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Review: Apple iPhone, In-Depth

Review by Michael Oryl on Tuesday July 03, 2007.

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As my friend and fellow mobile tech writer Sean Cooper said, "the iPhone is our Paris Hilton." Nothing else could possibly explain the amount of hype that this device has generated, even long before it was officially announced. Often referred to as the "Jesus Phone" because of its laundry list of supposed capabilities, there were a lot of people, myself included, that did not believe that the Apple iPhone could possibly live up to the hype.

For the most part, I was wrong. It can and does live up to almost all of the hype. There are a number of issues, but the iPhone is very much the device that Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised the world in January. Is it the ultimate phone? No. The best iPod ever? Probably. More importantly, though, it may well be the most advanced handheld computer ever marketed. Read on to learn most all there is to know about this remarkable device.

Physical Aspects

There really isn't much to the iPhone in terms of physical controls and features. The device weighs a somewhat hefty 145g (5.1oz) and measures up at 115mm x 61mm x 12mm (4.5" x 2.4" x .47"). For comparison, a current model 30 or 80GB iPod weighs 136g (4.8oz) and measures 104mm x 61mm x 11mm (4.1" x 2.4" x .43"). Most people will be able to forgive the iPhone its size and weight once they see the beautiful 3.5" 480x320 pixel touch screen display that dominates the front of the device. Apart from the home key that is located below it, there really is nothing else going on up front. Almost all interactions with the phone take place on the display, but we'll get to that later.

A chrome frame surrounds the glass that covers the black face of the iPhone. A matte finish metal covers up most of the sides and back of the phone where, oddly, the phone's serial number and IMEI are clearly written. The camera lens, also located on the back, is very small and unobtrusive.

One of the only places where plastic is used on the device, and the only place it is used as a cover material, is along the bottom section of the rear of the device where the speaker, microphone, and standard 30-pin iPod docking port are found. Plastic was needed here so as to not obstruct the phone's antenna. Plastic is also used, sparingly, for the remaining few controls on the iPhone. The ringer switch and volume controls, which are found on the left edge of the device, are made of plastic. A well hidden SIM card slot is located on the top of the device, sitting between the plastic standby/power key and the 3.5mm headset/headphone jack.

I find few things to fault with the iPhone's physical design, but the headset jack is one of them. It is deeply recessed and will force many owners to purchase an adapter to use their own headphones. Another problem is the rear cover of the iPhone: it cannot be removed. Accordingly, the user cannot swap the battery. When the battery starts to lose capacity after 300 to 400 charges (according to Apple), the iPhone will have to be sent in to Apple to receive a new battery, a process that takes 3 business days and will cost US$86, including shipping. I am happy to report, however, that my initial concerns about the durability of the iPhone's finish seem unfounded. The iPhone ships with a dock, a stereo headset with a call button, and a cable that can attach the iPhone to either a computer or the charger.

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Sana @ 12:21:19PM EDT on Thursday April 9, 2009

The most informative review of the iphone that I have found.

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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