, Bob and Dustin!

  • Hi Terry:

    Enjoy your reviews. Our MusicJam was tested and works with the iPhone–except for the need for the headset adapter ($10).


  • Hi Terry,

    Because you are the absolute best reviewer out there, and seem to be the ONLY one who actually knows for real the answers to some of the iPhone questions, can I please give you another one to answer?

    I am looking to buy an iPhone and will want to use it in the British Virgin Islands as well as Italy. I know I can get an International calling plan with AT&T that will give me discounted roaming rates, or simply pay the regular roaming rates. BUT talk to me about the SIM card. Is it possible to go to one of these countries and buy a SIM card there to install into the iPhone, thus avoiding those roaming rates? Or, is that just a pipe dream? I’ve read on other sites that Apple reps are saying of course you can, Apple is ‘bad, but not that bad.’

    Any info would be much appreciated. And again, best review out there.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Geri,
    Currently the iPhone will NOT work with a non-AT&T SIM card (without doing some sort of hack). So when you travel abroad you’ll be subject to AT&T roaming charges. Hopefully this will change over time, but as it stands right now the only way to use a different SIM card requires a hack and since I’m not into hacking, I don’t have many details on whether or not these hacks work and what the downside to them would be or what features you would lose with a different SIM card.

  • Thanks Terry, appreciate the info.

    It’s crazy that you can’t get the same answer out of any two people at Apple, and those forums are, at least regarding the iPhone, chaotic at best. I’m glad I’ve finally found the “go-to guy.” Stay cool!

  • Andrea

    Thanks for the info, it’s more of what I was looking for as I debate wether or not to throw my Treo 650 against the wall and give up, or suffer valiantly through it. Before the Treo, I had a sidekick that did fine, save for the phone signal not working indoors, and a firmware update breaking the camera while Tmobile did nothing to make it better. Right now, I’m so disappointed with my Treo (on phone number 3), that I’m afraid to go down to the store and grab the iphone.

    Is it really worth the upgrade?

    Is the audio quality really that much better than the Treo’s?

    Is the iphone coverable with insurance, unlike the Treo?

    It’s really not a money thing at th is point. It’s a “I can’t handle another phone that doesn’t work” issue. Your guidance would be amazing.

  • terrywhite

    Since I’m coming from a Treo 650 on Cingular (and Sprint before that)
    YES, it’s worth the upgrade
    YES, the audio quality is much better in my opinion
    NO, I have not seen any “insurance” that covers the iPhone. Apple does provide AppleCare to extend the warranty. However, this doesn’t cover damage or loss. You might also check with your homeowners policy.
    Also keep in mind that if you buy the iPhone from the Apple store you have 14 days to return it if it doesn’t work for you.

  • Don

    Thanks for your excellent review. This is truly one of the best reviews of anything I’ve ever read. It’s been a great help.
    A couple things I’m curious about
    1- On iPhone’s Safari, is there an option not to download graphics from websites? Maybe you can check it out to see how that affects speed on the edge network and let us know.
    2- Do you know if OSX’s “applescriptability” is present on the iPhone version? Or Automator?
    3- Can you use iPhone as a “hard drive” like a regular iPod can? Is there a setting on iTunes for that to divide the storage?
    4- you might have mentioned this earlier, but can you view .ppt, or .xls files? Do you view them in Safari with a plugin?

    You’re obviously a great man. Keep it up.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Don, Thanks!
    1- There is no option currently not to display graphics in Safari
    2- If applescript/automator is there, there is no UI for it that is accessible by the user.
    3- The iPhone doesn’t have the ability to act as a hard drive natively. However, there is a 3rd party app that allows you to do this. However, you have to run the app each time to access the contents of the iPhone. So if you took your iPhone with files on it to a different computer without that app, you wouldn’t be able to access the files.
    4- no .ppt viewing, but you can view .pdf, .doc and .xls files in Mail and .pdf in Safari.

  • Rain

    thanks for the review…was searching for reviews for a while before i stumbled onto yours. now i really want to go buy an iphone. thanks again!!

  • Ahmed Nasidi

    thank you excellent review. I have what i think is a very good idea i was wondering if you are a programmer or something i dont really want to tell you the idea because i dont really know how it works i was told i need to get a patent. it has to do with whatever makes a link a to a website whenever you type it

  • Hadassah

    When is the iPhone 2.0 due to hit the seen? If it’s not too long, I may want to wait until then.

  • Peter

    Terry: Thanks for the fine work. I just got my iphone. I am trying to import my Razr address book via bluetooth into my Mac so I can put it into the iphone. I cannot figure out how to do this with iSync. Perhaps I should do it directly between the Razr and the iPhone. Please advise, thanks much.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Peter, you will need to add your Razr to your Mac via bluetooth and then you should be able to Sync it to Address Book with iSync.

  • Peter



    I have done so, but all that happens is my Apple Contacts go onto the Razr, but the Razr Address Book does not get added to Contacts.

  • terrywhite

    Peter, I think the issue is where the contacts are stored on the phone (SIM card vs. internal memory). iSync only sees them in one of those two locations (I can’t remember which on the RAZR). However, whichever location they’re in, simply copy them to the other location on the phone and sync.

  • Peter

    Terry: I imagine I am being a bother. I tried your idea, but to no avail. I must be doingt something wrong. The computer seems to pair with the phone and iSync shows some activity, but the contacts on the phone do not join the ones on the computer. Since I do not want to bother you, can you suggest someone to call, eg. Apple. I have spent enough time that I likely could have typed the names into my computer by now. But as you understand it is the principle of the thing. Again, thanks.


  • Kevin D

    Do you know if the iphone works with any current FM transmitter? There are many for the ipods but nothing yet for the phone, wondering if you knew of any that would work with the phone? I have heard that the Kensington Digital FM Transmitter/Auto Charger works, have you?


    Kevin D

  • terrywhite

    Peter, In iSync are you telling it to Merge or Import the contacts from your RAZR?
    You might find more answers at http://discussions.apple.com

    Kevin, check this FM Transmitter:

  • Wayne

    Thanks for the comprehensive review. It is great and useful.

    However… perfect phones do exist… My gf loves her N73 and its the perfect phone for her. My Nokia 6100 *was* my perfect phone… a piece of crap phone for you could be the perfect phone for someone else.

    And a lot of my friends love their phone… very personal experience I guess. So yeah… better not put those strong/bold personal comments in a review, esp when you are using caps and bold to emphasize your feelings.

    About the phone camera thingy… N73/N95/K800i/K810i etc all have some decent cameras on board… and phones in Japan have even better cameras.. don’t know if you have tried those phones out… they are still not DC quality, but definitely way better than iPhone or my stupid W580i which has a 2mp cam without AF or macro…
    Maybe everyone around you is using the americans-favourite Motorola Razor(s)… ^^”

    I’m not an ipod fan, i own a 3rd gen ipod and honestly I hated it very much. My gf and her bro are huge apple fans though. So yeah personally I don’t hate nor love apple products. I like iPhone and I think its gorgeous, its not going to be the perfect phone for me, but the huge touch screen sure is going to entertain me for quite a while 😉


  • Will

    Terry: Great balanced review.

    Do you think that voice-dialing could be a feature added by Apple through a software update, or is this something that could only be made available in a new iphone version 2.0?

  • terrywhite

    Hi Will,
    Yes, I think voice dialing could be done via a firmware update. I’m not an engineer so I don’t know if there are special chips for this that would be required that aren’t in the current model, but I’m thinking it’s possible.

    I would also like to see simple voice memos and perhaps call recording.

  • JV


    Thank you for your thorough review. I’m thinking about purchasing the iphone but wanted to read more user reviews. I’m glad I came across your site. You are very honest and concise in explaining each feature.

    Keep up the great work!

  • a.malagatte

    as for the iphone 1.0, the review was great, im only adding that the motorola ming actually does all that things and the things that the iphone misses, it does them too, altough is more the like of a pda, because of the stylus, but, as a complete webpage, camera video image and so forth, iphone 1.0 still does not beat it yet, no sd or micro sd for expansion, no usefull bluethooth no exchangeable battery, are not lightly matters even without msn chat or video,

    thoroughly review on the other hand

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  • Myra

    Hi Terry, thank you for a fantastic review ! I was gonna wait until the 2nd gen came out . . . but after my ipaq pocket pc phone froze for the 20th time in ONE day, I made the plunge and here I am with this extraordinarily cool gadget 🙂 your review convinced me to go for it, so thank you again for your blog. while I do miss some lacking features (video, tethering, & memory expandability), the iphone is a real beauty in many other aspects and I’m glad I got one. so keep up your excellent techblog, it’s the best on the web !!

  • terrywhite

    Thanks Myra!

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  • Ben

    Great review terry. I really needed to hear an honest review. I have been hearing about some of the billing issues though and some people are racking up 2 to 3 grand in cell phone charges. I do like how the 8g iPhone dropped 200 dollars though.

  • Now the the phone has dropped $200, and is 8gb for $399, would this make some of the problems, less… problematic?

    I’ve read a few reviews and most of the cons are things I either don’t care about or could get used to. Hoping that a firmware update down the line might make it 3G compatible, MMS able, and maybe copy paste!

    However, after reading the reviews I’m left desiring the phone more and more, and of course the price drop has just made that desire increase.

  • Can you use the iphone for phone calls overseas, either from US to overseas or from overseas to US? The review is very helpful but I did not see this issue addressed.

  • terrywhite

    The iPhone is a GSM world phone currently tied to AT&T. Yes you can use it to make calls to other countries and from other countries back to the US. Provided that you have International Calling/Roaming on your plan. Also be aware of outrageously expensive data charges that some overseas carriers charge.

  • D. Rob

    Terry, to put it simply -great review! After reading several, it was refreshing to read a veteran Apple/Mac user’s unbiased feedback of the iPhone. My co-worker purchased one on the first day it rolled out, and I’ve been hooked since. I do not own or use any Apple products, but with Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200, I think that (along with your review) is enough for me to head down to the Apple store and take a look.

    D. Rob

  • Xena.iPhoneWarrior

    Terry… In hopes of preparing myself for re-entry into the world of technology, I dusted off my Atari, plugged in my Apple II Plus and went to town. After finding the last key to the castle and jumping Harry over those scary, scary alligators… I strolled on down to my local Apple store and snagged me an iPhone. After a few false starts and a “How-To” conference with my 8 year old, I made a call. And then I touched the screen a few more times and a song played, my stock prices showed up and I ordered some cheese from Wisconsin. Okay… maybe I’m not as lame as all that but this “phone” is a huge step for me… and I love it. I read your article and truly enjoyed it, despite not knowing what 3/4 of it meant. (3g and EDGE and MMS) This phone is great fun, easy-ish to get running and, due to its singular button safely bringing me back to a familiar place, almost totally “me-proof”. Now… I’m gonna do some surfing and find out who’s playing at the next US Festival.

  • d burke

    Hi Terry,
    i have read a few reviews very critical of the actual phone part. At&T problems, not good audio on the phone. obviously this thing is sexy and cool but what is the consensus on the actual phone, reception/service/audio quality?

  • Perry

    hey i was just wondering if you are able to use a instant messaging service on the phone. Is there any way I can IM with my aim acount?

  • terrywhite

    d burke,
    I’ve not had any problems with reception/service/audio quality with the phone. The AT&T service is what it is. However, so far this has been the best phone I’ve used on AT&T.

    Yes there are a few AIM clients for the iPhone now:

  • cluso

    I really think people like you make the world a better place, ok, i’m exaggerating, let’s say, the virtual world a better place. Thank you for sharing your experience and more than anything thank you for being honest. If this philosophy continues I’m pretty sure we, as “the public”, can push all the major name brands to take their products to the next level.


  • ERIC

    Hey Terry,
    I really really like your review, I have read a lot of them. I do not yet have an iPhone but am thinking about getting one. I am already with AT&T and I dont think they are so bad. I do have some questions though that you might be able to answer.

    1. If i do get an iPhone on a family plan(with my family) and other family members dont get an Iphone, they get simpler phones, how does the plan work out? Will it not work out? Since iPhone get unlimited web acess and such, the 200 sms, but the other phones wont get the internet/data but will get more text messages… Its confusing to write but I guess it could be Will the family plan work with 1 iPhone and 2 other non-iPhones? and how? i might have to go to AT&T for this though.

    2. Do you really think apple will come out with updates/firmwares? I would love iChat or something like that, and other added features that are missing.

    Thanks a ton, Eric

  • terrywhite

    Hi Eric,

    1. If you get the iPhone on your family plan the other phones and their prices are not affected. This is exactly what I did. We had 3 phones on the plan originally. I added mine and converted my wife’s. So that was two iPhones and two Moto’s. The Moto’s remained at their original price/features. The iPhones added $20/month for the unlimited data plans.

    2. Apple is slated to release a software/feature update THIS WEEK! Check back at the end of the week on this blog for my review of that update.

    BTW, there are some ways to do iChat (AIM) based chatting now via Safari on the iPhone.

  • Roger

    The iphone is being launched here in the UK in a few weeks, so it was great reading this indepth rewiew. It’s armed me with knoledge, so I’ll need a few questions answered before handing over my cash(it’s going to cost alot more here!).

  • MplsKen

    Great review! Thanks! I have been almost singularly obsessed about the iPhone for weeks and nearly talked myself into paying the $200 broken contract fee a few times even though my Sprint contract is up in a mere 4 weeks. Have been a Treo user since the 600 first came out (upgraded to the 650 because of battery issues in the 600 that Sprint wouldn’t acknowledge until after my warranty was up.) For a long time it was everything I needed. Held off on buying an iPod because I wanted everything in one device, and here it is! Woo Hoo!

    Two quick questions that I didn’t see answers to …
    1) any word on the street/anywhere about when a 3G or 16GB version will be coming?
    2) would it be possible for software to enable the 3G (seems like more of a hardware thing, right?)

    One question I haven’t seen …
    1) Would a 3G model eliminate the international roaming charges or is that just a plan thing?

    Once again – best review I’ve seen. Thanks!

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  • terrywhite

    Hi MplsKen,
    1) no official word on 3G or 16GB versions. However, rumor has it at about 8 months for 3G and maybe 16GB around December/January. These are only RUMORS.
    2) 3G will definitely be a HARDWARE upgrade.

    1) In Apple’s latest 1.1.1 update they now default the iPhone to EDGE/GPRS international roaming OFF. So you would have to turn it on yourself and therefore there wouldn’t be any surprise charges for doing data in another country.

  • AS

    Thank you for the comprehensive review! You’re balanced analysis has me leaning heavily towards buying an iPhone. The one thing currently holding me back is the lack of 3G.

    Now that you have lived with the phone since June would you still recommed making the plunge or would you wait until 2.0?

    Thanks again. Looking forward to your review of the software update.


  • terrywhite

    AS, to answer your question, yes I still recommend the iPhone. Even more so now that the price has dropped. Are there still things I wish it did that it doesn’t? Absolutely, but it is still the best phone I’ve used to date.

  • Awesome review! Thanks for going into so much detail on all of the different features of the iPhone. I’m not a Mac user, but I’ve been lusting after an iPhone for a while now. I think your review sealed the deal for me. I’m going to be getting one as soon as possible! Do you think the iPhone will be pretty easy to use, even for a person who is not accustomed to a Mac?

  • David

    Many thanks for the most thorough review~!

  • terrywhite

    Thanks! The iPhone is an amazing device! You should be able to adapt to it as a non-Mac user with no problem. And there’s always that great “The iPhone Book” that I’ve been hearing great things about 🙂


  • Harry Wolf

    Great review! Fair and reasonable – well done.

    I have an iPhone and it will be interesting to see how 2.0 and 3.0 improve the thing.
    I think its the best phone I have ever used and it has seriously made my work life easier. Thats worth big bucks to me…..

  • nicole

    thank you so much for the review! my fiance and i are planning on getting iphones in a couple of weeks when our current contract is up with another carrier. i was wary, but after reading your review, im really excited! i guess its that initial feeling when you see something you want and its expensive, you dont want to shuck out all that money and sign a two-year contract for a piece of junk! i hope someone at apple has read your review and add the necessary updates. the battery thing i dont think they will change, but the biggest complaint ive seen is the keyboard is only available portrait style. id like to see that change before i get one!

    thanks again!

  • Vanessa

    Very Informative! Thx! 😉

  • Adrienne

    Thanks so much for your comprehensive, unbiased and easy-to-understand review. I currently have Verizon but am seriously considering switching to AT&T for the iphone. Verizon is coming out with the Voyager in November to compete with the iphone and I was wondering what your initial thoughts were. I can’t decide if I should wait for the Voyager or just go for the iphone.

  • terrywhite

    Hi Adrienne,
    Thanks! I haven’t seen the Voyager yet, so I can’t give it a fair comparison. However, it basically boils down to how much you want to stick with Verizon? We’ve seen many challengers to the iPod and yet it still remains the best MP3 player (or at least the most popular). I imagine that iPhone challengers will come and go as well. Sure there are phones out there that do more and cost less, but its the UI (user interface) that will keep the iPhone on top!

  • Rohit

    Hey terry,
    Good job done. Just wanted to tell you that you don’t really need cursors to edit text cuz if you long press the URL , it will zoom in to give a better view to move the cursor. Yet another really cool feature on the Iphone.

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  • nitingale


    Thank you for the unbiased review. I’m really interested in buying an 8GB iphone. There are a few sources here in Vancouver,BC that i can get it from and they’re unlocked. Does that mean I can use the iphone in SouthEast Asia when I travel there and will have no problems using it with a SIM Card that we use there? All the best!

  • gaby

    Your review was exactly what I was looking for! All your personal input is very helpful. Thank you! Keep updating us!

  • Ririe

    Hi Terry,
    Big thanks to you with your comment about iPhone. After wait for 2 years, at last, O2 will launch it on 9 Nov. 2007 to gether with Apple UK.
    My only question is :
    ‘Have you find any upgrade changes software and facilities in it, since the first launch in USA and spread out to Europe, specially with different provider?
    Thank lots,

  • Tim

    Great Review. This is exactly what i was looking to find in my search for answers. Quick question though…does the IPhone support downloads through AT&T’s website, so that you can get the games and ringtones they have up there?
    Thanks alot

  • terrywhite

    Hi Tim,
    Thanks! No AT&T downloads for the iPhone at this time. Just about everything goes through iTunes.

  • Daré Ahmed

    First I must say this the most informative review I’ve come across. I’ve had my iPhone for 30 days and I love it. I also have the Treo 700wx on the Sprint network. Honestly the only reason I’m keeping the Treo is because of the phone service. I have free incoming calls (most of my calls are incoming), free nights (starting @ 6) and weekends, free mobile to mobile. I know AT&T offers most of same options, but unlike my iPhone my Treo actually works. No dropped calls no static on my Treo, my iPhone on the other hand, I use it for everything else. I want to use my iPhone exclusively but unfortunatly I can’t, I wish AT&T’s service was better in my area or I could use my iPhone on the Sprint network.

  • terrywhite

    Daré, I hear you on the level of service. Some of my friends with iPhones (after having Verizon) in certain areas are really feeling the pain of being on AT&T with constantly dropping calls. Hopefully AT&T will improve service!

  • lawrence

    Hello Terry, I am in France, and i wanted to let you know that i LOVE your site and the intelligence of your reviews!
    A little answer now, for a question by nitingale: Yes, the unlocked Iphone will work with a south east asia sim card. I have an unlock iphone, i am just coming back from Thailand, and my thai sim card worked perfectly well. In fact, once it is unlocked , nearly all sim card will work. And, yes, the IPhone is great! In fact, once you have one you’re just thinking: ” why the hell did it take so long to have a mobile phone which is so simple to use? “

  • paul c.

    excellent review, particularly since many of us currently use a treo 650 also.
    I need the following in a smart phone: 1. excellent phone with smart features, 2. PDA features, 3. third party applications capability.
    Having wi-fi capability in the iphone will NEVER compensate for not allowing third party applications (ie Epocrates for all the physicians out there).
    Despite the great design, the iphone does not surpass the treo 650 at this time (and the treo 650 itself is far from perfect).

  • Matt B. San Diego, CA

    Great review…can’t believe you did this AND have a family AND full time job. Thanks again!

  • Billy

    Hi Terry,

    I live in Singapore and bought an iPhone a few days ago. We can use our simcards here with a bit of hacking and the 1.1.1. software version (with 1.1.2. we are sc…ed).

    You must be tired of hearing this but thanks for a GREAT and INFORMATIVE AND WELL WRITTEN AND EASY TO READ REVIEW!! Selling reviews to magazines is a good idea but why stop there – you should set up your own magazine + make and sell tutorials where you can recommend third party software/easy fixes as well.

    I’m used to IPOD but has always been a MS user as far as pc’s are concerned. I must say the iPhone is so user friendly that a regular tutorial is not neccessary, very impressed indeed. I’ve always been a Nokia man but on my latest – the E61i, the volume was so bad I could not hear anything.

    See you are a MAC user but if you know or you or somebody can point me in the right direction for tips on how to transfer data/syncronize contacts etc from MS Outlook that would be appreciated. I understand it can be done via i-tunes but have not gotten around to fully try and understand it.

    Thanks again,

  • John

    Here is my iPhone vs the LG Voyager review http://verizonlgvoyager.blogspot.com/

  • I was also thrilled about the multiple macs sync! I have the same issue where my home server handles music, but my work MBP contains up to date contacts.

    Better late than never, I also reviewed the iPhone yesterday.

  • Ryan

    Not sure what to say, but that review was by far the best. Perfect how you displayed al the negatives and posotives while still making me want the iphone. This is truely an amazing phone, and you did an awsome job on the review. Thank you so much you have helped me a great deal on deciding on weather or not i should buy this phone. Thank you

  • Excellent review! One overlooked item are the ear buds. Like where do you put them when you are not listening to music or using the mic. One neat solution can be found at http://www.budcase.com

    It’s an ear bud keychain holder.

    Pretty cool.


  • Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  • sean galloway


    Thanks for your helpful review of the iphone. I have a couple of questions.

    First, at this point are there any rumblings about a 2.0 iphone coming shortly after the new year?

    Second, I am a US citizen living in Italy. I want an iphone. I don’t want to wait for it to be released in Italy (maybe April 08) and I don’t want to pay Euros for it. I want to buy it in the U.S. and therefore spend at least 50% less simply because of the exchange rate. So, how can I do this and get it operational?

    I’ve been told that it is not difficult to get them unlocked now. If I do this, will I have a fully functioning iphone? Can I switch back to using it in the US when I am visiting for months at a time? Will I need to pay for ATT servicing that I am not using while in Italy?

    Thanks for taking the time to help out this hopelessly tech challenged Apple fan. The vino is on me next time you’re in Fiesole.

  • Very well written. Thanks a lot.
    I have one question (i probably missed this), can the i phone be used with GSM?

  • Oh, and thanks for the honesty. I was getting bugged with all the one sided reviews i have been hearing and watching everywhere.

  • terrywhite


    Will there be an iPhone update in 2008, yes most likely. When and with what features remains the big question.
    There are various unlocking methods out there that you could use. Try them at your won risk. Be sure to check if the unlocking method you’re going to use can be reversed if need be to get it back to its original state.

    Thanks, YES, the iPhone is a GSM world phone.

  • Dave

    I’m considering purchasing the iPhone now for both my wife and I and I ran across your very in-depth review. I found it very helpful. I’ll be visiting your site more often to hear your perspectives on other products.


  • MIKE

    Greetings, Terry and all…

    I had read earlier in the blog that someone asked you if you would still recommend taking the plunge into getting the v1.0 or wait for the v2.0 to come out (even though v2.0 will be appearing sometime in 2008…I had read elsewhere that it would possibly be in March), and you said that you would. Since that entry was dated back in Septmeber, do you still feel that way? I’m in need of a new phone since mine is about to fall apart. I’m also due for an phone upgrade in about a week, but, unfortunately, that really doesn’t effect the price of the phone, which will still be $400. I’m REALLY considering v1.0, but leary about it. I’m wondering if the upgrades to the v1.0 (i.e., 3rd party apps) will still make it worth buying. I suppose I could buy a cheap or free phone till v2.0 comes out, but then I’m afraid of the cost that’s going to accompany the new version. Any idea what the cost may be?

    Thanks, again, Terry:)

  • mike

    best review i’ve read!

  • susanna

    Terry – thank you SO much for your comprehensive and unbiased review of the iphone. Like several others before me, I’m curious about the buzz about the new updated version… any idea about when it will come out?


  • Cary

    Hi Terry:

    Very good review on the iPhone. I want to ask you: Have you used the Installer App of the iPhone? If yes, what is good to install?


  • George

    thanks for the review, well done. i’m out to get an iPhone…

  • terrywhite

    As with all things Apple, a new iPhone could be as early as next week’s Macworld Expo or 6 months from now (and anywhere in between). I think we’ll see a new 3g version sometime in late Spring, early summer.

    I have used the App Installer and really like BlackJack and Flashlight 🙂

  • Pam Matosian

    I’m reading the iphone book you co-published. I just got my iphone for Christmas & I love it. I have one question. Has Apple or someone else come up w/ a way to voice record? I read your comment in the review, but I wondered if that has changed. I record a weekly 2 hr french lesson & would love to just do it directly onto the phone. Will the Belkin microphone accessory work?
    Thanks in advance

  • fantastic review dude…. rare to see these kinda of full done reviews nowadays…

  • Lisa


    Thank you for the review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it along with the responses from your readers.
    I’m torn between the Iphone and the Voyager phone. Although I think I like the Iphone more, AT+T’s limited service area scares me. I’ve been a Verizon customer for years now, and have had so few issues with their coverage area, that it’s holding me back from going with the Iphone. I’m curious if you have had a chance to see, or try the Voyager phone and what you think about it compared to the Iphone.

    Thank you,

  • chris

    I use a Windows Mobile phone, but I’m a huge fan of the IPhone UI. Sad thing is, I won’t be exchanging my Windows Mobile phone for an IPhone quite yet.

    EVERYTHING you mentioned except Flash support is supported in Windows Mobile, all the way from CD quality Bluetooth stereo music right down to copy/paste and profiles. (And I do mean everything…although maybe one or two of the items you mentioned might require an already available 3rd party program)

    My Windows Mobile phone just provides so much functionality, its sad that its such a chore to navigate through it. If only Apple wasn’t ashamed to copy like MS does, I’d be holding a spectacular IPhone in my hands. It looks like I’ll either have to wait until Apple releases its second generation or MS copies everything about the Iphones user interface in Windows Mobile 7 or 8.

  • Hi Terry. My name’s Chris Harris. I work for Earthcomber. I came across your blog, and I wanted to suggest you trying out one of our apps, specifically our app on the Web. If you visit http://www.earthcomber.com with a PC or Mac and click on the link that says “Try it Now!”, you’ll be directed to the Web app, or, as we’ve nicknamed it, “Webcomber”. We would like to know your honest opinion about the app – what you like and don’t like. It’s still in Beta stage, so any constructive criticism/praise would be much appreciated.

    Aside from that, we also have a mobile version for non-Java phones. We also have a special version of the mobile app for the iPhone. The mobile app can be reached via http://mobile.earthcomber.com. You can also find us on the iPhone application’s page: http://www.apple.com/webapps/travel/

    We also have a Java version for phones like Blackberries and other Java-enabled phones.

    Thank you for any help that you can give us.

    – Chris Harris

  • Randa

    Great Review, I am receiving mine on Sunday.. I heard a lot of negative reviews.. but I liked yours as it seemed objective and pointed out the good and the areas for improvement. It is crazy they dont have copy and paste by the way. I have had an imate for years now and I am so used to the windows system..Can you sync from outlook all contacts ?

  • Great review terry, has just inspired me to order my iphone

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  • Thank you for the review Terry. I’m a huge fan of the iPhone UI. This is a most intuitive UI in the momemt.

  • User

    Terry –

    Great breakdown – best I have seen yet. You make a few good points though, and thats this.

    Best Business Phone out there today (because of email capabilities) hands down is the blackberry – no questions. Sure, it doesnt maybe look as nice as the Palms but its also much more reliable. Blackberry has the best push email technology known and until Apple can get the MSE on board business users just arent going to buy the iphone. The iphone is an amazing device, but its still a personal and “fun” device. If I cant get instant email and respond to customer and company needs quickly, no matter how “cool” it is I am not going to be able to use this device.

    Another issue is the service. I know a bunch of people that have this phone on the East Coast and the service just isnt good. AT&T is not on the same level as Verizon, so AT&T will really have to improve upon this. Until they prove to me they have the best service, I am skeptical (I have a friend who had to buy a Blackberry from another provider for business calls because the iphone kept dropping them on AT&T’s network).

    All in all great phone but has some gaps. If they can fix these 2 angles, then this will phone will take over the market.

  • Fady

    first of all, wicked review Terry. the best ive read and it encouraged me to buy one, but before that,i want to ask, is it still worth to buy an iphone now, or wait for the supposedly v.2 to come around. and if so will it include any changes with the hardware, the looks of the phone ?


  • ajeet Bharti

    Hi terry,

    You can accuse me of reading this too late, But “better late then never” is the right phrase. A great, indepth, technical as well as user friendly review. I was planning to get an htc touch cruise, or the imate ultimate 9502 for me. But it is too costly in comparison to this iphone. I believe it is a cool, finger-friendly thing. I will buy one in some days. great review once again!! And yes once I get one I will trouble you if unable to get on to some features. Here is one question: “does it accept and transfer files via bluetooth?”


  • terrywhite

    There will be a new 3G version of the iPhone at some point this year. So if you’re interested in that, then you should wait. Apple has already announced the 2.0 features and existing iPhones will be upgradable to those software features.

    ajeet Bharti,
    The iPhone doesn’t currently support Bluetooth file transfers.

    the iPhone DOES sync contacts and calendars from Outlook.

    Thanks all!

  • Jeff

    Ok i am a high school student and i own a window washing biz. so i get lots of calls and i txt a lot. But want i really want too know is, is the price for an iphone worth it???



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  • Nice read. Did you hear that the iphone is dropping another $100? I was looking for a site to download unlimited music and movies and came across this review from iphone hub at http://www.iphonehub.com/ … what you think about this?


  • FilipM

    I didnt see in review, but i want to ask you how much can battery hold, on call, non-stop sms, video viewing, playing games, did you test it!??

    And how fast can you send SMS, how fast can typing be, is it faster or slower than on other classic phones!??

    Thank you!

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  • Max Young


    Thanks to your informative website and review on the iphone. I have just returned back from AT &T in Sacramento with a shiny new 8gb model to take home to Sydney tomorrow. (I have to wait until next week to get it unlocked for use on the Aussie networks.)

    So, if my wife complains about another gadget, I’ll just blame you:-)

    Cheers mate,

    Max Young

  • Chum

    hey. your review is so good! i watched the video of dropping the iPhone and it is very impressive. My friend’s iPhone is so fun to play with. i will garentee that an iPhone is in my future!

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  • I don’t have an IPhone yet, but after reading such great review like this I think I am about ready to buy one; well I guess I am looking for any excuse to convince myself to do that.

    Thanks Terry

  • Hi,

    Any updates regarding the 3g to be released on july 11th?

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  • Just for the record, I’ve been using Apple since before the first Mac. I’ve been doing general Mac consulting, DTP, web-work, and database development for close to 20 years. I probably have converted more people away from Windows to Mac machines than most of you yahoos.

    In my small ways, I’ve tried to help Apple change the world.

    Today, I stood in a 3-hour line to help a relative get her iPhone before going on a trip. And, yes, I actually advised her to get it — it suits her needs.

    To put my concerns about the iPhone in a nutshell, they are that the iPhone, even in v1, has the obvious ability to be a great phone+PDA, but has made deliberate choices to avoid that much-needed role.

    So I cannot recommend the iPhone to anyone looking to replace their PDA and their phone. If Apple cared, they could have managed that in v1.

    Yes — anyone who uses their phone+PDA for *real* work is going to want to use a collapsible BT keyboard for meeting notes, drafts while commuting, you name it. Apple is working *way* too hard to limit BT access in order to keep control of third-party products.

    I am not saying the V551 is *more* productive than the iPhone, but it is certainly a better phone — better reception, better battery life, better form factor. It does voice dialing and voice memos. With a new battery it gets about 8 hours talk time.

    I’ve since upgraded to the SE z750a. AT&T appears to have killed the 9-hour talk-time life somehow, but in every other regard it is a better phone. It is also super easy to transfer media to and from it without going through iTunes/MobileMe. I can operate it with one hand easily, and even without looking at it. Maybe Rachmaninoff could do that on an iPhone, but not your average person. Oh, yeah, and my z750 does just fine at checking e-mail, internet access, and so forth. Decent camera; exceptionally good video recording (with sound). Better text messaging and video messaging options than the iPhone. And I can listen to KPFA and KDFC on the FM radio without downloading podcasts — nice.

    I’ve done reception tests against the old iPhones against both these phones and kicked the iPhone’s butt. The v2 iPhone appears to be a little better but not top marks.

    For those folks who claim their v1 phones have stood up to abuse, I can tell you I know a LOT of people with v1 phones who had the opposite experience. Scuffed and cracked screens, etc.

    So, if you’re buying a PHONE, the iPhone cannot stand up to a lot of phones out there.

    And if you want a phone+PDA, the iPhone simply ISN’T a viable PDA yet. The PDA market it ripe for plunder by Apple (has been for YEARS), but Apple is making us wait. Apple should be ashamed of that!

    A typical PDA can go online, download apps, etc. — where are all the security problems iPhone fans keep warning about, and why can’t Apple surmount them? (BTW: Forgive me if there are now voice recording capabilities available — the Apple reps I spoke to both said there aren’t — can I also hook up an external mic, like with my iPod?).

    Now, then, if you are looking for an *iPod* + phone, then the v2 iPhone is a pretty good deal — but that’s not what I’d call a productivity phone.

    The single best thing I can find about the v2 iPhone is that one can cancel the AT&T data plan and still get internet via WiFi.

    I’ll agree with everyone who says that the iPhone is half way there.

    It’s just killing me that they’re taking so long to get there.

    Like I said — I *want* to want an iPhone.

    But for me, it would have to be either a better basic phone than my clamshell z750, or else give me a way to get work done without my laptop (like a good PDA does).

    And it ain’t there yet.

    No one is sadder than me about that.

  • Karen

    Hi, Just wanted to give you a heads up that this blogger below is reposting your words as his/hers, uncredited. I know that because some of his other posts are also direct, uncredited copies of my friend’s posts:


  • Ryn

    Hi, thanks for posting this review. Because im in the dilemma on getting myself an iphone. But know, i think i should get one for myself. thanks.

  • Hi, Terry. Please take a look at the BatRest on http://www.bullrest.com, the only stand for an iPhone or iPhone 3G which folds flat to the size of a credit card to fit in your wallet.

  • Danny

    Hi Terry:

    I don’t know much about blogs but here goes:
    One of the key things I didn’t read in your original review was the the cost of using the phone. I get about 150 emails a day as an independent travel agent and don’t travel a lot but do get away 7 or 8 times a year. What kind of package do you recommend?
    I see that in our area, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – we can get a Rogers package of 6GB a month for about $30 additional. I have been told that downloading web pages is intensive and I am not sure how 6 gigs a month would stand up. I have not read anything about "usage requirements" – it would be very useful to get a sense of what 6 Gigs actually gets me…

  • Terry White

    When I wrote the original review data use wasn’t an issue. The iPhone was originally only available through AT&T which had an unlimited data plan for $20/month. So data usage wasn’t a concern. In the US, AT&T/Apple sells the new iPhone 3g with a $30/month unlimited plan. It seems that Rogers is gouging its customers. I haven’t really done or seen any studies on data use by the web app and email apps. 6GB though should be sufficient since you really aren’t going to download a lot of big files. Sorry I couldn’t help more.

  • Tustin

    When Palm announced yet another new Treo with the Windows Mobile OS (I HATE Windows mobile!!), my frustration level with Palm finally peaked. I marched over the the nearest ATT store and bought the new iPhone. A day later, I’m taking it back.

    The iPhone is a really fun toy. It’s every bit as sleek as it looks and does everything it says it does really well. But . . .

    I use my Treo 680 for everything. I mean everything. It’s a calendar, Memos with folders, Office documents, MP3 player for music and audiobooks, ebook reader, internet and much more. There are thousands of third-party apps for the Treo that have real world applications. There’s one that automatically records my calls and one that protects me by allowing me to send a text message to the phone to erase all the data if it’s lost (I had to use that one once). I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.

    The iPhone third-party apps appear to be mostly widgets. Cute, but lacking in muscle. But the ultimate deal breaker was Memos and the eReader software for iPhone. There is no comparable Memo feature for iPhone. My extensive Google search for such a thing found lots of kindred spirits searching for same.

    I also read a lot of books on my Treo. It allows me to carry a book everywhere and read whenever I have a few minutes. It’s especially great for traveling when you don’t want to carry a small library around. The Palm iPhone eReader software doesn’t allow for custom screens or auto scroll. I also listen to audio books during my commute. I’m sure it all works out somehow, but I couldn’t get the process of downloading Audible books into iTunes and then syncing with the iPhone to work. At 2 a.m. I gave up.

    Bottom line, it’s back to my Treo. It’s just a better device for what I need. In the meantime, I’ll keep sending emails to Palm demanding a new Palm OS Treo with GSM, GPS and 3G. Judging but what I read in the forums, I have a lot of company.

  • Hi Terry,

    You are just amazing, this is one of the best reviews.
    Thank you so much.


  • Fiona

    Great review – thanks for the info re blue tooth – I was hoping that I would be able to listen to music via the blue tooth facility on the phone. I have stereo bluetooth hearing aids and if the iphone did that then I wouldn’t have to carry around an additional adaptor for my iphone (like I have to with my old ipod). Shame. The other disappointing thing for me is that the volume isn’t great without updating the software. I need decent volume output for obvious reasons.
    I hate to say it but my husband was right when he suggested that maybe this wasn’t the phone for me – bummer! Thanks for the review – I have saved some money as a result.

  • Breyanne

    GREAT review. Best I have seen yet. Thank you!

  • Nabeel

    U CAN CREATE YOUR OWN RINGTONES. THERE IS A WAY ON THE iTUNES TO DO IT. APPLE THINKS WE ARE SO STUPID. ILL POINT OUT THE STEPS TO ALL THE iPhone Users. Its a piece of cake if you know how to do it. Very simple steps… anyway.. heres how its done:

    C.R.E.A.T.E. Y O U R O W N R.I.N.G.T.O.N.E.

    1. Right Click the song on your iTunes library that you want to use as a ringtone

    Right CLick ===> Get Info ===> Options

    2. Choose the start time and the end time. The ringtone should not be more than 30 seconds. That is the maximum. For example if i start at 0:20, I would have to end at 0:50 (0:00 – 0:30) etc….

    3. After you have done that, Hit “OK”. Afterwards, select the same song you have just “editted” and RIGHT CLICK ===> CREATE SELECTION AS AAC ( CREATE .AAC VERSION)

    4. After iTunes is done converting, you will see a new song appear in your library. The most easiest way to access it is by going to “Recently Added”.

    5. Right Click the File and select ” Show in Windows Explorer”.

    6. Now you have to change the FILE EXTENSION. We do this so iTunes recognizes this Track as a ringtone. The file will be in .aac format. In most cases it doesnt show the file extension when you click on it because the extension is hidden. ( For people who can’t access the extension, CLICK OPTIONS on the Windows Toolbar and SELECT FOLDER OPTIONS. HIT VIEW and you will see an option der saying ” HIDE EXTENTIONS FOR KNOWN FILE NAMES”. UNCLICK THAT so there is no check mark. HIT OK.


    8. AFTER YOU ARE DONE RENAMING IT, double click on it and it will show you the RINGTONE in the RINGTONES SECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Ayres

      Dear Nabeel, iè try with my iPhone 3gs just purchased and it`s no use my tentative.I loved your post, but unfortunately, when you say to convert the Ringtone duration- let’s say- from 0:20 to 0:50, it not accept and when you say OK, it turn to 0:023? What do you think about?
      Another tip or help from you is higly welcome!

      Thanks for thr help, anyway.


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  • helix911

    nice review.
    checkout more iPhone reviews at Don’t be a Nut

  • Charlie

    The true cost of the iPhone is hidden and deceptive. Notwithstanding the durability video, apple stores get dozens of people a day with cracked screens. Screens crack, and the repair costs Apple less than $10. But they charge customers $350 to fix a cracked screen. That means the true cost of the phone with contract is twice as much as advertised. Not $200 or $300 with contract, but a minumum of $550 or $650 with contract. Screens crack. It happens all the time. It’s just one more (and this one is huge) slimey underhanded tactic by Apple. Apple was once a customer-friendly, counterculture company. Now it’s in many ways worse than Microsoft. If you like the half-assed implementation of Iphone, you really have to hold your nose in order to do business with such a despicable company as Apple. And the phone costs more than twice as much as is advertised.

  • Balmer


    A very nice iphone app rejected from Amazon. Its a shame but happens

  • Freddy

    I got an Iphone 1 month ago, and I used to have a NOKIA e62 and no drop calls, now everyother call gets drop in the same areas, as a phone, this gadget SUCKS!!!
    I have two friends that complaint about this same thing.
    I like it but I am getting fed up, If I am talking to my friends I can always call them back and laugh about it, but when I talking to a CUSTOMER it is not as nice.

    I am ready to get rid of it!!!


  • Rita

    Did you notice the all new iPhone 3g Kings Button. It seems to steal the world of the really rich. Take a look at the piece of work with iPhone


  • Andy

    Buyers Beware. I had the 1st generation IPhone and it worked great. I loved the it. I upgraded to the 3G and right out of the AT&T store, started having problems. I tried to get it exchanged but they want me to pay a 10% restocking fee for a one week old BROKE phone. It’s in the fine print. I have talked to AT&T customer’s service and they keep trying to adjust this and that and I still get missed calls. I will pay the 10% and they can keep it. I will also drop AT&T like a bad habit. DON"T BUY THE IPHONE unless you have money to give away.

    • aida obusan

      I got my iphone from AT&T because accdg to their policy we cannot buy 3 iphones at one time at the Apple store. When I received mine I noticed that it freezes or would not respond to my touch ( need to touch it 3-5 time before it responds) on some occasions…not all the time.I brought it to Apple In Short PUmp mall in Richmond VA, where the genius bar diagnosed it to be a defective interface.They refuse to replace it…it is brand new and never been used forced me to let them fix it after a whole day of argument and letting us travel back and forth to our house for some requirementss which 40 minutes away and referring us to AT&T store for replacement which AT&T refused because they said they have an agreement with Apple that Apple will take care of the equipment and they take care of the service.So, they said they replaced the interface…but back home the defect is there.Am I being ripped off? Can some body from APple or AT&T explain this conflict between them in terms of policy for defective products?

  • brad

    Does anybody have problems with there iphone freezing (or hang as it may also be called) up all the time, so the phone will still ring sometimes or not others but user can not answer or use any fuctions?

  • Randy

    Does anyone know about myzipcalls. I’m think of downloading this to my phone for the icon dialing feature and was curious if anyone has used it?

  • Bill

    I agree that the first thing a phone should do is make calls – for that the iPhone absolutely sucks! Some states have laws against using a cell phone when driving but no mater what the law, everybody does it. And for that the iPhone is an accident going somewhere to happen – in a phrase, the reason it sucks is, NO TACTICAL FEEL. Over a highly sensitive touch screen, you have to navigate to the phone app, then navigate to the number somehow, then make the call – and along the way you better not inadvertantly touch the wrong part of the screen (which is nearly impossible) or you are calling the wrong person – then if you do, you have to hang up and starting navigating back to the party you wanted to call… it’s a hazard and almost useless for making and receiving calls – I recommend it for everything except as a phone.

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  • Michael

    Hi Terry,
    How do I add multiple photo albums to the iPhone? Different albums for different subjects.
    Do you have to add a neew album in iPhoto and then sync the phone?


  • Michael,
    you either set up albums in iPhoto or folders and sub folders (your subjects) and sync them via iTunes.

  • I still love my iPhone. I think we all know it is not king of cell phones and everyone else will just be trailing Apple’s bread crumbs. Excellent review by the way. I are almost spot on for talking about the iPhones features and usability in detail. Not many people take the time to review items like you do.

  • sorry… i meant to say it IS King of cell phones!