My iPhone Review

I picked up a white 16GB iPhone 3G on July 13.  After a month of use, I can add my 2 cents to the tons of reviews already out there.

Battery Life

I have to recharge the phone every two days, running with 3G and wi-fi off, except when I need them.  If I leave 3G on, I have to recharge the phone after a day.  From people I’ve talked to about other 3G phones, this amount of battery life is typical.

No Keyboard?  No Problem.

I’ve found that I can type with 2 thumbs reasonably quickly, even without the physical clicking of keys.  I can’t type as fast as I could on my old Nokia 6820, but it’s still usable.

The iPhone as a Phone

The only functionality obviously missing is support for MMS (picture mail).  It seems odd that phones AT&T gives away have a feature that the iPhone lacks, but that’s the situation.  While it isn’t a feature I want desperately to use (I barely used it on the Razr), having to surf to a website to receive MMS messages someone sent you is inconvenient.

I like everything else.  The recent call and voicemail features are particularly well-done.

The iPhone as a Web Browser

Browsing the web is where the iPhone really shines.  At this point, there’s no other device its size that enables you to surf the web so easily.  If you aren’t an AT&T wireless subscriber, this feature alone is probably one of the best reasons to buy an iPod touch.

While the iPhone doesn’t support Flash, I see this as a plus.  On my work and home machines, I use Firefox 3 with Flashblock enabled on virtually every site.  No worrying about ads, or video I don’t want, or the battery life penalty that would likely come with Flash support.

The iPhone as an iPod

Last week was the first time I used it much as an iPod (I was in Toronto).  As cool as the click wheel was on previous iPods, multi-touch crushes it.  I didn’t think navigating through a large music/video collection could get easier, but it is.  Watching videos on a screen that size isn’t bad at all.

E-mail on the iPhone

So far, I like this feature.  Occasionally, I’ll see a “This message has not been downloaded from the server” note, but that only happens with my Comcast e-mail account.

The Apps

I spent a lot of time playing JawBreaker when I was at Pearson International waiting for my flight home.  It’s an addictive little game.  Beyond that one, the apps I use most are NetNewsWire, Facebook, and Pandora.

Overall

I’m very pleased with it.  I’ve only gone traveling with it once so far (to Toronto for Agile 2008), and even though I had a laptop with me, I barely used it.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have left the laptop at home and simply synced the iPhone with my work e-mail.  It’s that capable and excellent a device.